Friday, June 03, 2016
Dashed Off XI
natural law & the educative theory of punishment
educative vs. defensive theories of punishment
"nothing but truth can preserve consistency" (Paley)
'death of the author' as consumerist
laws as always implying accounts of happiness (i.e., what is good for human beings)
All true mercy begins with truth.
In ecclesial matters, it is always better to assume that you are preparing for some serious downturn, sooner or later.
(1) Law is not purely conventional. (cp Plato's Laws; Minos)
(2) Law and morality overlap. (Confucius, Aquinas, Plato, Aristotle)
(3) Law has a priority to human society. (Leo XIII, Cicero)
press, religious bodies, voluntary associations, and the whole body of citizens interacting as check & balance on government power
"The prophet only knows what he says; he does not understand if it is true." Epinomis 975c
Awe at the sublimity of the stars is the closest the pagan Platonists ever came to fear of the Lord.
All fine arts are concerned with intrinsic suitabilities.
Temperance is a virtue because it is possible to identify objective excess and defect.
That persuasion may be a product is one of the most corrosive ideas ever conceived.
three major axes of sexual life: piety relations between parent and child, friendship between partners, restraint and reason in sexual act and desire itself
Symbolic thinking arises naturally out of causal thinking.
mercy as a sign by which God is known
mercy as expressing the image of God
ascetic discipline in the cell of self-knowledge
Forms of skepticism that are irrational often arise from failure to think things through in a rational order.
genre as setting default ends and means for a work
the hagiographer as teaching assistant
A major part of mercy is simply having good will toward people doing good things, even if they are not the best things, or even if they are not wholly good enough for the circumstances.
In the saints we see that every character flaw -- obstinacy, tendency to anger, proneness to scheming, slipperiness, phlegmatic sluggishness, or what have you -- has some nondefective counterpart consistent with splendid character.
empiricism in the mode of autobiographical sincerity vs empiricism in the mode of ethnographical fidelity
the felt endeavor of matter qua object of senses
To measure presupposes causal forces, especially cohesion.
identity across doxastic and epistemic situations
contemplation of the prayers of others as a form of prayer
an argument against Bentham's attack on asceticism based on the idea that we should deny ourselves pleasure to avoid harming another even if our pleasure 'outweighs' their harm
beatitude as full participation in divine providence
(nature, reason, grace, and glory as levels of participation in divine providence)
dragons, unicorns, and the in-principle possibility of sublime animals (pace Kant)
- Kant, of course, would protest about confusing sublimity and monstrosity (das Ungeheure) in the case of dragons, and confusing sublimity and beauty with unicorns
the sublimity of mercy
Almost all, and perhaps all, consensus in physics reduces to:
(1) The mathematics at hand works in mathematical terms.
(2) It is relevant to the real world.
(3) Whatever its relevance, that relevance is constrained by such-and-such kind of evidence.
When there is dispute, it is almost all at the level of (3), although (2) sometimes pops up, and (1) is not unheard of in new fields of inquiry.
resistance to being ignored as a mark of truth.
(A) A sign is what represents another to a cognitive power.
(B) An instrument is what acts through the power of another.
(C) An occasion is that on account of which another may act.
(1) A sacrament may be an occasion of our sanctification (minor sacrament or sacramental) or an instrument of our sanctification (major sacrament).
(2) Every instrument of sanctification may also be an occasion of sanctification.
(3) Minor sacraments are occasions of sanctification, certified as such by God or the Church, that are not also in themselves instruments of sanctification.
(4) Minor sacraments are as infinite as the prayers and means of prayer available to the Church, and as multifaceted.
(5) 'Major sacrament' may be taken in a comprehensive sense to include all sacraments together, in which case there is one sacrament, which is formally Christ and materially the Church as His Mystical Body.
(6) 'Major sacrament' may be taken in the specific and most proper sense, in which case there are seven acts of the Church that involve in themselves instrumental causes of our sanctification and sensible signs of it: illumination, coronation, chrismation, ordination, reconciliation, consolation, and communion.
(7) Three of the major sacraments, those involving illumination, chrismation, and ordination, in themselves make the recipients themselves perpetual signs of Christ and who are thereby made capable of being themselves instruments of Christ; these are sacraments of character.
the Burial of Christ and the sacrament of unction
substance, cause, and system have to be understood in such a way that they can overlap
the nine choirs of angels and nine layers of sacrament (the common link is providence)
the juridical character of love for one's children
The ends of an art, craft, or skill are never set solely by the artist or artisan or technician.
character-building as micro-plotting
Platonic Forms as a postulate of rational discourse
Measuring devices measure only under a description.
transcendental affinity and signs of providence (cp. Berkeley)
Moral life is possible: freedom
Moral law has priority: God
Moral life may approach moral law: Immortality
external mind and the heirlooms of tradition
The historical pictorial ideas of St. Birgitta are richer and more fruitful than the abstractions of Hegel.
polytheism as incomplete pantheism
"God is the brave man's hope, not the coward's excuse." Plutarch
"The atheist believes there are no gods; the superstitious would have none, but is a believer against his will, and would be an infidel if he durst." Plutarch
vague identity of measurements
the importance of seeing the world hierarchically for scientific progress
Secrets kept too long can become diseases.
per se and per accidens progress in philosophy (and any intellectual field)
conjecture and refutation as presupposing appropriate classification
If the measure of translation is not constant (different), there is a cause of its inconstancy (difference).
