Friday, July 01, 2011

Dashed Off

As always, notes to be taken with a grain of salt.

We spend our lives learning how to understand and deserve the goodness of being alive.

putting temptation ten thousand miles away from your heart

We expel dangerous fancies and recollections by replacing them with things that are good and noble.

the first step of conversion: Lord, what will you have me do? (Acts 9:6)
the second step: The Lord is my strength (Ps 117:14)

The life of the beginner consists in finding the good things that purify.

We cannot love God on our own in a manner suitable to Him; and thus we must love God with God's own love.

"Let knowledge be used to erect the structure of charity." Augustine Ep. 55

Jesum quaerens in libris

purgative
(1) cultivation of discipline
(2) acquisition of prayer
illuminative
(1) preparation for infused virtues
(2) habituation to (consolidation of) prayer
unitive
(1) preparation for spiritual gifts
(2) simplification of prayer

study as a form of mortification

Plato's Cave & the Witch of the Green Kirtle

Proslogion II: not just 'quod sit Deus' but 'quod vere sit Deus'

Anselm tells us (Inc Verb vi) that he wrote the Mologion and the Proslogion in order to reply against those who, unwilling to believe what they do not understand, deride believers; and also to aid the religious study of those who humbly seek to understand what they firmly believe. And the remarkable thing is that, even if not in the way he hoped, his argumetns have fulfilled these purposes to an extraordinary extent. For it has touched off in believers many new ideas; and, often and repeatedly, those who have argued against Anselm have been shown to argue not from clear understanding but from the belief that the argument must be wrong somewhere. Over and over again Anselm has shown, in case after case, that we may believe in order to understand, and do nto always need to understand in order to believe.

As charity gives supernatural form to virtue, so also it gives supernatural form to honor.

The Spirit works through the words of a confessor who takes his task seriously and does what he ought.

We mortify the intellect directly by study and reflection (which dissipate ignorance) and indirectly by patience (which opposes diseased curiosity) and humility (which opposes pride).

three aspects of purity: intention, moderation, and mortification

Acquired virtues presuppose a power and by presupposed repetition come to give a tendency and facility to an operation; infused virtues give us a power and a tendency, but only give facility as a result of repretition that presupposes the virtue.

The radication of infused virtue has as an incidental result the acquisition of acquired virtues.

The Spirit makes the Son clear to us.

adapting Hume on causation as a theory of inquiry into certain kinds of signs

poetic, rhetorical, and dialectical forms of evidence

Ming is that which can proceed from an interior word, and zheng ming is the purification of these expressions so that they are appropriate.

cheng as truthfulness

the proper mean between Yang Zhu and Mo Di

correspondence to, supplementation of, and transcendence of Confucianism (Zhang)

Paul was given the privilege of writing more for the canon precisely because he had been an enemy (cf. Cyril of Jerusalem, Cat Lect 10.18).

divine energies : divine essence :: good (or true) : being

Music concerns itself with non-verbal analogies.

Nothing can be an organ unless it can be instrumental to an end; it is precisely this that allows us to identify something as one organ.

We should think not so much in terms of laws of nature as in terms of laws of natures.

One of the valuable features of Lent is that it provides you an opportunity for seeing how limited your will really is.

"In teaching the instructor often learns more than his pupils." Clement of Alexandria Strom.

Evolutionary theory concerns the generation and corruption of pluralities or populations over iterations of the generation and corruption of individuals. Obviously what is essential to this is reproduction and death, but the generation and corruption of populations cannot be reduce to reproduction and death because there are secondary changes that affect the generation and corruption of populations but do not reduce to reproduction and death: migration and isolation, for instance.

Harvey's omne vivum ex vivo rule

Psalm 4 as a prayer concerned with natural law (both St. Albert and Aquinas make this connection).

The market to which Smith attempted to appeal was a market ordered to public interest, and to the interest of sellers only in a secondary way, insofar as the latter could contribute to the former. This is why Smith is both pro-market and highly cynical and critical when it comes to business.

Ps. 38 as a sabbath psalm (Augustine)

Natural philosophy & moral philosophy are alike in the extent to which they consider contingent particulars.

