.

robertpirsig.org : Latest News

 

The MOQ Shop for those who like DVDs and e-books!

Robert Pirsig Facebook Page

Papers on this website:

Inspirationality Essay-Part 1

Inspirationality Essay-Part 2

Inspirationality Essay-Part 3

The 1993 AHP Transcript-Part 1

The 1993 AHP Transcript-Part 2

The 1993 AHP Transcript-Part 3

The 1993 AHP Transcript-Part 4

David Granger's Aesthetics Paper

Evolution, Time & Order Paper

Selections from the 1993 AHP transcript

David Buchanan's Oxford Lecture

PhD Commentary

An Open Letter to Sam Harris

Art & the MOQ by Robert Pirsig

An Introduction to
 Robert Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality

An MOQ Summary by Robert Pirsig

David Buchanan's Art & Morality Paper

Gavin Gee-Clough's "Brisbane Winter" Paper 

Sneddon Thesis

- Part One

Sneddon Thesis - Part Two

David Buchanan's 2006 Paper

Observer Interview

Notes on the tetralemma

The MOQ & Time

The MOQ & Education

Pirsig & Pragmatism

Chai at the Lazy Lounge

MOQ Conference Papers:

Robert Pirsig's Welcome Speech

Dr McWatt's Handout

Henry Gurr's Handout

Ian Glendinning's Paper

David Buchanan's Paper

Mati Palm-Leis's Paper

Gavin Gee-Clough's Paper

Khoo Hock Aun's Paper

_____________________________________

  Please enjoy reading about Robert Pirsig's life and work on this website though keep in mind that he is not responsible for its contents!

Best wishes,

Dr Anthony McWatt

(site administrator)

November/December 2014 News!

The October MOQ Lecture at Liverpool University

Firstly, here's a photo from October's MOQ lecture at Liverpool University. Nice to be back in the old place which has hardly changed since 1993. It was a good, very well attended session (one excellent question too about Tibet pre-Chinese Cultural Revolution in regard to equal rights) though an hour to introduce the MOQ and then apply it practically is not really sufficient time to give Pirsig or the students in question justice.  At least, it's one issue to think of for next time...

'On The Road with Robert Pirsig' film's London Premiere!

Secondly, the "On The Road with Robert Pirsig" film will receive its first major screening at the Ritzy cinema in London this December.  The one hour screening will be followed by a question & answer session with the producer of the film.  Further details about this unique screening can be found via this link: 

 

 

A new MOQ Book

Dr Alan McManus (a philosopher not afraid to tackle the most intractable moral problems of today) already publishes his MOQ based PhD ('Alchemy at the Chalkface') at robertpirsig.org.  MOQ Media are very pleased to announce that not only is 'Alchemy' going to made available as a hardcopy book by the end of the year but a new MOQ based text by Dr McManus titled 'Life Choice' will be available soon too in hardcopy.  This should be published early in the new year.  The text deals with the various points-of-view (from pro-life to pro-choice) surrounding abortion.  Dr McManus's latest publication 'Only say The Word' will soon be published by MOQ Media too.  In the meantime, the 'Alchemy at the Chalkface' PDF remains available at robertpirsig.org.  For more details of this, please press on the following link:

 

 

The new MOQ-U

The good work (thanks especially to Will & Kearnsey!) in preparing the new MOQ University is continuing.  We'd like to offer on-line MA courses (in addition to the traditional 'face-to-face' lectures) so if you are interested, please don't hesitate to let me know!  You can write to me directly via:

anthonymcwatt@hotmail.com

Any other constructive comments and donations in regard to the MOQ-U would be welcome too! 

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION VIA PAYPAL TOWARDS THE 

NEW MOQ-U:

 

 

Simply press on the PayPal donation button that you can see above.  When you press on this "donate" logo, you are taken to a page with "MOQ Media" written at the top.  You put the amount that you want to "donate" in the box and then press the (smallish) "continue" button just under all the signing-up links.  (The latter links can all be ignored unless you really want to open a PayPal account).  

