On Quality: Thesis by Ian P. Hornsby

Bibliography, Discography, Acknowledgements, Commentary, Appendices, Notes On Genre






Notes on Genre


Robert M. Pirsig: Principle References

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
(An Inquiry into Values) Vintage, London: 1974. Lila
(An Inquiry into Morals) Black Swan, London: 1991.

Secondary Sources

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Bakhtin, M. Problems of Dostoyevsky's Poetics: Trans. Caryl Emerson, Manchester University Press: 1984.
Barnes, J. The Pre-Socratic Philosophers Vol 1 & 2: Routledge, London: 1979.
Barthes, R. S/Z: An Essay: Trans. Miller, R. Hill & Wang, New York: 1974.
Baudrillard, J. Simulacra and Simulation: Trans. S F, Glaser. The University of Michigan: 1994.
Billig, M. Arguing and Thinking: A Rhetorical Approach To Social Psychology: Cambridge University Press: 1987. Capra, F. The Tao of Physics: Flamingo Press, Glasgow: 1976.
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Conze, E. Buddhism: It's Essence and Development: Cassirer Press, Oxford: 1953.
Cooper, D E. Metaphor: Blackwell, Oxford: 1986.
Derrida, D. Margins of philosophy: (1972) Trans. Alan Bass. University of Chicago Press, Brighton, Harvester: 1982. Derrida, D. Writing and Difference: (1972) Trans. Alan Bass. Routledge, London: 1991.
Derrida, J. Of Grammatology: (1967) Trans. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore: 1976.
Descartes, R. Discourse on Method: (1637) Trans. F E, Sutcliff. Penguin, Harmondsworth: 1968.
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Graves, R. The Greek Myths: Vol. 1 & Vol 2: Pelican Books: 1964.
Hackforth, R. Plato's Phaedrus: (Translation with Commentary) Cambridge University Press: 1972.
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Hawking, S. A Brief History of Time: Bantam Books, London: 1988.
Heidegger, M. Basic Writings (revised edition): Ed. D F, Krell, Routledge, London: 1993.
Heidegger, M. Being and Time: Trans. J, Macquarrie. and E, Robinson. Basil Blackwell, Oxford: 1962.
Heidegger, M. Early Greek Thinking: (1950) Trans. D F, Krell. DF & F A, Capuzzi. Harper & Row, London: 1975.
Heidegger, M. On The Way To Language: Trans. P, Hertz. and J, Stamburg. Harper and Row: 1971.
Heidegger, M. What is Philosophy?: (1956) Bilingual edition, Vision Press, Plymouth: 1989.
Hesse, H. Steppenwolf: (1927) Trans. Creighton, B. revised by Sorrell, W. Penguin, Harmondsworth: 1965.
Hume, D. Enquiry Concerning Human Understood: (1737) Ed. L.A. Selby Bigg. Oxford University Press, Oxford: 1978.
Husserl, E. Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology: (1913) Trans. F, Kersten. Nijhoff, The Hague: 1981.
Joyce, J. A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man: B.W. Huebsch, New York: 1916.
Joyce, J. Finnegans Wake, Faber & Faber, London: 1939.
Kamuf, P. A Derrida Reader (Between the Blinds): Harvester Wheatsheaf, London: 1991.
Kant, I. Critique of Judgement: (1790) Trans. J C, Meredith. Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York: 1973.
Kant, I. Critique of Pure Reason: (1781) Trans. N. Kemp Smith, Macmillan, London: 1978.
Kerford, G. B. The Sophist Movement: Cambridge University Press: 1981.
Kierkegaard, S. Fear and Trembling: (1843) Trans. A, Hannay. Harmondsworth, Penguin Books: 1985.
Lacan, J. Ecrits: A Selection: Translated by A, Sheridan. Routledge, London: 1977.
Lao Tzu. Tao Te Ching: Trans. G, Fu-Feng. & J, English. Vintage Books, New York: 1989.
Lechte, J. Fifty: Key Contemporary Thinkers: Routledge, London: 1994.
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MacIntyre, A. A Short History of Ethics: Routledge, London: 1993.
Merleau-Ponty, M. Phenomenology of Perception: Trans. C, Smith. Routledge, London: 1962.
Mulhall, S. Heidegger and Being and Time: Routledge, London: 1996.
Nietzsche, F. The Birth of Tragedy: (1871) Trans. S, Whiteside. Penguin Books, Harmondsworth: 1993.
Nietzsche, F. Thus Spoke Zarathustra: (1885) trans. R. J. Hollingdale, Penguin, Harmondsworth: 1974.
Nietzsche, F. Will to Power: Trans. by W, Kaufmann. New York: Random House: 1968.
Norris, C. Conquest of Faculties: (Philosophy and Theory after Deconstruction): Methuen, London: 1985.
Norris, C. Deconstruction: Theory and Practice: Methuen, London: reprint 1993.
Norris, C. Derrida: Fontana Press, London: 1987.
Plato. Gorgias: Trans. W, Hamilton. Penguin Classics, Harmondsworth: 1979.
Plato. Phaedo: Trans. D, Bostock. Clarendon Press, Oxford: 1986.
Plato. Phaedrus: Trans. W, Hamilton. Penguin Classics, Harmondsworth: 1973.
Plato. The Republic: Trans. Desmound Lee, Penguin, Harmondsworth: 1987.
Poincare, J H. Science and Method: 1913.
Polkinghorne, J C. The Quantum World: Penguin: 1990.
Ree, J. Philosophical Tales: Methuen, London: 1987.
Reps, P. (compiled by) Zen Flesh Zen Bones: Pelican, Harmondsworth: 1971.
Rorty, R. Consequences of Pragmatism: (Essays: 1972-1980): Harvester Wheatsheaf, London: 1982.
Rorty, R. Contingency, Irony and Solidarity: Cambridge University Press: 1991.
Sartre, J P. Existentialism & Humanism: (1946) Trans. P, Mairet. Methuen, London: 1957.
Suzuki, D T. An Introduction to Zen Buddhism: Ballatine Books N.Y: 1973.
Suzuki, D T. Manual of Zen Buddhism: (1935) Rider, London: 1950.
Watts, A W. The Way to Zen: Pelican, London: 1962.
Wheeler, K M. Romanticism, Pragmatism, and Deconstruction: Blackwell, Oxford, 1993.
Wittgenstein, L. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus: Routledge and Kegan Paul, London: 1961.
Woods, E. Zen Dictionary: Pelican Books, Harmondsworth: 1957.
Young, R. Untying the Text (A Poststructuralist Reader) Routledge, London: 1981.
Zohar, D. The Quantum Self. Flamingo Press: London: 1991.
Zohar, D. Who's Afraid of Schrodinger's cat?: Bloomsbury, London: 1997.


