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Brudenell, Alistair J.P. (2008) Pirsig's ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’: Quality, reason and binary opposites. Futures, 40 (3). p. 287. ISSN 00163287

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      Abstract

      Robert Pirsig’s celebrated novel has lost little of its impact after 30 plus years, and still speaks to us in the West and our highly technological society. None of the issues raised regarding our relation with technology have changed. As fits the schizophrenic pattern of the book, this article is arbitrarily divided into two disparate sections: the first covers some of the sources for the book and the range of critical views on the book. The second, a more speculative conclusion, drawing on a contradiction in Pirsig’s text, looks forward to the books continuing relevance as we see the promise of a new dawn for computers: quantum computing. I am unsure of how to equate the forceful rhetoric against dualism, with the facile mystical acceptance of the Buddha residing in the circuits of a digital computer. This fracture in Pirsig’s work becomes more visible when he talks of the Japanese term ‘mu’, meaning ‘no thing’. Binary computation is challenged by alternative logics to binary logic. I examine these issues along with the current definitions of Pirsig’s quality. A future ‘definition’ of Pirsig’s Quality could be the undecided state of a quantum computer (or quantum processes in the mind). r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

      Item Type: Article
      Subjects: Historical and Philosophical studies > Philosophy > Social Philosophy
      Historical and Philosophical studies > Philosophy > Philosophy of Science
      Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
      Depositing User: Dr Alistair JP Brudenell
      Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2012 17:56
      Last Modified: 13 Aug 2012 17:56
      URI: http://opendepot.org/id/eprint/1324

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