The Eudaimonic MoQ:

A proposal for reconceiving the fourth level

Sam Norton - April 2003



This paper is an extension and summary of the proposal initially put forward in the 'MD Sophocles not Socrates' thread in the MD Discussion forum, beginning in October 2002. My central thesis is that the fourth level of the Metaphysics of Quality (MoQ) is best described as a 'eudaimonic' level and not an 'intellectual' level. This thesis does not take issue with the overall framework of the MoQ, that is, an understanding of reality as founded on Quality (value) which can be understood as separated into four static levels and one dynamic force driving evolutionary development. To that end, I begin with what I understand the MoQ to be, which I call the 'standard account'.

The standard account

The Metaphysics of Quality (MoQ) is an intellectual ordering of experience; it is a way of organising our knowledge; it is a filing system for the contents of our mind.

It postulates that the fundamental reality is Quality or value. All things come from Quality, and it is Quality that draws all things into being from Quality. All that exists is a form of Quality, and nothing exists without Quality.

The first distinction that is made in understanding Quality is a distinction between Dynamic Quality (DQ) and Static Quality (SQ). DQ cannot be named and cannot be described. It is the cutting edge of experience. It is pre-intellectual awareness. DQ does not fit into any intellectual system; it is the ragged edge at the border of all such systems. DQ is the driving force of evolution, the lure which all of existence pursues.

Sometimes, a DQ driven evolution creates an evolutionary leap. Something new comes into existence. For this new thing of value to be maintained in existence it must 'static latch'; that is, it must be able to generate a particular pattern of value which persists over time, either on a continuous basis or a continuously regenerated basis.

These static latches form the known world. They are the stable forms of Quality.

Static Quality can be named. It can be classified and analysed. The principal classification of SQ is a division into four levels. These levels are discrete and do not overlap. Moreover, all that we presently know can be classified and described according to these four levels, except for DQ itself, which, to repeat, remains outside of all realms of classification.

The four levels are: inorganic, organic, social and intellectual. (For the sake of simplicity the inorganic can be taken to include the quantum level, although perhaps this level could constitute its own 'zeroth' level).

The inorganic level refers to atomic and molecular behaviour. Any object can be viewed as existing  at the inorganic level. For example, a rock is a pattern of inorganic value - it's constituents parts value their current relationships more than any other alternative (eg disintegration). In the original flux,  before there was either matter or time, Quality was found to lie in a certain structuring of quantum forces. [Here an astro-physicist can fill in the gaps].

The inorganic level is shaped by the laws of physics. These laws are a codification of the value choices made by atoms and molecules.

The organic (or biological) began to develop when a particular molecule made a DQ leap into a different pattern of behaviour. 'Biological evolution can be seen as a process by which weak Dynamic forces at a subatomic level discover stratagems for overcoming huge static inorganic forces at a superatomic level.' The DQ innovation and static latch at the organic level was the molecule DNA. In practical terms this level can be considered as anything which can be described with reference to DNA.

The organic level is shaped by the law of natural selection. This law is a codification of the value choices made by organic patterns of value.

Uniquely (so far as we know), the human species is able to experience two further degrees of static quality.

The social level is the 'subjective customs of groups of people'. This sense of 'social' does not apply to anything non-human. The DQ innovation and static latch which enabled the social level to come into being was the development of language. It is possible that this static latch was supplemented by the further DQ innovation and static latch of ritual, but that is a moot point.

The social level encompasses an enormous variety of human behaviour. It can be understood through the values which govern it. The social level is shaped by laws, customs, mores and religious practices (eg against murder, adultery, theft) which are enforced by soldiers, policemen, parents and priests. These laws are what preserve the existence of social patterns of value from a degradation into the biological patterns of value on which the society depends. The social level is also ordered through the celebrity principle, which articulates the governing social values. Celebrities are those people who exemplify the values of the society, and who gain social rewards (principally wealth, power and fame) as a result.

The intellectual level is 'the level of symbolic social learning', the 'same as mind'. It is the 'collection and manipulation of symbols, created in the brain, that stand for patterns of experience'. The DQ innovation and static latch which enabled the intellectual level to come into being has not been satisfactorily determined.

The intellectual level is shaped by the notion of 'truth', which stands independently of social opinion. There is no link between celebrity and truth. The guardians of the intellectual level are, variously, the members of the Church of Reason. Intellectual 'laws' (eg logic) are a codification of the value choices made by intellectuals.