Singer, B. 'Reflections on Robert Pirsig' Durham University Journal, #73, June 1981.


B. Dylan, 'It's All right Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)' from the album Bringing it All Back Home: CBS, BPG 62515: 1965.
Bowie, D. 'Quicksand' from the album Hunky Dory, RCA Victor SF8244: 1972.
Half-Man Half-Biscuit. 'Friday Night and The Gates are Low' from the album Some Call it Godcore Probe Plus, Probe 41: 1995.
Half-Man Half-Biscuit. 'Lets Not' taken from the album McIntyre, Treadmore & Davitt: Probe Plus, Probe 30: 1992.
J. Lennon, & P. McCartney, 'The Inner Light' from the album The Beatles (Past Masters vol II) Apple.
J. Lennon, 'Whatever Gets You Through the Night' from the album Shaved Fish: Apple PSC 7173: 1974.
J. Lennon, Y. Ono, and The Plastic Ono Band. 'Instant Karma': Apple, APPLES 1003: 1970.
J. Mitchell. 'Woodstock' from the album Ladies of the Canyon: Reprise RSLP 6376: 1970.
P. Tosh, 'Equal Rights' taken from the album Captured Live: EMI, EG2 401 671: 1984.
Talking Heads. (Byrne D. Eno B, Franz C, Harrison J, Weymouth T) 'Once in a Lifetime' EMI records limited: 1980.
The Doors (J. Morrison) 'Petition the Lord with Prayer' from the album In Concert: Elektra: 1970.
Y. Ono, 'O Sanity' taken from the album Milk and Honey: Polydor, POLH 5: 1984.


My debts are many: in particular I would like to thank Dr William Gray for his tireless reading and re-reading of my text and to the support and advice he has given to me over the past three years. I would also like to thank Dr. Hugo Donnelly for the help and advice he has given me with the creative elements of the work. In general, I should like to thank the English Faculty at University College Chichester and to the Postmodern reading group chaired by Paul Norcross. I would also like to thank Hugh Dunkerley, Mike Dines, Darren Rickard, and Joe Babber for reading parts, or all, of this thesis, correcting my many grammatical errors and for allowing me to discuss ideas with them. A great debt of thanks also goes out to my mother and father and to my son Timothy without whom I could not have written this script.

Appendix A

What is in mind is a sort of Chautauqua - that's the only name I can think of for it - like the travelling tent-show Chautauquas that used to move across America, this America, the one that we are now in, an old time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the hearer. The Chautauquas were pushed aside by faster-paced radio, movies and TV, and it seems to me the change was not entirely an improvement. Perhaps because of these changes the stream of national consciousness moves faster now, and is broader, but it seems to run less deep. The old channels cannot contain it and in its search for new ones there seems to be a growing havoc and destruction along its banks. In this Chautauqua I would like not to cut any new channels of consciousness but simply dig deeper into old ones that have become silted in with the debris of thoughts grown stale and platitudes too often repeated. 'What's new?' is an interesting and broadening eternal question, but one which, if pursued exclusively, results only in an endless parade of trivia and fashion, the silt of tomorrow. I would like, instead, to be concerned with the question 'What is best?' a question which cuts deeply rather than broadly, a question whose answers tend to move the silt downstream. There are eras of human history in which the channels of thought have been too deeply cut and no change was possible, and nothing new ever happened, and 'best' was a matter of dogma, but that is not the situation now. Now the stream of our common consciousness seems to be obliterating its own banks, losing its central direction and purpose, flooding the lowlands, disconnecting and isolating the highlands and to no particular purpose other than the wasteful fulfilment of its own internal momentum. Some channel deepening seems called for.(240)

Appendix B

A conventional view of insanity would be to see it as a misunderstanding of the object by the subject. The object is real, the subject is mistaken. The only problem [the conventional view can perceive] is how to change the subject's mind back to a correct comprehension of objective reality. But with a Metaphysics of Quality the empirical experience is not an experience of 'objects.' It's an experience of value patterns. When the insane person advances some explanation of the universe that is completely at odds with the current scientific reality, we do not have to believe that [they have] jumped off of the end of the empirical world. [They are simply people] valuing intellectual patterns that, because they lay outside the range of our own culture, we perceive to have very low value.

