> It's all the power of persuasion. It's all a rhetorical arguement. Thats the
> point that is trying to be made. The best rhetorical arguements, the most
> persuasive are those "predicated" on first hand immediate empirical
If you say so. But I am not persuaded by arguments that only make
something look fancy without telling, what it is - so for me, this just
begs the question.
> Tuuka continues:
> Furthermore, in LILA Pirsig states the MOQ to subscribe to empiricism.
> Empiricism is a theory of knowledge, so the MOQ is an epistemological
> theory in its own right, in addition to being an ontological and an
> ethical theory. To speak of epistemological objectivity as if it were
> beyond the scope of the MOQ is to deny the explicitly stated empiricism
> of the MOQ.
> To speak of epistemological objectivity is to begin down the path of rationalism
> it begins to become a deduction from empirical experience and that is the keystone
> of what MoQ's empiricism is drawn from, it's drawn from direct immediate experience
> before rationalization. Understand that MoQ is a rationalized theory which points
> to the pre-rationalized empirical experience. Thats why it looks at any theory of experience
> in terms of aestestics ie: usefulness, clarity in meaning and economy of explanation (Ocam's razor).
> Simply put, MoQ looks at what theories of knowledge are "best".
I don't understand the grammatic structure of the first sentence.
Arguing the MOQ to be an epistemological theory is not necessary for
purposes of arguing that SODV's "subjectivity" and "objectivity" are
"subjective quality" and "objective quality" of ZAMM. In SODV, figure 4,
Pirsig says that inorganic and biological quality are objective static
patterns, and social and intellectual quality are subjective static
patterns. Please note, that the patterns are not denoted as
"intellectual" (epistemological), but as "static". The intellectual
pattern is another thing, that's also present in figure 4. Hence, the
objectivity and subjectivity of said patterns is of ontological nature,
and not only of epistemological nature. There is no other ontological
definition of subjectivity and objectivity that Pirsig could be expected
to refer to, except the one in ZAMM.
> The problem with logical theorems such as Goedels completeness is that they operate on
> closed systems of logic. MoQ is not a closed system of logic. Never claimed to be. It is a theory
> of knowledge. It's a theory on how we develop truth statements. Truth is an aestetic it is
> a species of "the good". MoQ asks "what makes it good?".
> Tuukka earlier:
Why is logos subjective? Is there another reason than Pirsig saying so?
If there isn't, you are now prioritizing LILA over ZAMM, as Pirsig also
said other things. Logos is not subjective in any relevant way, except
the Buddhist "relative" way, popularized on MD by Marsha. The truths of
logos are interrelated to each other, and mean nothing outside the
context of that network of interrelated truths. This already is the
message of Quine's confirmation holism. But unlike the truths of mythos,
the truths of logos have a verifiable meaning within that network, and
hence, they are objective. Furthermore, no static truths have verifiable
meanings outside their context, as they don't exist outside the context.
> Ron earlier:
Well, if you understand Quine, then you can understand why logos is contextually
subjective in the same way as mythos because they both require a contextual
framework of meaning. You admitted this. The arguenet is over one contextual
framework as being "more" objective than another which doesent quite make sense
since you just established that the meaning of the term "objective" is relative
to the context of it's use. In effect you just stated that "objectivity" is essentially
a subjective term.
The idea that bridges all contexts is "the good" Pirsig uses the term Quality.
The good is a static truth that is understood in any context.
Then we can judge contextual frameworks like paintings in an art gallery.
It is neither useful nor consonant with Pirsig's writing to have a
concept of "objectivity" that is completely meaningless. When Pirsig
criticizes logical positivism in LILA, he does not say objective quality
does not exist. He's writing of a different thing. Scientific truths are
objective within the framework of science, and that's all there is to
objectivity. To be objective is a subjective choice, but once one makes
that choice, objective things come to existence.
According to Quine's confirmation holism, everything that is objective
is indeed also subjective. But that does not entail nothing is
objective. This is precisely what I have been saying: that objectivity
emerges from subjectivity, and not the other way around. But perhaps my
earlier message gave the impression that I do not believe logos to be
subjective. In that message, I tried to use language that is not
obviously inconsistent with SODV, because I did not want to contradict
people too much.
If figure 4 of SODV is interpreted as a Venn diagram, patterns of value
are either subjective or objective, but never both. Therefore, I tried
to use established terminology that I expected you to accept, when I
didn't emphasize that I believe the objective emerges from the subjective.
I understand if "subjectivity" is thought of as a box, in which we can
put anything we want, we can just put logos there and leave it at that.
But that would be like running over ZAMM with LILA because the task to
make them resonate seemed difficult.
If physics is objective, and logos is not, what is the point of saying
Aristotle was being objective, when he defined force as something that
keeps bodies in motion, and that Galilei was also being objective, when
he defined force as something that causes changes in velocity and
acceleration, but is not a requirement for motion? Were both Aristotle
and Galilei being objective, because they were using a scientific
method? Were their scientific methods themselves subjective?