A culture is a combination of social and intellectual patterns of value. The twentieth century can be understood as a contest between social and intellectual patterns of value.

Problems with the standard account

There are five main concerns that I have with the 'standard account' of the MoQ.

1. The definition of the intellect used by Pirsig is too narrow to function as a description of a fourth static level. What has been known to the wise for millenia has now been (ironically) confirmed by scientific analysis itself; that is, our assessment of intellectual truth cannot be divorced from our emotional intelligence and maturity. As Antonio Damasio has written, 'It does not seem sensible to leave emotions and feelings out of any overall concept of mind'. Consequently any account of a stable fourth level has to give an account of the role of emotions - this Pirsig does not do.

2. Describing the fourth level as 'intellectual' implies that much of specifically human quality is classified as social, which is significantly counter-intuitive. This seems either Procrustean or a major platypi generator. Those elements of human life which do not fall naturally in the field of logic or scientific thinking are deemed to be social level products (that is, putting it differently, their quality is primarily assessed in social terms). So: a Shakespeare play has primarily social value; such intellectual value as it contains can be abstracted away from the dramatic context without diminution of Quality. Similarly, psychotherapy can be exhaustively analysed in terms of social value (making well-adjusted citizens) and intellectual value (fostering the ability to carry out logical and scientific reasoning). I think that this is a distortion of human Quality, that is, it does not provide a high Quality account of those things which we value. (Pirsig makes this point in ZMM; it is one of the discrepancies between ZMM and Lila)

3. Looking at history, we can see many societies where intellectual values have been able to flourish, yet we would not consider such societies to operate on a higher scale than alternatives. The clearest example is Soviet Russia. Putting Sputnik into orbit was clearly a triumph of intellect, yet that triumph of intellect occurred in a society where the wider values (human rights to the forefront) were systematically denied. If human rights are seen as the arena of conflict between the third and fourth levels of the MoQ then it is incoherent to make the flourishing of intellectual values the definition of a fourth level.

4. There is an explanatory gap in the standard account - what is the 'choosing unit' of the fourth level, the equivalent of the cell or the social unit? Whatever the determinant values are for the fourth level, there must be something on which those values operate, which responds to that Quality. Just as DNA responds to the 'law' of evolution, and human beings respond to the mores of society, so too there must be something which responds to whatever the 'laws' of the fourth level might be. The intellect, for reasons related to point 1. cannot perform this function.

5. It is not clear that 'intellect' does not function at the social level, viz 'the manipulation of symbols'. The DQ innovation and static latch which enabled the social level to come into being was the development of human language, and human language is par excellence an example of symbol manipulation. Furthermore, the various elements of human life, most particularly the way in which human society is dependent upon the use of tools, means that there are clearly intellectual elements involved in all stages of human evolution. The fourth level might be distinguished from such intellectual activity through a particular process of refinement or abstraction - yet this is not a clear change of level. Analagously, the flight of an eagle is a long way from the first creation of a cell wall through DNA developments - but they are both adequately characterised as 'biological', ie, governed by DNA.

To my way of thinking, the essence of the fourth level is the existence of an autonomous individual: autonomous because the individual is (for the first time) capable of establishing their own laws by which to act (auto nomos). Such an individual has freedom of choice and is thereby open to dynamic innovation; such an individual is able to develop that freedom through the development and application of the virtues: it is the wise person that is most free and in touch with Quality, not the intellectual.

Breaking away from the social level

Clearly the way to understand a fourth level, existing above the social level, is through describing the values which override social values. Thus, whatever the fourth level is, it must be something which emerges from the social level, but which cannot be captured through a description of the social level. More precisely, given that we are describing human activity, it must describe the way in which a particular human being rejects social values, in favour of a higher value. Put at its most simple, the fourth level occurs when a particular human being is able to say "My society says that this is good, but is my society right to say so?" - in other words, there is a questioning of social values. We are fortunate that there are some historical accounts of this process, and this history is one of the main strengths of my proposed revision.

