Friday, June 22, 2018

Dashed Off XIV

a possibility: every argument against empiricism can be adapted to some kind of argument for God's existence.
- note, of course, that some counterarguments to arguments against empiricism are theistic (for instance, against 'miracle' arguments); thus there are two directions here -- empiricism-preserving and empiricism-rejecting. How are they related?

a possibility: every argument against innate ideas can be converted to an argument for the existence of the external world.
- a possible counterexample: Locke's unconscious proposition argument

man is the measure of all: Theaetetus 152a2-3
sage is the measure of all: Theaetetus 179b2
God is the measure of all: Laws 716c4-6

Dance is more like vocabulary-making than proposition-stating. (The same can be said of music.) It is the creation of something that can be a metaphor.

The expressiveness of dance is connected to, and an extension of, the natural expressiveness of the body.

Doubt is something that only arises socially.

being puzzled vs doubting

Many studies of belief are in fact studies of rhetorical commitment.

Arguments for God's existence in the ancient world tend to be intersubjective; in the medieval world tend to be objective; and in the modern world tend to be subjective. This may in part be due to general ambience, but also may be due in part to major doctrinal sources/models -- legislators in Greece and Rome, Aristotle in medieval Europe, and Descartes in modern Europe.

practicing disciplina arcani with ourselves

empiricism's Box problem

The starting points of reason must be both rational and natural. The temptation to avoid is trying to split the rational and the natural, as if the former were always arbitrary/artificial and the latter always arational.

Idea: eclecticism :: Energy : systematicism :: Power : ?
- perhaps more occasional approaches

It is the consistent view of the Fathers that monasticism is a philosophical movement in the Church, concerned with moral truth and proceeding by practice rather than by argument.

nature having determined us to judge -> principles of reason

Explanation is always the identification of some kind of whole for a part. Finding evidence is always th eidentification of some kind of part for a whole.

Contracts are legislation by the people.

voluntary associations as key to self-governance

verbal pauses as 'still talking' markers

just war criteria applied to evaluation of legislation and regulation (esp. burdensome legislation and regulation)

It is impossible to pray without ceasing except by having charity.

rahamim & Toledo's 'womb of the Father'

It makes very little sense to separate the ministry of lectors from the ministry of catechesis.

The writings of the apostles were but one part of the work of the apostles.

Gentile's paradox of education is derived from Fichte.

In general we assume a 'translative invariance' of sorts between arguments when they pass from person to person. Because arguments do not float in hermetically sealed groups, this invariance cannot, in fact, always be guaranteed (e.g., meaning of terms may shift due to differences in background assumptions). Part of the issue, too, is that arguments do not actually move between people; we are really talking about one person constructing an argument in some ways isomorphic to the argument constructed by another person.

Virtue should be glorified, but whenever there is a vocabulary glorifying virtue, there are always people more interested in the glory than the virtue.

traditionalism as linguistic (semiotic) rationalism
rationalism: (1) strong, by pure reason; (2) weak, by reason using signs.
The difficulty with a semiotic or weak rationalism is walking the line so that it does not simply collapse into strong rationalism on the one side and empiricism on the other.

Eucharist as epiousios: (1) what is needed in order to be; (2) for what is to come

The unconditioned totality of the object of pure practical reason can only be good itself; harmony of happiness (in the sense of reward) with virtue can only be a sign of this.

We have a natural responsibility to contribute in such a way as we can to the harmony of happiness (in the sense of reward) and virtue. This can only be by temperance, by customary dealings, and by law.

A possibility for Kant: The higest good, qua harmony of happiness and virtue, is built already into the categorical imperative; this is brought out by the law of nature formulation, in which, effectively, we are willing a world (including a distribution of worth and happiness) -- What is willed as universal law is part of what is required for that harmony. NB that in CPR Kant introduces the notion of a highest good through the notion of a moral world: conformity with all moral laws (cp again the law of nature formulation) in which virtuous agents form a corpus mysticum (cp. kingdom of ends formulation) [A808/B836]

Justifying faith is faith in Christ, not in one's own redemption.

Repentance without self-denial is not real repentance; repentance involves unlearning false loves.

People do not just want to have good in life; they wish to have a development of good throughout life.

War is rooted in desire for more.

The structure of algebra, in practice, derives from that of writing, as the structure of geometry from drawing. In neither case is the field tied to that, but it is anchored to it -- it is our 'in' and our check, the way we use a kind of order to guide us in dealing with very abstract ideas.

formal cause as internal method

pregnancy as the basic act of trust in a society (receiving trust, being trusted, trusting, striving to be trustworthy)

Writing requires not only speech and the recognition of speech as speech, but also the recognition of memory of speech and of instruments of memory.

