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Encyclopedia > Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values
Author Robert M. Pirsig
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Philosophical novel
Publisher William Morrow & Company
Publication date April 1974
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 418 pp (first edition, hardback)
ISBN ISBN 0-688-00230-7 (first edition, hardback)
Followed by Lila: An Inquiry into Morals

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values is the first of Robert M. Pirsig's texts in which he explores a Metaphysics of quality. The 1974 book describes a journey across the United States, punctuated by numerous philosophical discussions (many of them on epistemology and the philosophy of science) which the author refers to as chautauquas. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Robert Maynard Pirsig (born September 6, 1928, Minneapolis, Minnesota) is an American philosopher, mainly known as the author of the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (1974), which has sold millions of copies around the world. ... In political geography and international politics, a country is a political division of a geographical entity, a sovereign territory, most commonly associated with the notions of state or nation and government. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Philosophical novels are works of fiction in which a significant proportion of the novel is devoted to a discussion of the sort of questions normally addressed in discursive philosophy. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... HarperCollins is a publishing organization owned by News Corporation. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... ISBN-13 represented as EAN-13 bar code (in this case ISBN 978-3-16-148410-0) The International Standard Book Number, ISBN, is a unique[1] commercial book identifier barcode. ... Lila: An Inquiry into Morals (1991) is the second book by Robert M. Pirsig, who is best known for his cult favorite, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. ... Robert Maynard Pirsig (born September 6, 1928, Minneapolis, Minnesota) is an American philosopher, mainly known as the author of the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (1974), which has sold millions of copies around the world. ... The metaphysics of quality (MOQ) is a theory of reality introduced in Pirsigs philosophical novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974) and expanded in Lila: An Inquiry into Morals (1991). ... The philosopher Socrates about to take poison hemlock as ordered by the court. ... It has been suggested that Meta-epistemology be merged into this article or section. ... Philosophy of science is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of science, especially in the natural sciences and social sciences. ... Chautauqua (pronounced ) is an adult education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. ...


The book sold millions of copies in twenty-seven languages and was described by the press as "the most widely read philosophy book, ever."[1]


The title is an incongruous play on the title of the book Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel. In its introduction, Pirsig explains that, despite its title, "it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either." Zen in the Art of Archery (ISBN 0679722971) is a book written by Eugen Herrigel in 1953. ... Eugen Herrigel (20 March 1884, near Heidelberg - 1955) was a German philosopher who taught philosophy at Tohoku Imperial University in Sendai, Japan, from 1924-1929 and introduced Zen to large parts of Europe. ... A silhouette of Buddha at Ayutthaya, Thailand. ... A variety of parked motorcycles A motorcycle or motorbike is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle powered by an engine. ...


Philosophical content

In the book, Pirsig explores the meaning and concepts of "quality" (a term which he deems to be undefinable). In the sequel (Lila: An Inquiry into Morals), Pirsig expands his exploration of Quality into a complete metaphysic which he calls The Metaphysics of Quality. As the title suggests, much of the Metaphysics of Quality has to do with a non-intellectualizing, non-conceptualizing, Zen-like direct viewing of the universe. Yet Pirsig departs from Eastern thinking by arguing that reason and logic are just as important in seeking understanding. For the Talib Kweli album Quality (album) Quality can refer to a. ... Lila: An Inquiry into Morals (1991) is the second book by Robert M. Pirsig, who is best known for his cult favorite, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. ... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ... Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism notable for its emphasis on practice and experiential wisdom—particularly as realized in the form of meditation known as zazen—in the attainment of awakening. ...


The book features two riders representing two different types of personalities, those who are interested mostly in gestalts (romantic viewpoints, e.g., Zen), the other who needs to know details, the inner workings, mechanics (classic viewpoints, e.g., motorcycle maintenance).


Pirsing attempts to unmask the pretense of rationality to be the ultimate and sole source of knowledge and argues for an approach to knowlegde and life that is much more varied and inclusive. A perception of the world that encompasses "irrational" sources of wisdom and knowledge that allow for bursts of creativity and intuition which may seem to come from nowhere and thus not rationally explainable. Pirsig seeks to demonstrate that rationality and zen-like irrationality can be accomodated in a harmony. If attained such harmonious combination of rationality and mysticism can potentially bring a higher quality of life.


References

  1. ^ Pirsig, Robert M. "Introduction to the Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition." Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values. New York: Perennial Classics, 1999.

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Motorcycle Art (130 words)
ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE immediately hit the best-seller lists, and, even decades later, it remains a cult...
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When Robert Pirsig`s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was first published in 1974, it cased a literary sensation.
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