The capacity to break out from social conditioning, ie to question social values, depends upon the ability to distinguish oneself as an individual apart from the various social roles that are played. In After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre discusses Homeric virtue (the arete that Pirsig also discusses in ZMM) and he argues that "morality and social structure are in fact one and the same in heroic society. There is only one set of social bonds. Morality as something distinct does not yet exist. Evaluative questions are questions of social fact. It is for this reason that Homer speaks always of knowledge of what to do and how to judge." It is only when there is some sense of self as something apart from those social roles (eg husband or wife, child or parent, noble or slave) that there is the possibility of judgement about what is right - in MoQ terms, that openness to DQ depends upon a degree of detachment from the social role.

Just as the cell is the unit at the biological level, and the social roles represent the unit at the social level (eg father, husband, son, farmer, politician, scientist), the unit of the fourth level is not a disembodied rational intellect, but an autonomous - ie socially detached - individual. And that autonomy is not dependent primarily upon reason, but upon emotional maturity. MacIntyre describes the transition (from human being as social unit, to human being as individual) as being the change from the story of the tribe or nation, to being the story of the individual. What is crucially at issue is a transition from being a vehicle or unit of that social order - and therefore whose decisions are wholly determined by that order - to being an autonomous unit of decision making, "For freedom of choice of values would, from the standpoint of a tradition ultimately rooted in heroic socieies, appear more like the freedom of ghosts - of those whose human substance approached vanishing point - than that of men". Sometime around Homer and Isaiah, but best exemplified in the culture of fifth century Athens (where Socrates appears at the tail end), human beings gained the capacity to operate as individuals, and not as social units. Whenever a human being is in a decision making situation pre-5th century, then their decisions are geared around an application of biological and social level elements, eg instinct (run away from lions and tigers) or (eg)retribution (maintain status of clan or tribe). For various reasons, largely contact with other civilisations and greater affluence, human beings in Classical Greece became able to consider themselves separately from their social role; moreover, they began to dscriminate and judge between the claims of alternative societies. The key is that whereas before your identity was exhaustively defined by your social role, and your place in the story of that society, and your decisions were determined by the values of that society, now your identity is able to maintain its own narrative structure, your place is determined by the quality of your own actions, and your decisions are determined by your own values.

The pre-eminent forum for this discrimination was the theatre, which pre-dates the philosophical innovations. A quotation from Martha Nussbaum (The Fragility of Goodness):

"It is not accidental that it was in fifth-century Athens that this dialectical debate-filled sort of theater got its hold. These aspects of tragedy [their capacity to communicate ethical teaching, ie arete] are thoroughly continuous with the nature of Athenian political discourse, where public debate is everywhere, and each citizen is encouraged to be either a participant or at least an actively critical judge... Plato's debt to tragic theatre is not a debt to some arbitrary aesthetic invention - it is at the same time a debt to the social institutions of his culture. In the same way, his repudiations of tragedy and of Athenian democracy are closely linked"..

Eudaimonia or intellect?

This was an issue that was worked through by the tragedians before it was examined by Socrates, and it was first comprehended and codified (static latched) by Aristotle, most particularly in his Ethics, his account of the virtues, judgement and human flourishing or happiness, which, in Greek, is eudaimonia. Martha Nussbaum describes eudaimonia in the following way:

"Some texts we shall discuss are rendered obscure on this point by the common  translation of Greek 'eudaimonia' by English 'happiness'. Especially given our Kantian and Utilitarian heritage in moral philosophy, in both parts of which 'happiness' is taken to be the name of a feeling of contentment or pleasure, and a view that makes happiness the supreme good is asumed to be, by definition, a view that gives supreme value to psychological states rather than to activities, this translation is badly misleading. To the Greeks, eudaimonia means something like 'living a good life for a human being'; or as a recent writer, John Cooper, has suggested, 'human flourishing'. Aristotle tells us that it is equivalent, in ordinary discourse, to 'living well and doing well'. Most Greeks would understand eudaimonia to be something essentially active, of which praiseworthy activities are not just productive means, but actual constituent parts. It is possible for a Greek thinker to argue that eudaimonia is equivalent to a state of pleasure; to this extent activity is not a conceptual part of the notion. But even here we should be aware that many Greek thinkers conceive of pleasure as something active rather than stative; an equation of eudaimonia with pleasure might, then, not mean what we would expect it to mean in a Utilitarian writer. The view that eudaimonia is equivalent to a state of pleasure is an unconventional and prima facie counterintuitive position in the Greek tradition. A very common position would be Aristotle's, that eudaimonia consists in activity according to excellence(s)."

To put this in straightforward MoQ terms, we might say that eudaimonia is activity governed by Quality.

