[MD] Good and Truth in Platonic system

X Acto xacto at rocketmail.com
Sat Dec 15 07:33:46 PST 2012

dmb said:
Pirsig's pragmatic truths are neither of those things. They don't correspond to anything or any thing, although they do have to agree with experience.

Ron replied:
I think we have to be careful with using that assertion Dave, that pragmatic truths have to "agree" with experience.

dmb says:
I was being careful to use the same word that James and Pirsig use. They both say that truths must "agree" with experience - as opposed to "corresponding" to things-in-themselves or reality as it really is.

Ron continued:
Because to correspond is to agree and if I understand pragmatic truth it has to do with how well an idea "performs" in experience, how succesful it is in regard to our aims.

dmb says:
Well, you're equating correspondence and agreement, whereas I had just distinguished them or contrasted them. To say that true ideas are the ones that actually work when you act on them is agreement with experience but NOT correspondence to objective reality. The latter depends on the assumptions of subject-object metaphysics whereas pragmatic truth begins by rejecting those assumptions.
[Ron responds]
I see, the difference is in the conception of the term "what is" or experience. Not in the equation of
the terms correspondance and agreement because by definition the two roughly equate in meaning
and its sort playing semantics to say that the contrast or distinction lay there. Thanks for clarifying
Ron said:
Because experience, can be misleading and colored. It can be distorted and exaggerated. To say that experience is reality is not to imply that experience is what is "true".

dmb says:
I think it doesn't make any sense to say that experience is true. Or false. 
Ideas, beliefs, claims, and other conceptual matters can be true or false. Experience can't be right or wrong but it is real. Ideas are supposed to be tested and made true or false by empirical reality, but experience itself is not true or false. It just is. 
And, no, of course experience doesn't automatically generate the perfect truth and we're constantly adjusting our understanding of things as new experience unfolds. That's how we can realize the distortions and mistakes as well as the clarifications and corrections. All these things occur within experience, within the empirical reality. 

Thanks for that Dave, I was coaxing the discussion in this very direction because it seems that
a few contributers would contend that experience is reality as it really "is" and an "unfettered view"
can be obtained via meditation and the ceasassion of thought.
I do believe that meditation aids in the clarification of experience in that it aids understanding
but in no way does it provide an unclouded, undistorted uncolored perception. It just rings
of an anti-intellectual objectification of experience which is a misinterpretation of both Zen
and Pirsigs Quality.
This clarification also helps in our explanations in regard to our detractors who would like to
dismiss MoQ as a semantic play on the correspondance theory angle because I know this
reservation has been brought up in the past and there was some difficulty in explaining that
it is a rejection of corespondance on a very basic meaningful level of understanding the
use of the terms "what is".
Thanks again Dave, I appreciate the exchange greatly.
..Hey, didn't you present a paper at a conference recently? is there any way I can 
get ahold of a copy?

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