Friday, March 29, 2013

Dashed Off

three fundamental elements of common good
(1) human rights
(2) development of specific spiritual and temporal goods
(3) active peace

path dependency in philosophical reasoning

Aquinas's definition of natural desire: "inclination belonging to things by the disposition of the First Mover" (In Nec Eth sect 21) -->This is why it cannot be in vain

"Rhetoric deals with political matter where a variety of views occurs." Aquinas In NE 36

quality as disposition of substance, quantity as measure of substance, relation as proportion of substance

We honor things insofar as they are principles of good.

(1) Sense and reference are determined by logical function and do not pre-exist it.
(2) Words may a priori be given any meaning, with any logical function, but are a posteriori constrained by contexts of communication.
(3) Whether the sense of a word in use is literal or figurative is external to word, use, and sense, being the relation of the word to common and expected uses of such a word.

troping of a word by resemblance (similarity), by contiguity (proximate association), and by contrariety (inversion)

Close attention to conversations shows that people will sometimes use facial expressions and physical movements not merely in addition to words but in place of words, substituting them for nouns and verbs.

Sense and reference, being logical functions, can be found for metaphorical, ironic, etc. uses of language.

Devotion to virtue requires deference to the virtuous.

Man being a rational and therefore social animal, constancy or steadfastness in virtue requires loyalty to a community devoted to virtue, even if only abstractly conceived.

the recuperative character of loyalty

When we try to say what a term means taken literally, we soon find that there is no end to things we may mention; thus we cut our description off according to some standard of relevance.

Literal statements in context suggest possible games of make-believe.

conceptual unblending

Both homonyms and words with lots of possible meanings show that the same sentence can have very different literal interpretations in different contexts.

Potentiality is not the reason for our ability to choose among options but the reason why our choice is so limited; the more potential a thing is, the more factors on which it necessarily depends.

Miracles are simultaneously wonders, signs, and acts of power. (cf. Jn 2:11)

infinitely overdetermined truths

The repentance of the penitent can be moral of itself, but something more is required to make it holy.

snow-cadence, snow-surgence

markets as discovery engines

worthiness to learn as a characteristic of charity

teaching : intellectual virtue :: custom : moral virtue

virtue and vice as the principles for evaluating good and bad constitutions

There is a perpetual danger in medical legislation and regulation of making doctors, nurses, etc., mere means, as if they were not persons themselves.

Human feeling is banished by perception of monotony.

Consent is important in medicine not merely for reasons of autonomy or dignity but also because of something subtly different: the need for medicine to be a cooperative venture by its very nature. Patients cannot merely be patients, even where they cannot be perfect agents, or require representation, or proxy agency. This cooperative character is linked to, but distinct from, the issue of dignity.

moral luck as a reason for compassion and forgiveness

Madame Bovary as a study of the usurious life (across the range of human concern)

Greek tragedy is far more capable of depicting the fantastic than other dramatic forms precisely because of the Greek convention of keeping the most fantastic elements offstage (it is in this sense that, despite brilliant literary use of it in Euripides, deus ex machina is a degeneration of the tragic art).

Every kind of literacy is a set of critical thinking skills for a relevant set of genres, vocabularies, and texts.

Government expenditure for symbolic gestures is expenditure for something with an extraordinary rate of inflation.

A mistake in interpreting Aquinas that is made even by Thomists is not recognizing that Thomas's account of act & potency, etc., is not Aristotle's but a generalized version of Aristotle's account.

a Humean-association mathematics of shapes, etc.
(1) resemblance-functions
(2) contiguity-functions

the Eucharist as seal of solidarity
sacraments as emblems that transfigure

the galley effect & a Humean theory of diagrammatic reasoning

burdens of refraining from proof -- it's clear that they seem rare, but as sometimes proof is a non-issue, suspense of the attempt to prove will be possible as an obligation of discourse

metaphors as microarguments
summation of argument by metaphor

The natural mode of holiness in a depraved world is repentance.

'Desire' is said in many ways.

Taylor is surely right that the argument religious experience turns chiefly on the question not of distinctive experiences so much as grounds of interpretation. This then makes a link with the theory of taste, which concerns itself with good interpretations based on experiential data and refinable through experience and reflection.

a system of parables as tautegorical: the natural way to explicate parable is by parable

Dispositio proceeds from inventio; elocutio proceeds from inventio through dispositio.

The modern world has a nasty habit of trying to collapse deliberative (civic) oratory into forensic oratory, thus shifting from dehortation and inexpediency to accusation and injustice whenever it can.

