Burgess – Fellow Traveller ?

Hmm. After Greenteeth (don’t ask), here’s Paul Burgess. Interesting that he’s a beat generation fan who’d read The Tractatus, but like me didn’t read Pirsig until after he was 40, and a good thing too he says …

[Quote] Yes, Pirsig in his former pre-psychosis persona of Phaedrus is a near dead ringer for your humble narrator, back in my late teens and early twenties. And his eventual philosophical solution to the subject-object dichotomy– which is not a bad solution at all!– smells uncannily like my eventual turn to the symbol, and then to Peirce. Pirsig’s “Quality” smells a good deal like Peirce’s category of Firstness. Pirsig also clarifies a question that has exercised me greatly in recent years: “What the hell has gone wrong with modernity?” He thinks, as I do, that the problem lies not in science, technology, industrialization as such, but rather in the mindset we bring to their application– a mindset which fragments us, which fragments our world, into all sorts of polar dichotomies. [Unquote]

Yes, yes, the divisiveness of superfluous dualisms. Me too.
(Must browse around the rest of his site and blog of “pseudo-philosophical” ramblings. Know how he feels, he even has a page called “How Do We Know What We Know”, which is spookily close to Psybertron’s own tag line.)

8 thoughts on “Burgess – Fellow Traveller ?”

  1. Sorry that I can’t keep up with the fast flow of posts/comments here. I’m amazed at people not knowing about Maslow (and I’ve never read criticism of him), or how to spell Fromm’s name, or–in the case of a young student of philosophy and psychology I talked with yesterday–never heard of Prisig and his first book. I was stunned. This is a man who aspires to produce a book on logic for the business world. Then I tried to talk with him about “quality”, and he just looked blank. Are we dating ourselves here? (Meaning, are we outdated?)

  2. “I’m amazed at people not knowing about Maslow (and I’ve never read criticism of him), or how to spell Fromm’s name,”

    ….and she felt the sting of shame for not having known about Maslow. She muttered, “but I did know about the hierarchy of needs. And I came close on the spelling of Fromm’s name. Not only that, I’ve actually read him!”

  3. Ladies please … not in public 🙂

    “It makes me wonder … Go figure.” Your rhetoric is trying to tell me something about God, Alice ? Or are you just thinking out loud ?

    Georganna, it’s reasssuring to hear you’ve not detected general cristicism of Maslow. My “meme-watch” was based on the fact that when originally learning about it the lecturer warned that there were standard “class-based” criticisms, that were more PC than real, about his studying of more educated / advantaged people. I never gave it a second thought, the ideas seemed believable to me. Until I started the web research / blogging. I get about 5 to 10 hits a week on searches for Maslow, and I would say at least 95% of them include the search string “criticisms of Malsow”.

    Of course I could just be missing a massive dose of irony in your post.

  4. just the same thing I was wondering about before…intelligent people who believe in the God of the bible (or any god for that matter)and Jesus.

  5. ps. I went through a personal training session with Robert of Libertopia. he walked me through Romans by Paul (formerly Saul, right?) and he left me with this…it’s ok not to believe because you can’t believe unless you’ve been chosen. I can live with that. “not chosen”…again.

  6. No, really. No irony intended. It just seems to me that any educated, well-read person would have heard of Maslow and Pirsig’s first book, at least. Maybe I’m suffering from TMI because I’ve been studying psychology for so many years (two degrees in that field) and every course I ever took in Psych included Maslow. And I swear the young man I talked with last week was the first person I’ve ever met who hadn’t even heard of “Zen and the …”. In fact, it was required reading for my first master’s class in 1990 — and that was in Journalism!

  7. One of the points I have made repeatedly is that I am not educated in the way, perhaps, you mean. All of the reading I have done has been unassigned except by me. I pick up references to works and if they sound interesting, I pursue them. I am sure there are huge holes in the body of knowledge I currently have, but I’m working on it. I also think that because I am reading independently of a classroom setting I may be bringing a fresh approach to what I read.

    But I do have lots of friends who attended the university and I have asked them about the books I have read and am reading. I’m not all that impressed with what my college educated friends have retained from their years within the ivy covered walls. I think many approach college education as something to get through, to get good grades from and to get good jobs with… that and drinking and screwing around a lot.

    I think Alan Bloom touched on this in “The Closing of the American Mind”.

    You live in San Diego, Georganna. So do I.

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