Obviously no culture wants its legal patterns violated, and when they are, an immune system takes over in ways that are analogues to a biological immune system. The deviant dangerous source of illegal cultural patterns is first identified, then isolated and finally destroyed as a cultural entity. That's what mental hospitals are partly for. And also heresy trials. They protect the culture from foreign ideas that if allowed to grow unchecked could destroy the culture itself.

That was what Phaedrus had seen in psychiatric wards, people trying to convert him back to 'objective reality.' He saw that [the psychiatrists] were representatives of the culture and they were always required to deal with insanity as cultural representatives, and he got awfully tired of the interminable role-playing. They were always playing the role of priest saving heretics. Psychiatrists seemed to fear the taint of insanity much as inquisitors once feared succumbing to the devil. Psychiatrists were not allowed to practice psychiatry if they were insane. It was required that they literally did not know what they were taking about. Admittedly you don't have to be infected with pneumonia in order to know how to cure it [but insanity is an intellectual pattern and not a biological one]. . .Insanity isn't an object of observation. It's an alternative to observation itself. There is no such thing as a 'disease' of patterns of intellect. There is only heresy. And that is what insanity really is.

Ask, 'if there is only one person in the world, is there any way he could be insane?' Insanity always exists in relation to others. It is a social and intellectual deviation, not a biological deviation. The only test for insanity in a court of law or anywhere else is conformity to a cultural status quo. That's why the psychiatric profession bears such a resemblance to the old priesthoods. Both use physical restraints and abuse as ways of enforcing the status quo.

The Metaphysics of Quality says that it is immoral for sane people to force cultural conformity by suppressing the dynamic drives that produce insanity. Such suppression is a lower form of evolution trying to devour a higher one. Static social and intellectual patterns are only an intermediate level of evolution. They are good servants of the process of life but if allowed to turn into masters they destroy it.

Once this theoretical structure is available, it offers solutions to some mysteries in the present treatment of the insane. For example, doctors know that shock treatment 'works', but are fond of saying that no one knows why.

The Metaphysics of Quality offers an explanation. The value of shock treatment is not that it returns a lunatic to normal cultural patterns. It certainly does not do that. Its value is that it destroys all patterns, both cultural and private, and leaves the patient temporally in a Dynamic state. All the shock does is duplicate the effect of hitting the patient over the head with a baseball bat. It simply knocks the patient senseless. In fact it was to imitate the effects of hitting someone over the head with a baseball bat without the risk of skull damage that Ugo Cerletti developed shock treatment in the first place. But what goes unrecognised in a subject-object theoretical structure is the fact that this senseless unpatterned state is a valuable state of existence. Once the patient is in this state the psychiatrists of course don't know what to do with it, and so the patient often slips back into lunacy and has to be knocked senseless again and again. But sometimes the patient, in a moment of Zen wisdom, sees the superficiality of both his own contrary patterns and the cultural patterns, sees that one gets electrically clubbed day after day and the other sets him free from the institution, and thereupon makes a wise mystic decision to get the hell out of there by whatever avenue is available.(241)

Appendix C

A Commentary

This commentary is my attempt to form a rationale for the creative element of my thesis. In what follows, I shall illustrate why I've applied several characterisations and a variety of literary styles to expose interpretation; rather than adopt the more traditional approach to academic writing, such as the 'critical monologue', which has a tendency to close interpretation. Throughout the writing of this thesis, it has been my intention to make a 'Good' argument; at no point have I intentionally set out to dictate to the reader a definitive truth to any of the questions raised in the course of my research. Bearing in mind that all the voices in this thesis are brought together through me as the author of the work, I accept the basic criticism that the dialogue I have used within this thesis is actually no more than a monologue. However, I would suggest that every text in the act of being read, or perhaps I should say re-written, is exposed as an intricate lacework of woven threads. The interaction of these threads, such as the writer, the reader, culture, literature and history, transforms the text into something more than a monologue and more than a dialogue; it becomes a 'polylogue', the site upon which a multiple play of voices can be heard.

Against the claim that I have attempted to dilute the authorial voice of this thesis by using the technique of dialogue, I would claim, in my defence, that I have displayed quite openly throughout this study my use of rhetoric and rhetorical devices. The reader will quickly discover in the following pages that the whole dilemma between the rhetorical and the dialectical aspect of language, in all its many forms, is very much part of what this thesis sets out to address. I will openly declare that part of my intention, through the very texture of this thesis, is to create a critique upon the monological voice of philosophical claims to 'truth'.

In many ways, I have tried to remain close to the creative style of writing about philosophy that Robert M. Pirsig uses in both Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila. Pirsig's technique of introducing complex ideas via everyday description and metaphor, was a significant part of what attracted me to his novels to begin with. Much of the energy in Pirsig's work emerges from his practice of disclosing ideas and then allowing these same thoughts to disseminate in the mind of the reader. This approach, I feel, acknowledges the contingency and complexity within theoretical concepts. In my own way I've attempted to make use of these techniques, allowing the thoughts and ideas expressed in this thesis to be apprehended, yet at the same time leaving them unfettered to be transformed in the course of reading.