Homiletics is a branch of epideictic rather than either forensic or deliberative oratory because its purpose is neither to persuade nor to judge, but to show; at least qua homiletics.

A little truth can satisfy multitudes of minds and still be overflowing and abundant in its fruits.

Rationalization is checkable conjecture.

circle as quasi-point

Mission follows procession; manifestation is the reverse.

specifying contrastives vs restricting contrastives

( ( ( ( ( x = focal ritual ) ) ) )
to focal
focal ritual administration arises
as authority over focal ritual
but indirectly extends over diffuse ritual
-> All three, focal ritual, diffuse ritual, and ritual administration, contribute to cooperative interaction (cooperative interaction is broader than cooperation in the sense of particular cooperative projects)

"The very nature of a true philosophy relatively to other systems is to be polemical, eclectic, unitive." Newman

mythology as "nature elevated into the spiritual realm through an enhancing refractions" (Schelling)

the ethical need for refreshment from evil

What is most desirable is most properly said to be.

Utilitarianism of the hedonic type would be more plausible and powerful if it concerned itself with the pleasurable rather than with pleasures.

Contrary to common assumptions, intensity of pleasure is not a reliable measure of how pleasurable something is.

Kant's idea of time as idea of rhythm; idea of space as idea of dwelling

Hume T
(1) The capacity of the mind is not infinite. (premise)
(2) No idea of extension or duration consists of infinite parts. (from 1)
(3) Every idea of extension or duration consists of a finite number of simple, indivisible parts. (from 1/2)
(4) It is possible for space and time to exist such that they consist of a finite number of simple, indivisible parts. (from 2/3)
(5) Infinite divisibility is impossible.
(6) Space and time must exist in this way. (4/5)
-> Note that Malebranche accepts (1) but denies (2) in a relevant sense.

If we translate Kant into Aristotelian terms, we can turn the Formula of Ends into something like, "Never act in a way inconsistent with friendship of excellence." This is right, properly understood is self-evidence, and can reasonably be said to be categorical.

Euclid as 'one diagram, one argument' because stipulation is only allowed within the context of one diagram

Mary is blessed not for the mere physical fact of being the mother of Christ but for the fact that she was so because she heard the Word of God and did it. (Lk 11:27-28; cf also Lk 1:39ff).

The Church does not merely pray to be blessed; it prays to be blessed through the Virgin and the saints.

(1) the need for a theory of practical rationality
(1a) relevance of rationality to practice
(1b) the general nature of practical reasoning
(2) practical rationality of obligations
(2a) law in general (obligation)
(2b) natural law in particular (fundamental moral obligation)
(2c) practical application of natural law
(3) practical rationality of appropriateness
(3a) taste in general
(3b) good taste in general
(3c) prudence
(3d) art/skill

The desire for freedom is deep within us, but freedom itself must be learned.

Synaxis is inherently Eucharistic in character.

The secular, properly understood, is simply the realm in which the primary obligations are those of ordinary conscience of institutional requirements.

In the Assumption, God lifts up the lowly as a sign that Christ has subjected all things beneath his feet.

Mary & the place prepared by God for Israel

the Assumption as the Gospel Acclamation of salvation history

Bede mostly appeals to posthumous miracles as evidence of the devotion of the saint in question. (cf. his comment on King Oswald at Hist 3.12)

It would be valuable to look at Bede's use of testimony chains when he talks of miracles.

"Only good where evil was, is evil dead." MacDonald

Realism in any field of art is really appearance-ism.

People often substitute for rational thought glowing visions of themselves being, as they think, rational.

The hieratic features of inquiry are not completely eliminable, due to the nature of truth itself.

Most discussions of pleasure fail to distinguish between pleasantness and pleasure.

A philosopher may assent to the immortality of the soul, but a Christian may live it.

"No reform can be effected without sacrifice, and sacrifice comes not from selfishness." Brownson

A reasonable person must be figurative-minded.

The notion of the infinite is implicit in the intelligibility of being.

literal text as a sort of limit of figurative text

As rational norms are just the ethics of inquiry, people who do not accept the possibility of an objective morality are committed to there being no objective rational standards.


  1. MrsDarwin6:43 AM

    Literal statements in context suggest possible games of make-believe.

    literal text as a sort of limit of figurative text

    Are these two related at all?

  2. branemrys8:24 AM

    Yes -- the first is something sometimes said of figurative language in order to distinguish it from literal language (in one common theory of metaphor), but I think most things that people propose to mark off figurative from literal actually don't mark off anything -- they are true of both.


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