> Hi Ant and all,
> Ant wrote:
> "Anyway, maybe the most interesting question that now arises is that
> while Pirsig was fortunate to stumble on the problem of defining value
> as his metaphysical starting point, what has his metaphysics (i.e. the
> MOQ) not taken account of properly? "
> David wrote:
> That's a rather curious question Ant. Do you think that Pirsig has
> missed something? I think the best question the MOQ poses is "How can
> I make things better with it?" There's so much clarity to be found
> from it and so much potential there! I think the MOQ has the potential
> to do unspeakably amazing things for the planet. I'm starting with my
> own life and am going to work out from there.. What do you think?
The question is indeed curious, as MOQ is just one theory, and cannot be
expected to account for more that it's intended to. The MOQ seems to
have numerous applications in solving philosophical problems, such as
the problem of induction, but I would not view these applications as
existing before they have been explicitly expressed. As this application
is does not yet exist, Pirsig's MOQ may be deemed to not account for the
problem of induction as it is, but could provide a foundation for the
I am more interested of the internal consistency of the MOQ. In ZAMM,
Pirsig uses mythos and logos to illustrate subjective and objective
"The term logos, the root word of "logic," refers to the sum total of
our rational understanding of the world. Mythos is the sum total of the
early historic and prehistoric myths which preceded the logos. The
mythos includes not only the Greek myths but the Old Testament, the
Vedic Hymns and the early legends of all cultures which have contributed
to our present world understanding. The mythos-over-logos argument
states that our rationality is shaped by these legends, that our
knowledge today is in relation to these legends as a tree is in relation
to the little shrub it once was. One can gain great insights into the
complex overall structure of the tree by studying the much simpler shape
of the shrub. There's no difference in kind or even difference in
identity, only a difference in size."
"The mythos-over-logos argument points to the fact that each child is
born as ignorant as any caveman. What keeps the world from reverting to
the Neanderthal with each generation is the continuing, ongoing mythos,
transformed into logos but still mythos, the huge body of common
knowledge that unites our minds as cells are united in the body of man.
To feel that one is not so united, that one can accept or discard this
mythos as one pleases, is not to understand what the mythos is."
If logos (objective quality) is like a tree, and mythos (subjective
quality) is like a little shrub the tree once was, objective quality
should emerge from subjective quality. But later, Pirsig published the
SODV paper, in which he makes a contrary statement: that subjective
quality (social, intellectual) emerges from objective quality
In his commentary on Frederick Copleston
(http://robertpirsig.org/Copleston.htm) Pirsig uses the SODV
interpretation in the first paragraph: "In the MOQ the term,
"objective," is reserved for inorganic and biological patterns and
cannot include "idealism." But later in the same text, he says:
"Objective reality is the most valued intellectual construction."
What does it mean to say, that inorganic and biological quality (=
"objective reality") are the most valued intellectual construction, if
social and intellectual quality (= "subjective quality") are more valuable?