|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
Phaedrus, our narrator, takes a present-tense cross-country motorcycle trip with his son during which the maintenance of the motorcycle becomes an illustration of how we can unify the cold, rational realm of technology with the warm, imaginative realm of artistry. As in Zen, the trick is to become one with the activity, to engage in it fully, to see and appreciate all details--be it hiking in the woods, penning an essay, or tightening the chain on a motorcycle.
In his autobiographical first novel, Pirsig wrestles both with the ghost of his past and with the most important philosophical questions of the 20th century--why has technology alienated us from our world? what are the limits of rational analysis? if we can't define the good, how can we live it? Unfortunately, while exploring the defects of our philosophical heritage from Socrates and the Sophists to Hume and Kant, Pirsig inexplicably stops at the middle of the 19th century. With the exception of Poincaré, he ignores the more recent philosophers who have tackled his most urgent questions, thinkers such as Peirce, Nietzsche (to whom Phaedrus bears a passing resemblance), Heidegger, Whitehead, Dewey, Sartre, Wittgenstein, and Kuhn. In the end, the narrator's claims to originality turn out to be overstated, his reasoning questionable, and his understanding of the history of Western thought sketchy. His solution to a synthesis of the rational and creative by elevating Quality to a metaphysical level simply repeats the mistakes of the premodern philosophers. But in contrast to most other philosophers, Pirsig writes a compelling story. And he is a true innovator in his attempt to popularize a reconciliation of Eastern mindfulness and nonrationalism with Western subject/object dualism. The magic of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance turns out to lie not in the answers it gives, but in the questions it raises and the way it raises them. Like a cross between The Razor's Edge and Sophie's World, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance takes us into "the high country of the mind" and opens our eyes to vistas of possibility. --Brian Bruya --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Have read it at least ten times and used it for teaching classes. Great book.Published 3 days ago by Thearle Lacey
This book has sold 5 million copies and has been widely reviewed in many places such as NYT, NYRB, etc, etc. Read morePublished 4 days ago by H. J. Sage
A classic book with many lessons, especially on reality versus perception.Published 5 days ago by Atsenaotie
As one of the fortunate of this generation that was transformed by this book, life ever after was never the same. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Chip Cooper
Like all other classics ; you learn something new every time you read it. One of my all time favoritesPublished 5 days ago by Bharat Doshi
As a book in general, I would have ranked this 'good'. What makes it intriguing to me is the mythology surrounding it. Read morePublished 9 days ago by BookLover
This book is a must read. Great price ad shipped fast, was in great condition.Published 10 days ago by richard wright
Its a good read. I read it each night before bed. I love motorcycles and related info, zen included.Published 12 days ago by 7RRancher