Pirsig's Quality (Activity)
January 2004 until December 2008
Cezar Ionescu
PIK number / OEH

PIK’s interdisciplinary research goals necessitate a conscious activity aiming at the development of common or at least overlapping, priorities and notions of quality. PIRSIQ has supported this development by initiating cross-disciplinary discussions and philosophical reflections on our research work. Research at PIK involves a number of difficulties inherent in our objects of study, which are complex and inhomogeneous in terms of the disciplines concerned. Thus, they lead to the necessity of each department playing simultaneous roles as supporter and scientific leader of a project. These difficulties, while also being at the core of the former PIKuliar Culture ToPIK, today's Research Domain IV, are NOT at the core of the PIRSIQ project. In contrast, we focus on contingent complexity due to, among other things, different languages, metaphysical concepts, sets of priorities, and educational backgrounds. But this troublesome diversity is actually one of our most important assets and the very basis of the PIRSIQ project. In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig demonstrated how the concept of Quality can be an essential one in the attempt to reconcile the seemingly orthogonal "romantic/artistic" and "scientific/technological" world views. It is reasonable to expect that this concept will also prove useful to our task of fostering interdisciplinary research work at PIK. Within this project we have initiated several activities in order to foster the PIK-internal scientific dialogue.