MOQ FORUM

ESSAYS


This part of the site is for members of MOQ.org, or anyone else, to post up their theories, reviews, essays or thoughts on the MOQ.
Any opinions expressed on these pages are the authors' alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the MOQ.org group or Robert M Pirsig - except, of course, for those articles written by Pirsig.
Reviews of some of these essays can be found on the Forum Reviews Page along with reviews of Robert Pirsig's works.


By Robert M Pirsig

ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE (Reviewed)


LILA: AN INQUIRY INTO MORALS (Reviewed)


Subjects, Objects, Data and Values (Reviewed)
Paper presented by Robert M Pirsig at the Einstein Meets Magritte Conference held in Brussels from May 29 to June 3 1995. The conference took up the two myths of Albert Einstein and René Magritte, to see if where they 'meet' some significant clues might be revealed. How does science (producing knowledge and technology) confront art (producing revelations and sensations)?

Cruising Blues
Article on sailing originally wriinally written for Esquire Magazine in 1977


Letter to the Lila Squad
Letter from Robert M Pirsig to the Lila Squad on our first anniversary.


Letter from Robert M Pirsig to Bodvar Skutvik
A letter from Robert Pirsig to Bodvar Skutvik. Pirsig comments on Dan Glover's Lila's Child project and answers two key objections:
"How do you justify the statement that Quality equals reality?"
and
"Is the MOQ just emotivism?"


Letter from Robert M Pirsig to Paul Turner
A new letter from Robert Pirsig to Paul Turner. Pirsig responds to a letter from Paul Turner regarding the Intellectual level of the MOQ.




THE METAPHYSICS OF QUALITY


The MOQ Explained


The Function of Form
In this essay Ron Kulp seeks to identify the origins of what is known to the MOQ community as the Subject/Object Metaphysics. It is the author's intention to realize the MOQ's function within the cultural paradigm of it's origin and subsequently how it may function within any number of cultural paradigms.

The Levels Undressed
Magnus Berg digs into the levels once more and investigates if it's possible to define them discretely. In the process, 3 more levels are discovered and a new definition of what a level does for higher levels. The levels are also more tightly connected with established scientific fields.

An MOQ Text Book
Dr. Anthony McWatt's PhD Textbook on the MOQ.


What are the limitations of the MOQ?
What is Quality in thought and statement?
Two essays from MOQ philosophy student at Liverpool University, Patrick Gawley.


Zen and the Art of Revolution
Andrew Connor looks at the nature of revolution in terms of the MOQ. He investigates revolution in the USA, France, Cuba and Eastern Europe, and looks back at his own personal involvement in the nt in the Communist Party of the USA.

The Nature of Natural Law
Rory FitzGerald looks at the MOQ from the perspective of natural law and examines how it gives us a basis for judging issues such as abortion, euthanasia and freedom of speech.

Pirsig's Metaphysics of Quality
A paper originally given by Dr. Anthony McWatt at the University of Liverpool's Department of Philosophy in February 1998. This essay outlines the MOQ and includes some quotes from Pirsig in direct correspondence with Dr. McWatt.

The Dharmakaya Light
Lorenz Gude on the elusive and compelling light that's associated with Dynamic Quality.

It's time to talk about the birth of a Giant
Sojourner looks at the giants of our culture -- clubs, organizations, countries -- and at how we become a part of them, often without realizing.

Framework, Archetypes, and Philosophy in Lila
Lithien explores the possibility that MOQ may be approached indirectly not with our analytical mind but unexpectedly by means of symbols such as those which arise from dreams and myths.

What are you and what should you do?
A rough guide to the static levels and their moral implications, by Mark Lencho.

Say Hello to Now
Platt Holden's description of the indescribable--Pirsig's Dynamic Quality: the leading edge of experience.

Strawdog bites Strawman
David L Thomas challenges the criticism made by Galen Strawson (see above) that the Subject-Object Metaphysics is a strawman.

A classicist's road to the Metaphysics of Quality
Magnus Berg shows that the Metaphysics of Quality doesn't need to be as fuzzy as it might seem at first glance.

Brain Structure, Life on Other Planets, and the MOQ
Bob Wallace compares the four levels of the MoQ with the stages of evolution of the human brain and asks the question, if there was life on other planets would it evolve in the same way?