Does 'intellect' capture what we think of when we think of human excellences? Platt Holden has commented: 'Where intellect dominates, the byword for individuals is "Is it logical?" and/or "Is it scientific?" '  I agree with this; I agree that this is the nature of intellectual domination; that this is what is commonly understood by 'intellectual' and, moreover, that this is what Pirsig has in mind in describing the fourth level of the MoQ as intellectual.  So the values of the fourth level, on this conception, are precisely intellectual values - whether something is logical and/or scientific. It is this conception of the fourth level that I believe to be misconceived.

There are a great many human excellences which cannot be adequately conceptualised using the framework of 'social - intellectual - DQ'. Using Pirsig's method, if you take all those elements away, is there anything left? I think that there is - not in each and every case, but in many cases that people are familiar with. For example, in human relationships like marriage, I think there is something present which isn't adequately captured by that analysis. When someone is bereaved, the prospect of 'replacing' a person makes no sense - yet it would be possible to replace (or even improve!) the biological, social and intellectual qualities of the person lost. Secondly, consider a discipline like psychotherapy. Is this simply to make people socially well-adjusted and/or intellectually capable? Or are there aims, eg Jung's theory of individuation, which resolve around richer conceptions of what human beings are capable of? Thirdly, consider music. Is music purely about intellectual value, or is there something missing if music is assessed purely in quasi-mathematical terms? (Wittgenstein: "it has been impossible for me to say one word in my book about what music has meant to me in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?") Fourthly, poetry. Is poetry fully understood in logical terms? Or as a social function? Surely not. And I could go on: excellence in sporting endeavour; opera or ballet; art and architecture; hosting an outstanding dinner party with close friends; watching a beloved child win a prize at school. Are all these excellences resolvable into biological/social/ intellectual categories? In particular, are the elements that we consider most valuable about them, once we take away the elements that are valued by the biological and social levels, fully understood or intelligible as 'intellectual' values (remember: logically or scientifically acceptable)?

My argument is that the dominant values of the fourth level (those against which the Quality of actions are judged; those which determine what can be 'static latched' and what are discarded) are not reducible to 'intellect', and that the attempt to do so - although of ancient standing - is harmful. So let us talk about the fourth level as the 'eudaimonic' level. The excellences which were enumerated above were considered by different thinkers, and were each considered to be a part of the good life. Until Socrates came along. The problem is that attachment to these various excellences - like loving a specific person; spending time developing a musical skill; delight in bodily achievement - were subject to change and decay over time, and consequently, those who spent time devoted to such activities exposed themselves to the pain of loss. And the pain of loss suggested that these excellences weren't quite such a constituent part of the good life after all. Socrates (as presented by Plato, especially in the Republic) argued that this pain and loss could not be a part of the good life (could not be part of eudaimonia) and that the pursuit of the good life needed to travel in a different direction - the life of the intellect. It was through the development of the intellect, and contemplation of intellectual values, pre-eminently mathematics, that the good life was achieved. All that was associated with emotional qualities (especially love) was to be repudiated in order to achieve a state of unsullied contemplation of the eternal Forms. To my way of thinking, it is the delusion - derived from Plato and exemplified in any 'totalising' metaphysical and political claims - that pure reason is the best part of humanity which lies behind our cultural understanding of 'intellectual' (and which also underlies various political programs to 'improve' humankind).

Aristotle and the virtues

Aristotle was the first to point out what a nonsense this was, and he developed a systematic solution which had at its heart the notion of the virtues (arete) - those excellences which the human being could develop which would enable them to live a full human life. In particular, the necessity of risk - that some elements of the good life can only be achieved if you are prepared to take the risk of failure and loss. In the Aristotelean synthesis, the virtues have the central role, and the key virtue is phronesis, or judgement. It is judgement which opens up the possibility for DQ development, 'judgement has an indispensable role in the life of the virtuous man which it does not and could not have in, for example, the life of the merely law-abiding or rule-abiding man' (MacIntyre). It is this ability to discriminate as an individual, and not just as a social unit, which I see as the essence of the fourth level. Our reasoning capacity is dependent upon our emotions, and, clearly, emotional development is dependent upon the development of the virtues (eg forebearance, capacity for hard work, delayed gratification etc). So, logically, a functioning intellect is dependent on emotional maturity, not the other way around, and it is through the growth of our emotional maturity that we get access to DQ, not through (mainstream) intellectual development.

