> Like the linguistic slogans, these slogans from James and Pirsig also
> represent a move against the myth of the given, against traditional empiricism
> and against the correspondence theory of truth.
On page 146 we read this:
"In our highly complex organic state we advanced organisms respond to our
environment with an invention of many marvelous analogues. We invent earth
and heavens, trees, stones and oceans, gods, music, arts, language,
philosophy, engineering, civilization and science. We call these analogues
reality. And they are reality. We mesmerize our children in the name of
truth into knowing that they are reality. We throw anyone who does not
accept these analogues into an insane asylum. But that which causes us to
invent the analogues is Quality.
[Quality is the continuing stimulus which our environment puts upon us to
create the world in which we live. All of it. Every last bit of it.]
"Now, to take that which has caused us to create the world, and include it
within the world we have created, is clearly impossible. That is why Quality
cannot be defined. If we do define it we are defining something less than
I remember this fragment more vividly than any of the others, possibly
because it is the most important of all. When he wrote it he felt momentary
fright and was about to strike out the words "All of it. Every last bit of
it." Madness there. I think he saw it. But he couldn¹t see any logical
reason to strike these words out and it was too late now for
faintheartedness. He ignored his warning and let the words stand.
He put his pencil down and thenfelt something let go. As though something
internal had been strained too hard and had given way. Then it was too late.
He began to see that he had shifted away from his original stand.
[He was no longer talking about a metaphysical trinity but an absolute
monism. Quality was the source and substance of everything.]
If for argument purposes let say the Quality described here is the Quality
that gets carried over to start Lila. Look at the two sections I put in
brackets. It seems to me that the first quote falls to the myth of the
given. The environment being the "given." If we move to the second
bracketed quote he seems to have made a jump from Quality being a stimulus
our environment puts on us directly to "Quality was the source and substance
of everything." with no intervening argument to support the jump. Certainly
he can't mean second from as you say a "positivism, ... traditional
sense-data empiricism [or] phenomenology" sort of way. And surely not an SOM
"substance" way. So perhaps you can explain that jump and how he avoids the
myth of the given if indeed these two statements are the start of the more
substantial argument that continues in Lila.