LS Re: Soc. and Intellectual values
Sat, 22 Aug 1998 03:20:31 +0100

Donny, Platt, Bodvar,

> > > Platt:
> > > Well, if you say so. I'm having enough trouble with understanding MOQ-speak
> > > without trying to figure out Hegel-speak. To put it as simply as I can, what
> > > sets S-O thinking apart from animals (besides logic) is that even though
> > > they may know that they are separate from others (even cells seem to know
> > > that), they don't know that they know. We do. That's the kicker. When you
> > > know that you know you're egaged in S-O thinking, you've arrived at the
> > > Intellectual Level.

We may be splitting hairs here but just because something behaves as if
it is separate from other things (a cell for example) it doesn't mean
that it knows it's separate. If we say that it implies that
"separateness" is the Truth -- ie something out there for the animals to
discover. But it isn't, it's just the way humans see things.

> I agree except for the last line. pirsig says the first
> intelectual value patterns formed in the 6th cen when Socrates drank the
> hemlock. But I think humans 'knew they knew' stuff well before then -- at
> least 5,000 years before then. That's why I'd identify S-O thinking
> primarily as a social value -- one that was originaly in service of
> Biological (Darwinian) values, but evolved into something else.

Biological entities have an instinct to preserve themselves. But, as I
said above, that doesn't prove that they have any awareness of what they
are doing. Biological life just happens. Animals that have an instinct
for self-preservation may survive better in a Darwinian sense, but then
that instinct is a biological pattern. If animals are aware of
themselves and make a decision to protect themselves then they must also
be capable of making a decision not to protect themselves.

Do we really have to look at animals to understand biological value
anyway? Humans are biological too. Consider breathing. You could see
that as subject-object if you want -- me (subject) breathes (verb) air
(object). In order to breathe I have to coordinate various cells and
organs in such a way that they will perform this specific function on
the object. In order to digest food I have to do the same thing and make
decisions about what will be used and what won't and how the nutrients
and energy will be allocated in my body. But actually there is no "I" in
these functions at all. They just happen. I would argue that a cat
chasing a ball is no different from breathing, digesting, or any other
unconscious biological action.

It's a good question though.


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