For Aristotle is was clear that the ability to develop the virtues - and therefore to achieve eudaimonia, the good and flourishing life - depended upon education and effort. It required emotional maturity - wisdom. Instead of the Socratic contemplation of abstract universals, 'Being mortal, let us think mortal thoughts'.  So to return specifically to the MoQ, my contention is that the values which dominate the fourth level, which are separate from social level values (which see human beings as useful only in so far as they are a productive social unit) are the values of eudaimonia - and the intellectual values are one component within a balanced eudaimonic life. Intellect comes in as an aid to the interrogation of social values, and the discernment of your own individual values. (Hence the Delphic maxim 'know thyself'.) I see reason as dependent on judgement, which is another way of talking about emotional intelligence or wisdom, the capacity to ascribe 'right' values. I see reason as a tool, to be used in conjunction with other tools (eg the telling of stories) to educate the individual, and draw out (educare) the individual's capacity for independent judgement. I suspect this is what Aristotle called the soul - that which animates the individual and is their final cause (their telos). So the intellect is one aspect of the individual, and the defining aspect of becoming an individual is the capacity for independent judgement. Anything which is the product of individual judgement is an evolutionary advance on the social level, and intellectual endeavour is one derivative facet of that individual judgement - it is that individual judgement employed in the areas of science (empirical investigation) and logic (including mathematics). Areas which are not delimited by that description - art, architecture, the writing of novels, companionship in marriage, geographical exploration, political philosophy, particular types of religious teaching, even, dare I say it, something like Lila, which emphasises the biographical elements - all of these are, I would say, elements of the fourth level that are captured in talk of eudaimonia that are missed with talk of intellectual.

Obviously it is possible to define 'intellectual' as including all these wonderful things, but to my way of thinking the title is misleading - just because of our heritage of SOM thinking that we are trying to get away from. Judgement (emotional maturity, wisdom) is the DQ innovation and static latch which represents an evolutionary advance over the social level; specifically, it is a constituent part of the autonomous individual but which is not dependent on the intellect - indeed, intellectual DQ is dependent upon it!

A 'choosing unit'

The ability of an entity to choose is not unique to the fourth level. At each level the response to DQ is made by some specific unit, which can be described as the 'individual' unit at that level, whether atom, molecule, cell, plant, social unit or whatever. The MoQ describes different levels which respond to different types of value at each level; put differently, that are regulated by different 'laws'. So the inorganic level is regulated by the laws of physics, biological by laws of natural selection etc. And the later levels include the former. In MoQish, the different levels are dominated by different values - so in the first level the only available value is that of inorganic processes, in the second level the values relate to biological flourishing, in the third level the values relate to social flourishing. At each level there is a marvellous dynamic diversity of response to those dominant values. Within each level, the 'choosing unit' exercises dynamic freedom according to its position within the evolved complex. So, for example, a biological cell develops a new type of cell wall which gives it an evolutionary advantage over other cells - this is a DQ innovation describable in the values of biology. Similarly a human being - a brujo? Moses? - develops a new legal system which allows their society to flourish more successfully. The DQ innovation of that new legal system is valuable in terms of its ability to foster social flourishing, so although it is a human being doing the innovation, the dominant value is social value. The question for us is what is the dominant value of the fourth level? What are the values within which DQ provokes a particular choosing unit to respond? And what is the nature of the choosing unit? (For clearly, the choosing unit at each level is an 'individual' of some sort or another).

So what is this 'choosing unit'? Talk of individuality can be misleading, but it centres upon a developed consideration of alternatives, and an emotional maturity in discriminating between alternatives. It is an emergent property; it is not 'either/or', it is a matter of more or less. Crucially, although such an individual may begin within a social structure, and carry out actions that could be exhaustively understood in social terms, a person who had achieved some level of eudaimonia could NOT be understood merely as a part within a whole, or a one amongst the many. The criteria used to distinguish such an individual changes - and that is the point. To be a fully functioning individual, in the sense that I have been arguing for, is actually to be a person in whom eudaimonia has taken root - the ability to operate at the fourth level is something to be achieved, through training and education and general moral development; it is not something which just comes from being a member of the species.

