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Xavier Koh Yan Hui

Zen and The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance.

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I will admit it openly, so as to not give anyone false impressions. I do not fully understand the book. If you were to tell me to explain it right now, I could probably explain the ideas, using the words and concepts presented by the author, but true understanding, the innate and unquestioned belief that you understand, is beyond me presently.

What do the people here think of this book? Do the book's ''Metaphysics of Quality'' clash or compliment the philosophy of Objectivism? I would love to hear your views on this matter, because I have not found the right information to clarify my thoughts on this.

Thank you.

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I did some thinking, and now I wonder if there is perhaps someway to reconcile the Quality of Metaphysics with Objectivism. Perhaps what the author of ''Zen and the art of Motorcycle'' intended was not to deny the essential objective identities of objects, but merely to raise the possibility of a different level of awareness in regards to them.

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Pirsig posits that values - quality - exist independently of valuers. That is, some things are intrinsically valuable, not valuable in virtue of their relationship to a rational, volitional being engaged in goal-directed action a la Rand. That's going to be a tough bridge to cross.

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Pirsig posits that values - quality - exist independently of valuers. That is, some things are intrinsically valuable, not valuable in virtue of their relationship to a rational, volitional being engaged in goal-directed action a la Rand. That's going to be a tough bridge to cross.

I believe what he said of quality is that it's a pre-intellectual function. It is not intrinsic, because what has 'quality' is different for everyone. It's so hard to put my finger on it. Something feels wrong. Acknowledgment of his theory as truth would have implications I cannot imagine, both in my life and in my way of thinking.

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I believe what he said of quality is that it's a pre-intellectual function. It is not intrinsic, because what has 'quality' is different for everyone. It's so hard to put my finger on it. Something feels wrong. Acknowledgment of his theory as truth would have implications I cannot imagine, both in my life and in my way of thinking.

Pirsig thinks that a rock I observe as I walk to class is - like every other inorganic thing - "a pattern of static quality". He also thinks that "value" is a synonym of "quality". That rock, therefore, has value independent of whether I "act to gain or keep" it (the Objectivist notion of value). Under the former view, the rock has value. Under the latter, it does not. It follows that their accounts of value disagree. QED.

Look, Pirsig's stuff is fun and he may even have a real insight or two. But no good will come of trying to shoehorn it into Objectivism, which is firmly rooted in the so-called "subject-object metaphysics" that Pirsig complains about. Ayn Rand would probably give Pirsig a tongue-lashing and accuse him of embracing the primacy of consciousness and being a crypto-kantian, mystic, witch-doctor, evader, and all kinds of other unpleasant things. Pirsig would probably think Rand was stuck so far up Aristotle's rear end that she'd never appreciate his grand rethinking of western metaphysics.

About all they have in common is a disdain for the academic philosophical community, a disdain that is returned to both in kind.

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Pirsig thinks that a rock I observe as I walk to class is - like every other inorganic thing - "a pattern of static quality". He also thinks that "value" is a synonym of "quality". That rock, therefore, has value independent of whether I "act to gain or keep" it (the Objectivist notion of value). Under the former view, the rock has value. Under the latter, it does not. It follows that their accounts of value disagree. QED.

Look, Pirsig's stuff is fun and he may even have a real insight or two. But no good will come of trying to shoehorn it into Objectivism, which is firmly rooted in the so-called "subject-object metaphysics" that Pirsig complains about. Ayn Rand would probably give Pirsig a tongue-lashing and accuse him of embracing the primacy of consciousness and being a crypto-kantian, mystic, witch-doctor, evader, and all kinds of other unpleasant things. Pirsig would probably think Rand was stuck so far up Aristotle's rear end that she'd never appreciate his grand rethinking of western metaphysics.

About all they have in common is a disdain for the academic philosophical community, a disdain that is returned to both in kind.

Thank you very much for your response. Do you take the objectivists' stand or Pirsigs', or some other stand entirely?

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Thank you very much for your response. Do you take the objectivists' stand or Pirsigs', or some other stand entirely?

I agree with neither, though unfortunately the rules of this forum prohibit me from explaining my own (non-Objectivist) views on the matter. Feel free to drop me a line by private message if you're interested in continuing this conversation!

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