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Robert M. Pirsig (1928–2017)

Författare till Zen och konsten att sköta en motorcykel

5+ verk 20,685 medlemmar 302 recensioner 41 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Robert Maynard Pirsig was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 6, 1928. While serving in the Army, he visited Japan on a leave and became interested in Zen Buddhism. After his service, he received bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Minnesota. He later visa mer studied philosophy at the University of Chicago and at Banaras Hindu University in India. He taught writing at Montana State University in Bozeman and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was also a freelance writer and editor for corporate publications and technical magazines. His first novel, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values, was published in 1974. His follow-up novel, Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals, was published in 1991. He died on April 24, 2017 at the age of 88. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre
Foto taget av: (c) Ian Glendinning 2005

Verk av Robert M. Pirsig

Associerade verk

Coffee with Plato (Coffee with...Series) (2007) — Förord — 67 exemplar
Lila's Child: An Inquiry into Quality (2002) — Inledning — 31 exemplar


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Allmänna fakta



Først fra ca s 250 begynner ting å ta form, dvs ordet «stuck» slik han forklarer det får mening. Paradoks, diskontinuerlighet og det å la ting sige eller stige langsomt fram og opp berøres av dette. Underveis i lesingen bladde jeg bak i boken der forfatteren skriver om prosessen - det gav litt mer løft til lesingen, bl a vedk. biografi. Som en pikaresk roman der reisen er større enn boken om reisen fordi livet er reisen.
lestrond | 275 andra recensioner | Nov 27, 2023 |
I read this book soon after it came out. It changed my life. At least it did for fifteen years until living my life at least partially on the basis of wishful thinking hit hard reality. Living on the basis that what you wish to believe is true, without evidence, is potentially disastrous.
It purports to be non-fiction yet it reads like a novel. Pirsig did indeed make this journey with his son but his son was quite annoyed at the way the trip was described remembering it quite differently. Most important Phaedrus is described as developing an original philosophy (except that he claims to be recovering the ideas of Ancient Greek writers whose works are lost). Reading Heidegger at the moment I recognize a heavy influence on Pirsig's ideas notably on technology and Heidegger's "value" makes a good prototype for Pirsig's Quality. I am sure others who have read philosophy will be able to point to other influences but Phaedrus the outsider who speaks sense to the stuffy University establishment makes a good story but it is 180 degrees from the truth. There has been long developing a anti-reason strand in universities that those who encounter it and aren't themselves sucked in have been able to comfort themselves in the thought that this sort of stuff is too crazy to "escape the academy". Pirsig may not have had many or even any original ideas but he was excellent at popularizing the ideas of others and the success of his book is one of the first examples showing that anti-reason ideas are able to "escape the academy".
The key move in any anti-reason thesis is to throw doubt on our ability to know anything. Hence Phaedrus/Pirsig at the age of 17 "discovers" that in answering any scientific question hypotheses multiply faster than experiments can be conducted and concludes that all scientific theories will all be refuted in time. That he didn't get a Nobel prize for this remarkable discovery is explained by how universities mainly consist of careerists who don't care that Phaedrus has just debunked the whole scientific method. And we should take Phaedrus's word for this?
Like all anti-reason ideologies Pirsig must resort to a motte and bailey to ensure that things that affect us in our everyday life are exceptions to the claim that we don't have a good basis for believing anything. Hence reason for Pirsig has its place and reason must be resorted to in repairing a motorcycle but at the end of the day a motorcycle is not material reality for him but an idea.
Rejecting reason is only the first move in an anti-reason thesis. It creates a vacuum which is then filled with an idea which the person proposing does not need to justify using reason because they have already established that reason is bunk anyway.
Pirsig's substitute is Quality. That Quality is open to almost any interpretation that the reader likes is a key reason for the success for the book. It is very comforting to believe what feels good to you just so long as you keep this wishful thinking out of areas where being wrong could actually affect your life.
We live in a post truth era. Trump really won the 2020 election. Brexit would have been a great success but for a clique of remainers in the Tory party who betrayed Johnson. Trans women are women because that's the kind thing to believe. We are in trouble because wishful thinking as basis for political action is starting to affect real life. Pirsig does not carry more than a part of the blame but his book did contribute to laying the ground work for the era of un-reason we are now living through.
… (mer)
krashchom | 275 andra recensioner | Sep 2, 2023 |
Robert Pirsig's previous book ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE is a profoundly influential book in my own life. I have probably given copies of it as gifts to more people than any other book except my own. It is a powerful examination of the meaning of life in a pseudo-novelistic framework that makes the philosophical explorations both more palatable and more understandable. Pirsig's sequel, LILA, is an attempt to follow up and expand on the discoveries of the first book. While it is not an unsuccessful book, it is in large far less compelling, far less easily understood, and far less magical than ZEN.... The philosophy Pirsig explores is deeply complex and intricate, something that the first book managed to overcome. In LILA, there is some very rough slogging. The novelistic approach, in which the philosophy is presented as it bears on a presumably fictional story of a mentally ill young woman who falls into the company of the author's alter ego, Phaedrus, on a boat journey down the Hudson River. But only in the latter stages of this book does that story become fascinating, and in the meantime a great deal of effort must be made by minds no more advanced than mine to parse and come to grips with the ruminations on Pirsig's ideas about the Metaphysics of Quality. Pirsig wants to create a new understanding of morality, of good, and his arguments are often convincing, if confusing. Occasionally, some of his insights are riveting, as when he explains the real meaning and ramifications of Victorian morality. But for all its intelligence and eloquence, I fear this will be something of a disappointment to all but the most intellectual fans of ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE, which, still, 30 years after I first read it, is one of the most meaningful books in my life.… (mer)
jumblejim | 25 andra recensioner | Aug 26, 2023 |
It's one of those ubiquitous books that's kept turning up on library shelves, charity shop shelves and bookshop shelves throughout my life and yet i've always walked away from it - until now.

I've always had quite a deep interest in Zen and it always seemed to me that putting it with motorcycle maintenance just wasn't something i wanted to know about. But now i have a motorbike that needs some maintenance and this book turned up in Kindle daily deals for 99p i thought the time was right.

But oh, how wrong i've been all these years. It's not a book about Zen or how to fix a motorbike while practising Zen, it's a wholly different thing altogether.

In fact, it's a road trip book where our narrator takes his son on a road trip on an old motorbike across the USA. But it's a road trip with a difference.

At it's heart, it's a book about insanity, the condition of society and its relationship to technology, and a fair bit of Greek philosophy as well - and it's all broken up with the story of the road trip. And it's simply awesome.

With hindsight i'm happy that i've never read it until now as i'm much older and it really blended nicely with my own life experiences - having dropped out of a Philosophy degree course for much the same reasons and now many years later i can look back and see things more clearly.

And the ending in the 'Afterword' is what truly completes this book. It really is a masterpiece of writing.
… (mer)
2 rösta
5t4n5 | 275 andra recensioner | Aug 9, 2023 |



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