Friday, July 27, 2018

Dashed Off XVII

the natural, sacred-historical, and miraculous types of the sacraments

Ontologism with occasionalism is a more serious theological problem than ontologism with a robust notion of secondary causation.

Ayn Rand reduces reason to an internal sense, integrating and sorting sensory data.

Distinction among alethic modalities tends to be most important in addressing Why questions. Blanshard suggests that when you arrive at a necessity, Why? is no longer in order. This is not wrong, but somewhat misleading -- arriving at necessity, some particular relevant kind of Why? is no longer in order; but other kinds may not yet have received their answer.

explanation as reduction to Box (Box maximization)

accuracy : truth of premises
adroitness: validity
a + a : soundness
aptness : relevant soundness

Ventura notes that traditionalists have an easy explanation of notions like 'age of reason' -- in terms of adequate social instruction. This seems a strong argument worthy of some attention.

It is a great and consistent sin of modern theologians to treat their task as speculation and not recognize that it is elucidation of facts of revelation and tradition.

natural religion as rational scheme
natural religion as humanitarian tradition

sui juris churches as liturgical deferences

To say, as Canon 36 of the Quinisext does, that Constantinople has 'equal seniority with Rome' appears to mean in context that it has the same jurisdictional authority over its geographical area -- thus extending to Constantinople what had already been extended to Alexandria and Antioch by canon 6 of Nicaea. Note, too, that all of these are reflections of what already was the practice with regard to Rome -- Roman-style authority is being extended outward.

We do not experience acts of understanding or will generally as acts of the body, but we do experience some acts of the body as acts of understanding and will.

separability principles in Autrecourt and Hume

"God alone is Possest, because He actually is what He can be." Cusanus

"Knowledge and human power come to the same thing." Bacon Instauratio magna, Pt2, 1.3

Baconian doctrine of idols : interpretation of nature :: sophistics : common logic

In forming any classification, the intellect can in principle recognize the limitations of that classification.

our capacity to think of spiritual things as a motive of credibility

Language is an ordering of reason to communication of truth, presented in signs by a rational being insofar as it is social.

A language must have rules, be public, learnable, intelligible, able to distinguish true from false, able to express possibilities, be stable enough to use, and be capable in use of having communicated truth as its end.

mereological fusion as thinkable together regardless of relevance

the Note of Extent and the conditions for the liturgical commonwealth of the Catholic Church

three conditions for sacrament: distinctness, institution, meaning
or: (distinction, principiation, manifestation) (remotion, causation, eminence)

power : cause :: wisdom : sufficient reason :: goodness : ?

All formal systems are partial abstractions from natural language.

durability and extent as tests of common sense

A view of the evidence is not, in and of itself, a belief.

We can simultaneously entertain opposing views of evidence (by memory and by attention).

Treating 'do ut des' as the principle of sacrifice itself overlooks sacrifices that are purely celebratory or for social signaling.

Tallies are related to successor functions, except a tally has in itself no order.

Political freedom does not arise out of state guarantees, but is something the state must be restrained from intruding too much upon.

a Planckian argument against manipulability accounts of causation (failure to remove anthropocentrism)

Evidence is not straightforwardly additive: (1) circumstantial evidence; (2) diminishing returns; (3) shifts in kinds of evidence that are important; (4) shifts in evidential evaluation due to changing theoretical frameworks.

'the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father' (Jn 15:26) as a Trinitarian formula

"miracle" argument in phil sci // fine-tuning argument

An author of a fictional story has a 'first-person knowledge' of his characters, but not as about himself.

instrumental good -> intrinsic good -> exemplar hierarchy of intrinsic goods --> first intrinsic good
instrumental good --> goods both intrinsic and instrumental --> first intrinsic good
accident --> substance --> first being
indicative good --> intrinsic good --> exemplar hierarchy of intrinsic goods --> first intrinsic good
indicative good -> goods both intrinsic & indicative -> first intrinsic good

Everything that is has a valuing-ground.

The cooperation of a prisoner with his own punishment should be seen as a presumptive expression of civic responsibility. (Good behavior in prison is a civic activity, and not a particularly easy one.)

An irony of Spinoza's rejection of final causes is that the Ethics is itself structured as if teleologically.

Hugh of St. Victor on the history of sacrament of expiation and justification: oblation -> circumcision -> baptism

examples of sacraments of natural law (Hugh): decimas, sacrificia, oblationes
(cp. Aquinas Sent d1q1a2qc3c)

Sacraments
of natural law = umbra veritatis
of Old Law = imago vel figura veritatis
of New Law = corpus veritatis

The sacraments of natural law are the aspects of the virtue of religion and the rites (in something like the Confucian sense) associated with that virtue that can serve as 'hooks' for the later sacraments.

Morality is itself clearly a matter in which we have an obligation to believe.

"God is Himself Law, and therefore law is dear to Him." (Mirror of the Saxons)

In answering a question about the law of divorce in Mt 19, Christ responds not with points of law but with the first principles of marriage for which the law is an incomplete protection.

Human rights are images, like flat paintings, of the rights of God, as humans are images of God, and for that reason.

Kant's ethics fails to treat God as an end in Himself; it treats Him as a means to Humanity in ourselves and others.

