Zen and theArt of Motorcycle Maintenance, Part Two
- study of motorcycle maintenance = study of art of rationality itself
- Pirsig sees himself as working on concepts--it is a mental phenomenon
- structure of hierarchy
- two kind of logic: inductive and deductive
- inductive: start with observations and arrive at general conclusions
- predict conclusion
- deductive: move from particular instances to general truths
- scientiﬁc method: statement, hypotheses, experiments, predicted results, observed results,
- purpose of scientiﬁc method: make sure you don't lead yourself to think you know something
you don't know
- but number of hypotheses is indeﬁnite
- the art of anything is just as dependent on your own mind as it is on the material of the medium
- importance of having peace of mind before sitting down to any task
The necessary and the contingent: anchoring rhetoric in the realm of the contingent. Rhetoric
does not deal in absolute truths. "Man is the measure of all things". That's all there ever is:
people talking in one place, at once time, in a certain circumstance, etc. There is no view from
nowhere. But Plato couldn't accept this. The sophists argued that this was not the only way to
look at things.
Rhetoric as taught in most composition courses is a feeble imitation of what the sophists were
Make students adept at grammar exercises but have no impact on their writing. Don't necessarily
following all the "rules". Knowing how and when to break them is more important than
obeying them in all contexts. Use reason and logic: except when emotion works better. Use
the active voice until the passive voice is appropriate.
Quality doesn't go with prescriptive rhetoric. What is quality in thought and statement?
An essay is trial: trying out. "The real essay you're working on is an essay called yourself." If
you're not on trial, you're not alive.
Mythos is the sum