Bodvar Skutvik (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mon, 15 Sep 1997 16:42:04 +0100
I had problems opening your message. When I clicked the icon only the
"Reply to Author" form popped up. Diana provided the text however.
Yes, I agree. A certain amount of introspection is natural and called for,
but the MOQ cannot be put to test otherwise than applying it to various
fields and see how it fares compared to the SOM.
Your book's definition of metaphysics is better than mine which says it is
about the study of the supernatural and/or idle speculations (a
Scandinavian heritage from the German misnomer "Spiritual Sciences") Still,
the part "...including the relationship between mind and matter",
demonstrates that the author regards the SOM to be the most fundamental
level of reality.
I appreciated what you said about my arriving at the MOQ, but as hinted on,
I have had my scares about the validity of the quality idea. They relate
very much to this "reality" question so allow me to tell about the latest
and gravest one. If I have related this before, please overlook.
For the LS in general:
It was after reading the "Subjects, Objects, Data...." paper. In an
assembly of SOM based people Pirsig obviously tried to cater to their views
as far as he could, so -superficially seen - his came to resemble a SOM
approach. It struck me that the search for the reality of Quantum world
gives the impression that there (in an MOQ view too) is an objective
reality - although on a still more basic level. I had in my essay used the
map metaphor, i.e. that reality is the terrain a theory has to match or
"represent" to be credible (Pirsig had in a way also, by using the map
projection metaphor, I now realize that he has the better one). But then;
what is this experience/terrain that the MOQ/map is supposed to match
better than the SOM one? I went cold as I saw that I had introduced good
old objectivity through the back door, and pondered this heavily. The
relief came from the said Dr Harris (who I still hope will turn up here)
who mentioned the Lorenz transformation equations which are applied when
going from Newton physics (NP) to General Relativity (GR). I am no expert,
but I know that GR in a sense "contains" the NP; it is principally possible
to calculate a moon trip based on GR but it is far too accurate; NP
suffices with wide margins. Still, when speeds are high enough, as in
particle accelerators, GR must be applied. But NP does not give room for
relativistic effects and the Lorenz equations are used when switching
between the two physics' mode.
However, relativity seen from the classic view has the same trouble as the
MOQ when addressed from a SOM standpoint. We all know the space distortion
quandary; if space curves, what straight measuring rod do we compare to? Or
if time dilates what absolute time does it fluctuate compared to? It is
used as a layman's "disproof" of relativity but the physicists couldn't
care less; GR works perfectly, they use the said transformation procedures
and do not speculate about "real" space or time (I guess this goes for
Quantum Physics too, it predicts the outcome with great accuracy, but
cannot be understood from a classic p.o.v.).
It struck me that MOQ is a General Relativity of Metaphysics. History as we
know it has been a relentless passage from absoluteness towards relativity.
Euclid's absolute flat geometry has given way to a host of special
geometries (ZMM on Bolyai and Lobachevski), and Ptolemaian cosmology has
been replaced by the Copernican universe that ended absolute direction
(up/down) and centre. Now the mother of all relativity is in the wings:
There is no absolute reality, it "curves" due to the dynamism underlying it
all. And the resistance and attempts to overlook it from the establishment
recur with tenfold force. Was it Anders who said that the MOQ was an
invention of Pirsig just as gravity was an invention of Newton?. That shows
a deep understanding of what's at stake (and that he has read ZMM!).
I wonder if anyone has anything to say about Quality's reconciliation of
the evolution vs creation quandary?
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