THE MOQ EXPLORED

The SOL
In his essay Bodvar Skutvik suggests that Pirsig had the SOM-MOQ relationship correct in ZMM and that this would have realized the MOQ’s full potentials and avoided the present dead-lock over the intellectual level.
Bodvar Skutvik enlarges on his idea that MOQ's intellectual level must be limited to its subject/object content (The Subject/Object Limitation).


Arthur Young And Pirsig:
Can Young help us to understand the levels?
  (Reviewed)
In this essay David Morey looks at the levels suggested by Arthur M. Young in his book 'The Reflexive Universe' and asks if they can be used to expand upon and better understand the relationship between the levels suggested by Robert M. Pirsig. In particular can the Inorganic Level be sub-divided into 3 levels with increasing levels of restraint as they become more evolved.


The Economics of Want and Greed
Wim Nusselder's attempt at applying a MoQ to economics.


The Edge of Chaos
Mark Maxwell's enquiry into exceptional coherence between Static Patterns of Quality found in everyday experience. Idiomatic phrases such as 'The Sweet Spot' reflect static descriptions of coherence, which indicate when Dynamic Quality has been influential and how we evolve towards it.


Pirsig, Schleiermacher, Mysticism and the MoQ
Sam Norton explores the conceptual links between the MoQ and Schleiermacher's understanding of mysticism, and wonders whether the MoQ is as free of Kant's influence (also known as 'Subject Object Metaphysics' ) as is sometimes claimed.


The Eudaimonic MOQ (Reviewed)
Sam Norton offers an alternative understanding of the fourth level of the MoQ, centring around the Aristotelean concept of 'eudaimonia' rather than 'intellect'.


Herds of Platypi - A Critical Reading of Chapter 8 of Lila (Reviewed)
In this essay, chapter 8 of Lila is critically examined. In this chapter Pirsig argues that Quality generates both subjects and objects, instead of the other way around. He defends this mainly by discussing the so-called 'Platypi' that a Subject-Object Metaphysics contains.

Quality Mysticism And Action In The World
Yet another excellent essay from John Beasley. This time John looks at the mystical aspect of Pirsig's work and examines it in relation to the works of other mystics.

Understanding Quality
An essay from John Beasley comparing, contrasting and criticising the analytic and mystic aspects of the Metaphysics of Quality.

Quality with a Human Face
A critique of the Metaphysics of Quality from John Beasley who identifies several weaknesses in Pirsig's work and argues that metaphysics can no longer offer a single integrated conceptual scheme which can be said to underpin all reality.

What’s wrong with this picture?
Gary Jaron's Holarchy and the integration of Robert Pirsig and Ken Wilber.

The Mystical Experience of Domination, Conflict and Liberation
Elliot Hallmark notes that although Pirsig has often been passed over as a pop philosopher this should not be the case because his ideas are not as transitory as that title would lead one to believe.

On Quality
A critical reading of Robert M. Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila: Complete postgraduate thesis from Ian Hornsby which adopts a narrative style modelled on Pirsig's contemplation of composition and Quality.

Creating an Organismic Metaphysics of Quality
John Beasley surveys a number of the key strands in the thinking of Robert M Pirsig from the perspective of the organism, a perspective that allowsallows bridging between the ideas of a metaphysics, the encounter with different levels of experience, and the ability to encounter dynamic quality within unmediated experience.

Quality and Intelligence
Bold and provocative essay from John Beasley that argues that the basis for mystic experience is the biological level.

The Chain's Course
Poem by Todd A Pownell.


THE MOQ IN CONTEXT

Clash of the Pragmatists
Robert Pirsig and Richard Rorty are both self-described Pragmatists and both reject the notion of "Truth" (with a captal "T") but this essay focuses on their different attitudes toward the work of William James, especially his Radical Empiricism. Pirsig adopts it while Rorty rejects it and I try to show how this leads them to different conclusions.

If not Global Captalism - then What?
Chris Cook explores the concept of Open Capital and it's relationship to the Metaphysics of Quality.
Originally published in   "Authentic Business"   6/5/2004

The Goal of Selflessness in Buddhist Philosophy
A brief overview of the evolving concept of no-self in early Buddhist Philosophy. Also a preliminary to a forthcoming MOQ essay extending MOQ terminology concerning the identity of self.

Existentialism and Phenomenology
Gavin Gee-Clough looks at the parallels between the MoQ and Sarte's phenomenological ontology, especially in relation to his later work.

Student Life And Other Contradictions
An Inquiry into the value of modern education.
Gavin Gee-Clough explores a modern education system from a Quality perspective.