 

Remember that you don't need to have a PayPal account to use their services; just a credit and/or debit card to make a donation/payment.  If PayPal asks for a message just put 'MOQ-U' and we'll know who it will be from and what the funds are for!  

 

 

 

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March 2014 News

 

For those KINDLE users (I know you're out there somewhere on a train or a plane!), you might be interested to know that the Pirsig PhD plus the MOQ Textbook are now both available in KINDLE versions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Critical Analysis of Robert Pirsig’s 

Metaphysics of Quality 

 

by Dr Anthony McWatt

 

 

The PDF version of the first ever PhD examining the MOQ remains available together with an  appendix containing correspondence from Robert Pirsig that specifically relates to the philosophical issues it examines. To purchase the PDF copy of the PhD by credit card or PayPal at £5 sterling (or the euro or US dollar equivalent) press the PayPal symbol below:

 

 

 

 

If you'd like a Paperwhite KINDLE version of the PhD (which is $12), please press the PayPal symbol below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The MOQ Textbook 

 

by Dr Anthony McWatt

 

In addition to the PhD thesis, the original MOQ Textbook is still for sale. Its remit is wider than the PhD and therefore tends to cover many issues related to the MOQ not explored elsewhere. To purchase a complete PDF copy of the MOQ Textbook by credit card or PayPal at £3 sterling (or the euro or US dollar equivalent) press the PayPal symbol below:

 

 

 

If you'd like a Paperwhite KINDLE version of the MOQ Textbook (which is $8), please press the PayPal symbol below:

 

 

 

 

Also news this month:  

 

The Research & Writing of a new Sarah Vinke Biography!!!

A Joint Project of

Dr Anthony M. McWatt, Project Researcher & Author with

Professor Henry S. Gurr, Project Director, Editor & Financial Underwriter.

 

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Preamble and Some General Guidelines:  

We believe that Professor Sarah Vinke (of ‘Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ fame), deserves a good biography!!!   If this writing project goes as we anticipate it should, then this project though starting small, could grow and build to quite a substantial undertaking.  It will be titled:  ‘Sarah Vinke and the Quest for the Origins of Robert Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality’.  

We believe that this biography project will work out great!!!  A biography of Sarah Vinke by Dr McWatt is a natural academic step especially considering that Sarah is one of his favorite characters in ‘Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ and that he was the first person in the world to receive a Ph.D. in Robert Pirsig’s ‘Metaphysics of Quality’ (or ‘MOQ’).  In view of this, his efforts as biographer should produce a text of high intellectual quality and be of interest to those seeking further knowledge about Sarah Vinke and/or the historical background of the MOQ.  

We will start small and gradually “explore our way into” how to move ahead.  To paraphrase Pirsig, we won’t let the static plan divert us away from the Dynamic “in the field” research.  Some might call this technique “Evo_Devo” while less generous souls, might call it “Trial & Error”!!!  

Here are our thoughts on how Sarah Vinke’s biography should turn out:  

In the long term, say a year or two, we would ideally like have a biography of substantial length on the lines of the biography of famed science fiction writer, Ray Bradbury, author of the fascinating ‘Zen and the Art of Writing’!!!  With this aim in mind, we will use other high quality biographies to use as models to follow (such as Hunter Davies authorized biography of the Beatles: “As the only authorized biographer Davies had full access to the Fab Four, as well as their help and encouragement.  He spent eighteen months with them when they were at the peak of their musical genius and at the pinnacle of their popularity, making a mark on history and popular culture that would never fade.”  

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Beatles-Classic-Hunter-Davies/dp/0393315711  

Such biographies (as we find in Davies’ biography of the Beatles) usually start with the childhood of the person in question.  In regards to Sarah Vinke, the farm where she grew up and its land are still there, as well as the many of the surrounding physical structures.  Moreover, Mr Dennis Gary has already done considerable research using internet family tree websites (such as Ancestry.com) and found:  

1) Ocean Passenger Ship Manifests with Sarah Vinke listed there.

