Robert Pirsig and the Art of Freedom

An interesting irony reading Julian Baggini’s 2015 “Freedom Regained“. Baggini was famously underwhelmed when he attempted to interview Robert Pirsig back in 2006 given that Grayson Perry quoted Pirsig in his 2013 Reith Lectures on the creativity of art.

Baggini quotes Perry’s use of the Pirsig passage – creative ideas as small timid furry creatures, easily scared away into the undergrowth – and continues to use the same metaphor over the subsequent paragraphs on artistic freedom as a better model of freedom than consumer choice.

[More on Pirsig?]

Strong parallel between Perry’s freedom as the rails on which we run, and the John Gray / Heinrich von Kleist metaphor in the freedom of a marionette – not to mention an antidote to the “trolleyology” of moral choice. What are real constraints on freedom – the freedom to run on one’s own tramlines?

For this to be freedom [in the understood sense], there must be some reflection on, control over and endorsement of the desires, beliefs and values you have. But there is no need whatsoever for us to be the originating author of any of these.

Money, resources, practical rather than metaphysical.
“The biggest constraint on any human being is time.”

This is why I say, most recently below, real freedom is about standardisation for efficiency reasons. We can’t spend all our time deciding every decision to act from first principles, although we are “free” to do so.