I think it is the firm historical ties with history that makes it seem that
philosophy is like a juggernaut. It was nice that Pirsig was not a philosopher
or a historian when he wrote his books. This gave him more latitude.
Ant McWatt comments:
I think you meant "philosophologist" (rather than "philosopher") in the
above paragraph. Pirsig considers himself (as I do!) a philosopher because he
created a (largely) original philosophical work while philosophologists (as
usually found in university philosophy departments) tend to study
established ideas and thinkers:
"Philosophology is to philosophy as musicology is to music, or as art
history and art
appreciation are to art, or as literary criticism is to creative
It's a derivative, secondary field, a sometimes parasitic growth that
to think it controls its host by analyzing and intellectualizing its
"Literature people are sometimes puzzled by the hatred many creative
have for them. Art historians
can't understand the venom either. He
supposed the same was true with musicologists but he didn't know enough
about them. But
philosophologists don't have this problem at all because
the philosophers who would normally condemn them are a null-class. They
don't exist. Philosophologists,
calling themselves philosophers, are just
about all there are."
"You can imagine the ridiculousness of an art historian taking his
to museums, having them write a thesis on some historical or technical
aspect of what they see there, and after a few years of this giving
degrees that say they are accomplished artists. They've never held a brush
or a mallet and chisel in their hands.
All they know is art history.
Yet, ridiculous as it sounds, this is exactly what happens in the
philosophology that calls itself philosophy." (LILA, Chapter 26)
>Liked the haiku [of Carl's]:
beheld in a passing glance
once captured is lost"