This choosing unit, an autonomous individual is precisely a 'living narrative' - it is not a fixed and stable entity (in the same way that a society is an ongoing - living - construction, not wholly static.) As soon as something becomes wholly static it is blind to DQ and therefore dead. My point is that the autonomous individual - as a living narrative - is open to DQ in a way that intellect is not, because the narrative that explicates our identity is not a purely intellectual narrative. (To describe who I am, talking about my education would be helpful but it would not be sufficient on its own) I consider intellect (in the Western sense) to be something of an anti-DQ death-force, precisely because it seeks a 'closed' and formal understanding.

I believe that the values of the fourth level - those within which different actions can static latch, the arena within which DQ can operate - can best be understood as those values which support full human flourishing - eudaimonia. Intellectual flourishing is one aspect of that full human flourishing, but there are areas of human flourishing - most prominently, art, music, poetry, friendship - which are not reducible to either social level values or intellectual values. They represent high quality achievements (and practices) which are not resolvable to either social quality or logical/scientific quality. They represent the best of humanity - the highest Quality.

Most of what we truly value in life is not discerned by our intellect (ie by logic and reason divorced from our emotions, as 'intellect' was defined in my dictionary quote) but rather by our judgement. Our judgements of value are what build up the fourth level; indeed, they are the constituent elements of the fourth level. Hence the concern of 'human rights' (which is a social pattern of value directed by the fourth level), in order to preserve those things that are of Quality. Amnesty International does not exist to preserve the possibility of intellectual innovation; it exists to save people, because people are valuable, they have quality - and they are potentially able to judge Quality for themselves.

Again, I think this is something that Pirsig himself articulates in ZMM, not least when he discovers the Sophists properly, and their teaching that 'man is the measure of all things', and Pirsig writes, "Quality! Virtue! Dharma! That is what the Sophists were teaching! not ethical relativism. Not pristine 'virtue'. But arete. Excellence. Dharma! Before the Church of Reason. Before substance. Before form. Before mind and matter. Before dialectic itself. Quality had been absolute. Those first teachers of the Western world were teaching Quality, and the medium they had chosen was that of rhetoric. He has been doing it right all along." Rhetoric - the development of the capacity to discern quality - is the pre-eminent technique for developing autonomous individuals. It seems fitting for this to be the most notable characteristic of the fourth level.

Criticisms of this proposal

As I see it at the moment, a 'knock down' objection to my claim would take one of the following forms (this isn't meant to preclude other arguments!!):

1. Pirsig's description of the fourth level as intellect includes non-rational and non-scientific understandings; that is, Pirsig's account includes emotional maturity as a constituent part; 'intellect' includes the human flourishing that I refer to; and therefore my objection is just a question of semantics, a 'bickering about words'.

2. Human flourishing (eudaimonia) is just a high quality static latch within the social level; eudaimonic qualities just refer to high quality social units; eudaimonic values are simply particular types of social value. The intellect is still at a level above all this. The problems listed earlier are all solvable.

3. Human flourishing is an epiphenomena and an illusion, it has no intrinsic Quality. Where it is not an illusion it is the direct experience of DQ.

Needless to say, I don't presently consider these objections to have force, but I would welcome comments or fully worked out examples of these objections (or others).


I think that the MoQ would benefit from greater clarity about how to characterise the fourth level. As it presently stands, it cannot sustain rigorous intellectual scrutiny. This paper is an attempt to reformulate the MoQ, around the idea of 'eudaimonia' as the governing value of the fourth level, which operates on the 'choosing unit' of the autonomous individual. My proposal can be seen in the form of a table here.

I find this conception to have higher quality than the standard account, and to cohere more with the evidence and my own scale of values. I should mention that my own scale of values are Christian, and, indeed, I think this 'eudaimonic MoQ' is compatible with a Christian faith. Indeed, it gives a good account of why certain individuals, the saints, would be surrounded by haloes - the glow of DQ from those who have been 'born again' into the fourth level. I think there are also profound compatibilities between this account and the mystical path - but that is the subject for another paper.

One final comment. Platt Holden has commented that 'eudaimonic MoQ' is not a particularly catchy description. I think that's true - but my concern here was clear articulation rather than advertising. However, on reflection - particularly with regard to the issue of human rights, and their role in regulating the border between level three and level four values - I think that this proposal could be nicely characterised as recommending 'An American MoQ'. For 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' is simply our modern way of describing the values of eudaimonia - values which I believe we can hold to be self-evident.

Sam Norton

April 9, 2003

Minor amendments, April 16.