2) Photos of Sarah; many of which are already on Professor Gurr’s ZMMQ website.  

3) Newspaper articles which were transcribed by Professor Gurr; again for the ZMMQ website.  

Ideally, a biographer will integrate all this life information and make (nay weave!), a story of that person’s life just as if the biographer was actually in that person's skin.  In the case of Sarah Vinke, we believe it is especially needful to “tease out” just why Sarah said (to only Robert Pirsig apparently) “Are you teaching Quality?”  This is especially intriguing, because as of now, there is no clear pattern from Sarah’s life, as to why she would do this!!!

 

Finally, as is true for all community projects (such as this Sarah Vinke biography), please consider helping us with “FUND RAISING”!!!

This can be in the form of putting a PayPal donation via the robertpirsig.org website (see the details of how to do this below) or sending a check/cash to Prof Gurr’s college address which is:

The University of South Carolina (Aiken)

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Box 29

471 University Parkway

Aiken, SC 29801

USA

Even suggesting charitable organizations or people whom we might approach for financial assistance will be useful.  And any amount, no matter how small, will be appreciated!

Yours respectively,

Dr Anthony McWatt

Prof of Physics Emeritus Henry Gurr

March 2014

 

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION VIA PAYPAL TOWARDS THE 

NEW SARAH VINKE BIOGRAPHY:

 

 

 

Simply press on the PayPal donation button that you can see above.  When you press on this "donate" logo, you are taken to a page with "MOQ Media" written at the top.  You put the amount that you want to "donate" in the box and then press the (smallish) "continue" button just under all the signing-up links.  (The latter links can all be ignored unless you really want to open a PayPal account).  

 

Remember that you don't need to have a PayPal account to use their services; just a credit and/or debit card to make a donation/payment.  If PayPal asks for a message just put "Sara V" and we'll know who it will be from!

 

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February 2014 News

 

A Noh-thing response to Roger Scruton's 'review' of The Age of Nothing

 

by Dr Anthony McWatt

 

I've now had a close look at the The Age of Nothing 'review' by Roger Scruton recently published in the Independent newspaper. Here's my brief response to it here! 

 

 

 

September 2013 News

 

 

 

The Truth About Art

 

A review of Patrick Doorly's new book

 

by Dr Anthony McWatt

 

Patrick Doorly's new book might not change your life (as one publicity writer wrote about 'Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' in 1974) but it will change your view about art and non-existent Art with a capital 'A'!  My review of 'The Truth About Art' can be read here!  

 

 

 

 

 

A book well worth reading especially for budding politicians!

 

 

 

 

 

August 2013 News

 

 

 

 

Other Ways of Being Young 

 

by

 

Joseph Thomas Masaryk

 

In LILA, Robert Pirsig briefly refers to a text by Joseph Campbell titled 'The Masks of God'.  One of the themes in the latter is the idea of ancient archetypes found - to use the Jungian phrase - the 'collective unconscious'.  This paper (linked here) introduces four typical archetypes found in the modern Western man with reference to the Kantian a priori modes of the Self which (supposedly) create thought i.e. the aesthetic forms of time and space, the logical forms of the categories of understanding, and the noumenal forms of the Transcendent. 

 

 

 

July 2013 News

 

 

 

 

 

An Open Letter to Paul McCartney

 

 

by Dr Anthony McWatt

 

For anyone interested in knowing how the two MOQ DVDs 'On The Road with Robert Pirsig' and 'On The Road with John Sutherland' were filmed - on the road - so to say, please see 'An Open Letter to Paul McCartney' linked here.  A glimpse behind the veil of 'mystery' if you like!

