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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was very important to my understanding, though I left it out of my miniature biography. His description of Poincare is exquisite.
He too ran up against the limitations of science. And flunked himself out of Chemistry, no less. One issue he raises that I did not go into but which is very relevant for metaphysics: Since you can come up with hypotheses faster than you can test them, which ones do you test? You have to choose, and the choice may well have a basis that is not "scientific." At best you are relying on scientific inspiration (which is not supposed to exist) at worst you are making a choice out of social or personal prejudice.
From there we get to the problem of what questions does science ask? Now partly, scientists ask questions to which they can almost already see the answers. But as for the rest, again: Inspiration, or prejudice?
In truth, science is a method for testing hypotheses. Everything else, including the hypotheses themselves, is not scientific. That is not the problem. The problem is not admitting it.
Can we admit there is such a thing as scientific inspiration?
So, in Zen he develops the notion of Quality, and shows how it resembles the concept of the Tao.
In Leila he starts to develop the ideas of his metaphysics. I found Leila fascinating, but I must admit he went in a different direction than I would go. For me, Taoism led to Buddhism led to other forms of spiritual practice to a sense of the essential importance of non-verbal experience. He went directly back into the world of words, and partly I distrust that, and partly I just found it harder to get what he was saying.
At this point, I am not yet understanding the Metaphysics of Value, but am wondering if it can provide a route out of debt-based money and global ecological collapse.
The Fates are kind.
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