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This is a small list of ISMs which may have a chance of being
in a category of what Pirsig's MoQ calls SOM ISMs. We did not include
hundreds of other scientific, religious, political, and art-form ISMs herein.

You, reader should be able to distinguish in each of these

SOM ISM's manifestations of
both Subject and Object or either Subject or Object:

MoQ's litmus test for a SOM ISM.

All ISMs of SOM distinguish, exclusively, clearly, Subject and/or Object.


For a more comprehensive list of ISMs see:

Also see our Quantonics' ISM Extremes

 Possible SOM ISM Scores are: +1, 0, -1.

+1 is an objective SOM ISM.  
 0 is an ISM which balances subjective and objective more than a +1 ISM does.
-1 is a subjective ISM with no reverence for SOM's philosophical apex: objective reality.
0. Atomism

 1. Determinism +1   16. Neoplatonism +1
 2. Dualism +1   17. Nihilism +1
 3. Egoism +1  18. Nominalism +1
 4. Empiricism 0  19. Objectivism +1
 5. Existentialism 0  20. Platonism -1
 6. Formalism +1  21. Pluralism +1
 7. Idealism 0  22. Positivism +1
 8. Indeterminism 0  23. Pragmatism 0
 9. Inductionism +1  24. Rationalism 0
 10. Instrumentalism -1  25. Realism +1
 11. Logical Positivism +1  26. Relativism -1
 12. Materialism +1  27. Scientific Empiricism +1
 13. Monism 0  28. Solipsism +1
 14. Mysticism 0  29. Stoicism +1
 15. Naturalism

 30. Subjectivism


Thanks to:
Microsoft Bookshelf
and therein
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from InfoSoft International, Inc.
The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia is licensed from Columbia University Press. Copyright © 1995 by Columbia University Press.
and Websters.








1. Philosophy. The ancient theory of Democritus (atomic theory of nature; absolute 'motion' of atoms), Epicurus (philosophy is about pleasure), and Lucretius (Wrote De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things) expounding Democritus and Epicurus' philosophies.), according to which simple, minute, indivisible, and indestructible particles are the basic components of the entire universe.

2. Philosophy. A theory according to which social institutions, values, and processes arise solely from the acts and interests of individuals, who thus constitute the only true subject of analysis.

a. The division of or tendency to divide a society into subclasses, groups, or units.
b. The understanding of society as a set of independent wills, based on a belief in the priority of individual over cooperative values.
[Site author's comment: This type of atomism appears to base itself in Aristotelian material substance and Platonic concrete and objective forms. Would that today's classical societies were atomistic in their reverence for individuals. In our view they are not, however, and societies instead appear to be societies by societies for societies.
Quantonics' Millennium III efforts are guiding us toward a natureal quantumism in place of classical atomism, where quantum social patterns of value are subservient quantum individual patterns of value, with an quantum-coherent ensemble of individual autonomies as its analogue of 'society.']


 Determinism  +1


The philosophical doctrine that every event, act, and decision is the inevitable consequence of antecedents that are independent of the human will.
[Site author comment: Classical determinism is a nonstarter in newer quantum reality. Where classical determinism is 'single event' deterministic (e.g., y=f(t), where what happens next depends upon a single prior state-ic event (A causes B) in a unilogical function of homogeneous time), quantum reality demands that many animate plural outcomes stochastically Value many assessed paratehmp¤rally and asynchronously animate plural affects. Each classical deterministic event has one determinate event locus. Quantum events' loci are only ensehmble probability localable. Too, in classical reality there are only local causes and effects, and in quantum reality there are both local and nonlocal, both luminal and superluminal affects and outcomes. We see how classical reason is a tragedy of common, conventional 'locality and unitime.']
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 Dualism  +1


The state of being dual or consisting in two parts. A theory that there are two basic substances or principles. The doctrine that there are two independent divine beings or eternal principles, one good and the other evil. The belief that man embodies two parts, such as body and soul.


In philosophy and theology, system that explains all phenomena in terms of two distinct and irreducible principles, e.g., ideas and matter (as in PLATO, ARISTOTLE, and modern [Classical] METAPHYSICS) or mind and matter (as in psychology). In theology the term refers to a concept of opposing principles, e.g., good and evil. See also MONISM.


1. The condition of being double; duality.
2. Philosophy. The view that the world consists of or is explicable as two fundamental entities, such as mind and matter.
3. Psychology. The view that the mind and body function separately, without interchange.
4. Theology.
a. The concept that the world is ruled by the antagonistic forces of good and evil.
b. The concept that human beings have two basic natures, the physical and the spiritual.

Author’s note: Dualism assumes pre-existence. All exists only to be found by a process of discovery. 

