LS Re: Soc. and Intellectual values

Bodvar Skutvik (
Wed, 26 Aug 1998 14:34:30 +0100

On Mon, 24 Aug
Platt Holden wrote:

> Hi Diana, Jonathan, Bo and LS:

> Diana wrote:
> > Obviously in order to study lifeforms you need to see them as distinct
> > patterns, and you wouldn't get very far as a biologist if you couldn't
> > tell them apart;), but that doesn't prove that you have to make such
> > distinctions in order to BE a lifeform.
> Jonathan (the CELL -:) may correct me, but it's my understanding
> that one-celled organisms such as bacteria, algae and fungi, who
> live in close proximity, nevertheless never merge across species.

But why, it's the same thing at the Inorganic level. Hydrogen and
oxygen keep their value regardless molecular configuration they
participate in (to avoid the obvious objection: they may change
"value" during nuclear fusion and fission, but the original value is

> If so, these life forms must have some way of deciding what
> constitutes a species. They must have some kind of recognition
> system which makes it possible to distinguish one from another, self
> from other, me from not-me. Even among cells there must be a
> rudiment of identity.
The various patterns of the Biological levels are separate because
they are of different value from other. To ask if they keep apart
because they "recognize", -"will", -"want" or "must" is irrelevant,
yes, if it leads us to deduce a SOM-like consciousness ("Hey I am a
fungus and must keep to myself!") it is outrightly dangerous.

> This contradicts Diana's statement that life forms do not need to see
> other life forms as distinct patterns (like biologists do). In fact it
> suggests that for any life form to survive it's essential for it to identify
> patterns in its environment and to be able to tell that those patterns
> are something different from itself. I would call this basic
> characteristic "self-awareness."
I think Diana has got it right here.
> This whole business of consciousness, sentience, awareness,
> experience, etc. goes to the heart of the MOQ. Pirsig's major thesis
> and central assumption is that reality is Quality and that Quality is
> "direct experience." So even though we may call experience
> "subjective," I don't think we can put it aside.

Objections!! The three first terms goes to the heart of
subject-object metaphysics, and if brought into the MOQ discussion
screws it up complete. However, EXPERIENCE goes to the heart of the
MOQ, and that is the point: All leves are direct experience so why
ask about (degrees of) awareness. We humans are of all levels and
have direct access to the various value levels. When in pain or
pleasure we SENSE unmediated BiPoV. When absorbed in the common cause
we FEEL SoPoV and when REASONING upon it all we know (only too well)
what IntPoV is.

> Until we reach some agreement of just what constitutes "experience"
> as Pirisig means it and how it applies to and affects the four levels,
> we may be missing a key understanding of the MOQ.

I have formerly said that in a MOQ context all or nothing is
mind (or awareness), any other statement leads to absurdity.
What under all circumstances must be recognised is that MOQ's
Intellect isn't SOM's mind, but merely a Quality stage. You, the
father of 'MoQ as the next level' idea, should be the
first to know :-)


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