Saturday, September 30, 2006

Maritain on Matutinal Knowledge and the Soul

An interesting passage in which Maritain mentions matutinal or morning knowledge while summarizing Aquinas:

In its state of blessedness the immortal soul will know creation in the Creator, by that kind of knowledge which Saint Augustine called "matutinal" knowledge, because it is produced in the eternal morning of Creative Ideas; the immortal soul will be equal to the angels, and will communicate freely with the whole realm of spirits; it will love God, henceforth clearly seen, with a sovereign necessity; and it will exert free will with regard to all its actions concerning creatures, but its free will shall no longer be liable to failure and sin; the soul will inhabit the realm of unfading justice, that of the three divine Persons and of the blessed spirits; it will grasp and possess the divine Essence which, infinitely clearer and more intelligible than any of our ideas, will illumine the human intellect from within and will itself be the intelligible medium, the actuating form through which it will be known. According to a line of the Psalms which Saint Thomas loved and often quoted: "In Thy light shall we see light."

Evening and Morning

Yesterday was Michaelmas, i.e., the Feast of Michael and the Archangels, so I decided I'd put up a post of some sort about angels. After some thought, I thought it would be interesting to discuss vespertinal and matutinal knowledge, more familiarly known as evening knowledge and morning knowledge.

To understand this idea, you have to go back to Augustine's musings on the text of Genesis 1. Augustine noted that one might understand "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" in more than one way, depending on how one understood 'the heavens and the earth'. Should this be understood as referring to both spiritual and corporeal creatures, or just corporeal creatures? He then discussed how one would go about interpreting the text if one took the first view. It's important to note two things: Augustine is discussing the literal meaning of the text, not any allegorical reading; and most of his discussion is very hypothetical and theoretical, because he is very cautious about taking a definitive stand on such a question. He explicitly contrasts the suggestion with interpretations that, for instance, would take the creation-story to be an allegory about sin and renewal; and he insists that in obscure matters like the creation we should not be overly fond of our own preferred opinions.

On Augustine's suggested interpretation, the days of creation mentioned in Genesis 1 are actually categories or stages of angelic knowledge. From "let there be light" where, so to speak, the angelic lights are turned on and angels begin to exist and to know God and the world, through the rest of the days, we get the creation from an angelic viewpoint. In this context, he suggests that "And evening and morning were the nth day" can be seen as a sort of cycle of angelic knowledge, or at least two aspects of angelic knowing -- evening knowledge and morning knowledge. As Aquinas summarizes it (ST 1.58.6):

The expression "morning" and "evening" knowledge was devised by Augustine; who interprets the six days wherein God made all things, not as ordinary days measured by the solar circuit, since the sun was only made on the fourth day, but as one day, namely, the day of angelic knowledge as directed to six classes of things. As in the ordinary day, morning is the beginning, and evening the close of day, so, their knowledge of the primordial being of things is called morning knowledge; and this is according as things exist in the Word. But their knowledge of the very being of the thing created, as it stands in its own nature, is termed evening knowledge; because the being of things flows from the Word, as from a kind of primordial principle; and this flow is terminated in the being which they have in themselves.

So in evening knowledge, the angels know created things as they are in themselves (including, Aquinas insists a bit later, themselves). In morning knowledge, however, the angel has (as it were) turned from the thing itself to know it as it exists in the Divine Word through which it is created. This is a deeper and less obscure knowledge for it is to know not only the thing itself but the thing itself insofar as it is related to its cause, and, what is more, insofar as it is related to its ultimate and most enlightening cause. Aquinas sums it up quite nicely by saying in reply to an objection, "The good angels, while knowing the creature, do not adhere to it, for that would be to turn to darkness and to night; but they refer this back to the praise of God, in Whom, as in their principle, they know all things." Starting with evening knowledge, the angel moves into morning knowledge; the morning knowledge is the culmination of one cycle of knowledge and the preparation for another.