[Site author comment: For Millennium III our primary philosophical considerations probably shall find their foci in a Quantonic blend of both pluralism and monism. See: Pirsig vis-à-vis Bergson's Monism and Pluralism.]

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 Egoism  +1


1. Egoism
     a. The ethical doctrine that morality has its foundations in self-interest.
     b. The ethical belief that self-interest is the just and proper motive for all human conduct.
2. Excessive preoccupation with one's own well-being and interests, usually accompanied by an inflated sense of self-importance.  

Students of Quantonics should realise that 'Egoism' described above is classical, pro social, anti individual 'egoism.'

Quantum egoism's scope includes n¤ classical narcissism! Quantum egoism's assumptions include:

Let's start a list of exemplars:

  1. A great example here is that some people in classical societies appear to believe that society is sovereign a woman's right to abort a fetus. Quantonics says a woman's individual rights to decide for herself whether to abort a fetus may not be superseded by any society's 'law' which prevents her from making that decision as an individual.
  2. Another great example is that some people in classical societies appear to believe that society is sovereign an individual's right to pursue a gay-lesbian life style. Again, Quantonics says an individual's rights to decide for he~rself whether to adopt a gay-lesbian life style may not be superseded by any society's 'law' which prevents he~r from making that decision as an individual.
  3. Another great example is that some people in classical societies appear to believe that society is sovereign an individual's right to pursue an obese, an anorexic, or any other extreme morphology life style. Quantonics says an individual's rights to decide for he~rself whether to adopt any morphology-class life style may not be superseded by any society's 'law' which prevents he~r from making that decision as an individual.
  4. See individual euthanasia.
  5. A very old example is Roman Catholic's social denial of individuals to practice gnosis, and indeed attempted to kill all gnostics and burn all gnostic texts.
  6. Etc.

Simply, individual con(m)texts omniffer social con(m)texts, and society and individuals must learn to respect rights of both, but with an edict that society is never sovereign any individual's individual~rights.

Classical society attempts to OSFA individual rights as 'civil' rights and 'the people's' rights. But OSFA, since it is a monism, doesn't, does it? And forced conformation to OSFA evokes individual disobedience doesn't it? Individuals become 'incorrigible' when they realise their freedoms, their free wills have been taken from them. At that point it is appropriate to forcibly alter what is meant by 'society.' At that point individuals become terrorists. It is apparent, CeodE 2008, that society is inept at dealing with individual terrorism, so it would be prudent for society to not provoke terrorism by OSFA conforming individual rights as Global 'social rights.' There is n¤ 'the people,' folks! There is n¤ OSFA society-only, pro social 'civic responsibility,' folks! Classical society's dependence upon and adherence to CTMs is a huge mistake, a dialectical Error of immense proportions, folks! CTMs are bogus, folks! Abiding CTMs is a guarantee of future self-extinction, folks!

Is it apparent to you that quantum~egoism is an individual right to one's own individual rights under a simple caveat that one must accept a metameme that all individuals must learn to respect all other individuals' rights?

Classical society's insistence on it's province of social standards, OSFA standards, fails when any individual is made a criminal borne of 'legalising' said standard. Simply, "laws make criminals," so society must be very careful whom it 'makes criminal.'

Doug - 9Sep2008.

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 Empiricism  0


Philosophical doctrine holding that all knowledge is derived from experience, whether of the mind or of the senses. Thus it opposes the rationalist belief in the existence of innate ideas. A doctrine basic to the scientific method, empiricism is associated with the rise of experimental science after the 17th cent. It has been a dominant tradition in British philosophy, as in the works of LOCKE, HUME, and George BERKELEY. Most empiricists acknowledge certain a priori truths (e.g., principles of mathematics and logic), but John Stuart MILL and others have treated even these as generalizations deduced from experience.


1. The view that experience, especially of the senses, is the only source of knowledge.
2. Empiricism
     a. Employment of empirical methods, as in science.
     b. An empirical conclusion.
3. The practice of medicine that disregards scientific theory and relies solely on practical experience. 

Students of Quantonics, assuming you have some qua in understanding Quantonics and quantum memes, will realise that classical Platonic notions of 'innate ideas' are simply bogus in quantum~reality. Why? Classical ideas are concrete, immutable, separable, objective and have 'state.' Further, classicists assume classically 'innate' ideas may be expressed in predicate, formal, canonic language using symbols which are likewise concrete, immutable, independent, etc.

In Quantonics we disuse and disabuse classical notions like 'ideas,' and replace them with quantum~memes which we refer "memeos." Where 'ideas' are stux sux, memes are flux is crux. Memes evolve. Memes intrinsically change. That is what Doug intends when he refers "quantons." Quantons are interrelationshipings as memes which evolve. They are dynamic, always changing, always changing as much of their partial locale as they have qua to change. Quantons' are EIMA quantum~holographic interrelationshipings.