Open Letter to New Participants of the Discussion Groups
Some very useful tips and advice when contributing to the MoQ.Org mailing lists - Recommended Reading.

Pirsig Institutionalized: More Thoughts on Pirsig and Philosophology
The second piece in his Philosophology Triptych, Matt Kundert presses his critique of philosophology by reframing it as an attack on antiprofessionalism and rehabilitates the notion of professional philosophy.

Philosophologology
Spinning out the consequences of Pirsig's coinage "philosophology", Matt Kundert criticizes the rhetorical measures Pirsig uses and develops an alternative picture of how Pirsig views philosophy.

Mechanistic Philosophy and the Yellow Brick Road of Science
Science, Reductionism and the Mechanistic approach to explaining the world around us. Matt Kundert takes a look at Reductionism in Science.

Phenomenological Existentialism and the MOQ
Matt Kundert illustrates the role that the Metaphysics of Quality can play in extending and elevating the Existentialism of Sarte and the Phenomenology of Husserl.
Essay by Matt Kundert,

Absurdity and the Meaning of Life
Albert Camus' Existentialistism and the absurdity of life are examined in relation to the Metaphysics of Quality.
Essay by Matt Kundert,

Confessions of a Fallen Priest (Reviewed)
Matt Kundert colligates Robert Pirsig together with Richard Rorty and
develops why Pirsig is best seen as a post-metaphysical pragmatist, rather
than a systematic philosopher following in the footsteps of Plato and Kant.

Total Quality Management in the New Millennium
Mark Lerner examines the principles behind Total Quality Management, drawing his conclusions from the work of Ayn Rand, Friedrich Hayek and Robert Pirsig

Management and Art
For 15 years Mark Lerner has been thinking about the ideas contained in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. For almost as long he has been fascinated by the work of the painter Edward Hopper. In this article he proposes an association between Pirsig's book, Hopper's art and his profession of Radiology Management.

Total Quality Management in Education
Dr. Anthony McWatt examines the failure of Total Quality Management in the context of the British Higher Education system.

The Lost World
Scott Welsh looks at the problem of raising children in today's society

God is Not a Person
Decide (just for a second) that God isn't a person. Decide that God is an entity that can't be measured or tabulated or decoded or defined. In fact, God can't even fit into the word "God" because words are tangible and God isn't. Now if that much is granted, God begins to look startlingly similar to Robert Pirsig's Quality. (by Scott Welsh)

Get a Life
Invariably anyone, anywhere who lives a focused, dedicated life committed to something is confronted with this phrase. "All you do is play tennis? Every single day? Man, you need to GET A LIFE!" (by Scott Welsh)

The Day Wreckers
Usually they come from nowhere. You're just minding your business, getting through the day, and they strike with no rhyme, no reason, no purpose - and it can happen anywhere to anyone at anytime. (by Scott Welsh)

The Cave
Sequel to the Day Wreckers. (by Scott Welsh)

Can logic be institutionalized?
Don Palmgren looks at how logic has become synonymous with truth and how education, rather than making us smarter, teaches us not to think.

The End of Causality
Jonathan Marder discusses thermodynamics and causality.

Zen and the art of Science
Jonathan Marder discusses the origins and relevance of scientific method as a means for understanding reality.

Dumb and dumber
The rise of man and his dumbing down, by Richard Douglas.

The Good in everyone
Why Pirsig's Metaphysics of Quality is important and why it's not, by Samuel Palmer.

A Personal View
Ken Clark looks at the influences led the human race into this egocentric concept of humanity and our place in the physical system in which we live.

Novel Reality
David L Thomas looks at the MoQ from a multitude of angles -- why do writers disguise philosophy as fiction? Why is consciousness ignored? Why do we need philosophy? And how does Pirsig's work compare with Ayn Rand's "objectivism"?



Quality In Other Walks Of Life

Meeting the Spec. and Other Software Fables
This essay from Michael P. Meier looks at Quality from a pragmatic perspective. We all have opinions about the quality of the software/technology we are forced to use every day. In many cases those opinions are not very flattering to the the technology producers. Do our opinions reflect a metaphysical Quality or a "what's in it for me?" definition of quality? In either case, what is the utility of an ISO 9xxx approach to "assuring" quality?

QUALITY by John Galsworthy
An essay submitted by Platt Holden illustrating the emergence of Quality in other than perfect conditions by Author John Galsworthy - a beautiful and moving story.
NOTE - this essay is part of the Gutenberg project.


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