Monday, July 23, 2012

Dashed Off

Part of what makes Aristotle so powerful is that his solutions are often simultaneously historical solutions and analytical solutions.

People always only believe as it suits them; what matters is what has to be the case for something to suit them.

Whether criticism is constructive depends not only on content but also on timing.

Since disquotation is a change of supposition, it smuggles in correspondence.

Readiness to appear is discovered in interaction.

using appearances to stand for what appears

the spiritual as expressed in the intentional, the intelligible, and the personal

Apparently dead and desiccated arguments revive and flourish when put again in the right context.

All philosophical arguments can be given metaphorical presentation.

Even what is due can be given as a gift; this is part of the secret of charity.

Critical thought is a manner and not a content.
Many people make the mistake of thinkign they have critical thought when all they have is a theory about critical thought.

the Odyssey as a poem about home and hospitality as the foundations of civilized life

necessity as superpotentiality
necessity as superactuality
possibility as subpotentiality
possibility as subactuality

We establish witnesses to deed so as to facilitate proof of particular contingent events.

philosophical, poetical, and political theology in pagan thought (schools, dramatic festivals, temples)

confidence as a sort of hope in oneself

the First Amendment as rights of conscience (direct & indirect)
the First Amendment as rights of association
the First Amendment as rights of self-governance (and therein as checks against the government)

good of actual being, good of activity, good of extrinsic goal

good of means to desired end, good of desired end, good of achievement of desired end (satisfaction of desire)

misfiled arguments & the deliberate misfiling of arguments as a rhetorical maneuver

Whenever anything seems intuitive, we should ask why it appeals.

sensation as image vs. sensation as trace

a mereology of subdivisions, components & subsidiaries
wholes, qualifications, partitions, incompletions, & completions

the mereology of instrumental power (part as instrument)

supposition theory & the elements in a model

conditions of severabilty for subarguments

dialectical, rhetorical, and poetic syllogisms as indicators of free will

To think about: Kant's theory of the sublime makes a certain amoutn of sense for the musical sublime; it treats all sublimity s if it affected us, and was recognized, in the way of musical sublimity.

persistence of object, linear sequence, measurable time

If all that blackens were black, an unblackened black thing would have to exist, and it would have to be black necessarily and always.

What we actually ahve are not prior and posterior probabilities but probable inferences, and what is actually important is how evidence changes probable inferences.

Kant's argument against means of grace depends crucially on the assumption that divine aid will aim at nothing but morality.

Since we are partly shaped by the company we keep, we must find ways to keep company with saints.

People refusing to make philosophy the handmaiden of theology invariably make her the handmaiden of something less exalted.

Demanding that actual persuasion be the standard of proof or good argument is demanding that reason be held hostage to the person who is most stupid.

tradition as the handing down of Scripture, not merely as a text but as a rule, as a gift, and as a proclamation

the words of Scripture carried on the breath of man and on the Breath of God

One can imagine a culture that classifies arguments heraldically.

aisthesis, mneme, empeiria, epagoge, nous
- each of these can be called a direct cognition

The grace of baptism is the act of Christ in session as mediator.

Apologetics is primarily concerned not with persuasion but with rational persuasibility.

life as the occasion of confession
life on the occasion of confession

In an imperfect world to live without remorse is a sign of damnation.

There are many kinds of absolution received in the confessional.

Confession is necessary for repentance because truth is necessary for repentance.

Only one who can forgive can truly see the image of God in a human being.

Occasional cause as incentive marks practical opportunity for achieving final cause.

reparative vs. nonreparative excuses
reparative vs. nonreparative apologies

We do not know that we truly love our neighbor until we know that we love God.

Faith is the victory in hand but not yet seen (1Jn 5). Hope is the reward of such victory, which is not yet in hand but is held in pledge.

Atheistic existentialism: confession to no one and without absolution

3 positions on the good
(1) objective, coextensive with being
(privation theory of evil)
(2) objective, noncoextensive
(some real positive evil)
(3) subjective

The similitude of cognition is not ordinary resemblance. (Aquinas DV 2.3 ad 9)

common-nature similitude vs. representative similitude
(secundum conventiam in natura vs quantum ad repraesentationem)

'Mind unmoved remains; tears fall in vain.'

meritorious, satisfactionary, and impetratory character of each good deed done under grace
--> Christ's deed merits, propitiates, expiates, satisfies, and impetrates, and we participate Christ's deed

Influence of ideas occurs not by logical implication but by perspectival appropriation.

testimony as the sign of reason (Descartes)

Every etiological account of function requires Cuvier-style conditions of existence.

temptation as an instrument of spiritual progress and as a school of humility

Being able to find what is reasonable and rational in what one finds obnoxious is one of the most important skills of critical thinking.

(1) proper to subject in itself
(2) proper to subject in its species
(3) property
(4) accident

corporate rights as indirect protections of individual rights

prayer unto detachment as the task of beginners

perinoetic & dianoetic features of inquiry

Christmas as the feast of the Headship of Christ (cf Leo, On the Feast of Nativity 6.2)

senses as prima facia quia-notices

writing as a musical score each person performs for himself

liturgy as a series of expansions and contractions of shared attention

Newman & Purgatory as catharsis

Children must learn that they are not entitled to do whatever they please. Likewise, the Decalogue teaches humanity that we are not entitled to do whatever we please -- in matters of time, of worship, of relationship, of property, of sex, of life, of impulses of the heart -- but that there is in each case a prior and more important claim on us. Thus they are right who say that each precept implicitly includes more than the bare grammatical reading suggests; for each is in fact a clear, simple command, dealing with a practical matter of nearly universal experience, indicating such a prior claim; but the prior claim itself is not confined to the occasion in which the precept directly applies, but is a claim on a whole region of human life. Thus we see one way in which the Law is a teaching law; and also the wisdom fo the rabbis in attempting to build a fence out from Torah, for while this can be abused if the spirit is forgotten, it shows a proper recognition of the fact that God teaches through Torah.