 

 

 

June 2013 News

 

Firstly, I am very pleased to announce Paul Turner's new paper about the MOQ and - to put it in simple terms - what can be considered its philosophic idealist viewpoint and its materialist viewpoint.  There is no doubt about the high intellectual content of this paper!  Paul says:

 

'I've updated my "Two Theses" post from 2005 and changed it to "Two Contexts" which seems more appropriate. Looking at the MD lately I think a lot of time is wasted by people arguing from one context against the other so I hope this helps reduce that in some way.'

 

Paul's paper can be found via this link:

 

http://www.robertpirsig.org/Two%20Contexts%20of%20the%20MOQ.htm

 

 

 

 

Secondly, some of you would have already read Dr Alan McManus's excellent doctoral thesis, Alchemy at the Chalkface: Pirsig, Pedagogy and the Metaphysics of Quality, which is available as a PDF file from this very website!  Well, the good work by Dr McManus continues and he has now published another MOQ based book. This latest text of his examines the often thorny issue surrounding the Roman Catholic Church and homosexuality. Dr McManus says: 

 

'This text provides not only a useful argument for a more merciful reading of Scripture than that usually employed to condemn same-sex relationships, but using the MOQ, also a philosophical analysis of the nature of 'nature'. Finding that all, and only, those relationships which are harmonious can be considered natural, the author invites us to only say the Word, that we may all be healed.'  

 

 Further details about Only Say The Word can be seen via the following link:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, last but not least, Patrick Doorly (the senior academic who organized the MOQ Study Day at Oxford University in 2009) has written a seminal book titled The Truth about Art: Reclaiming Quality which again - to put it in simple terms - combines E.H. Gombrich's understanding of  'art as mastery' with Robert Pirsig's MOQ.  

 

Further details about Patrick's book can be found here:

 

 http://www.zero-books.net/books/truth-about-art 

 

And, in these following reviews: 

 

 

REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS

  • E. H. Gombrich and Robert Pirsig might seem as unlikely bedfellows as the hobby-horse and the motorcycle of which they wrote, yet in Patrick Doorly’s meticulous and lucid quest for the Truth about Art they stand side by side as the two lone providers of insight. Over the course of a journey of exploration ranging from Plato to Marcel Duchamp, and encompassing not just the visual arts but philosophy and literature, their shared, though very differently expressed, conviction of the importance of tradition and of excellence is constantly held before the reader as the key to a proper understanding of the intellectual structures that have been superimposed on artistic creation by generations of philosophers, critics and historians of art... 

  • Readers who delight in the works of artists of all periods (other than the professionals of the art and art-historical worlds, who may well not welcome this book on account of its uncomfortable home truths) will find Doorly’s systematic demystification of the critical apparatus surrounding these works enlightening. The obvious integrity of his enquiry and the clarity with which it is conducted enrich our ability to understand what it is that delights us, and give a further dimension to our appreciation of the creative process. ~ Nicholas Mann, Director of the Warburg Institute (1990–2001)

  • Readers and admirers of E. H. Gombrich’s The Story of Art will be grateful for this book.  It explores the idea of artistic quality, which is not a phantom but a reality. Debates about quality have a long and complex history, through which Doorly guides the attentive reader. As it says on the cover, this book reclaims Quality in art. ~ Richard Woodfield, editor of The Essential Gombrich

  • Patrick Doorly has written a book that is full of interest, and he presents his thesis in language that sparkles with clarity. I am in broad agreement with his treatment of the Italian Renaissance, and with his views of virtue, quality, and related topics. In areas where I have no expertise, I learned a lot about artistic creation from his ideas and from the conclusions he draws from an enormous amount of essential reading. The book deserves to be widely read. ~ John Woodhouse, Fiat-Serena Professor Emeritus of Italian, Oxford University

 

April 2013 News

 

 