There is a bit more complication here than might be immediately obvious. Angels, unlike us, don't know things by sensing material objects and drawing conclusions from them. Instead, their natural knowledge is innate (or infused by God). So there's a sense in which the turning of the angelic day from evening to morning is a turning from themselves to God. Thus knowledge for the angels is not merely a bare acquaintance with things but a submission to Truth Itself -- as it should be for all of us. This is why Aquinas makes the qualification 'good angels' -- the fall of the wicked angels is a failure to move from the knowledge of things to the knowledge of God. The demonic life is a night without morning, because they do not attempt to look at what they know in the light of the rising Sun.


You scored as A classic novel. Almost everyone showers praise upon you for your depth and enduring relevance. According to your acolytes, everything you say is timeless, erudite and meaingful. Of course, none of them actually listen to you. Nobody listens to you at all, but it's fashionable to claim you as a friend. Fond of obscure words, antiquated notions and libraries, you never have a problem finding someone to hang out with. The fact that they end up using you to balance their kitchen tables is an unfortunate side effect, but you're used to being used for others' benefit. Oh the burden of being Great.

A classic novel


A coloring book


A college textbook


The back of a froot loops box




A paperback romance novel


An electronics user's manual


Your Literary Personality
created with

There's something very apt about my three highest categories being a classic novel, a coloring book, and a college textbook. I'm the classic college textbook you can color in!

Anglican Carnival I

The Anglicans now have a blog carnival; it's geared toward Anglicanism of a traditional type and is a project of the Anglican Bible and Book Society. The first edition of the carnival is at Miserere Mei.

(h/t: Magic Statistics)

P.S. I thought I'd also point to the most recent editions of the Catholic Carnival and the Christian Carnival; the Lutherans have also very, very quietly been having a carnival for some time, unbeknownst to most of us. Sneaky, sneaky! There is almost always something worth reading at each of these carnivals.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Seiren Chruseien Kremasantes

I did this some time ago, but when Chris put up his seal at Mixing Memory, I remembered that I never got around to posting it here. So here is the Seal of Siris, from the Seal Generator:

Assuming that I didn't mess up the motto somehow, it's a Greek phrase that means 'Hang up a chain of gold', but I might not have transferred it properly from its original context (line 19). The original "Seiren chruseien ex ouranothen kremasantes" seemed too long and cumbersome; so the "ex ouranothen" (from the heavens) should just be understood. And as it stands, it's very catchy (say it out loud, and you'll see).

Dawkins the Literalist

Jeremy points out that the BBC has put up selections from Dawkins's The God Delusion, and makes some salient comments in a post fittingly called "Richard Dawkins the Literalist". I don't really have much to add; the arguments in the selections put up aren't very good.

You can tell something about just how bad the argument is from the fact that Dawkins refers us to an argument by Spong as if it were worth taking seriously; Spong, of course, is the world's best-known upside-down fundamentalist -- he thinks like a fundamentalist, talks like a fundamentalist, argues like a fundamentalist, but for positions opposite to those usually considered fundamentalist, and is notorious among conservatives, moderates, and most liberals for doing so. In point of fact, pace Dawkins and Spong alike, even most rigid fundamentalists have a more sophisticated understanding of what it means to take the Bible literally than Dawkins and Spong think. This is because, even when they muddle it up a bit, their understanding of 'the literal sense of Scripture' is (1) holistic, since all parts of the book have to be understood, or understandable, in light of all the other parts; (2) guided by at least some simple exegetical principles that require taking passages in historical and literary context (even if their understanding of such contexts is very basic or even crude and false); and (3) organized, since no one takes every passage to be as obviously enlightening as every other. This is not to say that fundamentalist readings are very good -- in many cases they demonstrably are not -- but it says something (and something not very good) when fundamentalists read the text with more sophistication than some of their more prominent critics.