A significant part of my investigation also addresses the literary merits of philosophical writings; I have attempted, through an acknowledgement to past writers and to a far lesser extent through my own writing, to illustrate the view that philosophical texts have their own literary charms. Who could deny the aesthetic quality within Plato's philosophical writings, or the obvious literary achievements of writers such as Lao Tzu, Sżren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, William James or Jean-Paul Sartre, all of whom could be considered artists in the literary sense of this term.

Another point that I have wrestled with in this thesis is the problem of finding a balance between a so-called 'academic critical language' and an 'everyday language,' with which to communicate complex ideas. At times I think that I've leant, a little more than I would have liked, towards a more academic discourse, yet an avoidance of technical language is not what I set out to do. What I wanted, was to find an astute way in which to clarify technical terms, enabling them to be integrated as part of an 'everyday language', thereby expanding the popular vocabulary to enhance conversation.

The characterisations I've used in this thesis have been intentionally composed in a relatively hollow and two-dimensional fashion, not because characterisation is any less important than information but because description and personality have a tendency to confuse ideas, especially when words are at a premium. Any description of personality or place that I have used in this thesis is there to enhance the ideas rather than to advance the reader's sensual imagination. Characterisation can too often influence one's comprehension of concepts; this level of rhetoric is acceptable within the genre of the novel, but in a thesis an overemphasis upon character is, I have discovered, somewhat out of place and unnecessary.

The central characters in the first two sections of this thesis, Hannah and Martin, are introduced to provide a means of excavating and unearthing questions that will help to disclose the concepts within Pirsig's novels. I find this approach to investigation more searching than a straightforward exposition, because having two or more voices in conversation allows for a greater variety of expression. It exposes the lack of certainty that surrounds the questions metaphysics confronts and highlights the diversity of discourses and answers available.

As I travelled along the path of writing this thesis, I soon discovered that one of the basic problems of a creative approach to critical analysis is that one can never feel the aesthetic freedom of the novelist. I was forced very early on in writing this thesis to face the fact that at times, the conversational elements of the piece were a touch contrived. Academic writing often demands a lengthier explanation than conventional conversation allows. On several occasions Martin talks for what would be four or five minutes, without Hannah being given the opportunity to say a word. Yet, in order to communicate certain ideas I've found it necessary to make this unrealistic adjustment on the rare occasion when no other avenue seemed plausible.

The question this raises is, if a so-called 'creative style' fails to deliver an adequate means of presenting certain ideas within the research, why have I used such a technique? My answer is that all forms of written research are 'creative approaches'; it is just that we have come to accept the 'critical monologue' as the standard technique for presenting research. This does not however make it non-creative or the best form of expression for delivering the findings of research. As I hope to highlight with this commentary, I believe the approach that I have taken is more beneficial to my research; and this includes the occasional lengthy soliloquy by a single character.

The balance between exposition and critical analysis is always a difficult one to maintain in any form of critical writing. How much description should one give the reader? Should one assume that the primary text has been read or not? These problems are no different from within the 'creative' approach to critical analysis; perhaps the main difference exists in the way ideas and quotations from secondary texts are introduced into the writing. Sometimes a vast amount of knowledge or citation coming straight from the mouth of a single character can seem far too constructed. To compensate for this deficiency I have used several different devices, which includes everything from postcards and notebooks, to posters and karaoke screens, in an attempt to deliver quotations in a thought-provoking and stimulating manner.

The use of these devices in delivering citations has, however, led to a small minority of these quotes becoming mis-quotes. This isn't because I felt the need to govern quotations by manipulating them into saying what I wanted them too, but because the situation in which Pirsig uses these ideas differs from my own. I've not changed the ideas within these quotes, only the setting or the periphery of the situation through which the ideas are expressed.

I've divided this thesis into three main sections, entitled: Inventio, Dispositio, and Elocutio, the three stages of Classical Rhetoric. I felt that these titles shared a relationship to the goals I had set myself for each section of the thesis as well as structuring its overall composition. Inventio, which signifies finding or discovering, relates to my setting out upon a journey, discovering a voice and a style with which to communicate, and finding a structure for the ideas I wanted to express. This first section was perhaps the most problematical of all because I had chosen to write the thesis from beginning to end as if on an actual journey and, as is often appreciated, embarkation is the hardest part. What we take on the journey and the preparations we have made are crucial to its success. We are also acutely aware that the direction we chose to set off in is simply one of an infinite number, yet this initial decision, perhaps made in a moment of intuition, has huge ramifications for what happens when we confront the unknown challenges ahead.

The second section, Dispositio, which signifies arranging and revealing, deals, like the first section, with exposing and analysing the ideas within Pirsig's novels; however, in this section I began to bring much more of my own interpretation upon Pirsig's concepts. This section forms the path between the first and last section. Yet it would be wrong to describe it as simply a middle ground between beginning and end; I see it rather as a climb between the ground of exposition and the level of disclosure.

Elocutio, or style, the final section of this thesis, is set in the bar of rural English public house, which represents for me the perfect Postmodern theatre in which to play out the final drama of the thesis. This Postmodern scene of a pastoral pub where all is faŤade and simulacra, copies without originals, lends itself perfectly to my wish to entertain the reader in an eccentric game. Yet, at the same time, it allows me the opportunity to investigate Pirsig's thoughts and ideas in relation to the questions posed by Post-Modernity, a realm in which philosophy has reached an end and where philosophies and histories have begun. This, I feel, is a world into which Pirsig's writing can be dealt with as writing and not categorised into a reductive genre of novel or metaphysical tract.

