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Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals is available at

Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals

by Robert M. Pirsig

A literary and philosphical journey that explores Eastern America, anthropology, Native views, mental illness, Western and Eastern philosophy, and the Metaphysics of Quality.
Published by Bantam Books 1991,  ISBN 0553299611 [Book]
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I just revisited Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals and found the journey even more rewarding the second time around.  The first book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, followed Phaedrus across Western America towards a definition of Quality.  Lila furthers the discussion of Quality towards a Metaphysics of Quality, while taking us down the Hudson River in a sailboat with a troubled young woman named Lila.

The intellectual discussion covers anthropology, the limitations of 'objective' science, the nature of psychological illness, Western thought, Native American views, Zen views, and Hindu insights. It seems that Robert Pirsig spent quite a lot of time thinking in the many years since the first book :-)

I think I appreciated the integration of the narrative about Lila Blewitt with the philosophical discussion more the second time around.  Perhaps a recent trip to India also helped me appreciate the resolution more this time. 

Like Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance, perhaps the value of Lila is in the journey itself.  Thanks for sharing with us, Robert Pirsig.

Book reviewed by Greg Dixon
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

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Subject keywords: philosophy ideas Zen science anthropology psychiatry psychology