He also repeats, without much critical examination, Sam Harris's claim that Osama bin Laden wanted to destroy the World Trade Center because, "as it has been patiently articulated ad nauseam by bin Laden himself," he reads the Qur'an literally. Actually, if you take the trouble to read the guy's speeches, it's easy enough to see that what Osama "patiently articulates ad nauseam" is that he became convinced, e.g. by Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, that Israel and the U.S. deliberately make it part of their policy to kill innocent women and children in order to further their ends; and that the West in general is engaged in the deliberate and systematic impression of Muslim people everywhere. He occasionally makes a casual reference to the Qur'an, but for the most part his speeches are filled with political grievances. Not that he's a particularly reliable or truthful source for his motives, of course, but if you're going to appeal to what the man says, you should take the trouble to show that that's actually what the man says. And bin Laden, I think, is not unusual in this respect; most Islamist actions are defended in political rather than religious terms, because the extremists aren't usually thinking about the faith. Instead, they are thinking about the reconstruction of a pan-Islamic civilization, which in their eyes the nations of the West (and everyone else who opposes them) are deliberately suppressing out of fear and selfishness. It can reasonably be called a religious motivation, I suppose, given how vague and amorphous the term 'religious' is; but here, as elsewhere, the most corrupt religious motivation is thoroughly a matter of the tail of reactionary politics wagging the dog of doctrine and practice. So it seems to me, anyway; and it would take more serious and thoughtful arguments than those proposed by Harris and Dawkins to persuade me otherwise.

I am also wary of the claim that the extremists have "a total and unquestioning faith." It has alternatively been proposed, here and there, that almost the opposite is true, that they are chiefly characterized by desperation, and this has something to be said for it, given the byzantine conspiracy-theory thinking in which so many of them engage. When are we by human nature most likely to allow just about any actions against a population we regard as our enemies? When we regard our enemies as so thoroughly corrupt that no compromise is admissible, and as having such a clear and almost invincible upper hand that there's no hope for ourselves unless we are willing to do what would otherwise seem unthinkable. After all, where is the total and unquestioning faith in thinking that the Omnipotent needs the assistance of human bombs? And if you compare the extremists to (say) some peaceful Sufi groups, the former don't seem to have a particularly impressive faith at all. In any case, regardless of the precise motivations that we think are probably generally true, we must avoid simplistic stereotyping here, and especially must avoid using terms like 'religion' and 'faith' in the slippery manner Dawkins does. What, for instance, does it mean to "faithfully pursue what one's religion tells one"? This is a tricky figure of speech. Religions, of course, don't literally tell anyone anything; so what is being pursued? Presumably some sort of transmitted teachings; but teachings come in many different forms, and as Dawkins insists so strongly elsewhere, they aren't all consistent with each other. Since no one can faithfully pursue an inconsistency, there must be picking and choosing going on. And Dawkins, in fact, elsewhere spends considerable time harping on this, too. So why do we get all these pronouncements against religion in general, when there are clearly many different things meant by it. But it's silly not to make distinctions between clearly different things just because they can be given the same label. Must evolutionary biologists forever be saddled with responsibility for 'social evolutionism', merely because people can't or won't make a distinction between different things covered by the term 'evolution'? Must everyone who has a religion in some sense be saddled with responsibility for everything that fits under such a vague term, just because it does fit under that term? Must everything that can be called 'faith' be treated as having the properties of every other thing that can be called 'faith'? One of the problems I have with a lot of talk about 'religion' these days -- and this includes discussions that favor it as well as those that oppose it -- is that there is too much failure to make distinctions that can clearly be supported by reason. And the failure to make reasonable distinctions is the very essence of uncritical thinking.

I suppose I had more to say about the selections than I thought.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Living Well (And Then Some)

Let love be sincere;
abhor what is evil, cling to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope, endure in tribulation, persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the saints, be hospitable.

Bless those who persecute.
Bless, and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Be of the same mind toward one another;
do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly;
do not be wise in your own estimation.

Repay no one evil for evil;
give thought to what is noble in everyone's sight.
If possible, as far as you can, live at peace with all.
Beloved, do not look for revenge, but leave room for the wrath;
for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.
Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him to drink;
for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.
Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.

Romans 12:9-21, slightly paraphrased.