All the characters that you will encounter in this thesis are aspects of a single disposition, a personality that is something of a cracked mirror. These pseudonymous creations are ghosts of past philosophers, scientists, writers, teachers etc, who breeze around in an imaginary Cyberspace of the mind-world, trying to position their ideas at the forefront of our thoughts. They are trying to claim their position in a Postmodern melting-pot of historical figures, thousands of them all vying for recognition in a feverish fantasy of words chasing around in an endless play of difference.

In this thesis, I have tried to engage unconditionally with the complexities of Pirsig's words, ideas, and concepts, such as Quality, the Church of Reason, care, and gumption traps. I have attempted to express what these concepts mean for me as well as constantly remaining critical of them. However, I acknowledge that this thesis contains many problems and flaws. I am no academic or intellectual, and although I appreciate and admire the work of those who are, I realise that both my language and my critical abilities reflect my less than scholastic background. My hope is that I have used the distinctiveness of my own voice and observation to produce a work of interest, invention, humility, and humour. I have on reflection learnt so much about the art of writing and criticism while creating this thesis that some of its obvious defects and problems reveal, to me at least, a whole host of trials and emotions which are an essential record of the journey I have travelled and the distance I have still to go.

Appendix D

Notes on Genre

Both Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila fit loosely within a genre of American literature that combines both philosophical and spiritual discourses with accounts of physical and metaphorical journeys. Within this literary context I place writers such as Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) and Jack Kerouac.

The writings of Thoreau can be situated within this genre because his work, especially the novel Walden, or life in the woods, gives both a representation of the American landscape and delivers a thought-provoking exposition upon the conditions of American life in the mid-nineteenth century. Walden, published in 1854 and mostly ignored in its own time, has had a huge influence upon American literature in the twentieth century and a direct influence on the style, form and content of Pirsig's work. Pirsig's narrator, in fact, is reading Thoreau's Walden to his son as they travel together on their journey across America.(242) The narrator is attempting to find solutions to living with the very technology by which Thoreau is so haunted and threatened in Walden.

The work of Jack Kerouac also has a close contextual and generic relationship to Pirsig's style. Kerouac, who is considered one of the leading members of the 'The Beat Generation', incorporated into such novels as The Dharma Bums, Lonesome Traveller and most famously, On the Road, characters who take to the open roads and the high peaks of the American landscape in search of spiritual knowledge and self-transcendence.

If one were to contextualize the work of these writers within a cultural milieu, the fiction of writers such as Thomas Wolf, Henry James, Ernest Hemingway and Samuel Langhorne Clemens, could also be seen to contribute to a style which combines the literature of journey, through physical and metaphorical landscapes, to the introspective literature of thoughts and ideas. In the case of each of these writers, observations about society, culture and identity are connected with a deeper ontological and epistemological contemplation. There is also a sense of individual spirituality powerfully underpinning their work through descriptions of time and place.

In the case of Pirsig and Kerouac, each writer's work combines descriptions of landscape and travel with spiritual and philosophical discussions - all flowing through a style of writing that is somewhere in between jazz rhythms and a stream of consciousness writing.

Pirsig claims for own technique a direct influence from the Chautauqua: the methodology of delivering philosophical ideas through story and narrative once practised by members of the travelling shows which moved across America before the invention of radio and television. This 'Chautauqua' method also appears to have had an influence on Karl Baedeker travel handbooks, or vade mecum, which were published in the mid nineteenth century and have remained popular even to this day. The move to place the Baedeker into the realm of philosophical thought and discourse was taken up by the early twentieth-century symbolist poets, especially Mina Loy, who, in her 1923 collection of poems entitled the Lunar Baedeker, set out to explore both the physical American landscape and the unconscious landscape of American Feminism.

When we cross back over the Atlantic, we begin to see that the notion, or perhaps one could possibly say tradition, of philosophical writing pursued through dialogue, prose and fiction is closer to a European practice of delivering ideas. This 'tradition' incorporates classical enlightenment and post-enlightenment writers and thinkers as diverse as Plato, Hume, Bishop Berkeley, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Derrida, all of whom use fictional forms to promote their philosophical ideas. It is from these writers that the style and approach in this thesis takes much of its shape.

Pirsig purposely avoids the dialogue form in his own work in an attempt to move away from what he see as the dominant Western tradition of the 'dialectic' which goes back to Plato's persuasive philosophical dialogues. Rather than perpetuate this mythology, Pirsig moves his writing in the direction of, as he puts it in a rhetorical oxymoron, a more honest form of rhetoric, whereby ideas are presented as seeds for further thought and dissemination and not as objective and eternal truths as the Platonic tradition holds.

My own style of writing in this thesis is an attempt to reflect a Postmodern hybrid of the philosophical journeys outlined above and to incorporate the prose styles of European philosophy. My reason for mixing together these styles of dialogue, fiction and philosophy is an attempt to fuse American writing of the late twentieth century to the tradition of Western philosophy in order to explore what the outcome of this fusion will be. My thesis is the result and may you be so kind as to be my judge.