We have a perpetual need to be brilliant in ways for which we ourselves, on our own, do not suffice.
the transintelligible: that known by other intelligibles working as signs
When physicists talk causally, what they usually mean are modal tense operators with respect to coordinate systems.
faith, hope, and love as liturgical virtues
It is love that provides the guarantee to hope.
the modern alienation of love-of-wisdom
Every doctrine in natural theology can be taken per modum cognitionis or per modum inclinationis.
the Dionysian's transfiguration of Platonism and Aquinas's transfiguration of Aristotle as culminating lines of development through the gifts of the Holy Spirit
anticipating the Beatific Vision through sacrament
vagueness as like particular quantity or Diamond
Whenever people say something is purely epistemic, ask why it is not the case that at least some other modalities work the same way.
'a is indeterminately identical to b' vs. 'it is indeterminate that a is identical to b'
vague identity vs vaguely-applying identity statements
To consider: Every contingency operator implies a particular kind of vagueness. And if this be so, would the reverse be true as well?
sublimity as a source of inquiry
regulative ideals as final causes
Natural necessities are linked to real definitions.
certain hope as like a memory of things to come
All articles of faith are also articles of hope, when taken as articulating that to which we are to be united.
marriage as a wealth-generating institution for society
Scientists achieve consensus in part by depreciating things on which consensus does not seem forthcoming.
the endless epicycles of naturalism
the cardinal virtues as porters to the palace of wisdom
Being is truth in the knower and goodness in the lover.
Grace grows by diffusion.
No great evil can properly be understood unless it is seen that the evil itself is already hell. Nor does it require revelation to figure this out; Plato recognizes something very much like this.
Almost every justification of punishment gives a potential ground for a doctrine of hell: deterrence, incapacitation, desert & equality. Even rehabilitation and education, while not grounding it, come in forms consistent with it.
Most denials of the doctrine of hell seem to be driven by an assumption that there is no divine positive law. Think about this.
Merely stipulated premises yield merely conditional conclusions.
quietism as interfering with complete homage to God
the problem of glibness in consequentialist reasoning
A government with a public education system cannot coherently be neutral on moral questions.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are the lights by which to read and expound Scripture.
WE can only measure subjective change by reference to change in the external world; our sense of ourselves in time depends on our ability to take ourselves to be causally connected with what is not ourselves.
the Incarnation and the representation of moral law as both sublime and lovable
The perfection of moral law requires a moral providence.
It is clear that we have some power to distribute reward in proportion to virtue, some of the time.
Moral life is structured by the kind of trust found in hope.
There are some moral judgments a human being is not well-placed to make.
"in everything worth having, even in every pleasure, there is a point of pain or tedium that must be survived, so that the pleasure may revive and endure." Chesterton
contingent laws of nature as effects
contingency in actuality as requiring reference to final causes
the long-term convergence of canonic and logic
The Eucharist is that to which all Catholic life tends, but presented only under sacramental sign.
analogy as essential to classification
artificial and natural analogy
burial of the dead as an act of hope
Tobit as an analysis of eleemosyne
Susannah and silent prayer
Susannah as type of Christ
Susannah and divine foreknowledge
Ritual requires setting things aside for a purpose.
To recite the Creed is to refresh oneself at the spring of one's baptism.
"If life is in us, then so is evidence of God." John Calvin
"Faith by itself cannot please Him, since without love of neighbor there is no faith." Calvin
"The greatest victory of God took place when Christ, having overcome sin, conquered death, and put Satan to flight, was lifted up to heaven in majesty, that he might reign gloriously over the Church." Calvin
Hume's account of equality is an account of measurement.
What counts as sufficient reason varies according to domain.
The truth of necessary and contingency propositions all together finds its sufficient reason in what is.
Physicalism, if true, would be a claim about accounts of the world, and only indirectly about the world at all.
Nonreductive naturalisms based on first-person perspective inevitably have the same general structure as idealism.
the PSR is based on the convertibility of being and intelligibility
reasons as intelligible actualities
"All revolutions began by being abstract." Chesterton
"The great human dogma, then, is that the wind moves the trees. The great human heresy is that the trees move the wind." Chesterton