New! The complete and definitive transcript of the short film “An Overview of the MOQ by Robert Pirsig”.  Firstly, many thanks to Andre Broersen who transcribed the initial rough copy of the dialogue – this is especially appreciated as Andre’s first language is not English. Secondly, the film originally appeared at the MOQ Study Day held at Oxford University in October 2009 and was given a second screening at the MSU Chautauqua last December. (I did completely re-edit the film for MSU but, on reviewing the two versions, I realised the first one was actually better. No matter).   Anyway, please follow the link embedded in the photograph of the Oxford 'Radcliffe Camera' below to see the transcript:

 

 

 

 

February 2013 News

 

 

New! Further to the publication of the first, second and third parts of the transcript of "The Metaphysics of Quality: A New Paradigm" discussion featuring Robert Pirsig and Chip Baggett at the 1993 AHP Conference, I am very pleased to announce the fourth (and final) part of this discussion.  This can be found by clicking on the AHP image below:

 

 

 

 

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January 2013 News

 

Pirsig’s Shadow: What ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ has to say about the modern-day Montana State University

Opinion — By Eric Dietrich on January 18, 2013 at 9:39 pm

http://msuexponent.com/wp/2013/01/18/pirsigs-shadow/

There is no shortage of poetic irony in MSU’s decision to award an honorary doctorate to Robert Pirsig — a counter-cultural philosopher best known as the writer of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” — at December’s winter commencement ceremony...

 

 

 

 

December 2012 News

 

 

 

Here's the latest news regarding this December's Pirsig Event from Montana State University:

Robert Pirsig will receive an honorary doctorate from Montana State University at MSU's fall commencement ceremony. It is the first time that Montana State has held a fall commencement ceremony in more than a half-century.

"Montana State is privileged to honor Robert Pirsig, an esteemed member of the MSU family who is eminently deserving of this recognition," said MSU President Waded Cruzado. She added that the innovative philosopher is the perfect choice for the renewed fall commencement.

"It is rare, we believe, to have a Montana honoree whose writings speak so eloquently to what may be the most pressing issue of the present time: the recognition of Quality in all our lives."

In connection with Pirsig's honorary doctorate, the university will host a two-day Chautauqua on Dec. 7-8 celebrating Pirsig's life and work. This will include appearances by national and internationally known speakers, teachers, philosophers and artists, filmmakers and motorcycle enthusiasts who will discuss Pirsig's work, its meaning and its legacy. All events will be held on the MSU campus and are free and open to the public.

 For a full schedule, please see the Chautauqua's website at: www.montana.edu/pirsig.

For more information about MSU's December commencement, please see:

 http://www.montana.edu/commencement

 

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Please note that the MOQ DVD Boxset now includes the new MA Thesis PDF with hand written annotations by Robert Pirsig.

 

 

The Boxset is for sale at $69 for all regions. 

(or euro or sterling equivalent)

 

 

 

 

November 2012 News

 

 

Orhan Pamuk: 'By the Book' 

New York Times, November 8th 2012

 

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2006 was awarded to Orhan Pamuk, the author of “The Innocence of Objects” and “Silent House”.  Pamuk believes all American presidents should read “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”!

 

If you could recommend one book to the American president, what would it be? 

Many years before he was elected president, I knew Obama as the author of “Dreams From My Father,” a very good book. To him or to any American president, I would like to recommend a book that I sometimes give as a gift to friends, hoping they read it and ask me, “Why this book, Orhan?” “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values” is a great American book based on the vastness of America and the individual search for values and meaning in life. This highly romantic book is not a novel, but does something every serious novel should do, and does it better than many great novels: making philosophy out of the little details of daily life.

 

 

 

October 2012 News

 

 

Montana State University will host a conference on December 7-8 honoring Robert Pirsig, writer and philosopher, whose book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," published in 1974, is one of the best-selling philosophy books of all time.

The three-day event held at various locations on campus will include appearances by national and internationally known speakers and teachers, philosophers and artists, filmmakers and motorcycle enthusiasts who will convene to discuss Pirsig's work, its meaning, and its legacy.