Liberalism easily tends to the weaponization of language where there is power imbalance.

Factional politics is in practice an endless pursuit of excuses for doing what one already wishes to do.

We test whether ideas are clear and distinct by using maximal propositions.

Rule of law and respect for citizens qua citizens are two aspects of one thing.

Christ's Passion as pledge, means, and price

Fitch's paradox for visibility

An army without discipline is easily routed and a church without discipline is easily corrupted.

the 'age of reason' as the threshold of sophistication for being complicit in one's own temptation (no longer merely led wrong by extrinsic reasons but letting oneself by led wrong)

The principle of sanctuary served to drive wrongdoers to places concerned with reformation.

The temporal punishment of a sin is primarily the withholding of graces beyond the essential; where appropriate to the sin it may also include the burdensome consequences of the sin, and where appropriate to the sin or to the good of the whole it may include withholding, at least temporarily, of graces essential to salvation.

The grace of final perseverance is merited only by continual prayer in the Holy Spirit.

prevenient pleasure of X as a taste for X

apostolicity Anglo-Catholics, catholicity Anglo-Catholics, perhaps also sanctity Anglo-Catholics
- Newman was an apAC, Ward a cathAC. Newman, looking at the history of the Church, found that a lot looked Catholic and ultimately Roman Catholic, while Ward, looking at the 'whole Church', found that the Roman Catholics did some things better than C of E, even by C of E professed standards.

It is generally assumed that early diversity is a sign that a practice is not of Apostolic institution, but this involves a certain ambiguity. Every Apostle had the authority to institute practices, and some of these may have been particular institutions for particular cases. That is, 'Apostolic' can mean 'instituted by an Apostle' or 'instituted by all the Apostles'. Both are authoritative, but early diversity is only an argument against the latter.

Acts 10:$ & fitness to receive grace

varieties of traditionary argument for theism
(1) deficiency of empiricism: (a) ideas of infinity, necessity, etc.; (b) truths of history; (c) morality
(2) necessity of language: (a) for understanding; (b) for communication
(3) need for teaching
(4) result: (a) language as such; (b) some forms of language
Note that you can run a traditionary argument for Scriptural revelation, Church, etc.; these will be of varying quality given the differences in strength of the relevant deficiency of empiricism argument

the mutation objection to the traditionary argument: rejection of the need for teaching step: While the usual course that explains is teaching (inheritance), it can also arise through random variation.
-The strength of the mutation objection is that it fits some appearances and hits the traditionary argument at a point tricky for the latter: diversity of languages.
- obviously the next question is: What what would the mechanism of such variation be?
- and note that the objection requires that the potential already be there, thus setting up questions like infinite intelligible. May not address language issue directly, but only move from palaetiological to exemplary/Platonic.
- The issue is in part that any deficiency of empiricism argument raises problems for mutation objection -- empirical and selectional explanations are analogous in structure, and the question is how finite mechanisms yield knowledge of the infinite, etc. So if we keep def-emp, mut-obj seems to push us to strong rationalism.
- NB that the cause of the mutation would in this context *need* to be specified.

Arguments for rationalism cause problems for design arguments (although not necessarily fatal ones) -- they show that such arguments only get to indefinite attributes, not infinite ones. (Humean arguments from evil are concessions of this, which raises interesting questions of its own.)

Probability theory (PT) is not powerful enough to capture all evidential relations.
(1) PT is an extension of propositional calculus. It does not extend predicate calculus or many other of the more powerful logical systems. But these logical systems capture evidential features propositional logic cannot, and in ways unaffected by PT's extension.
(2) PT requires adequate information and perfect precision (else axioms fail). But we can reason evidentially without these.
(3) To determine how the real world should be interpreted probabilistically already requires evidential reasoning.
(4) A close look at attempts to show that PT covers all evidential relations shows that they very often use PT + other things, and the other things are often doing the most important work.

It is essential to the nature of philosophy both to recognize that wisdom is better than philosophy and that philosophy is our way of partaking of wisdom.

a term as a relevance and its expectancies

'A dyad of earth, etc., has a maker because it is an effect, as with a pot.' (The Manual of Reason)
Dharmakirti's objection: an ant-hill (arises from collective operation)
Dharmakirti's restriction: we can infer a maker only when we have seen other things of teh same kind being made.
(Obviously it all depends on what is meant by 'same kind'.)

Peirce (EP2: 241): elements of concepts enter at the gate of perception and leave at the gate of purposive action -- Thus concepts are a sort of teleologizing of sensory experience, and conceptulaization is itself teleological in character.

- a reading of pragmatism as a theory of classification (rather than truth or belief as such)

By rejecting the method of tenacity, Peirce is also in a sense rejecting a 'natural selection' theory of belief-fixing.

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