Quantum~empiricism assumes reality is change: semper fluxio. See Quantum Essence. See Is Quantonics Rational?

Doug - 9Sep2008.

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 Existentialism  0


Any of several philosophical systems of the 20th cent., all centered on the individual and the individual's relationship to the universe or to God. KIERKEGAARD developed a Christian existentialism that recognized the concrete ethical and religious demands confronting the individual, who is forced each time to make a subjective commitment. The necessity and seriousness of these decisions cause him dread and despair. Following Kierkegaard, HEIDEGGER and SARTRE, both students of HUSSERL, were the major thinkers of the movement. Heidegger rejected the label of existentialism, describing his philosophy as an investigation of the nature of being in which the analysis of human existence is only a first step. For Sartre, the only self-declared existentialist among the major thinkers, existence precedes essence: there is no God and no fixed human nature; thus, each person is totally free and entirely responsible for what he or she becomes and does. This responsibility accounts for human dread and anguish. Sartre influenced the writings of CAMUS and de BEAUVOIR. A Christian existentialism was developed in France by Gabriel Marcel, a Roman Catholic. The religious thinkers Karl BARTH, Paul TILLICH, Reinhold NIEBUHR, and Martin BUBER, and the philosopher Karl JASPERS are often included in the orbit of existentialism.



A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts.


1. Of, relating to, or dealing with existence.
2. Based on experience; empirical.
3. Of or as conceived by existentialism or existentialists: an existential moment of choice.  Return to List


 Formalism  +1


1. Rigorous or excessive adherence to recognized forms, as in religion or art.

2. An instance of rigorous or excessive adherence to recognized forms. formalism in mathematics -The position that mathematics consists merely of formal symbols or expressions which are manipulated or combined according to preassigned rules or agreements. Formalism makes no inquiry as to the meaning of the expressions. The formalist believes that we can use our minds to create arbitrary rules. These rules exist only in our minds and gain objective meaning when they are interpreted through implementation in the environment. The rules did not exist before we invented them. This is counter to Platonism which believes all abstractions preexist as mental objects awaiting sentient discovery.  Return to List


 Idealism  0


In philosophy, the attempt to account for all objects in nature and experience as representations of the mind, and sometimes to assign to such representations a higher order of existence. It is opposed to MATERIALISM and NATURALISM. Early idealism (e.g., that of PLATO) conceived a world in which eternal ideas constituted reality; in modern times idealism (e.g., that of George BERKELEY in the 18th cent.) has come to refer the source of ideas to the individual's consciousness. In KANT's transcendental idealism, the phenomenal world of human understanding opposes a world of things-in-themselves, while the later German idealists (e.g., FICHTE, SCHELLING, and HEGEL) treated all reality as the creation of mind or spirit. More recent idealists include F.H. BRADLEY and CROCE. 

Site author's note: As Pirsig points out, there are multiple sub-types of idealism. In the nearby ZMM parcel entitled The Birth of SOM, Pirsig distinguishes both the objective and subjective idealists. This is one reason for the SOM score of zero.

Pirsig characterizes the subjective idealist as anthropocentric and the objective idealist as passive observation-centric.

Further site author commentary on idealism: A simple notion of idealism is what Quantonics shows as EOOO. Either one or the other! Many idealists say that reality can be easily 'divided' philosophically as either subject or object, and further that subject and object are exact opposites of one another. This is essence, quintessence of what Pirsig means, intends by SOM. Philosophical ideal opposition is an invalid 'idea.' First it denies that reality is enthymemetic. Second, we may easily demonstrate its absurdity by showing any arbitrary list (column) of objects and another list of subjects. Choose any pair and ask, "Are these ideally opposite one another?" If they are evolving, changing, how can we establish ideal stoppable opposition? Plato's notion of 'idea' as concrete, thus, is shown immediately as bogus. Both our S-O lists exemplar and real enthymemeticity show how reality is actually quantum~sophist, genuinely n¤t classically ideal.

There are countless issues which need serious, in~depth con(m)sideration re: idealism. Another example is that some philosophers view ideal separability (which, in itself, is a 'objective' notion) denies causality, since causation itself 'depends' upon a classical notion of formal dependence. That generates a real problem for objectivity per se, since one of objectivity's canon 'laws' is ideal objective independence. Classical physicists, n¤t philosophers, get around this via (at least) two classical notions:

  1. formal, mechanical interaction of ideally independent objects, and
  2. formal Newtonian unitemporal y=f(t) motion of ideally independent objects in ideal "zero momentum" stoppable reference frames of a more 'general' 3D1T 'reality.'

