Response to Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

A classical understanding sees the world primarily as underlying form itself according to Pirsig’s and it is much different from a romantic understanding. It’s the type of understanding and revolves around facts or the scientific form when it comes anything in life. For example, someone has to appreciate something for the meaning of it’s form other than judging it’s appearance. I have once shown the specs of the PlayStation 3 to a fellow gamer and he was drawn by the luscious details about it.  Like the frame rates it could handle, the type of engine it could handle, and every other details that makes of console’s wonderful form. Most gamers wouldn’t care for such details and just buy the console for it’s appearance and the graphics of the compatible games alone.”But if you were to show the same blueprint or schematic or give the same description to a classical person he might look at it and then become fascinated by it because he sees that within the lines and shapes and symbols is a tremendous richness of underlying form” (Pirsig pg. 2).

The romantic undertsnading is primarily inspirational and is all about feelings rather than facts predominate compared to classical understanding. This is heavily liked to something that you’d want to admire on the outside, in which it’s name came from Romantic Era art. “It does not proceed by reason or by laws. It proceeds by feeling, intuition and esthetic conscience.” (Pirsig pg. 2). Though, it it usually associated with femininity since most women would have these type of thoughts towards. A great example would be the beauty of a flower being interpreted by the average human. Most men would feel awkward if they were to admit how beautiful it looks and focus on something more with a more manlier form.  Now if it were a woman witnessing the flowers form, she would observe the crisp petals of the flower’s head along with the soaked green stem that holds it up. There are differences between the two understandings (classical and romantic), though they could be used together when it comes to judging anything’s form regardless of type.




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