Brown on Dawkins

Andrew Brown, a sort of Everyman intellectual-atheist-with-a-sense-of-proportion, has been reviewing Dawkins's The God Delusion recently, and saying (as usual) some interesting things. There's this review for Prospect Magazine, and another review for the Guardian. Brown, by the way, is worth reading on his own; he often reviews works on philosophical and theological topics, and, from what I've seen, has a knack for finding the right blend of personal interest and serious thought; and he always gives one the sense of taking the search after truth seriously.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Simplicities and Their Complements

From a review at Scientific American of a spate of recent books on science and religion:

Richard Dawkins, in The God Delusion, tells of his exasperation with colleagues who try to play both sides of the street: looking to science for justification of their religious convictions while evading the most difficult implications--the existence of a prime mover sophisticated enough to create and run the universe, "to say nothing of mind reading millions of humans simultaneously." Such an entity, he argues, would have to be extremely complex, raising the question of how it came into existence, how it communicates--through spiritons!--and where it resides.

If the reviewer, George Johnson, has summarized Dawkins correctly, it shows Dawkins's ongoing inability to extricate himself from confusions about simplicity and complexity. He's had this problem at least since The Blind Watchmaker, which contains several arguments conflating several completely distinct notions of simplicity in explanation -- material simplicity, simplicity of efficient causes, and simplicity of the structure of the explanation. And it's a pretty seriously muddle, too, because they tend in completely different directions. Complete explanations, for instance, are always more complex than what they explain, because otherwise they wouldn't completely explain the explanandum (put roughly, the explanation has to have every element of the explanandum and its explaining factor, so the explanation will always be more complex than an adequate description of the explanandum); material simplicity/complexity and efficient simplicity/complexity aren't about the explanation itself, but about what you are appealing to in the explanation. (Relying on one or the other results in very different types of explanation.) In the above summary, we find Dawkins portrayed as muddling together yet more types of simplicity/complexity, in this case complexity of effects with internal structural complexity. Since things aren't constituted by their effects, and things that are extremely complex structurally sometimes are less sophisticated in their effects than structurally simpler things, any link between the two would have to be defended with considerable sophistication. Perhaps Dawkins has a viable argument, and Johnson just isn't giving us any idea of what the argument is; but I'm skeptical. And the questions of coming into existence, communication, and residence arise regardless of complexity; and they hardly go without answer, although I imagine Dawkins wouldn't be impressed with the answers usually given.

I also find slightly amusing the fact that Dawkins, at least as portrayed here, implies that creating and running the whole universe is a less sophisticated activity than reading the minds of all the intelligent little primates on a small planet in that universe.

Links and Notes

* Philosophers' Carnival 36 is up at "What is it like to be a blog".

* John Crombie Brown's The Ethics of George Eliot's Works at Project Gutenberg. He has a great description of Tito Melema, who is (IMHO) the best-written villain in all of English literature (p. 43):

The sensational fiction of the day has laboured hard in the production of great criminals; but it has produced no human being so vitally debased, no nature so utterly loathsome, no soul so hopelessly lost, as the handsome, smiling, accomplished, popular, viceless Greek, Tito Melema. Yet is he the very reverse of what is called a monster of iniquity. That which gives its deep and awful power to the picture is its simple, unstrained, unvarnished truthfulness. He knows little of himself who does not recognise as existent within himself, and as always battling for supremacy there, that principle of evil which, accepted by Tito as his life-law, and therefore consummating itself in him, "bringeth forth death;" death the most utter and, so far as it is possible to see, the most hopeless that can engulf the human soul.

* Mark Thornton discusses the origin of Adam Smith's 'invisible hand' economics in Cantillon (PDF).

* Thomas Woods criticizes Catholic social teaching (PDF) from a Catholic (and Austrian-economic) perspective.

* "If what they say is that nothing is forever; then what makes love the exception?" Matt Weddle of Obadiah Parker has an acoustic version of Outkast's "Hey Ya". Because the lyrics of the song are actually rather sad, about the inability to make a relationship work and the difficulty of breaking away from it, the song acousticizes stunningly well.


* The newest edition of Carnivalesque is up at Blogenspiel. Great selection of Ancient/Modern posts hosted by Another Damned Medievalist. "In the Middle" has an interesting post on meat and medieval theology; "Muhlberger's Early History" discusses the interesting case of Saladin, the Muslim warrior who was a legend among Christians and almost forgotten among Muslims. There are lots of others worth reading.

