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Loyola MoQ Talk Prereading

Prepared by

Doug Renselle






 The March 24, 1998 MoQ Compared to SOM presentation at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois is not about Robert M. Pirsig. The talk is about his work.

Pirsig is the author of two books: Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila. For shorthand convenience we call the former book 'ZMM.'

ZMM and Lila promote and explain Pirsig's new philosophy: the Metaphysics of Quality or MoQ.

If you want to find out about Pirsig, go to the library and find articles written about him. Also search the net. There are many good sites with personal information and anecdotes about him.

Also see: MoQ Links here at the Quantonics site.

The speaker, Doug Renselle corresponds infrequently with Mr. Pirsig. Doug asked him for personal information, but he declined. Pirsig wants you to study and learn his MoQ. "The MoQ is what is important, not Robert M. Pirsig."

He wants your focus of interest on the MoQ. He denigrates the low value of celebrity. Celebrity is the stuff of SOM, or the Subject-Object Metaphysics which Pirsig wants the MoQ to subsume.

In addition to the two books, ZMM and Lila, Pirsig wrote and presented a sizable paper to the Einstein Meets Magritte conference in Brussels Belgium in May, 1995. The title of the paper is Subjects, Objects, Data and Values. You will find that paper on this site and elsewhere.

Scientists and physicists in Western Europe read his books and found complementary interrelationships among Pirsig's books, the MoQ, and quantum science. The paper is Pirsig's attempt to address those interrelationships. It is a brilliant piece of work. However, that is not where you should start studying the MoQ as a novice or garzone. Start with ZMM and then read and study Lila.

Consider attending future conferences sponsored by The Quantonics Society. Consider attending future talks by Doug Renselle at other campuses. Watch The Quantonics Society page for announcements. Join The Lila Squad and participate in the email list there (find links to TLS on this site).



Philosophy, starting with Ionian speculation on the nature of matter and the universe (Thales, c 634-546 B.C.) and including mathematical speculation (Pythagoras, c 580-c 500 B.C.), culminated in Athens in the rationalist idealism of Plato (c 428-347 B.C.), a disciple of Socrates (c 469-399 B.C.); the latter was sentenced to death for alleged impiety. Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) united all fields of study in his system. The arts were highly valued. Architecture culminated in the Parthenon (438 B.C.) in Athens by Phidias (fl 490-430 B.C.) with his sculpture of Athena; poetry and drama (Aeschylus, 525-456 B.C.) thrived. Male beauty and strength, a chief artistic theme, were enhanced at the gymnasium and celebrated at the national games at Olympia. Ruled by local tyrants or oligarchies, the Greeks were never politically united, but they managed to resist inclusion in the Persian Empire (Darius defeated at Marathon 490 B.C., Xerxes at Salamis, Plataea 479 B.C.). Local warfare was common; the Peloponnesian Wars (431-404 B.C.) ended in Sparta's victory over Athens. Greek political power waned, but classical Greek cultural forms spread throughout the ancient world from the Atlantic to India.

Thanks to:

The World Almanac® and Book of Facts 1995 is licensed from Funk & Wagnalls Corporation. Copyright © 1994 by Funk & Wagnalls Corporation. All rights reserved.
The World Almanac and The World Almanac and Book of Facts are registered trademarks of Funk & Wagnalls Corporation.

And thanks to Microsoft Bookshelf for the above material.

Site Author's note: Also see Robert M. Pirsig's treatise and Phaedrus' related trials and tribulations regarding the Sophist to Aristotelian transition in chapters 28 and 29 of his Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.



 In the Aristotelian system, metaphysics is that branch of Philosophy which examines the nature of reality.

Pirsig's new philosophy is the MoQ, or the Metaphysics of Quality. Pirsig's work on the MoQ compares the superiority of it to the current Western metaphysics which he bundles into one term: SOM - the Subject-Object Metaphysics.



 Reality according to SOM:

Reality is substance. Substance is objective. That which is not substance is subjective.

Reality according to MoQ:

Reality is Value and its synonyms: Quality, goodness, morality, etc.



 Truth according to SOM:

Truth is objective, substantial fact. Truth is the apex of the objective world. Good is a subspecies of truth. One, multiversal truth is knowable.

Truth according to MoQ:

Truth is a subspecies of good. There are many contexts for truth. Local truths are knowable (latchable), however they commingle with and change via the unknown.



 Value according to SOM:

Value is substances' properties. Value is in substance. Substance has value.

Value according to MoQ:

Value is what we know (latched Reality) and what we do not know (fluxing Reality) commingling.



 Pirsig takes the long list of Western cultural ISMs, e.g., idealism, realism, positivism, etc., and lumps the ones whose focus is either/or subject-object with those whose focus is both/and subject-object and calls them SOM, the Subject-Object Metaphysics.

In essence, he tells us that SOM gives its adherents the illusion of one's capability to know absolute truth and fact. Further, he says SOM puts truth above good, and that is the big problem with SOM.



 Pirsig borrows from other great philosophers like William James, then adds his own prescient and brilliant spin to the MoQ, the Metaphysics of Quality. In his first book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, (ZMM) Pirsig provides a foundation for MoQ. In his second book, Lila, he puts more flesh on the framework he gave us in ZMM. In his paper, Subjects, Objects, Data, and Values, (SODV) he makes the strong and powerful duality and correlation to the new science: Quantum Science. A copy of SODV is on this site, with permission from Pirsig. See it at:

About SODV

Pirsig presented SODV on June 1, 1995 at the Einstein Meets Magritte conference in Brussels, Belgium.

Several scientists from Western Europe read ZMM and Lila and discovered a clear duality twixt MoQ and the new science. They invited him to speak about the dualities of MoQ and the new science.

Adherents of MoQ see this as further evidence, enlightenment, and justification for the subsumption of SOM by MoQ.

Please read ZMM, Lila, and SODV. Enjoy! Discover a new way of thinking. Discover a powerful new philosophy which will help its adherents (us) garner a head-start for Millennium III.

©Quantonics, Inc., 1998-2006 Rev. 8Jun99  PDR — Created 27Feb98 PDR

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