Of course, gravity per se, as real superluminal action at arbitrary distance, denies ideal objective independence, doesn't it?

Red text update reference with Doug's extended commentary: Adorno's Negative Dialectic, by Brian O'Connor, 2005, MITP.

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 Indeterminism  0


1. Unpredictability.

2. Philosophy.  The doctrine that the will is free and that human action is not necessarily or not at all predetermined by physiological and psychological antecedents.  Return to List




Inductionism also Inductivism

induction To conclude general principles from specific facts. Closely related to cause and effect. Use of historical information to predict future outcomes. Depends upon classical analyticity.

In general, induction does not work.

In very limited and constrained contexts like mathematics, induction deludes some practioners to think symbolic induction applies to physical reality. Quantum science, fractal nature, and other new knowledge now deny induction's general capability and application.

If induction worked, mathematicians could predict nature's fractal patterns. If induction worked, physicists could predict an individual electron's position and momentum simultaneously.

Macro reality, e.g., our cosmos deceives us because our lifetime in years is small compared to a solar system's or a galaxy's lifetime. We assume Earth will orbit our Sun forever. However, an infinity of possibilities may intervene stochastically, destroying/altering our Earth or our solar system or our galaxy. Induction deludes us none of this can happen, but it can — more precisely it shall.

Most physicists induce infinite lifetimes for many stable particles, but they have no way of knowing whether they are right or not.

In Quantonics, we see induction as an uncertainty relation. It is similar to how we see truth as an uncertainty relation. In very limited contexts (high local consistency) induction works well, e.g., mathematics, formal logic, or classical science. However, as context increases, induction quickly loses capability. In an extreme, complete context (high nonlocal completeness) induction is useless.

At an extreme of high local consistency, total consistency may not be perceived or measured since reality changes at ubiquitous Planck rates, exceeding 10^43 Hz.

At an extreme of high nonlocal completeness, total completeness may not be perceived or measured due to Homo sapiens' finite intellect and finite experimental apparatus.

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A pragmatic theory that concepts are instrumental and function as Kuhnian exemplars of actions, their validity being determined by successes of any actions.

[Site author comment: In Quantonics we take pragma in its Greek semantic, i.e., as literally meaning action. Recent 'reverse engineering' of pragmatic offers a tenor of 'practicality' which we deny when said 'practicality' implies classical scientific state-icity. We see physical reality as animate, absolutely in flux, and thus naturally incapable of classical state or stasis.]


Logical Positivism  +1
Logical positivism
or logical empiricism
or scientific empiricism

A philosophy asserting the primacy of observation in assessing the truth of statements of fact and holding that metaphysical and subjective arguments not based on observable data are meaningless. [Site author comment: Notice how logical positivism has to throw out reality's most Valuable essence to make its radically mechanistic local 'convention' work. In this perspective logical positivism becomes a "tragedy of commons." Note its implicit insistence that one must throw out all other conventions (as subjective) along with all phenomenal and unknown 'subjective' reality.] Also called logical empiricism. logical positivism. Also known as scientific EMPIRICISM, modern school of philosophy that in the 1920s attempted to introduce the methodology and precision of mathematics to the study of philosophy, much as had been done in symbolic logic (see LOGIC). Led by the Vienna Circle, a group including the philosophers Rudolf CARNAP and Moritz Schlick and the mathematician Kurt GÖDEL, the logical positivists held that metaphysical speculation is nonsensical; that logical and mathematical propositions are tautological; and that moral and value statements are merely emotive. The function of philosophy, they maintained, is to clarify concepts in both everyday and scientific language. The movement received its inspiration from the work of FREGE, Bertrand RUSSELL, WITTGENSTEIN, and G.E. MOORE. The Vienna Circle disintegrated in the late 1930s after the Nazis took Austria, but its influence spread throughout Europe and America, and its concept, particularly its emphasis on the analysis of language as the function of philosophy, has been carried on throughout the West.

Notes from Robert M. Pirsig’s Lila, p. 72 (paperback): "[Metaphysics] has two kinds of opponents. The first are the philosophers of science, most particularly the group known as logical positivists, who say that only the natural sciences can legitimately investigate the nature of reality and that metaphysics is simply a collection of unprovable assertions that are unnecessary to the scientific observation of reality."The second group are the mystics…"  Return to List


 Materialism  +1


In philosophy, a widely held system of thought that explains the nature of the world as entirely dependent on matter, the final reality. Early Greek teaching, e.g., that of DEMOCRITUS, EPICURUS, and the proponents of STOICISM, conceived of reality as material in nature. The theory was renewed and developed beginning in the 17th cent., especially by HOBBES, and in the 18th cent. LOCKE's investigations were adapted to the materialist position. The system was developed further from the middle of the 19th cent., particularly in the form of DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM and in the formulations of LOGICAL POSITIVISM. materialism

1. Philosophy. The theory that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.
2. The theory or doctrine that physical well-being and worldly possessions constitute the greatest good and highest value in life.
3. A great or excessive regard for worldly concerns. Versions of Materialism (E.g., see Michael Lockwood):· Identity theory - simplest form of materialism. It states simply that mental states and processes are of the states and processes of the physical brain.  Return to List


 Monism  0


Reality is a single principle or substance.