(1) Pirsig, R. 1974. p. 17.
(2) The post-structuralist perspective that I am referring to is mainly that of Jacques Derrida and especially the views that he expresses in his work entitled Of Grammatology, written in 1967. I have dealt in detail with the connection between Pirsig's work and post-structuralism in the last section of this thesis.
(3) Pirsig R. 1974 p. 242. Interestingly Martin Heidegger, in his later writings, also talks about the 'event' in much the same way as Pirsig. I will go on to discuss this at greater length in the last section of the thesis.
(4) William Wordsworth. The Prelude, ed. T Hutchinson & E. de Selincourt, 1950.
(5) James Joyce, Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, New York, B.W. Huebsch, 1916.
(6) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 294.
(7) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 252-254.
(8) Alan Watts. Taken from The Penguin Book Of The Beats Edited by A. Chartes. 1992. p.606-614.
(9) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 221.
(10) Pirsig 1974. p. 222.
(11) Ibid. p. 19.
(12) Ibid. p. 303.
(13) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 416. These being the very last words of the novel.
(14) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 150-156. See also chapter six of this thesis entitled The Church Of Reason.
(15) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 85.
(16) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 294.
(17) I'm referring principally here to the Existentialist philosophy of Jean Paul Sartre. See also the last section of this thesis for a more in-depth analysis of Pirsig's work in relation to Existentialism.
(18) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 18.
(19) Natalie Goldberg Writing Down The Bones Boston, Shambhala publications 1986, p. 82.
(20) Barnett singer, 'Reflections on Robert Pirsig' Durham University Journal, #73, June 1981. p. 213.
(21) Francis Fukuyama. The End Of History And The Last Man. New York and London: Penguin, 1992.
(22) See Appendix A
(23) Pirsig R. 1974. P. 243.
(24) Rene Descartes procedure of 'methodological doubt' is explained principally in the Discourse on Method (1637) and in the Meditations (1642).
(25) Heraclitus is believed to have been the first to use the term logos in a metaphysical sense. He asserted that the world is governed by fire-like logos, a divine force that produces the order and pattern discernible in the flux of nature. He believed that this force is similar to human reason and that his own thought partook of the divine logos.
(26) Nietzsche's 'eternal recurrence' is the basic concept behind Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883, 1884,1885): trans. R.J. Hollingdale, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1974. A link between Pirsig and Nietzsche is dealt with in the final section of this thesis.
(27) The surviving fragments of Parmenides On Nature where translated in 1965 by L. Tar
(28) Plato's distrust of the artist is explained in The Republic (book X). Trans. Desmound Lee, Penguin. Harmondsworth. 1987.
(29) Ibid., Book IV, section 514. p. 316.
(30) See 'Dilemma' Chambers English Dictionary 7th edition 1992.
(31) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 242.
(32) Ibid., p. 250.
(33) See chapter four, entitled 'A ghostly figure in the landscape'.
(34) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 17.
(35) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 14.
(36) Pirsig R 1991. p. 476.
(37) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 15.
(38) Ibid., p. 15.
(39) Ibid., p.13.
(40) James Joyce. Finnegans Wake Faber & Faber, London: 1939.
(41) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 355.
(42) Taken from the King James Bible: The gospel according to St. John Ch. 1: 1-14.
(43) Bakhtin, M. Problems of Dostoyevsky's Poetics, trans. Caryl Emerson, Manchester University press 1984.
(44) An in-depth discussion of Pirsig's application of rhetoric can be found in chapter five of the thesis.
(45) John Lechte. Fifty: Key Contemporary Thinkers. Routledge 1994. p.10
(46) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 29.
(47) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 125.
(48) Ibid. p. 145.
(49) D T, Suzuki An Introduction to Zen Buddhism, Ballatine Books N.Y. 1973. p. 102.
(50) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 324.
(51) Zen Flesh Zen Bones complied by Paul Reps. Pelican Books. 1971. p. 92.
(52) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 323.
(53) The connection between Pirsig's use of the term 'care' and Heidegger's own use of this same term are discussed in the final section of the thesis.
(54) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 279.
(55) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 280.
(56) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 285.
(57) Pirsig R 1974. p. 289.
(58) Pirsig 1974 p.287.
(59) For an in-depth analysis and critique of Plato's Phaedrus, see Chapter Seven of this thesis.
(60) Xenophon's memoirs about Socrates can be found in three works entitled Apology, Memorabilia, and Symposium. There is an English translation of the complete works of Xenophon by H.G. Dakyns, 4 vol. (1890-97); and by W. Miller in the "Loeb Series," 7 vol. (1918-25, reprinted 1960-68), with a parallel Greek text.
(61) Rhetoric is the central theme of the next Chapter.
(62) Prince Gautama Siddhartha also known as Buddha.
(63) Herman Hesse. 1965. p. 22. The use of the word herd to describe the mass of society suggests a clear indication of Nietzsche's influence upon Hesse's thinking.
(64) Ibid. p. 21.
(65) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 72.
(66) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 28.
(67) Pirsig R. p. 37.
(68) I'm referring to pictures such as Turner's Fisherman at Sea (1796) Tate Gallery London and Wreck of a Transport Ship (1805-10) Fundocao Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon.
(69) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 45.
