LS Re: PROGRAM Explain the subject-object metaphysics

Lawrie Douglas (
Wed, 15 Apr 1998 16:42:00 +0100

In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (366-7, Corgi edition)
Pirsig clearly describes what he feels to be the origins of
subject-object philosophy:

"Parmenides made it clear for the first time that the Immortal
Principle, the One, Truth, God, is separate from appearance and opinion,
and the importance of this separation and its effect upon subsequent
history cannot be overstated. It's here that the classic mind, for the
first time, took leave of its romantic origins and said, 'The Good and
the True are not necessarily the same,' and goes its separate way. . . .
What is essential to understand at this point is that until now there
was no such thing as mind and matter, subject and object, form and
substance. Those inventions are just dialectical inventions that came

As far as I'm concerned, the SOM bogeyman, in its most simple, general
form, can be reduced to this: a philosophy which (consciously or
otherwise) divides the world up into a higher realm of Truth and a lower
one of mere appearance. (This is literally what Parmenides did,
separating the world into a Way of Truth and a Way of Opinion.) While,
as Struan is surely right to say, no present day scientist believes in a
deterministic, Newtonian universe, nor that any results can be entirely
objective, still, I would say, science has at its core this dualistic
approach to life which relegates even reasoned ideas to ultimately
worthless opinion until 'corroborated' by experimental evidence.

post message -
unsubscribe/queries -
homepage -

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu May 13 1999 - 16:43:06 CEST