In METAPHYSICS, term applied from the 18th century to any theory that explains phenomena by one unifying principle or as the manifestation of a single substance, variously identified as spirit or mind (e.g., HEGEL), energy, or an all-pervasive deity (e.g., SPINOZA). The opposites of monism are pluralism, the explanation of the universe in terms of many principles or substances, and DUALISM.



1. The view in metaphysics that reality is a unified whole and that all existing things can be ascribed to or described by a single concept or system.
2. The doctrine that mind and matter are formed, or reducible to, the same ultimate substance or principle of being.
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 Mysticism  0


[Gr., = the practice of those who are initiated into the mysteries]

The practice of putting oneself into direct relation with GOD, the Absolute, or any unifying principle of life. There are two general tendencies in the speculation of mystics—to regard God as outside the soul, which rises to God by successive stages, or to regard God as dwelling within the soul, to be found by delving deeper into one's own reality. The contemplative path to union conventionally requires a series of steps involving purgation, illumination, and increase of spiritual love. Various rituals may assist the process. The language of mysticism is difficult and usually symbolic; biographies and autobiographies of mystics are the major sources for direct study (for example, those of such mystics as St. THERESA of Ávila; St. JOHN OF THE CROSS; Jakob BOEHME; and Aurobindo GHOSE). Although mysticism is inseparably linked with religion, the term itself is used very broadly in English, being extended to magic, occultism, or the esoteric. Mysticism is encountered in Greek NEOPLATONISM, CHRISTIANITY, JUDAISM, BUDDHISM, HINDUISM, ISLAM, and TAOISM.


1. mysticism
a. Immediate consciousness of the transcendent or ultimate reality or God.
b. The experience of such communion as described by mystics.
2. A belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that are central to being and directly accessible by subjective experience.
3. Vague, groundless speculation.  Return to List


 Naturalism  +1


In philosophy, a position that attempts to explain all phenomena by means of strictly natural (as opposed to supernatural) categories. Generally considered the opposite of IDEALISM, naturalism looks for causes and takes little account of reasons. It is often equated with MATERIALISM, POSITIVISM, and EMPIRICISM. Some naturalists (e.g., COMTE, NIETZSCHE, and MARX) have professed ATHEISM, while others (e.g., ARISTOTLE, SPINOZA, and William JAMES) have accepted some form of a deity. Later thinkers such as WHITEHEAD have sought to unify the scientific viewpoint with the concept of an all-encompassing reality.


In literature, an approach to reality grounded in a belief in the determining power of natural forces like heredity and environment. Émile ZOLA, the founder and chief exemplar of the school, theorized in The Experimental Novel (1880) that the novelist should observe and record dispassionately, like the scientist. Besides Zola and Guy de MAUPASSANT in France, naturalism included the American novelists Stephen CRANE, Theodore DREISER, and James T. FARRELL, and such modern dramatists as Henrik IBSEN, Gerhart HAUPTMANN, and Maxim GORKY.


1. Factual or realistic representation, especially:
a. The practice of describing precisely the actual circumstances of human life in literature.
b. The practice of reproducing subjects as precisely as possible in the visual arts.
2. naturalism
a. A movement or school advocating such precise representation.
b. The principles and methods of such a movement or of its adherents.
3. Philosophy.
The system of thought holding that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws without attributing moral, spiritual, or supernatural significance to them.
4. Theology.
The doctrine that all religious truths are derived from nature and natural causes and not from revelation.
5. Conduct or thought prompted by natural desires or instincts.  Return to List