(70) Ibid. p. 92.
(71) Ibid. p. 94.
(72) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 255.
(73) Ibid. p. 257
(74) Casper David Friedrich's From the Summit: Traveller Looking over the Sea of Fog is in the Hamburg Kunsthalle, Germany.
(75) Automatic writing is a technique that attempts to dispense with conscious control by writing immediately the motivations of the unconscious mind.
(76) Cut-up is a technique whereby a text is cut into segments, shuffled and then randomly placed out to produce an illogical, accidental text.
(77) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 276.
(78) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 333.
(79) Ibid. p. 410.
(80) Ibid. p. 410-411.
(81) Micheal Billig. Arguing and Thinking: A Rhetorical Approach To Social Psychology. Cambridge University Press. 1987. p. 48.
(82) Plato The Republic Book X
(83) Derrida J. Of Grammatology. 1976. p. 165.
(84) Norris C. 1987. p. 110.
(85) Norris C. 1882. p. 32.
(86) Aristotle The Art Of Rhetoric trans by J.H. Freese. Loeb Classical Library. London. 1959. p. 14.
(87) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 364.
(88) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 366.
(89) Pirsig R. 1974 p. 368.
(90) Ibid. p. 369.
(91) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 374.
(92) Pirsig R. 1974 p. 24.
(93) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 24.
(94) Pirsig R 1974. p.25.
(95) Pirsig R. 1974. p. .26
(96) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 27.
(97) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 63.
(98) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 118.
(99) Rorty R. 1982. p. xiii.
(100) Damien Hirst
(101) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 127.
(102) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 130.
(103) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 130.
(104) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 209.
(105) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 218.
(106) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 395.
(107) Plato Phaedrus trans by Hamilton W. Penguin Classics. 1973. p. 50.
(108) Plato Phaedrus trans by Hamilton W. Penguin Classics. 1973. p.56.
(109) Plato Phaedrus trans by Hamilton W. Penguin Classics. 1973. p. 56.
(110) Pirsig R. 1974. p.393
(111) Pirsig R. 1974.. p. 394.
(112) Rorty R. Consequences of Pragmatism (Essays: 1972-1980) Harvester Wheatsheaf. London. 1982. p. 153.
(113) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 423.
(114) Christopher Norris from within Conquest of Faculties (Philosophy and Theory expresses a related interpretation after Deconstruction). Methuen. London. 1985. Chapter four.
(115) Plato Phaedrus trans by Hamilton W. 1973. P. 73. In a footnote, Hamilton remarks upon the notion that the Spartans were renowned for their dislike of rhetoric. They much preferred physical violence as a solution to disagreement, but then again I suppose you don't give up your homeland without a struggle simply because someone loses an argument.
(116) Ibid. p. 71.
(117) Ibid. p. 77.
(118) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 375.
(119) As expressed in Plato's dialogue Phaedo.
(120) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 376.
(121) Ibid. p. 377.
(122) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 377.
(123) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 378.
(124) Norris C. 1982. p. 64.
(125) Plato Phaedrus trans by Hamilton W. 1973. p. 66-103.
(126) Derrida J. 1967. P. 17.
(127) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 378.
(128) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 380-381.
(129) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 380.
(130) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 382. This passage comes from H. D. F. Kitto's Book The Greeks Pelican books.
(131) Pirsig R. 1974.. p. 381.
(132) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 383.
(133) Graves R. The Greek Myths: vol. 1. Pelican Books. 1964. P. 151-154.
(134) Capra F. The Tao of Physics Flamingo 1976. Glasgow. p. 21.
(135) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 133.
(136) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 138.
(137) Ibid. p. 138.
(138) Ibid. p. 138.
(139) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 140.
(140) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 140.
(141) See Chapter Nine.
(142) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 79.
(143) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 81.
(144) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 220.
(145) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 220.
(146) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 166.
(147) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 167.
(148) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 171.
(149) See Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason trans by Norman Kemp Smith. Macmillian. London. 1978.
(150) Abraham Pais Niels Bohr's Times Oxford University Press. 1991.
(151) Rorty R. Contingency, Irony and Solidarity p. 5.
(152) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 172.
(153) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 189.
(154) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 188.
(155) I continue the main thrust of this argument in the following chapters.
(156) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 311. This question also will form much of the basis for discussion in the final section of this thesis.
(157) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 122.
(158) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 123.
(159) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 125.
(160) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 124.
(161) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 125.
(162) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 126.
(163) Rorty R. Contingency, Irony and Solidarity. P. 10
(164) Ibid. p. 7.
(165) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 127.
