LS Re: Universal Man (wa:Soc and Int)

Bodvar Skutvik (
Tue, 25 Aug 1998 01:19:42 +0100

Donny and Squad

You delivered quite a load before you took off, but also impressed me
greatly. First to the message of 19 Aug. where you write:

> On a different note: BODVAR, I noticed on that same page in
> chapter 24, in the next paragraph, Pirsig writes 'Objects are inorganic
> and biological values; subjects are social and intellectual values.' I'm
> afraid that blows our theory that he came up w/ that just for the SODV
> paper. It looks like that *is* pirsig's 'Lorentz equations,' and he
> goffed-up. I think your SOTAQI idea is better. (...and that my: the
> capacity for S-O thinking = personhood = social entity [ie. an entity
> which can embody social values] is even better yet, if I may be allowed
> to say so myself ;-) )

> Either way, Pirsig's view can no longer be dismised and so beres
> further inspection at some point, I think.

Yes, I have discovered Pirsig's InPoV-BiPov as "objects" etc. in
LILA, but he has in fact made a certain concession to the - then -
crude SAIOM, and I feel confident that he would recognize the
usefulness of the more refined SOTAQI. I am writing on my yearly
letter to him and will let you - all - know what (if) he replies.

Then to your mighty 20 Aug. opus which opens thus:

> 'Am I bug'en you? I don't mean to bug ya.' (Bono)

Not at all, I've come to appreciate your style :-).
Then this paragraph occurred:

> I'm really relying on Anthony's:
> Platt & Donny: Pirsig ascribes the beginning
> of the Q-intellect with Socrates taking of the hemlock

Wow, this I have overlooked, it shows that Anthony McWatt
also equalizes the emergence of Q-Intellect with the
emergence of Subject-Object "thinking".

Regarding the rest of your impressive piece: I do accept your way of
putting things - generally. The finer distinctions of
O-consciousness, S-consciousness, S-O consciousness, S-O thinking, A
not A and Aristotelian logic etc. obviously means a lot to you while
my approach is more intuitive, but OK I follow you all the way. Your
archeological digging for the roots of Intellect went through many
strata, but as long as you found the Troy who cares!

You went on:

> I have an intuitive hunch that Phaedrus' analytic knife is at the
> center of it. A and not-A, split right down the middle -- cut
> appart by the analytic knife. That seems to be the mark of
> intelectual rhythms all right. But if that's it, then the
> Weastern/Greek tradition is the only tradition to develop
> intelectual values. Is that what we whant to say? Because it's true
> that in the East, in Africa, Australia, and Native America the
> socities stayed closer to that mythic, Mythos thinking where A can
> be not-A and A and B readily transform into one-another. So if we
> identify Intlevtual rhythms w/ the presence of the Analythic Knife,
> then we'd have to conclude that those cultures are w/o intelectual
> value

Yes, I believe that's what he says: Western tradition is the only
culture to embrace Intellect's values as the leading light, but - NB
- only the final world-view stage! (you would perhaps say
Aristotelian logic stage?). In my essay I suggest that the
proto-quality hibernated in the non-Western cultures, perhaps more
"mythic" in Africa, Australia and Native America than the Far
East. And I think it will eventually come to an East-West meeting;
the East becoming more "Aristotelian" while the West transgresses
the S-O (Intellect) stage. Isn't that what we are doing?

> Yes I see agreement in sight. I think we got mixed up because you
> were using the terms S-O consciousness and Aristotelian (A/not-A)
> logic as synonyms, and as I hope you can now see, the way I use them
> A/not-A is a (natural?) outgrowth of S-O thinking... but they're
> not the same. S-O thinking ('knowing that you know') is a lot older
> than the anti-Mythos thinking of post-Aristotle. Do you agree? Can
> we change SOTAQI to... how do you want to word it? Aristotilian
> logic = intelevtual values? AL=IV? And I think we've gotten
> further confused because you use 'worldview' and 'metaphysics'
> synonmasly and I don't... but let's save that for later.
Again, I'm not so hung up in these finer points, but OK, I see the
point. About renaming the SOTAQI. Hmmmm. I think it's useful to keep
the S-O intact (and the Q-intellect too). Your story of its emergence
contains those acronyms, and to tie a development of such enormous
proportions to a historical person's name is a little "parochial".
Couldn't the 'T' be replaced by something more edible to you? 'L' for
logic for instance?

Finally. The date - Nov.11 1918 - was when Intellect's values took
over the political "hot seat" in the West, but the development
you have sketched puts it in a grander time perspective. Can a
similar job be done regarding the Social values? If you postulate
SoPoV's crowning point to agriculture, communities, writings etc. I
agree, but do believe that that "dimension" has a similar
pre-history, immensely longer than IntPoV's until it disappears into

Good thinking Donny, You'll be promoted to our chief ideologist soon.


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