Lila: An Inquiry into Morals

Lila: An Inquiry into Morals

by Robert M. Pirsig

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553299618
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/28/1992
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 195,205
Product dimensions: 4.15(w) x 6.85(h) x 1.25(d)

About the Author

Robert Pirsig was born in 1928 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He held degrees in chemistry, philosophy, and journalism and also studied at Benares Hindu University in India. He was the author of the classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and its sequel, Lila. He died in 2017.

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Excerpted from "Lila"
by .
Copyright © 1992 Robert Pirsig.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Lila: An Inquiry into Morals 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lila is even better than Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It is worth the time investment a hundred times over. I am a lifelong learner who reads as much as possible, and this is the best book I've ever read. It is thoughtful, valuable, and life-changing. It manages to totally reorient the way you understand reality in a deeply valuable way. Pirsig is truly a revolutionary philosopher. I had to put my pen down because I had the impulse to underline every passage!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Pirsig/Phaedrus' further work on defining the undefinable 'quality' is not just an object called a book which you read subjectively. It is an experience in expanding your views of reality. While telling the story of Phaedrus and Lila, the book discusses American Indians, social anthropology, the history of science, and many other topics that shape our world today. Yet Pirsig leads you through the story from within the philosopher Phaedrus' mind. I would imagine that an outline for this book would be as long as the book itself -- but somehow, the information and thoughts just seem to flow naturally.

Read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance first -- better introduction is given there to the terminology he uses throughout Lila.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Pirsig doesn't disappoint with the intriguing follow-up to 'Zen...Motorcycle Maintenance.' Further investigation leads Phaedrus to delve into the metaphysics of Quality, which ultimately underscores existence, and undermines the prevalent subject-object dichotomy of which we are accustomed.
tsias on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Let me preface this by saying that I very much enjoyed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. And so, I purchased this book enthusiastically upon finding it on the shelf of a local bookstore.This book, however, feels like the Hollywood sequel to Zen. To me, at least, it feels like a failed attempt to recapture whatever magic it was that provided Zen with the wonderful mixture of accessibility, insight, and entertainment that has sustained it through four decades, and countless reprintings.I may give this one another shot at some point in the future, but for now, I am disappointed.
hennis on LibraryThing 8 months ago
An interesting book about Pirsig's take on truth, quality, and life. Not very well written, but an amazing philosophy and some great insights. I have not much experience in philosophy, but I like Pirsig's idea of static quality patterns and dynamic quality that together constitute everything in mind and matter.
klerulo on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Very stimulating, puzzling, frustrating. See my review of his ZAMM. I still hope to make progress toward really understanding his "Metaphysics of Quality" but might well die first :-?
miketroll on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Long-awaited continuation of the philosophical quest begun in Pirsig's now classic novel. Zen and the Art of Motor-cycle Maintenance. Lila did not disappoint.
Arctic-Stranger on LibraryThing 10 months ago
think of this as a postscript to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence. Pirsig is still pursuing the Quest for Quality, this time on a boat, with a relatively disturbed young woman named Lila. Unfortunately all the good questions got asked in the first book, and here we are left with somewhat irritating plot, and just enough juicy stuff to remind us how good Motorcycle really was.
gbanville on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Not as good as his other book by such a depressing long way.
addict on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Seventeen years after the publication of his still-popular road story/philosophical meditation, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance , Pirsig offers another lengthy and absorbing investigation of how we can live well and rightly. Phaedrus, the one-named narrator "who had written a whole book on values," is sailing down the Hudson River when he meets Lila Blewitt, an unapologetically sexual, psychologically unstable woman whom a mutual friend warns him against. But Phaedrus is drawn to her physically and interested in her intellectually, finding her "a culture of one" in whom he discerns an unexpected "Quality." Sailing with him to Manhattan, where her mental state deteriorates further, Lila prompts Phaedrus to explore conflicts of values like those between Native Americans and Europeans or between the insane and the normal. Finally, after years of struggling, he formulates his "Metaphysics of Quality" which offers a system of understanding--and evaluating--actions according to a hierarchy of four evolutionary realms (natural, biological, social and intellectual). Though Lila's fate is left unresolved, Pirsig's wide-ranging philosophical explorations will provoke and engage readers.
WorldReader1111 More than 1 year ago
I liked this book, mostly. 'Lila' is an oddity, for it is both a very good book and a very bad one, depending on how you look at it. As a novel, the book is, in my opinion, of below-average quality, since it is so obviously an expository philosophical work, thinly disguised as fiction. Plus, with its bland, uninspired plot, one-dimensional characters, and a generally aimless story (or so I read it as, at least), 'Lila' just did not work for me in a literary capacity. At times, I sensed that the author attempted to weave the fictional and philosophical threads together, as to build upon one another into a greater, coherent whole; but, if this was indeed the author's intent, it ultimately just didn't click, and so remained a literary failure one way or another. As philosophy, however, 'Lila' is altogether different, for it is highly substantial in this regard. These philosophical musings, which are a continuation of the author's previous book (and which comprise upwards of 90% of the 'Lila' text), are equal parts profound, insightful, and wise (at times remarkably so, stating powerful truths that I've rarely seen repeated outside of my own thoughts and observations). In fact, I was, overall, rather impressed with the author's discourse and conclusions, for much of it accorded with my life experience, as to echo my own personal beliefs at this point in time (albeit in different terms). As it were, I found the vast majority of 'Lila's' arguments and logic to be quite sound, not to mention very intelligent and perceptive (as well as comprehensive, at times bordering on the limits of language and conveyance); really, if I encountered any disagreement with my own findings, it was only on minor points. Another thing I admired about this book was its calm, genuine tone, which managed to be sober and grounded yet deeply inquisitive (and which waxed poignant and poetic at times, lending a human texture). If I had to list negatives about the book, they would be, first, its schizophrenic literary/non-literary execution (which, besides being dysfunctional, I personally didn't appreciate, having been sold a philosophical book disguised as a novel). Second, it would be that 'Lila' succumbs to philosophy's oldest, Catch-22-like trap: that once one attempts to describe Ultimate Truth (or "God," or "Reality," or whatever you want to call It), one is no longer describing Ultimate Truth, for It beggars all language (or any known human expression period, as it were). Ironically, the author himself states this in the book itself (in so many words), yet continues to devote the rest of the text to more of the same, flawed description, thus entangling even his Metaphysics of Quality in the quagmire of linguistic shortcomings and semantic misunderstandings. Though, this is, I suppose, more an observation (or a disclaimer) than a complaint, given that it is, simply, the present state of the written word. After all, a flawed philosophical treatise is better than nothing at all, especially one so rich and valuable as 'Lila.' All in all, I'm glad I read this book. Despite its imperfection, I finished it feeling satisfied and inspired (in addition to affirmed, as can come only from seeing one's deepest thoughts and feelings repeated from an independent source). My sincere thanks goes out to this book's author, subjects, and publisher. I am grateful for, and have benefited from, your work and service.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She pads in
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Trots in and looks off the small ledge at a clearing below.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Almost as good as Zen and the Art