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Alchemy at the chalkface: Pirsig, pedagogy and the metaphysics of Quality

McManus, Alan (2010) Alchemy at the chalkface: Pirsig, pedagogy and the metaphysics of Quality. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.

Abstract

This thesis identifies a widespread conceptual vagueness in industry and education today over ‘quality’ and finds that the Metaphysics of Quality of Robert M. Pirsig provides a valuable clarification. It situates Pirsig’s solution both philosophically and in relation to the New Physics, simplifying and clarifying his terminology and expanding his moral hierarchy. The alternative philosophical legacy of Hermeticism is examined, focussing on the technology of the transformation of lower into higher quality, alchemy, recommended by key virtues of holism and amelioration. Alchemy is re-evaluated (and alchemical vanitas interrogated) and employed as a powerful paradigm for this transformation. A mnemonic scheme is employed to structure, illustrate and further the argument of each chapter by personification in typical characters, ancient and modern. The ancient characters are Græco-Roman divinities. The modern characters portrayed are teachers; however the new paradigm of Quality illustrated also has implications outwith the field of education.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available once any embargo periods have expired.
Keywords: Education as alchemy, Pirsig's metaphysics of Quality
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Creativity Culture and Faith
Supervisor's Name: Davis, Professor Robert
Date of Award: 2010
Embargo Date: 29 September 2013
Depositing User: Dr Alan McManus
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-2120
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2010
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:51
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/2120

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