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Robert M. Pirsig, American author & philosopher, was born in 1928 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is the author of the best-selling classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, acclaimed as the most widely read book of philosophy ever written. He studied chemistry & philosophy (B.A., 1950) and journalism (M. A., 1952) at the University of Minnesota and also attended Benares Hindu University in India, where he studied Oriental philosophy.
In his first book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (1974), Pirsig explored a thesis that Quality is the basis of reality, and that this understanding unifies most East Asian and Western thought. This book immediately received critical acclaim and was eventually followed by Lila: An Inquiry into Morals (1991), which introduces a value-based metaphysics called the Metaphysics of Quality (MOQ).
The MOQ, Pirsig states, “is simply a new philosophical answer to the question of what is Quality, or worth, or merit, or value, or betterness or any of the other synonyms for good. There are many possible answers but the one the MOQ gives is that you can understand Quality best if you don't subordinate it to anything else but instead subordinate everything else to it."
Pirsig’s two books have been translated into many languages (including Japanese, Russian, Turkish and Catalonian) and continue to be read around the world by millions of people. He is now retired and living quietly with his wife in New England.
Dr. Anthony McWatt, PHd was the first person in the world to receive a PhD in Robert Pirsig's Metaphysics of Quality (MOQ) and is the administrator for the official Robert Pirsig website and associated social media pages.
His PHd thesis, A Critical Analysis of Robert Pirsig's Metaphysics of Quality (2004) provides a critical synopsis of the MOQ that furnishes an overview of the system and attempts to locate its philosophical heritage with respect to traditional academic philosophy. His follow-up publication, The MOQ Textbook: An Introduction to Robert Pirsig's Metaphysics of Quality (2005), written with the philosophy under-graduate in mind, takes a wider remit and tends to cover many issues related to the MOQ not explored elsewhere.
He also has a strong interest in fine art, music, the social sciences, architecture and physics. His debut documentary film "On The Road with Robert Pirsig" was recently premiered in London and will be screened throughout the UK during 2015.
Currently based in Liverpool, his MOQ Media publishes MOQ-related books and films and he is available for lectures and speaking engagements related to Robert Pirsig's work and philosophy.
"Anthony McWatt comes closer than anyone to being a dharma successor of my own work on the Metaphysics of Quality."
--Robert Pirsig, 2003