I never said logos is not objective. I said the opposite.
Aristotle was after clarity in meaning. He was dealing with the problem
of relativism also. The good is what makes some things better than others
it makes some things truer than others. Subjectivity is more like a pair of glasses
one interprets experience through. Thats why he wrote the "meta-physics"
you should read it some time.
Aristotle understood that scientific observation was a subjective enterprise.
All explanation is. The focus was on clarity in meaning, does the explanation
accurately provide meaning to the observation, how well does it explain
observable phenomena? How successful are it's predictions?
Tuuka,I highly recommend doing the homework. Reasearch will
help out tremendosly with alot of your questions.
Okay, but let's first make sure you know what I'm doing in the first place.
> It is very unclear, how theories of empirical science should have no corresponding
> *repeated* experience, as the whole branch of science is based on such experiences.
Craig earlier:A distinction is needed:
We can only talk about a particular raven because we are able to (in Strawson pere's
terminology) "reidentify" it as the SAME raven. For instance, that raven is flying when
the SAME pattern (in Pirsig's terminology) occupies successively contiguous places in space.
What makes 2 distinct patterns both ravens (birds of the same kind)?
Because they are both the same KIND of pattern.
Science is concerned with KINDs of patterns. The data is the reidentified patterns;
the theory is the generalization about those kinds of patterns.
"If you can't generalize from the data, you can't do anything else with it either" (Pirsig)
I don't have a problem with replacing "corresponding repeated
experience" with "corresponding similar experience".
Earlier: 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.
dmb says earlier:
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 th
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.
Bear in mind that I haven't defined DQ - only a reason why it can't be
Mark earlier (as an empirical scientist):
Data has no pattern until it is subjected to a theory. It is the
theory which provides the pattern. One cannot generalize from data.
One can only generalize from theory, the data is completely neutral
and could care less about the theory. The generalization of theory to
other data puts new data within the rules of the theory. If the data
can be conformed to such rules, it supports the theory.
This use of data and theory can be applied to DQ and SQ as follows:
DQ is the data, SQ is the theory. Depending on what theory we have,
DQ can appear very differently as SQ. It is this difference in theory
which provides the fuel to the different religions and philosophies
and camps within a field of science. However, this difference has no
effect on the DQ which gave rise to the SQ. DQ (data) is not
different for each interpretation, it is only the interpretation which
is different. The same set of data can give rise (and does) to a
great many theories. So if Pirsig is right, "we can't do anything
with it". That sort of thing is called "data manipulation" and is
frowned on in science. Wish the same were true in politics.
End of lesson in science.
Quite the opposite...the data couldn't care less about the theory.
Your science lesson was bereft of examples, so let's consider one:
Under certain weather conditions, water particles crystalize
into a six-armed pattern (no 2 alike.) We may come up with ever more
sophisticated and successful theories about why they do this,
but the water particles couldn't care less about our theories,
they form their patterns despite us.
Yes you are right couldn't care less. My mistake, but the rest stands.
Thanks for the correction in my grammar. I liked your example.
It seems somehow mentally very Western that you are having this
disagreement. I would most respectfully like to remark, that I find
neither position correct except according to itself. If you were going
to *use* these declarative statements for something, one might turn out
better than the other, but discussing which one of them is correct -
even when no plans to apply either one have been presented - makes no
sense to me.
If the MOQ were so vulnerable that it would self-destruct on
definition, it would be useless as a working philosophy. I can
understand the inability to define an unknown.
Yet Pirsig insists that everybody knows what Quality is, so it can't
be an unknown. Moreover, what defines a philosophy is the ontology
on which it is structured and which gives it meaning both within and
outside of the definable (empirical) realm.
I agree that an undefinable MOQ would not be very useful for me, at least.
There is no need to "pre-determine what will be considered good in
the future", nor should that be the purpose of philosophy.
I somewhat agree.
When you hang a philosophy on events in time, you restrict the
concept to temporal experience, which amounts to naturalism, the
'logical positivism' that Pirsig despised. Simply calling things
"patterns" does not eliminate subjects and objects; instead it
deprives subjects of the agency needed to appreciate Value in a
Restricting philosophy to temporal events in time can be a brilliant way
to intuitively illustrate the content of one's theory. However, from a
metaphysical point of view, the temporal interpretation is not necessary.
Tuukka earlier: Pirsig himself does not devalue the ZAMM as much as I am now expected
to. In LILA he states, that although the ZAMM way of perceiving reality
is correct, he is just going to use a different approach in this book.
Ant earlier: I'd like to see that quote about this "different approach" - in context.
I don't believe it exists or, if it does, you've misconstrued something.
