Keep reading for FREE
Lila: An Inquiry into Morals (1991) is a continuation of Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974). Phaedrus, the author's alter ego, spends his days on a boat working on philosophy. He meets Lila in a bar, has a one-night stand with her. A common friend challenges Phaedrus to explain why a woman like Lila has value.
This question and the events that follow serve as the background for Pirsing to describe The Metaphysics of Quality as a theory of reality: incorporating Sophism, East Asian & indigenous American philosophy.
Represents a collection of the most general statements of the hierarchy of thought. What Aristotel called the first philosophy. It deals with questions like:
While a anticent part of philosophy, most scientist look at metaphysics as too mystical. As opposed to the hypothesis that natural science are an objective observation of reality.
Pirsig postulates that everything that exists can be assumed to be a value or quality. "Quality" or "value" cannot be defined because it empirically precedes any intellectual construction of it, namely due to the fact that quality (as Pirsig explicitly defines it) exists always as a perceptual experience. The concept is very similar if not the same as the Tao from the Taoist or Zen traditions. Or God.
Quality can be broken down into 2 forms: static quality patterns (patterned) and dynamic quality (unpatterned).
Value is not a subspecies of substance.
Substance is a subspecies of value.
Dynamic quality cannot be defined. It can only be understood intellectually through the use of analogy.
When an aspect of Quality becomes repeated, it becomes static. Pirsig defines 'Static quality' patterns as everything which can be defined.
Everything found in a dictionary, for instance, is a static quality pattern.
Dynamic Quality is the pre-intellectual cutting edge of reality, the source of all things, completely simple and always new.
Without Dynamic Quality, the organism cannot grow.
Without Static Quality, the organism cannot last.
Both are needed.
Pirsig then divides static quality into inorganic, biological, social, and intellectual patterns, in ascending order of morality (based on evolutionary order):
Evolution thus is described as the moral progression of these patterns of value. For example, a biological pattern overcoming an inorganic pattern (e.g. bird flight which overcomes gravity) is a moral thing because a biological pattern is a higher form of evolution.
Ideas are patterns of value. They are at a higher level of evolution than social patterns of value.
Just as it is more moral for a doctor to kill a germ than a patient, so it is more moral for an idea to kill a society than it is for a society to kill an idea.
In the book, the main character had his ideas written down on slips of paper. As he recalls "the main purpose of the slips was not to help him remember. It was to help him forget it."
The analogy he used is that of a 🍵 tea cup. To pour new tea you have to get rid of old tea. Your head is just like a cup. It has limited capacity.
MORE LIKE THIS
Ready for the next level?
Read Like a Pro
Explore the World’s
Take Your Ideas
Just press play and we take care of the words.
No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.
2 Million Stashers
Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.
Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.
Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.
This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!
Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.
I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!
Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.
Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.
Read & Learn
Access to 200,000+ ideas
Access to the mobile app
Unlimited idea saving & library
Unlimited listening to ideas
Downloading & offline access
Claim Your Limited Offer
Get Deepstash Pro
75% OFF | 1-Year Pro Subscription