The MSU events will be called a "Chautauqua," which organizers say is fitting because it was a term that Pirsig himself used to describe his book; an unorthodox but enduringly popular look at life and "Quality."

"Formal recognition of Robert Pirsig's importance as a writer and thinker, and as a significant part of the history of Montana State University is long overdue," said Charles Pinkava, one of the event organizers and a teacher of critical thinking at MSU. He said that chautauqua is an old-fashioned word for a popular traveling lecture, and that Pirsig used the term to describe the odd make-up of "Zen," that is "at once a ghost story, a travelogue, a romantic adventure, and a series of philosophical observations intended to entertain and edify an ordinary audience."

Pinkava explained that Montana State University played a key role in Pirsig's ideas and in the book. As a teacher of rhetoric in the late 1950s at Montana State College, Pirsig was intrigued by a colleague's remark about whether he was teaching quality to his students. This was the 'seed crystal' moment that eventually led to Pirsig's construction of the "Metaphysics of Quality" (or "MOQ" for short). The pilgrimage of Pirsig, his son, Chris, and two friends that was detailed in "Zen" has since become the most celebrated motorcycle trip in literary history, he added.

"Millions of readers throughout the world have been gripped by this story, seeing in it their own journey to find quality in their lives and in the world," Pinkava said. Many readers have been so moved by the book and its message that they imitate the motorcycle journey themselves. Every year "Pirsig Pilgrims" appear regularly, often on motorcycles, riding to MSU's Montana Hall, where Pirsig once had an office, and to the DeWeese home in Cottonwood Canyon near Bozeman.

The first day of the Chautauqua will be devoted to lectures by MSU teachers and students as well as an internationally known Pirsig scholar. According to MSU English Professor Michael Sexson, who will host the session, the talks will cover a range of issues from "consciousness and quality" to "Pirsig as a Distinctly American Philosopher."

The second day of the Chautauqua will showcase travelers who will give testimonials about how "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" influenced and sometimes transformed their lives. It is expected that many of the "Pirsig Pilgrims" will be on hand to tell their own stories and to be involved in an open forum for all attendees. In addition, the premiere showing of "Meridian," a film inspired by Pirsig's book, will be shown by its creator, Lee Glover. The event will be hosted by Tina DeWeese, daughter of the late Gennie and Bob DeWeese, Bozeman artists who figured prominently in "Zen" as Pirsig's friends and mentors.

 

For a full schedule of events, please visit: www.montana.edu/pirsig/
 

 

 

 

August 2012 News

 

 

 

New! I'm pleased to announce Part 3 of John McConnell's essay about inspirationality.  This section of John's essay applies his ideas on inspirationality to corporations:

 

"After seeing how Inspirationality... worked in my personal thinking and working, I believed it could be applied successfully to a social entity, specifically the corporation for which I was working.  Of course, most of my associates didn’t comprehend it.  Those who did were not in a position to influence what was done in the company, and I could never get an audience with those who were.  But I want to include that essay here, with inserted commentary to bring it up to date with MOQI.  Based on my personal success in the corporation, I am convinced that a corporation that affirms this philosophy from the top down can be highly successful."

 

Part 3 also has the bonus of a debate with Paul Turner ("Round Table with Paul Turner") which clarifies the MOQ perspective about this subject. 

 

 

 

 

 

Also this month, press the link in the above photo, to access a Selected Bibliography of Works Referencing both Heidegger and Pirsig by Patricia Morrill from the JSTOR university databases as of May 2012.  

 

"I have just finished, for graduate study, an annotated bibliography of academic work (MLA and JSTOR databases) noting any connections by academics to date between Robert Pirsig and Heidegger. It took quite a few hours as each had to be read and searched, etc."