Wholes and parts are explicable in terms of divisions and indivisions.

Time is not number abstracted from the numbered things but number in the numbered things.

light as it were the primum mobile

Humean psychology as the imagination in reminiscence

Natural philosophy gives fullness, and moral philosophy completeness, to the contemplation at the heart of philosophy.

The Johannine Gospel gives the beginning, the Johannine epistles the middle, and the Apocalypse the end.

Christ clings to the Church, His helpmeet, having descended from His Father to cling to her, and thus she becomes the mother of the living.

to observe & ponder in her heart is an essential capacity of motherhood

We understand mysteries by examination of analogies and of coherences.

True politics is simply ethics given cooperative social life and its tradeoffs.

Good catechetical instruction is seen in that it refutes not only the heresies of the day but also, as was said of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, later heresies "by a kind of foreknowledge."

Scientific inquiry is the cooperation of prudence and art to the end of understanding natural beings in their changes.

Skepticism requires holding that the relation between cognition and truth may be accidental.

Sacraments are more properly things we receive than things we do; it is especially important to remember this with reconciliation, matrimony, and ordination, for we are tempted to treat these things as though we did them rathern than as is the case, that we are showered with them.

eremitic life : monastic life :: celibate life : married life

I Sam 21:5 and the priesthood

The Old Testament (& Mt & Lk) shows that genealogy is extraordinarily important to covenant & thus to theology.

The laity are only sane when they largely follow such common sense as is rooted in the saints and hallowed by custom, making their aim not to bend the rest of the Church to their will but simply to be the Church, doing whatever they do. But flesh, the world, and the Devil constantly push to make it otherwise.

Every inference which is truth-preserving with negated premise (or conjunction of premises) & negated conclusion is falsity-preserving.

Scientists generally go wrong in philosophical matters when they fail to adequate means to ends properly. This typically occurs in two ways: either through excessive confidence in the means or, more commonly, through failure to distinguish ends that are in fact different.

First Commandment: to revere God in our hearts
Second Commandment: to revere God in our words
Third Commandment: to revere God in our actions

We cannot keep the Sabbath holy by our Sabbath life alone.

praying that the saints' prayers for others may be effective

In the life of the Church, ritual and music provide the pattern for authority.

Who does not understand providence has no way of becoming a good bishop.

Ture authority is an activity of virtue.

philosophy as euporia with aporia

There are philosophical activities that are to what we usually call philosophical activities as flower arranging is to gardening; and, however limited and derivative flower arranging may be, a world without flower arranging is a world less congenial for gardening.

Liberty cannot be protected without protecting the home, for home is for most people the primary, or even the only, space for freedom.

How often people trade adamantine arguments for weak & watery feelings! But in truth the two must be conjoined, bright sentiment growing on rigorous reasoning like roses on trellises, or great vines on strong stone cliffs.

That poetry is more philosophical than history does not imply that history is in no way philosophical.

mythology in the service of ideas

experimenting with lightness & multiplicity in the search for truth (Novalis)

Who loves wisdom finds it everywhere.

God called His people to remember the Sabbath because of creation and to observe it because of salvation.

Exodus tells us not to bear false witness, Deuteronomy not to bear vain/empty/worthless witness.

Why was the Virgin immaculately conceived? That she might consent on behalf of the whole human race, and not merely on her own behalf.

Ritual derives from imitation of regularity and order in things
(1) in order to teach that regularity;
(2) in order to celebrate that regularity;
(3) in order to conform ourselves to that regularity;
(4) in order to imitate that regularity by serving as a stable background for other things.
It presupposes the ability to distinguish right and wrong with respect to that order.

Ritual and respect are closely related.

Authority is neighborly by nature.

music of Shao : kallipolis :: music of Wu : timarchy :: tunes of Cheng : oligarchy &c.

To make one's life a sort of music, balanced in its patterns and proportions, is a worthy task.

The body by the water partakes of the grace.

If we live in the light of God, from us, as if through crystal, every kind of goodness, justice, and truth will proceed, fruitful works pleasing to the Lord.

