Obviously Pirsig's ideas, "THE MoQ" evolve - in his own writing and in a community like MD. Simple fact.
Hey Ian. Agree, ideas evolve, is that something that really even needs to be said? Who is arguing otherwise?
I think (to pick a point of contention) for me I really don't understand what it means to say "The MOQ evolves" without a clear pronouncement of what is meant by "the MOQ". And I think its multiple uses continues to be a source of confusion for some. As I read it, there are two legitimate uses of the phrase here, and one problematic one in between them.
(1) "The MOQ" = "Pirsig's ideas" (akin to "Pragmaticism = Peirce's ideas")
(2) "The MOQ" = School of Philosophy built upon X premise(s) (akin to "Pragmatism includes James, Peirce and Dewey's ideas")
and in between, (1.5) "The MOQ" = a label of legitimacy given to a single philosophy at any given time, that can be rebuked and handed to another philosophy (akin to "We consider Pirsig's metaphysics as The MOQ today, but we may decide that John Doe's ideas are better tomorrow and deem them The MOQ instead")
In cases (1) and (2) the evolutionary processes are historically obvious. Yes, Peirce's ideas evolved over the course of his writing, and yes ideas attributed to the school of pragmatism have evolved into what we think of as neopragmatism (among other trajectories). I'm befuddled as to how seeking clarity in a specific author's ideas somehow denies evolution or seeks to stop it from happening.
In the case of (1.5) the evolutionary process really has no meaningful precedent in the historical dialogue. Its more like a Stanley Cup we hand out to whatever idea "wins" the current round of "debate". Mark called for this, happily, to undergo a radical change so that "The MOQ" of tomorrow may be completely different from "The MOQ" of today. I can't come up with a single case in the history of philosophy were a term like this has shifted meaning like this. Indeed, the statement itself pretty much implies that "The MOQ" means nothing except a label of designation that itself can be applied to radically opposed or divergent ideas at different times. You, me, Pirsig, Mark, everyone is competing for whose ideas will win the coveted "The MOQ" crown.