Re: virus: pop quiz #6

David McFadzean (
Fri, 16 Feb 1996 14:38:05 -0700

At 05:29 PM 14/02/96 -0500, wrote:

> Wittgenstein would say (and I think I would agree) that this
>question is not conducive to 'the right method' of philosophical inquiry
>because whatever you are referring to as 'The world' is determined by the
>answer to the question. In this sense, you could say that the answer is all
>of the above.

I agree that the meaning of 'world' depends on the answer, but isn't
that a valid line of philosophical inquiry? The reason I proposed the
question is that I just finished a very interesting book, Lila by
Robert Pirsig (author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance).
Lila is essentially metaphysics thinly disguised as fiction. His main
premise is that Western philosophy got it all wrong when it was assumed
that the world is made of objects when in fact it is made of values.
This is the same Quality with a capital Q that he was ranting about in
Zen, elaborated into a Metaphysics of Quality in Lila. He argues that
this perspective offers powerful explanations, resolving conflicts
between Eastern mysticism and Western science, and between science
and morality. Pirsig is obviously a very bright guy but I'm still having
trouble understanding what he means by Quality. As far as I can tell it
is some kind of pre-cognitive experience, but there is more to it than
that. Maybe someone who has read the book can help me out here.

> I would assert that there is a phenomenal world defined by the
>perceptual set and response algorithims of each conscious being. If there
>is a noumenal world that is factual and outside our perceptions, we would
>have no way of truly knowing much of anything about it.

The noumenal world is supposed to be knowable through reason, isn't it?
Sort of like Wittgenstein's "homologous form".

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Merak Projects