Dali was right about time -- it is not so mucht hat it flies as that it melts. All of our lives is time melting through our fingers, the world drooping and liquefying in a great sun that will never stop.

In one's mind one may both answer a fool according to his folly and not do it; and this is an aid to prudence. Outside the mind, of course, the solution is to avoid fools.

theological incentives in philosophy
-> analogy, parsimony & the like can be seen as philosophical incentives in experimental inquiry; likewise there are many ethical incentives in scientific work
-> incentives as such may or may not dominate, may or may not impede
-> incentives weight theories & approaches
-> incentives of this sort arise when a field of inquiry is considered in light of what would be most convenient in another field of inquiry

the prefinition of worlds (Eph 3 Douay-Rheims 1582)

heirloom seeds of tradition

Behind every error is a power for truth.

We see the sum in the cogito only because being is first in the apprehension of anything, even ourselves.

We know even indemonstrable principles by abstracting them from singulars.

The universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no one can be saved, is that in which the Priest is the Sacrifice, saving by His body & blood.

What Vatican I actually defined with regard to infallibility is (1) that the Church itself is infallible in defining doctrine in faith and morals; and (2) that the Roman Pontiff understand conditions adequately represents the Church in this respect, as heir to Peter.

The Church rarely defines but always teaches.

Hos. 2:19-20 & marriage

Judas, Peter, & John as 3 types of Christian loyalty to Christ

the Rock that begot you, the God who birthed you (Dt. 32:18)

As active magisterium the bishops do not impose the truths of faith on the laity but educe them from the laity themselves, who already bear the potential. And both are required for the full magisterium of the Church as teacher of all mankind.

"Other effects only point out their causes in an oblique manner; but the testimony of men does it directly, and is to be consider'd as an image as well as an effect." T 1.3.9.12
-> Hume, of course, draws skeptical conclusions from this because of his account of causal inference; but a more robust account of causal inference can take this true insight in very different directions.
-> We have to be very careful about the sense in which testimony is an image; in effect this is handled by a proper theory of naming.

What gives a philosophical system force is both the coherence of its parts and the support for each part.

"'Tis evident an experiment in the past proves at least a possibility for the future." T 1.3.12.14

"beauty is such an order and construction of parts, as either by the primary consitution of our nature, by custom, or by caprice, is fitted to give a pleasure and satisfaction to the soul" T 2.1.8.2

(1) Not all causes are of the same kind.
(2) There is more than one kind of necessity.
(3) Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
(4) From the effect we can form at least a partial idea of the cause.

Christ's prayer in Gethsemane was heard (Hb 5:7).

Practical deliberation is always a study of appropriate classifications.

Divine mission is divine principiation with appropriated temporal effect.

Psychology is a sort of philosophy of novels.

"Experience seems to most of us to lead to conclusions, but empiricism has sworn never to draw them." Santayana

At the associative level of Scriptural study, anything may be juxtapose dwith anything else; this raises possibilities, questions, and puzzles. At the reflective level of Scriptural study, the results of association are sorted out dialectically.

Youth is very sincerely inauthentic.

Human joys and sorrows never stop to ask what year it is.

relevance under a notion
relevance intrinsic to the thing

The greatest delusion of economists consists in thinking that economic policy is or even can be governed primarily by economic reason rather than (from below) by the reasoning implicit in the social life of the people and (from above) by the reasoning implicit in the political structures and procedures of the nation.

the importance of developing more commodious arrangements and constructions of arguments

inquiries of light, of distinction, of fructification

Liturgy, taken in a broad sense, is the ecology of faith.

4 grounds for evaluating liturgy
(1) internal consistency
(2) relevance to love of God and neighbor
(3) symbolic adequacy to theology
(4) pedagogical force

Economics has no value for policy unless it provides ways to provision families better.

What does the City of God share with the City of Man? The mortal condition. But the relation between the understanding of this in each is analogical, not univocal.

