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Doug Renselle composed the above perspective in an effort
to help interested parties see the dualities twixt Pirsig's
Metaphysics of Quality
and the new science, which Doug calls the
Mechanics of Quanta.

If you wish to make suggestions, please send your comments to:


©Quantonics, Inc., 1998-2006 Rev. 8Jun99  PDR — Created 13Apr98 PDR

A perspective of reality based on Robert M. Pirsig’s new Philosophy:
the Metaphysics of Quality
its apparent duality to the new science:
quantum theory AKA
the Mechanics of Quanta.

Pirsig named his new philosophy the Metaphysics of Quality. Those of us in Quantonics call the new science, quantum science, the Mechanics of Quanta. We call both of these topics, "The two MoQs." Each by itself is a challenge to understand. Both taken together are immensely interesting areas of study that juxtapose well. The study of these new memes, these new perspectives of reality, is a fascinating adventure. Much of the excitement, fun, and esoterica rests in the analogue of Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality (MoQ) to the quantum world.

How did Robert M. Pirsig intuit at the highest MoQ philosophical/intellectual level the macroworld manifestations of the quantum microworld?

He did it by a personal intellectual Chautauqua — a process of imagination and heuristic invention. He placed Quality at the top of the hierarchy of reality. He informed that all is born of Quality! It turns out, given what we know about the new science now, to be Quantum Quality.

It is amazing, but it appears that he did indeed intuit well the quantum connection, and got very close to better answers about the nature of reality. Even more amazing — he did this within the framework of philosophy and metaphysics while harboring antipathetic suspicion of classical science.

To some of us, Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality is the best current philosophical/metaphysical/ontological umbrella for a new physical reality called the quantum multiverse.

Pirsig, his intuition, his intellect, and his philosophy say clearly that known reality is not the privileged domain of science, especially classical science. A new philosophy and a new science duality needs to register and explain the interrelationships connecting the known and the unknown. Most scientists, unfortunately, defer these matters to the philosophers.

Some of us see the duality, the two MoQs, as a kind of double-entry bookkeeping, one meta view verifying and validating the other. Until Pirsig invented the Metaphysics of Quality, the jumble of ISMs born of the classical Subject-Object Metaphysics (SOM) confused those who might support this approach. Now the unifying nature of Pirsig's philosophy makes it possible to consider the duality as a viable approach for Millennium III.

Now, indeed, most scientists want to ignore the subtle issues of reality and focus their attention on the ‘objective’ interpretation of nature. Many of these scientists appear stuck in the land of SOM. Pirsig shows us that this is a worn and addled legacy of classical thought. Even more clearly he shows us that classical science has no category for and abdicates responsibility for reality. Thus classical science and its parent philosophy the Subject-Object Metaphysics must be subsumed within the new science and the new philosophy. Further, classical science finds utility only in the specific and limited domains where its less general and more severe limitations do little harm.

What else can we say about these new perceptions of reality? First let's show some acronyms which we use in the following discussion:

 DQ  - Dynamic Quality
 MoQ I  - Metaphysics of Quality (Pirsig)
 MoQ II  - Mechanics of Quanta (quantum science)
 O  - Object
 QE  - Quality Event
 S  - Subject
 SOM  - Subject-Object Metaphysics
 SPoV  - Static Pattern of Value
 SQ  - Static Quality
 VES  - Vacuum Energy Space

MoQ I says that Quality constitutes Static Quality (SQ) and Dynamic Quality (DQ). SQ constitutes latched static/stable patterns of value (SPoVs) in a hierarchy of four levels: Intellectual, Social, Biological, and Inorganic. Mapped to Subject-Object Metaphysics (SOM), Intellectual-Social correspond to Subject (S) and Biological-Inorganic correspond to Object (O). DQ remains undefined except as a ubiquitous field of change surrounding SQ and evolving SQ in the direction of good.

It is very important to understand that we use the mapping of S and O to the four SPoV levels only to help SOM thinkers grasp a connection to MoQ. Once we adopt the new insights and memes of MoQ there is no need to use the SOM words Subject and Object thereafter. Why? Because the presumed foundational S-O dichotomy of SOM is at the root of SOM's and classical science's severe limitations mentioned above. We describe in great detail these limitations elsewhere on the Quantonics web site.

See: SOM Limitations. Also see: The Birth of SOM.

Pirsig's MoQ I requires Quality as the first presumption of the new philosophy. Quality manifests Os (SOM language) first as latched primal and perhaps material (subatomic) SPoVs which ultimately evolve to higher levels of SPoVs in the SQ hierarchy. Each latch is a Quality Event (QE) requiring that one SPoV becomes aware of another existing or emerging SPoV. It is critical to understand that the latching of a new SPoV requires awareness — essentially an observation (measurement) of one SPoV by another. It is not clear yet whether any potential SPoV is aware, but this is a likely requirement for genesis. (E.g., in the beginning, when there is no SQ. Under those conditions, combinations of potential SPoVs in DQ would need co-awareness for genesis.) For our purposes and hypotheses we may assume that pre-emergent SPoVs are aware and thus capable of latching SPoVs via observation.

Pirsig's Metaphysics of Quality AKA MOQ I says that latched or co-aware SPoVs constitute emerged or realized patterns of reality we all know, e.g., matter, music, ideas, etc., what we call the "known."

MoQ I claims that Quality is reality creating, evolving, devolving (discreating) SQ SPoVs via DQ. DQ evolves the SQ hierarchy toward ultimate Quality: goodness, morality, aretê, etc.

Quantum science AKA the Mechanics of Quanta or MOQ II says that measured or observed quantons constitute emerged or realized patterns of reality we all know, the known. Note that this quantum explanation is identical, except for jargon, to the statement MoQ I makes about patterns of reality.

In a purely conjectural manner we can speculate that MOQ II requires the unknown or unrealized VES first. Here we can see VES as the dual of MoQ I's DQ. We can perceive the VES as unrealized quantons (modeled as ubiquitous and nonlocal unmeasured and unobserved quantum wave functions). The unrealized quantons, in a manner we currently do not understand, form interrelationships and the VES manifests emerged or realized patterns of reality which evolve into complex forms, and sometimes devolve back to unrealized VES.

MOQ II implies that VES is reality evolving quantons in VES. VES evolves quantons toward ultimate actualization of unlimited possibilities.

In both MoQ I and MoQ II we retain the meme of interpenetration or co-within-ness. In MoQ I all SPoVs are co-within and interpenetrate DQ and each other via DQ. Similarly, in MoQ II all realized quantons are co-within and interpenetrate VES and each other via VES.

One final note. Pirsig insists that any effort to define DQ makes DQ smaller, or in a sense imprisons DQ in the finite intellect of beings. Beings are SPoVs (co-within DQ). Pirsig tells us unambiguously that SPoVs cannot wholly contain or circumscribe their creator. One reason MoQ decries SOM is SOM's apparent and arrogant attempts to define and subsume its creator. This is perhaps the most severe limitation of SOM.

Please visit the other pages on the Quantonics site for more information on the two MoQs.

Many truths to you,