Okay. From chapter eight of LILA:
There's a principle in physics that if a thing can't be
distinguished from anything else it doesn't exist. To this the
Metaphysics of Quality adds a second principle: if a thing has no
value it isn't distinguished from anything else. Then, putting the
two together, a thing that has no value does not exist. The thing
has not created the value. The value has created the thing. When it
is seen that value is the front edge of experience, there is no
problem for empiricists here. It simply restates the empiricists'
belief that experience is the starting point of all reality. The
only problem is for a subject-object metaphysics that calls itself
This may sound as though a purpose of the Metaphysics of Quality is
to trash all subject-object thought but that's not true. Unlike
subject-object metaphysics the Metaphysics of Quality does not
insist on a single exclusive truth. If subjects and objects are held
to be the ultimate reality then we're permitted only one
construction of things that which corresponds to the "objective"
world and all other constructions are unreal. But if Quality or
excellence is seen as the ultimate reality then it becomes possible
for more than one set of truths to exist. Then one doesn't seek the
absolute "Truth." One seeks instead the highest quality intellectual
explanation of things with the knowledge that if the past is any
guide to the future this explanation must be taken provisionally; as
useful until something better comes along. One can then examine
intellectual realities the same way he examines paintings in an art
gallery, not with an effort to find out which one is the "real"
painting, but simply to enjoy and keep those that are of value.
There are many sets of intellectual reality in existence and we can
perceive some to have more quality than others, but that we do so
is, in part, the result of our history and current patterns of values.
Or, using another analogy, saying that a Metaphysics of Quality is
false and a subject-object metaphysics is true is like saying that
rectangular coordinates are true and polar coordinates are false. A
map with the North Pole at the center is confusing at first, but
it's every bit as correct as a Mercator map. In the Arctic it's the
only map to have. Both are simply intellectual patterns for
interpreting reality and one can only say that in some circumstances
rectangular coordinates provide a better, simpler interpretations.
Here, Pirsig advices against dogmatism. And from chapter nine:
Phaedrus has spent an enormous amount of time following what turned
out to be lousy openings. A particularily large amount of this time
had been spent trying to lay down a dirst line of division between
the classic and romantic aspects of the universe he'd emphasized in
his first book. In that book his purpose had been to show that
Quality could unite the two. But the fact that Quality was the best
way of niting the two was no guarantee that the reverse was true --
that the classic-romantic split was the best way of dividing
Quality. It wasn't. For example, American Indian mysticism is the
same platypus in a world divided primarily into classic and romantic
patterns as under a subject-object division. When an American Indian
goes into isolation and fasts in order to achieve a vision, the
vision he seeks is not a romantic understanding of the surface
beauty of the world. Neither is it a vision of the world's classic
intellectual form. It is something else. Since this whole
metaphysics had started with an attempt to explain Indian mysticism
Phaedrus finally abandoned this classic-romantic split as a choice
for a primary division of the Metaphysics of Quality.
The ZAMM way of perceiving reality can be thought of as inappropriate in
the sense that it has the romantic-classic split as the primary division
of the Metaphysics of Quality. That opening does not work for the
purpose of explaining American Indian mysticism. This does not entail
the SOQ are inappropriate, because in the SOQ, the Dynamic-static
division is fundamental. But unlike LILA, the SOQ does not simply omit
the romantic-classic split. Instead, it expresses that split as a
secondary division of the MOQ by splitting static quality to romantic
and classic quality. The absence of Dynamic Quality is the greatest
shortcoming of ZAMM, but it does not prevent attaching ZAMM's MOQ to
LILA's MOQ as a module.
Tuukka earlier: He presents the approaches as interchangeable, just like polar
coordinates and rectangular coordinates are interchangeable. Neither one
is a "proto-map": both are proper maps.
Ant earlier: No, that's well, well off line. At the beginning of LILA we see how Rigel gets the better
of Phaedrus because the latter doesn't have an "MOQ catechism" (for want of a better word)
to refer to. Much of LILA is devoted to introducing and building up such a catechism.
Regarding the example of polar and rectangular coordinates (in Chapter 8 of LILA), you're
ignoring the important point just beforehand about seeking the "highest quality intellectual
'One doesn't seek the absolute "Truth." One seeks instead the highest quality
intellectual explanation of things with the knowledge that if the past is any
guide to the future this explanation must be taken provisionally; as useful
until something better comes along.'
LILA contains a better MOQ than ZMM. To ignore this critical fact is
just going to undermine the intellectual value of your SOQ.
Okay, you are right in that LILA's MOQ is better than ZAMM's MOQ, and in
that sense, they are not "interchangeable". Sorry that I expressed
myself badly. What I meant to say (and what can be clearly seen from the
citations, which I recapped now that you asked for them) is that Pirsig
wants the Dynamic-static split to be the *primary* split of the MOQ. The
SOQ adds the romantic-classic split as a secondary split to LILA's MOQ,
and Pirsig hasn't written anything that would be an obstacle for that.
I have nothing to add to what Ron stated about these two paragraphs yesterday.
I'm glad he made the effort with you to go through them.
Please see my response to Ron in the top of this message.