Saturday, 10 October 2009

The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Beauty for Truth's Sake echoes in places that cult philosophy book of the 1970s, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig, which you can read online here. (Coincidentally there is a conference in Oxford this October comparing Pirsig's ideas on Quality with those of the art historian Ernst Gombrich.) In the course of his Chautauqua, the author seeks to resolve what he calls the "classic-romantic split" in our culture - the world of technology and science, and the world of feeling and art. He finds a solution in the notion of Quality. Phædrus... felt that the solution started with a new philosophy, or he saw it as even broader than that - a new spiritual rationality - in which the ugliness and the loneliness and the spiritual blankness of dualistic technological reason would become illogical.

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