* Antti Kaupinen has an interesting paper arguing that the Experimental Philosophy movement has misunderstood what's really going on in appeal to intuitions (PDF).

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Brownson on Lying in Politics

Both parties will call that the will of the people, which both know is only the will of some few party leaders, and claim the sanction of the popular voice, for what they have every reason to believe the people have never examined, never deliberated upon. Both parties have their secret wires, which they pull to make the puppets dance to their will ; and everywhere both have a concealed agency, which produces the results they ascribe to the spontaneous will of the people.

Now, parties should be open and honest; and any party that should undertake to deceive the people, though in its belief for the people's good, or to carry its ends by any other management or policy than that of truth and honesty, ought to be damned to everlasting infamy; and every party leader, who prides himself on his skill, his adroitness in building up his party and securing its success, ought to be looked upon as one of those liars, who are to have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. The people have for ages been managed by adroit politicians, and lied to by parties and statesmen, and it is time that both they and politicians and statesmen, learn that there is no allowable policy, no admissible management, but that of telling the truth and acting honestly. Politics till then will be a tissue of falsehood, and governments will be but splendid lies. In this country above all, should we frown upon all intrigue, and contemn all concealment, all political management.

Orestes Brownson, A Discourse on Lying. Brownson goes on to argue that lying is always a sign of cowardice, and concludes:

The true man is always a hero. In the hour of trial, in the hour of danger, you know where to find him, Where the fire is hottest, and blows fall thickest and heaviest, there you find him, and always will find him. He deserts his standard never, and holds it with a firm grasp in death. If we would be men, be what our forms and lineaments promise, we must be heroes. We must dare always to utter the truth, whether its utterance be in words or in deeds. We must be always true to our inward convictions, and if the world be opposed to them, no matter ; we must take our stand on them, and trust that in due time the world will come round to us. We must shun falsehood as the most deadly poison, and be true to the God within us, let it cost us what it may.

If there be anything wanting in this age, it is men, men of chaste minds, intrepid spirits, heroic souls, that dare stand up and speak from the fulness of their own hearts, and go forth and act in obedience to their own convictions. Let us be men ; let us be true ; be faithful to God, to man ; be what we seem ; and then, though the world around us may crumble, we shall find ourselves safe on the Rock of Ages.

Murdering Rastari, Part III

Part I and Part II of this short story draft.

"Hullo, hullo," Rastari said in that gratingly loud voice of his. He looked quite as ugly and ordinary as he always did, as if he had never fallen from the top of the First International Bank building at all. "I can't remember what we did, but it must have been one wild night!"

"What happened to you?" I asked, trying to keep calm.

"I already told you," he said, laughing. I noticed with some pleasure that he winced as he did so. "I can't remember anything about last night. Partial amnesia, or something like that. But whatever happened, I broke two ribs and my arm, cracked my collarbone, and bruised my side pretty badly."

I tried to assimilate this. "What could you possibly have done that you only broke your ribs and your arm?"

"Only broke my ribs and arm?" Rastari said, laughing (and wincing) again. "What were we doing, if you expected me to be more banged up than this?"

"No," I said, "I meant, what could you have done to break your ribs and your arm, given that we didn't do anything. We were just strolling around, and you wandered off, and nobody saw you for hours. Max and I were worried."

Rastari looked at me doubtfully a moment. "Max?"

"Yes," I said impatiently, "Max. You and I were with Max last night."

The doubtful look became a bewildered look. "Who is Max?"

I felt myself on the verge of a rant, but then I remembered the comment about partial amnesia, and just changed the subject. We engaged in some idle chitchat about football and chess and amnesia, with Rastari shouting or laughing that odious, unbearable laugh ever few minutes. In my head, however, I was thinking about the lunch I was having with Max the next day. We were going to have to do some more planning if the world was ever to be rid of that morally detrimental state of affairs called Danny Rastari.

"He didn't remember me at all," Max asked when I met up with him at our favorite cafe and told him about the encounter in the hospital.