 Neoplatonism +1 


Ancient mystical philosophy based on the later doctrines of PLATO, especially those in the Timaeus. Considered the last of the great pagan philosophies, it was developed in the 3d cent. AD by PLOTINUS. Rejecting DUALISM, he saw reality as one vast hierarchical order containing all the various levels and kinds of existence. At the center is the One, an incomprehensible, all-sufficient unity that flows out in a radiating process called emanation, giving rise to the Divine Mind, or Logos. The Logos contains all intelligent forms of all individuals. This in turn generates the World Soul, which links the intellectual and material worlds. Despite his mysticism, Plotinus' method was thoroughly rational, based on the logical traditions of the Greeks. Later Neoplatonists grafted onto its body such disparate elements as Eastern mysticism, divination, demonology, and astrology. Neoplatonism, widespread until the 7th cent., was an influence on early Christian thinkers (e.g., ORIGEN) and medieval Jewish and Arab philosophers. It was firmly joined with Christianity by St. AUGUSTINE, who was a Neoplatonist before his conversion. Neoplatonism has had a lasting influence on Western metaphysics and MYSTICISM. Philosophers whose works contain elements of Neoplatonism include St. THOMAS AQUINAS, BOETHIUS, and HEGEL.
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 Nihilism  +1


1. Philosophy.
a. An extreme form of skepticism that denies all existence.
b. A doctrine holding that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated.
2. Rejection of all distinctions in moral or religious value and a willingness to repudiate all previous theories of morality or religious belief.
3. The belief that destruction of existing political or social institutions is necessary for future improvement.
4. Also Nihilism. A diffuse, revolutionary movement of mid 19th-century Russia that scorned authority and tradition and believed in reason, materialism, and radical change in society and government through terrorism and assassination.
5. Psychiatry. A delusion, experienced in some mental disorders, that the world or one's mind, body, or self does not exist.  Return to List


 Nominalism +1 


In philosophy, theory holding that universal words (nomina) or concepts have no objective reality outside the mind, and that only individual things and events exist objectively. The theory, contrasted to Platonic IDEALISM and, in the Middle Ages, to REALISM, is appropriate to MATERIALISM and EMPIRICISM.


The doctrine holding that abstract concepts, general terms, or universals have no objective reference but exist only as names.  Return to List


 Objectivism  +1


1. Philosophy.

One of several doctrines holding that all reality is objective and external to the mind and that knowledge is reliably based on observed objects and events.

2. An emphasis on objects rather than feelings or thoughts in literature or art.  Return to List


 Platonism  -1



The philosophy of Plato, especially insofar as it asserts ideal forms as an absolute and eternal reality of which the phenomena of the world are an imperfect and transitory reflection. Platonists believe that all ideal forms preexist, awaiting sentient discovery. These ideal forms are not physical, but totally mental.  Return to List


 Pluralism  +1


Similar to dualism. Implies more than one principle or substance.


1. The condition of being plural.
2. A condition of society in which numerous distinct ethnic, religious, or cultural groups coexist within one nation.
3. Ecclesiastical. The holding by one person of two or more positions or offices, especially two or more ecclesiastical benefices, at the same time.
4. Philosophy.
a. The doctrine that reality is composed of many ultimate substances.
b. The belief that no single explanatory system or view of reality can account for all the phenomena of life.
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 Positivism  +1


State or quality of being positive; definiteness; assurance. A philosophical system founded by Auguste Comte, concerned with positive facts and phenomena, and excluding speculation upon ultimate causes or origins.


In philosophy, a system of thought opposed to METAPHYSICS and maintaining that the goal of knowledge is simply to describe the phenomena experienced. Its basic tenets are contained in the works of Francis BACON, George BERKELEY, and HUME. The term itself was coined by COMTE, whose doctrines influenced the development of much of 19th- and 20th-cent. thinking, especially that of LOGICAL POSITIVISM. positivism

1. Philosophy.
a. A doctrine contending that sense perceptions are the only admissible basis of human knowledge and precise thought.
b. The application of this doctrine in logic, epistemology, and ethics.
c. The system of Auguste Comte designed to supersede theology and metaphysics and depending on a hierarchy of the sciences, beginning with mathematics and culminating in sociology.
d. Any of several doctrines or viewpoints, often similar to Comte's, that stress attention to actual practice over consideration of what is ideal: "Positivism became the ‘scientific’ base for authoritarian politics, especially in Mexico and Brazil" (Raymond Carr).
2. The state or quality of being positive.  Return to List


 Pragmatism  0


Method of philosophy in which the truth of a proposition is measured by its correspondence with experimental results and by its practical outcome. Thus pragmatists hold that truth is modified as discoveries are made and that it is relative to time and place and purpose of inquiry. C.S. PEIRCE and William JAMES were the originators of the system, which influenced John DEWEY.


1. Philosophy. A movement consisting of varying but associated theories, originally developed by Charles S. Peirce and William James and distinguished by the doctrine that the meaning of an idea or a proposition lies in its observable practical consequences.

2. A practical, matter-of-fact way of approaching or assessing situations or of solving problems. Peirce, Charles Sanders, 1838–1914, American philosopher; b. Cambridge, Mass. Viewing logic as the beginning of all philosophic study, he held that the meaning of an idea was to be found in an examination of the consequences to which the idea would lead; he coined the term PRAGMATISM to describe this principle. His followers included William JAMES and John DEWEY. Peirce was also a modern founder of SEMIOTICS. He was virtually unknown during his lifetime; his major essays appeared posthumously as Chance, Love, and Logic (1923), and his collected papers were published between 1931 and 1958.

