Ham said to All --
So as not to be censured for disagreeing with "the Prophet of Quality", I'll begin by basing my argument on statements I support to a large degree. ...
The tenet that Value is fundamental to existence, however, as DMB points out, must be understood conceptually if it is to be accepted as a metaphysical principle. And the fact that the author avoided defining DQ, which is his name for Value, places it in limbo insofar as metaphysics is concerned. We are left without an explanation of its ontological source or its epistemological relation to mankind. So the problem with the MOQ isn't that Pirsig was wrong; it's that we don't know the exact nature or dynamics of this indefinable essence. And that's what makes it "doctrinal" (e.g., dogmatic) as opposed to a cogent metaphysical theory. ...it seems to me that the idea of Value as DQ must be codified into a workable thesis that supports the moral and ontological principles espoused by the author. Indeed, this may well be the challenge that confronts MOQ enthusiasts as we progress through this new century.
Leaving DQ undefined is not a failure that leaves us "without an explanation of its ontological source or its epistemological relation to mankind," but a deliberate choice and it's very important to understand why he doesn't want DQ to be "codified". So, to use your own phrasing, the problem isn't that Pirsig is wrong; it's that YOU don't understand what he means. You're construing your own incomprehension as Pirsig's failure. The MOQ is anti-essentialist to the core and yet you demand to "know the exact nature or dynamics of this indefinable essence". DQ is not an essence. That's the big mistake the Plato made and that Pirsig works so hard to undo. There are two doctoral theses that have demonstrated that the MOQ is a cogent metaphysical theory to two different thesis committees from two different Universities in two different countries, not to mention my own thesis committee, which included Ron DiSanto, the co-author of the Guidebook to ZAMM. Do you suppose I and all these
other people are simply deluded, that you see what they didn't?
That level of arrogance would be astonishing and shocking even if it were somewhat justified, which it isn't.