"Not in the least. But he says that a lot of things are fuzzy. Look on the bright side, though: he doesn't remember what we did to them."

"Perhaps," Max said, but I could see he was bothered by it. He was never one to let anything keep him down, though, and in a moment he said, "Well, it means that we can start over again. No harm, no foul."

"Maybe," I said. "But won't we just be pushing it? After all, we pushed him off a bank building once; it seems a little too deliberate to do it again. And what if he survived again?"

"There's no way he could survive again," Max said. "It had to be a fluke the first time."

"Still, I don't like the idea of doing it twice. That seems a little too much like murder."

"We pushed him off the bank building."

"Yes, but we were just helping gravity rid the world of a morally bad state of affairs. Gravity, as it turned out, was incompetent at its job, so we'd have to push him off again. Even if it weren't murder to keep pushing someone off a bank building, it's just too sloppy. We need a better plan."

"He's been talking about hunting recently," Max said.

"Yes!" I replied. "Hunting makes accidents easy. It should be easy enough to find something that will accidentally kill him."

"That wasn't really what I had in mind," said Max. "We had better keep it simple. That's what was nice about the first plan, even if it didn't work. Let's just take him out to your hunting cabin as soon as he gets well. Convalescent recreation, or something. And then we can poison him."

"No, no, no," I replied. "Have you forgotten the whole point? We don't want to murder him. We just want him to die."

"I understand that. But isn't that what we're really going to do. After all, we won't be killing him. He'll just die because his body starts shutting down in response to a particular chemical compound."

"I suppose so," I said, frowning down at my plate a moment. Then I brightened. "And because we'll be out in the middle of nowhere, we can actually try to get help without fear that he'll be saved. That's great! One thing I never liked about the bank building was the worry about being responsible for his death through negligence if he didn't die on contact. But since we can try to get help, we won't be responsible for his death at all!"

"If you say so," said Max. "I think we should just keep our minds on the goal. Let's just focus on poisoning him."

"Keep in mind that we aren't the ones poisoning him. That's important. We can't be murders; we can't kill him. We're just helping the poison do so. But what poison would do the job?"

"I know just the thing," said Max. "Leave that to me."

We were silent a moment, then I said, "But what if the poison doesn't kill him?"

"It will kill him."

"That's what we thought about falling from the top of the bank building."

"I already told you that was a fluke. But if it's any consolation, we'll have guns."

"But we can't shoot him. That would be murder."

"Look," he said with some impatience, "you were the one who pointed out that accidents happen when people hunt. Those guns are going to go off at some point or another. All we'd be doing is helping them to go off in the direction that most improves the world."

"True," I said slowly. "And, really, if you think about it, it's the trauma that kills people who are shot. But I still like the poison idea better. There's less ambiguity there. Let's hope that works."

"Very well then," he replied, raising his glass. "Here's to hoping that it works."

We clinked glasses. And that was how the new plan was set: we were going to find a way to let poison rid the world of that odious Danny Rastari.

It's a pity that poison was as incompetent as gravity.


It turns out that one of my favorite economists in history, Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), has a hefty number of works online at the Online Library of Liberty. If you've never read Bastiat, I highly recommend him. He is accessible, witty, and insightful, full of great passages. As a taste, the chapter on value in his masterpiece, Economic Harmonies, opens:

A long discourse is always boring, and a long discourse on value must be doubly so.

Therefore, naturally enough, every inexperienced writer, when confronted with a problem in economics, tries to solve it without involving himself in a definition of value.

And he's always like that. He also writes little allegories and parables to make economic points. His most famous is the one in which he identifies the broken window fallacy in Ce qu'on voit et ce qu'on ne voit pas (That which is seen and that which is not seen):

Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son happened to break a square of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact, that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation—"It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?"

Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.

Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier's trade—that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs—I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, "Stop there! your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen."

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.

Bastiat was not, of course, the first one to point out the fallacy. (To name just one predecessor, Berkeley points it out in the second or third dialogue of Alciphron.) But the parable puts the fallacy in such clear perspective, and has been so influential on economists afterward, that the identification of the fallacy is forever associated with Bastiat's name.