 

Patricia

 

 

 

July 2012 News

 

 

 

 

New! I'm pleased to announce Part 2 of an inspirational essay about inspirationality by John McConnell to go with Part 1 which was published here earlier this month.  Part 2 has the bonus of a commentary by Paul Turner to give the reader an MOQ perspective of an essay largely written before LILA was published.  Part 3 is to follow soon!  In the meantime, John has this to say:

 

My professional career has been Information Technology, but my true vocation for 50 years has been philosophy, theology, and theoretical physics... These essays show that inspirationality isn’t just hypothetical; it’s the way I’ve been thinking and working and living most of my life.

 

To read Part 1 of John's essay, please follow the link below:

 

Inspirationality Essay-Part 1

 

 

To read Part 2 of John's essay (with its commentary), please follow this link:

 

Inspirationality Essay-Part 2

 

 

June 2012 News

 

 

 

New! Here's some exciting news provided courtesy of Jan Anders Andersson:

 

I am very proud to announce that from this day you can find my MOQ ebook "Money and the Art of Losing Control" on the iTunes iBookstore.  For those of you that are lucky to have an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, just open the iBooks app and click on "store".

 

Don't have an Apple device? Don't weep, there is still hope: The book will be available on Kindle too. It is a cheaper version with no audio, but still readable on most computers and electronic devices. It works on my seven year-old Sony Ericsson. Kindle is distributing all over the world, even Canada and Papua New Guinea. Dr Anthony McWatt (the first person to read it) has also written a little teaser for your suspicious minds:  

 

'If you enjoy the films of Ingmar Bergman and the books of Robert Pirsig, you’ll enjoy this book.  It’s often forgotten that much of Pirsig’s second book, "Lila. An Inquiry into Morals" was written in a wood cabin on the Swedish coast.  "Money and the Art of Losing Control" expands on the rather bleak atmosphere of the former to the knife edge of credibility.  In a country that is cold and dark for much of the year, it should come of no surprise that the Swedish approach to life has developed an underlying black humour with a touch of stoicism and the rather uninhibited Scandinavian view (at least for my reserved English eyes) of human sexuality.  You will not have to read too far in Mr Andersson’s book to find all of these elements; often in combination.'

 

'Keeping in mind the caveat at the beginning of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" about it not being much concerned with motorcycle maintenance or Zen, you will be disappointed if you are looking to "Money and the Art of Losing Control" as a precise guide for making money.  However, in the same way that Pirsig’s book is a “meta-book” about motorcycle maintenance (in the sense of finding the best attitude of mind before engaging in this type of endeavour), you will likewise find Mr Andersson’s book helpful in developing the right attitude for money making…  Oh, and on the way (as we travel through the snowy Swedish forests with the happy couple of John and Elsa), it is also worth noting that included in the narrative are some useful insights about the good life as viewed through the prism of Robert Pirsig’s “Metaphysics of Quality”.'

 

 

May 2012 News

 

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

 

New! Here's some exciting news provided courtesy of Robert Pirsig about next month's radio broadcast of a play based on ZMM:

 

Seventies cult classic to receive broadcast premiere

 

Liz Thomson • 02 May 2012

 

Robert M Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is to receive its world radio premiere in a BBC Radio 4 dramatisation to be broadcast next month.

 

Pirsig, then a computer programmer, wrote the novel over the course of four years, finally seeing publication in 1974 following rejections by, reportedly, 121 publishers. Zen has now sold around 5m copies.

Melanie Harris of Sparklab bought the radio drama rights from Lesley Pollinger of Pollinger, and the adaptation is by Peter Flannery. Recording begins this week, with James Purefoy, Max Cazier, Sean Power, Lucy Newman-Williams, Caitlin Thorburn and Paris Arrowsmith. The 90-minute drama will be broadcast on Saturday 23 June, and Vintage will tie in with a book promotion.

