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Lila's Child: An Inquiry Into Quality [Hardcover]

Robert M. Pirsig , Dan Glover
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 1 2003
Featuring an introduction and annotations by Robert Pirsig, Lila's Child seeks to answer some of the more ambiguous questions regarding Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals by Robert Pirsig. This wide-ranging book covers such topics as living the good life, what happens after death, the nature of experience and awareness, and the philosophies of Kant, Hegel, Peirce, and many others. Taken from the first year of an Internet discussion group called the Lila Squad, the contributors each offer their own unique insights into Robert Pirsig's seminal work while providing the reader with insights found nowhere else.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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About the Author

In the late 1990s I was honored to work with Robert M. Pirsig (author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, and Lila: An Inquiry into Morals)which resulted in my first book called Lila's Child: An Inquiry into Quality, available in both print and as an e-file. Mr. Pirsig shares many insights into his Metaphysics of Quality, which allows for a deeper and more expanded way of understanding reality. These days I write literary fiction rather than non-fiction, including the Gathering of Lovers series as well as the Mermaid series. I also have several collections of short stories and anthologies that revolve around Zen Buddhism and Eastern teachings as seen through the eyes of Western culture. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lila's Child May 12 2003
Format:Paperback
Any book project that concerns itself with the challenging matters of philosophy is doomed if nearly all its contributors lack the proper background in philosophy or cannot translate thought to word with high fidelity. Such is the case with Lila's Child. Its writings were never intended to be published, and it shows. This is so plainly evident that Robert Pirsig himself makes a half-hearted attempt at damage control in his introduction, not exactly countering the notion that the book is awful, but to argue that it's more interesting that way.
Even if it were interesting, why someone would pay good money to read these postings as a book instead of for free over the internet...is hard to understand, unless the notes Pirsig adds makes them worth it. And quality annotations would be highly valued by anyone interested in the Metaphysics of Quality (MOQ) - Pirsig's muddled, re-packaged form of idealism that could dearly use some clarity. But Pirsig mostly misses this opportunity and manages only a scant clarification here and there, such as when he expresses his desire to reverse the impression left in Lila that all moral issues can be solved with his system, or when he categorically states that only people, and not animals, are social patterns of value under the MOQ.
A typical notation of Pirsig's consists of one or two clipped sentences that do little or nothing to further understanding, except perhaps in the overactive imagination of some readers, and on a couple of occasions he appears distressingly detached from his own ideas, such as when he makes a statement that is prefaced by the qualifier, 'If I understand the MOQ properly,...'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An important contribution to Quality May 21 2003
Format:Paperback
This book is an excellent compilation of on-line discussions which occurred in the late 1990's regarding the Metaphysics of Quality. The discussions themselves are a joy to read, but Pirsig's annotations and comments make this an absolute must for anyone deeply interested in the philosophical system of thought called the Metaphysics of Quality. The contributors bring up and discuss many of the problems and difficulties lesser philosophers than Pirsig, such as myself, have had with the MOQ. Pirsig's clarifications and notes go a long way toward solving many of these problems.
This book is no Pirsig "lovefest." Dissenters abound in the discussions, many of whom are quite intelligent and learned. Pirsig's well-reasoned responses to the best dissenters provide some of the book's greatest insights.
By integrating the age-old wisdom of the most enlightened Buddhist and mystic philosophers into a rational, scientific, metaphysical framework, the Metaphysics of Quality may be the greatest intellectual achievement of the 20th century. Lila's Child, the third in the trilogy started by Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila, is an important work to help integrate this achievement into our intellectual culture.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique & Important Work March 12 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Robert Pirsig stated in the 25th anniversary edition of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" that he would not write a third book. This was a disappointment for Pirsig's legions of fans, including myself. Pirsig is an utterly unique thinker.
He made us wait over fifteen years before releasing the sequel to ZMM, a book called LILA, published in 1991. It was a much more intellectual book than ZMM, and therefore not as popular, but many people found its ideas utterly fascinating. A website was formed by a small group of intelligent folks who wanted a place on the internet to discuss LILA and philosophy. That was over six years ago. The website is still around (thanks Horse!) and the discussions continue. It is the only website endorsed by Pirsig himself (he mentions it in the 25th anniversary edition of ZMM).
LILA'S CHILD contains the first year's worth of discussions from the website, painstakingly compiled and superbly edited by Dan Glover. It is a fascinating repository of debate and discourse, and indispensable to current and future fans of Pirsig. Although he didn't directly participate in the original discussions, the entire book is annotated by Pirsig, who offers his personal insights on the topics of discussion, and (at some points) critiques the views of individual participants. His annotations contain new insights and personal opinions not found in ZMM or LILA. Here we have pure Pirsig.
LILA'S CHILD is a fitting and satisfying conclusion to the trilogy which began with ZMM and continued on with LILA. As with those two books, LILA'S CHILD is a book that can be picked up and read over and over again and new gems of insights discovered each time. Pirsig fans will not be disappointed. Thank you, Dan Glover, for making it happen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and Illuminating April 7 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig as an assignment in high school about five years ago but didn't really see what all the fuss was about. About 3 months ago I came across Lila in a bookstore and bought it out of curiousity. I fell in love with it. Afterwards I bought a copy of Zen and read it again. This time I got much more out of it. I searched the Internet for more on Pirsig and found this wonderful book. I heartily recommend it to anyone interested in Quality.
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