(1) Knowledge of effects & their cause in the effects themselves
  (a) as to particular details
  (b) as to general character
  (c) as to participation in the cause
(2) knowledge of effects in universal causes
  (a) as to removal of impediments
  (b) as to action of cause
  (c) as to directive principle in cause
(3) knowledge of effects in the first cause
  (a) as to how effects considered in themselves participate divine ideas
  (b) as to how effects are in the divine ideas
  (c) as to how effects are in God as last end

Deuteronomic theodicy does not explain why troubles come, but why we cannot rise above them.

liturgy as memorative prenotion

Love casts out fear because faith casts out fear.

Since truth coheres, sciences interpenetrate, sometimes in conclusions, sometimes in methods; and sciences admit of analogies even in many of the facets in which they differ.

propositional dynamic logic as a calculus of strategies

It is poets & artisans who most properly exercise human dominion over the world.

realism about the beautiful ont eh basis of truth as congruence of mind and thing

Note association between circumcision & purification of the mother in Lev. 12 (& also the redemption of the firstborn Son)

Whoever claims that sexual reproduction is merely a biological function has clearly not given much thought to the amount of planning and practical adjustment required for having children.

the experience of skin as a limit of ourselves

We cannot even consider a thing as a possible miracle without considering it as being possibly a means to an end.

Pr. 31:10-31 describes a woman's life in heroic terms (note vocabulary especially).
->It is a woman's might, not beauty, that is lauded.

the ecclesiology of Pr. 31:10-31
-> Then Pr. is bookended by the call of divine Wisdom & the Church as wise Bride working the world in response to this call.

The proper language of poetry is the common language of people who read poetry.

3 forms of participation
(1) by intimate possession (reception/imitation)
(2) by knowledge (reflection)
(3) by subordinate action (aspiration)

Light is a more general feature of the background of human life than the sun is; light precedes the sun in dawn and outlasts it in dusk; and light goes where the sun does not reach. Indeed, there is no feature of the background of human life that is more fundamental or more far-reaching.

In moral life our liabilities exceed our culpabilities.

Original sin is privation of suitability as a candidate for beatific vision.

effects of original sin
in person
  (1) four wounds
  (2) death
between persons (distributive)
  (1) complicity
  (2) imitation
in persons as a society (collective)
  (1) pleonectic deterioration
  (2) corruption of the world

original sin as languor of nature (ST 2-1.82.1)

Pelagianism confuses effects for causes.

Torah as pure image of truth is changed into Logos as pure and incorruptibel truth.

It makes sense of a Kantian to say that cause & effect do not apply beyond the (broadly) empirical (cf. CPR B 705) because cause & effect are in his view a principle governing temporal order (although not necessarily temporal lapse) among empirical appearances. BUt this is not essential to all ideas of cause & effect.

A precondition for justice in society is unity of heart.

convalidation of rationalization (sanatio in radice of post-hoc reasoning)

Etiology is always telic or tychic or a mixture of the two.

The blues are an echo of gospel music in a world of sin and sorrow.

All of secular philosophy is merely a surface volume and facet of the tesseract of Christian thought.

What matters in Buddhism is not the answer to the question but the openness of the mind when faced with the question.

The avoidance of surprise is an irrational object for a mutable intelligence in a mutable world.

Marriage is a peculiar sacrament because it was instituted as a sacrament in stages; thus, for instance, marriage under the Mosaic law was sacramental, but not as completely so as under the New Law, since it did look toward Christ's passion & the church, but only confusedly and by figure, and, so to speak, by mediation of God's covenant with Israel, itself a holy prefiguration of the New Covenant. Unlike any other sacrament, matrimony was constructed in stages over millenia.

We receive reason as a gift from God, and reason gives itself to others in communication. Practically everything in reason's activity intimates its communicative meaning.

the munus of conscientious scholarship & the officia to God, self, and others that follow on it

On Peirce's account of abductive inferences, they only preserve possibility, not truth -- i.e., from two or more true premises we get a possible conclusion (problematic or conjectural) as our strongest conclusion. Givent eh truths, the conclusion is not ruled out -- it si possible, but no more. Contrariwise, everything in the conclusion is in the premises, but not so as to be formally truth-preserving, i.e., the conclusion is in the premises but only qua possible.

The power of personality depends on the capacity of others to remember.

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