Friday, 21 November 2008

Robert Pirsig on Philosophy and Chess



Robert Pirsig & Son Chris On Motocycle:

Robert M. Pirsig is an American philosopher and author of the book - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (1974). Tragically, Robert Pirsig's son Chris was stabbed to death during a mugging in 1979. Chris travelled with his father on motorcycle through the American Wilds and hence played an important role in the story told in "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". I strongly recommend you read this book and the follow-on title - Lila: An Inquiry into Morals (1991).

Robert Pirsig will always remain a great hero of mine. In this article entitled "A brief summary of the Metaphysics of Quality" (October 2005), Pirsig briefly discusses the similarities between philosophy and chess.
"There are similarities to chess. Both are highly intellectual pursuits in which one tries to manipulate symbols within a set of rules to improve a given situation. In chess one can benefit greatly by studying the games of the masters. In philosophy one can also benefit greatly by studying the writings of the great philosophers. But the important point here is that studying chess masters is not chess itself and studying philosophy masters is not philosophy itself.

The real chess is the game you play with your neighbor. Real chess is 'muddling through.' Real chess is the triumph of mental organization over complex experience. And so is real philosophy."
Tags: Chess - Chris Pirsig - Metaphysics of Quality - Motorcycle - Philosopher - Philosophy - Real - Robert Pirsig - Zen
Posted by ALCHEssMIST - Alchemipedia alliance.

Political Chess - United Kingdom - Westminster Parliament Regulations



Houses of Parliament, Westminster (Big Ben on right):

Up until 1987 the only game allowed in the UK Houses of Parliament, Westminster (London), was chess. (source)

Tags: Big Ben - Chess - London - Parliament - Westminster
Posted by ALCHEssMIST - Alchemipedia alliance.