There reaches a point in epistemology at which one is trying to illuminate light.

clingy imagination & temptation

If we generalize Kant's account of sublimity to talk abouta sense of the superiority of the supersensible over nature, we get something closer to plausible; the oddities of Kant's account may be due simply to his restriction of the knowable supersensible.

Fine arts are concerned with the cultivation of difficult beauty.

In contract, covenant, treaty, or pact the parties are performing a ritual of friendship; not complete friendship, necessarily, but such friendship as is necessary and adequate for the good fatih, trust, and exchange at hand.
-> friendship & betrayal of friendship as the key to the force of promises

Gricean maxims make sense as causal inference rules, or, at least, rules of thumb. They indicate when we need a further explanation.

Felix Adler: "Marriage is the foundation of all morality." "The supreme festival of humanity is marriage." "The social end of marriage is to perpetuate the physical and spiritual existence of the human race, and to enhance and improve it." "The idea that marriage should cease when love ceases is a doctrine abhhorrent and blasphemous, because it forbids the performance of this supreme duty of maintaining and enhancing the spiritual life of hte world." "Marriage is fundamentally holy because it is the foundatio nof humans. All the humanities have their origin in the home. All the virtues draw from it their nourishment." "The love of husband and wife is an epitome of every other kind of love."

closure principles, e.g., the cause of every actual effect is actual
isomorphism principles, e.g., causes of the same kind have effects of the same kind
symmetry principles, e.g., differences in effects indicate differences in their causes, and vice versa

Connections may be tenuous without being nonexistent.

consensus gentium
(1) interpreted as an argument from authority
(2) interpreted as an argument to human nature
(3) interpreted as an argument for rational convergence

varieties of philosophical experience
(1) the aporetic
(2) the tranquil (cf. ataraxia)
(3) the contemplative

James's account of the value of states of mind is Humean.

Philosophy of X, where x is a discipline, is always merged with X because it is X approached philosophically. This does not, of course, imply that there is no distinction between X and phliosophical approach to X; rather, X and philosophy of X have the material of X in common and only differ in taht, in the latter, philosophy is a form of the form of X (so to speak). Philosophy of X is materially X (but X is not materially X, unless we are equivocating; the matter of X is what X studies).

the use of standing, working hypotheses in historical scholarship

the multiple realizability of genius and taste

Evolutionary debunking arguments always presuppose at least a broadly empiricist epistemology, and thus are always susceptible to the problems of empiricist epistemology.

sacraments as signs of allegiance

intellectual purity with imaginative richness

inheritance & deference; inheritance & loyalty
-> inheritance as a moral notion, moral inheritance

regular, irregular, & accidental metamorphosis

the plant-ocean teeming with insects

Confirmation is never sharp, but always through a haze, i.e., a difficulty of confirmation.

It is not the experiment that confirms or disconfirms, but the ordered network of experiments, precisely as ordered.

liturgical vestment of ethics

In the fine arts we see clearly that the intellectual word is not mere language, in nature or in expression.

Barth attributes a genuine understanding of the Church and of grace to Kant, and Niebuhr calls him the most Protestant of all philosophers.

Musical imitation is abstract, stylized, and by way of signs partly confentional and partly natural. (Note that this is just as true of many kinds of pictorial imitation.)

Music does not so much express feelings as impress them.

dance as the art of hylemorphic union

Gilson seems to overmaterialize poetry; this becomes clear when he touches on translation and on didactic poetry. The material aspect of poetry is important and ineliminable, but if you copy a marble statue crudely in wood you still have something of the original, and the didactic and so forth is an orientation of poetry, not something completely distinct. (He seems to have been misled on this by Housman's exaggerated dualism.)

Always wanting things in summary form is a mental disease.

plurality of forms as suitable to artifacts

Cohen: God as regulative idea of eternity of the arena for moral action
->Cohen, unlike Kant, sees the link as not desert & happiness but nature & moral action (Cohen doesn't think happiness should enter here at all)

the messianic idea of a unity humankind

Actual populations are not generated by chance but by previous actual populations.

One danger of politics is its extraordinary power to make people exasperated with good deeds.

the superfecundity of intellect, exceeding the means of discursive reason to explicate

Darwin underestimates the monkey's mind.

We think according to the analogies we allow ourselves.

Anthropomorphism cannot be identified without a relevantly precise account of what is uniquely human.

Emphasis on originality always results in spasmodism.

law as the civic analogue of agriculture

irrational numbers & negative theology

Necessary truths do not exclude contingent truths, nor are they separated from them; they simply do not necessitate them. Likewise in the reverse direction.

Miracles do not demonstrate, but they do pose challenges.

pesher as a mosaic method of interpretation (playing texts off each other verbally to form patterns)

computers as philosophy machines (Ted Nelson)

The species just is the genus, differentiated.

defeasible transitivity of preferences

mathematical induction as box given diamond seriality

People constantly confuse just grievance and just cause.

Forgiveness is possible because not all that is fitting is based on desert or merit.

Faith is as large as the world, and as richly varied; it has mountains and oceans, glaciers and lavaflows, jungles and deserts.

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