 

 

 

April 2012 News

 

New! Further to the publication of the first and second parts of the transcript of "The Metaphysics of Quality: A New Paradigm" featuring Robert Pirsig's discussion with Chip Baggett at the 1993 AHP Conference, please find the link to Part 3 of the transcript pasted below:

 

 

 

 

 

New! Please look out for the book by Michael Round which can be found at the following link:

http://www.rationalsys.com/architects.html

Like Alan McManus, Michael is largely concerned with the Art of teaching and has a serious interest in Robert Pirsig.  Though not directly based on ZMM or LILA, Michael's book is one of the most well written books about education that I've read for a while.  True Quality!

 

Be seeing you.

 

Dr McWatt

 

 

January 2012 News

 

New! Further to the publication of the first part of the transcript of "The Metaphysics of Quality: A New Paradigm" featuring Robert Pirsig's discussion with Chip Baggett at the 1993 AHP Conference, please find the link to Part 2 of the transcript pasted below:

 

 

Otherwise, I'm pleased to make available a PDF version of a new PhD which examines the Art of teaching through the prism of the MOQ by Dr Alan McManus, a teacher of over two decades standing.  

 

"Some parts heavy-going but the points raised in each chapter are personified in a wee story about different types of teachers. Of interest to teachers, students, philosophers, theologians, critical theorists, those who work in caring professions and all who contend with this modern obsession with confusing Quality with counting things."

 

If this sounds of interest, please follow the link pasted below:

 

 

 

Finally, don't miss the philosophy podcast featuring the one and only (but not lonely!) David Buchanan discussing "Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" (in regard to science and values) via this link.

 

 

November 2011 News

 

New! Thanks to the hard work of Andre Broersen, I am pleased to present the first part of the transcript of "The Metaphysics of Quality: A New Paradigm" featuring Robert Pirsig's discussion with Chip Baggett at the AHP's "Heart of the Matter: Values for a World Community" Conference held in 1993.  Please follow the link pasted below:

 

 

The transcripts of the three other tapes from the session will be published in the next couple of months.  Watch this space!  Finally, many thanks to Michael Brant at Conference Recording Services for his assistance in this project.  Michael was the recording engineer for this AHP session in 1993. 

 

Otherwise, look out for the Evolution, Time and Order paper that I wrote with Eric Priezkalns in 1999.  This is worth a look if only for Robert Pirsig's responses.  To read the paper, please click on the image below:

 

 

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August 2011 News

Firstly, please see the transcript of David Buchanan's Oxford lecture.  The original lecture was read out by David by just following the notes he'd prepared especially for the day.  Fortunately, earlier this year, David Harding kindly agreed to transcribe the lecture from its video recording.  After a little tweaking, I'm pleased to present the transcript here:

 

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Finally, after last month's tragic events, here's some good news from Norway: 

Re: LILA: An Enquiry into Morals_Critique and application to sustainable development

Dear Dr McWatt,

I am happy to be writing to you in the context of the published paper referred to in the Subject Line and attached as a PDF file herewith.

This is based on the book LILA: An Enquiry into Morals, written by Mr Robert Pirsig, which I received as a birthday gift from my brother – Dr Ramprakash Govindarajan – last year. 

Shall be glad if this could also be shared with Mr Pirsig. Please feel free to provide a link for Pirsig-fans on your website to this paper -

 http://ekorozwoj.pol.lublin.pl/no12/e.pdf

I am also copying this mail to the editor of the journal – Prof Artur Pawlowski.

 Best regards

G Venkatesh,

Postdoctoral researcher

Dept of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering,
SP Andresensv 5,
Valgrinda,
Trondheim,
Norway – 7491.

 

 

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May 2011 News

 

I often wonder if many of the people who buy the Pirsig PhD PDF, read much, let alone all of this document.  One person who certainly has is Dr Greg Alvord who wrote a whole commentary on it!  His document not only adds new light to the PhD but the MOQ in general.  To see the commentary please click on the above image.  

 

 

 

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