Site Author's note: Greek for 'pragma' is action. We might thus call pragmatism, 'actionism.' Action fits well with Pirsig's Dynamic Quality. In a sense, DQ is action. Reality is action. Quantum reality is quantized Planck rate action (measurement, or Quality Events) whose outcome is incremental evolution.

Pirsig warns us to take care how we view outcomes of Quality Events (quantum pragma). Classical science's view is cause and effect. I.e., now causes an analytic future. Some classicists extend analytic cause and effect for induction, and include past or historical evidence to do so. In Pirsig's MoQ and quantum science we say an outcome prefers or values preconditions from a preceding pragma. It is impossible to know all preconditions for any outcome, so outcomes are intrinsically nonanalytic. Pragmatists of James' and Peirce's ilk unfortunately retain a classical perspective, and thus we see Pirsig's impetus for his own extension of pragmatism by adding quantum concepts.

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 Rationalism  0


1. Reliance on reason as the best guide for belief and action.
2. Philosophy.
The theory that the exercise of reason, rather than the acceptance of empiricism, authority, or spiritual revelation, provides the only valid basis for action or belief and that reason is the prime source of knowledge and of spiritual truth.
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 Realism  +1


In philosophy:
1 In medieval philosophy, realism was the position that universals or general concepts have existence independent of both the human mind and individual objects. It is a position directly opposite to NOMINALISM.
2 In EPISTEMOLOGY, realism represents the theory that individual things exist independently of the mind's perception of them, as opposed to IDEALISM, which holds that reality exists only in the mind.


1. An inclination toward literal truth and pragmatism.
2. The representation in art or literature of objects, actions, or social conditions as they actually are, without idealization or presentation in abstract form.
3. Philosophy.
a. The scholastic doctrine, opposed to nominalism, that universals exist independently of their being thought.
b. The modern philosophical doctrine, opposed to idealism, that physical objects exist independently of their being perceived. 

See real, reality.

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 Relativism -1 



A theory that conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them.  Return to List


 Scientific Empiricism  +1

Scientific Empiricism

The philosophical view that there are no ultimate differences among the various sciences.  Return to List


 Solipsism +1 



1. The theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified.
2. The theory or view that the self is the only reality.
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 Stoicism  +1


School of philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium c.300 BC Influenced by Socratic ideals and by the thought of HERACLITUS, ARISTOTLE, and PLATO, the Stoics held that all reality is material but is shaped by a universal working force (God) that pervades everything. Only by putting aside passion, unjust thoughts, and indulgence, and by performing one's duty with the right disposition can a person live consistently with nature and thus achieve true freedom. The school was especially well received in the Roman world; CICERO, SENECA, EPICTETUS, and MARCUS AURELIUS were all Stoics.  Return to List


 Subjectivism  -1


1. The quality of being subjective.
2. Subjectivism
a. The doctrine that all knowledge is restricted to the conscious self and its sensory states.
b. A theory or doctrine that emphasizes the subjective elements in experience.
3. The theory that individual conscience is the only valid standard of moral judgment.  Return to List

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Very interestingly, and of critical importance to understanding quintessence of MoQ, on classical SOM ISMs Pirsig tells us,

