RIP Robert Maynard Pirsig. He was the author of the philosophical novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. His ideas influenced the thinking a generation.
Pirsig's published writing consists most notably of two novels. The better known, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, develops around Pirsig's exploration into the nature of "Quality". Ostensibly a first-person narrative based on a motorcycle trip he and his young son Chris took from Minneapolis to San Francisco, it is an exploration of the underlying metaphysics of western culture. He also gives the reader a short summary of the history of philosophy, including his interpretation of the philosophy of Socrates as part of an ongoing dispute between "cosmologists" admitting the existence of a Universal Truth and the Sophists, opposed by Socrates and his student Plato. Pirsig finds in "Quality" a special significance and common ground between Western and Eastern world views.