(166) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 128.
(167) David Bowie. 'Quicksand' from the album Hunky Dory RCA Victor SF8244, 1972.
(168) Much of this section is based upon ideas expressed by Robert Maynard Pirsig on pages 80-85 of Lila 1991.
(169) L, Wittgenstein. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus Routledge and Kegan Paul London 1961. p. 70.
(170) Jim Morrison 'The Doors' In Concert 'Petition the Lord with Prayer', Elektra 2665 002. 1970.
(171) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 135-6.
(172) The ideas expressed in this paragraph and the following few are based closely upon pages 136-139 of Robert Pirsig's 1974 novel.
(173) John Lennon 'Whatever Gets You Through the Night' from the album Shaved Fish Apple PSC 7173, 1974.
(174) Pirsig uses the word 'Faith' in this secular sense on page 138. 1974.
(175) Pirsig R. 1991. p. 84.
(176) Joni Mitchell's 'Woodstock' from the Album Ladies of the Canyon, Reprise RSLP 6376, 1970.
(177) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 41.
(178) Ibid. p. 42-43.
(179) Hawking S. A Brief History of Time. p. 61. Bantam Books, London, 1988.
(180) Zohar D. Who's afraid of Schrodinger's cat? Bloomsbury, London, 1997. A paraphrasing of page p. 182.
(181) Polkinghorne JC. The Quantum World Penguin 1990.
(182) Glimm J, & Jaffe A. Quantum Physics (2nd edition) Springer-Verlag. London. 1987.
(183) Hawking S. 1988. p. 61.
(184) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 42.
(185) Pirsig R, 1974, p. 43.
(186) In reference to Fritjof Capra and his popular book The Tao of Physics Flamingo, Glasgow, 1976.
(187) Zohar D. The Quantum self, Flamingo, London, 1991, p. 18-21.
(188) Half-man Half-biscuit. 'Friday Night and The Gates are Low', from the album Some Call it Godcore Probe Plus, Probe 41: 1995.
(189) Taken from Nietzsche's Will to Power trans. by Kaufmann, W. New York: Random House 1968 Sec. 521, p. 282.
(190) Nietzsche Cited in the 'Preface' of Spivak G. trans Derrida J. Of Grammatology 1976 p. xxii.
(191) J.Lennon & P.McCartney 'The Inner Light' from the album The Beatles (Past Masters vol II)
(1967-1970) Apple.
(192) Pirsig, R. 1974. p. 255.
(193) Dylan B. 'It's All right Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)', from the album Brining it All Back Home, CBS, BPG 62515, 1965.
(194) Poincare, J.H. Science and Method. 1913. p. 58.
(195) Poincare, J.H. Science and Method. 1913. p. 62-63.
(196) This is a reworking of Pirsig's citation of Poincare's work. p. 262-272. 1974.
(197) Pirsig, R. 1974. P. 271.
(198) Husserl, E. Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology. 1913. p. 27.
(199) Pirsig, R. 1974. p. 294.
(200) Dylan B. 'It's All right Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)', from the album Brining it All Back Home, CBS, BPG 62515, 1965.
(201) Heidegger M. Being and Time trans Macquarrie J. and Robinson E. Basil Blackwell, Oxford: 1962. Sect 12-13.
(202) Heidegger M. Being and Time trans. Macquarrie J. and Robinson E. Basil Blackwell Oxford: 1962. Sect 39-42 & 56-68.
(203) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 279.
(204) This whole paragraph is a re-working of Robert Pirsig's ideas expressed on pages 235-236. 1974.
(205) Pirsig R. 1974. p. 235.
(206) Peter Tosh 'Equal Rights' taken from the album Captured Live: EMI, EG2401671: 1984.
(207) David Bowie Quicksand from the album Hunky Dory, RCA Victor SF8244, 1972.
(208) Sartre, JP. Existentialism & Humanism.
(1946) Trans. Mairet, P. Methuen, London: 1957.
(209) Pirsig R, p. 187. 1991.
(210) Ibid. p. 140.
(211) Pirsig R, p. 187-188, 1991.
(212) The other four forces of the universe along with Higgs' fifth force are the electro magnetic force, the weak nuclear force (responsible for radioactive decay), the strong nuclear force (which holds atomic nuclei together), and the force of gravity.
(213) Pirsig R, p. 116. 1974.
(214) Pirsig R, p. 118, 1974.
(215) A very short description of Godel's theorem from Zohar D, p. 176. 1997.
(216) Taken from p. 119. Pirsig R. 1974.
(217) Pirsig R, p. 188, 1991.
(218) Entropy is the spontaneous movement from order to disorder. The second law of Thermodynamics, which dictates that in every change entropy, meaning disorder, decay, dissipation and the breaking down of patterns and structures, must either increase or remain the same. Pirsig's description of the inorganic pattern of quality is earthly life's challenging to this universal second law.
(219) Pirsig R, p. 192, 1991.
(220) Ibid. p. 173.
(221) A reworking of a short passage on page 192, from Pirsig R, 1991.
(222) Pirsig R, p. 192. 1991.
(223) Pirsig R, p. 192. 1991.
(224) Pirsig R, 1991, p. 298.
(225) Lacan J. The mirror stage as formative of the 'I' in Ecrits: A selection. p. 1-7. Translated by Sheridan A, Routledge. London, 1977.
(226) Ibid. p1-7.
(227) Yoko Ono, 'O Sanity' taken from the album Milk and Honey Polydor, POLH 5 1984.
(228) Pirsig R, p. 432, 1991.
(229) Ibid. p. 1991.
(230) This section is based upon p. 430-434, of Pirsig's 1991 novel.
(231) Ibid. p. 438.
(232) Ibid. p. 434.
(233) This section is a re-working of pages 371-373 of Pirsig's 1991 novel.
(234) Half-man half-biscuit. 'Lets Not', taken from the album McIntyre, Treadmore & Davitt, Probe Plus, Probe 30.
(235) Heidegger M, On the way to Language translated by Hertz P and Stamburg J. Harper and Row. 1971, p. 134.
(236) Derrida's attack upon Saussure and the tradition of Structuralism.
(237) Derrida J. Of Grammatology 1967, translated by Spivak G C, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1976, p. 167.
(238) J Lennon, Y Ono, and The Plastic Ono Band, Instant Karma, Apple, APPLES 1003, 1970.
(239) Byrne D. Eno B, Franz C, Harrison J, Weymouth T, (Talking Heads), Once in a Lifetime, EMI records limited, 1980.
(240) Robert M. Pirsig, p. 17-18, 1974.
(241) Robert M. Pirsig, pp. 381-384 & pp.345-346, 1991. (See also the rest of page 346-347).
(242) Pirsig, R. 1989. p. 228.1977


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