"So what the Metaphysics of Quality concludes is that all schools are right on the mind-matter question. Mind is contained in static inorganic patterns. Matter is contained in static intellectual patterns. Both mind and matter are completely separate [rather, quantum autonomous - 23Feb2006 - Doug per Mae-wan Ho's memeos of quantum societies] evolutionary levels of static patterns of value, and as such are capable of each containing the other without contradiction." (24Dec2000 rev - This quote is strongly related to our epiphanies during year 2000 on Pirsig's MoQ's solutions to the Quantum Measurement Problem and the Quantum Interpretation Problem. You may also wish to re-view our Decidable Godel Meme.)
Aside - 23Feb2006:
Above, by Doug's quantum inference, is Pirsig's exegetic for what Quantonics refers as "a Mae-wan Hoesque quanton(quantum_cohera,quantum_autonomies) quantum~everywhere~included~middle~associativity." See cohera.
We almost sense Pirsig describing a hologram.
End aside - 23Feb2006 - Doug.
See 5-6 pages into chapter 12 of Lila, page 178 of a Bantam paperback or page 154 of a Bantam hardbound.
(Note: Pirsig is saying (within MoQ) mind and matter (Subject and Object) are of class ‘SPoV’ and all SPoVs are co-within and co-comtaining one another. This was THE most omnifficult part of Lila for Doug to absorb. To Doug it is n¤t immediately obvious. In MoQ, all levels of SPoVs share c¤mplementary interrelationships, commingling, and mutual interpenetration. This was more omnifficult to see until Doug made a quantum science comnection. Intentionally, or unintentionally, Pirsig captures essence of a quantum world in these few words. Quantons, quantum systems which comstitute our known reality (and, formless, apparently-unlatched, our unknown reality) are of a single class of quantum 'SPoVs' all perfectly capable of "[holographically co-]comtaining each other without comtradiction." PDR)
(Note: Pirsig's statement might be clearer to a perspicacious reader if it said, "...that all schools are [partially, holographically] right on [their unique perspectives of] the mind-matter question." Read Paul Pietsch's Shufflebrain. Free text of Shufflebrain available at that link. Alter link to unhook Pietsch's memorial and return to book's text. Doug - 20Feb2011.)
(Also note: multiple ISMs viewed from within SOM appear as separate, partial models of reality — their 'differences' paradoxical to a SOM mind. However, viewed from a larger MoQ perspective, paradoxes dissolve when Subjects and Objects of all ISMs merge into a single class of SPoVs, and each ISM becomes an island of quasi-truth in a larger quantum comtext. Quasi-truth because of its incomplete local 'contexts' assumed by those viewing reality from any SOM ISM's perspective. In SOM each ISM's assumed local 'context' impaired its practitioners' abilities to see a larger reality. Within SOM, each ISM vies for 'grand unifying' status. PDR)
Above text partially QELR'd by Doug - 8Jan2004.
For Quantonics adepts, having just read those paragraphs on "All are right...," it may be a good time to pause and re cognize quantum~gravity as holographic thence as quantum~holographic partial~quantum~coherence. Did you experience an Al Pacinoesque Scent of a Woman HOOHA? Doug - 23Feb2006.

To contact Quantonics write to or call:

Doug Renselle
Quantonics, Inc.
Suite 18 #368 1950 East Greyhound Pass
Carmel, INdiana 46033-7730

©Quantonics, Inc., 1998-2026 Rev. 1Apr2014  PDR — Created 18May1998  PDR
(24Dec2000 rev - Center document and alter title format slightly.)
(24Dec2000 rev - Update and add links to Pirsig quote near page bottom.)
(24Jun2001 rev - Add comments to #1, Determinism.)
(24Jun2001 rev - Add comments and link to #1, Dualism.)

(24Jun2001 rev - Add comments and link to #10, Logical Positivism.)
(19Oct2001 rev - Add 'Instrumentalism.')
(14Nov2001 rev - Add 'What Happens Next' link to 'Determinism' comments.)
(28May2002 rev - Correct a spelling error.)
(23Jul2002 rev - Change QELR links to A-Z pages.)
(26Sep2002 rev - Remediate all quantum comtextual occurrences of 'ensemble.')
(12Nov2002 rev - Add 'paratemporal' link under 'determinism' description.)
(5May2003 rev - Add page top link to ISM Extremes.)
(20Oct2003 rev - Add 'All Are Right' anchor to bottom table comments above.)
(8Jan2004 rev - Add 'atomism' and reformat page. QELR and clean-up bottom of page comments.)
(6,28Apr2004 rev - Add 'tragedy of commons' link under 'Determinism.' Update 'Rationalism.')
(23Feb2006 rev - Minor page format adjustments. Adjust colors. Add red text near 'All are right...')
(30Apr2006 rev - Reset legacy red text.)
(9Jul2006 rev - Add 'real, reality' links under 'realism.' Reset legacy red text.)
(20Feb2007 rev - Minor format changes.)
(21May2007 rev - Format changes.)
(16Feb2008 rev - Highlight Pirsig's near page bottom 'without contradiction' in bold green.)
(9Sep2008 rev - Update some ISMs: 'egoism,' and 'empiricism.')
(28Feb2009 rev - Update 'idealism' based upon recent reading of Brian O'Connor's Adorno's Negative Dialectic.)
(25Mar2009 rev - Repair 'all isms' link which died without Doug's knowings about it.)
(29Sep2009 rev - Add 'Ego' anchor to Doug's quantum update on "quantum~egoism." Add some
dark green text updates there too.)
(20Oct2009 rev - Add 'Quantum Ego' anchor under 'egoism.')
(20Feb2011 rev - Alter Shufflebrain link to point to Pietsch's online text (away from his memorial...). Adjust colors. Remove legacy markups. Make page current.)
(7Sep2012 rev - Add 'Without Contradiction' anchor to quotation of Pirsig.)
(1Apr2014 rev - Make page current.)