"All right principles that philosophers and lawgivers have discovered and expressed they owe to whatever of the Word they have found and contemplated in part." Justin

circumstantial, pedagogical, concessional, typological, and confirmatory laws of Torah
(1) circumstantial: given for handling a particular set of circumstances (Tabernacle, Temple)
(2) pedagogical: give for purposes of teaching, especially to turn away from idols and to God
(3) concessional: given to guide to less bad ways in matters of weakness (divorce)
(4) typological: sacramental signs of holiness and salvation (sabbath, circumcision)
(5) confirmatory: republication of natural law (Decalogue)

practical syllogism
major: synderesis
minor: reasoning from experience
conclusion: drawn by conscience

St. Albert's favored definition of law: Lex est ius scriptum asciscens honestum prohibiensque contrarium.

Reasoning about consequences is only useful in practical decision-making when the ends of the decision are already established. We do not reason about just any kinds of consequences.

As Xunzi describes it, rite (li) has an intrinsic reference to common good.

affectio commodii & affectio iustitiae, evening and morning knowledge

solidarity: firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to common good

Labor should be such as is appropriate to the formation and cultivation of family.

The purpose of a properly run union is not to negotiate contracts but to protect the vital interests of workers -- the guarantee the recognition of workers as living human beings.

quasi-figurative uses of tools (e.g., using a screwdriver as a hammer or a lever)
adaptation of an instrumentality to another domain of instrumentality

'ordinary use' in OLP as 'common acceptation' (Malcolm certainly commits to this; I think Ryle may be committed to it being only one form)

perverse use of language: the use of it for an end directly contrary to its character as an instrument of communication (e.g., using 'black' to mean 'white' in a context in which people would understand black). Obviously for language this will require regard for context, since communication itself requires such regard.

Austin: ordinary language as embodying 'the inherited experience and acumen of many generations of men'

vocabulary synopsis, linguistic phenomenology, speech-act taxonomy, descriptive metaphysics (conceptual cartography)

marriage and the dwelling-with-another suitable to animals whose social nature is rational

Sacraments of natural law are not divinely instituted except in the sense that they fall under natural law as things appropriate to it, as sages could recognize.
The sacraments of natural law, being essentially imitations of the wise, have no intrinsic efficacy, but are morally salutary and may have efficacy where God grants faith, as with the patriarchs.
Gen 28 and sacraments of natural law (specifics arise as a personal vow of devotion)
'God is to be given first honor' as a general principle of the sacraments of natural law

Torah provides remedy to the obtenebration of natural law by human custom, and sharpens or focuses its signification for purposes of faith.

"fact is richer than diction" (J. L. Austin)
"words are our tools, and, as a minimum, we should use clean tools"

misfire : invalidity
abuse (1): illicitness
abuse (2): licit but with inappropriate intent

While we can and must recognize ourselves as distinct persons from others, we do not, and should not, regard our personhood as sharply distinct from that of others. Children grow up in the ambit and ambience of their parents' personhood, and friends of the closest kind are other selves, and husbands and wives join as one, and even strangers may be met in such a way that we sympathetically mingle.

Sometimes the word 'self' indicates a kind of subject, and other times a property of nature, and yet other times a tapestry of habits and acts.

the Door: Baptism
the Light of the World: Confirmation
the Bread of Life: Eucharist
the Good Shepherd: Orders
the Resurrection and the Life: Unction
the Way, the Truth, the Life: Penance
the True Vine: Matrimony
(note the links between the vine image and that of the Body of Christ)
-- this is a much better fit than one would expect. Think about this.

Planck's phantom problems are all cases in which one slips from one viewpoint to another in the middle of reasoning; thus they are illusions arising by a sort of contextual equivocation. But there is a danger in thinking that this recognition relieves on of explaining the relation between two viewpoints. (And one may even give a Planckian argument for this since ignoring this requirement makes it impossible to eliminate anthropomorphic elements from physical ideas.)

"There is a dialectic in Christian sacred art which impels it to stress, from time to time, now the eternal, and now the temporal elements in the Divine drama." Sayers

If a society does not recognize the priority of rights over statutes, it is absurd to regard it as either liberal or popular governance. But this is precisely the case with societies that fail to recognize conscientious objection, which is an expression of such primacy.

The effective power, as distinct from the authority, of the papacy derives from six sources:
(1) the (defeasible and wavering) tendency of Catholics to avoid direct conflict with the Pope
(2) curial support
(3) alliances with other Catholic leaders (monarchs, patriarchs, etc.)
(4) good reputation in Catholic press and Catholic public opinion (note that this, unlike the first, is active support)
(5) respect from those outside the Church, in the form of concession or cooperation
(6) unpredictable providential favor, in the form of new opportunities and good fortune in attempted undertakings

"Now the power of each corporeal creature is determined for finite effects, but the power of free will is directed toward infinite actions. Hence, this very fact attests to the power of the soul to last into infinity." Aquinas

"It is not the essence of man to be a being who can bear witness?" Marcel

joy and the feeling of something inexhaustible

Our mortality limits our fidelity.

"The most grievous wounds the Church has had to suffer have always been inflicted on her by her own unnatural sons, not by her enemies outside the fold." Ludwig von Pastor
"The greatest and most mysterious feature of the Church of Christ is that the periods of its deepest humiliation are also those of its greatest power and unconquerable strength. For the Church, death and the grave are symbols not of extinction but of resurrection."
"All great things are born in quietness and obscurity."

The Rock is
St. Peter: Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Leo
St. Peter's Faith: Hilary, Ambrose, Epiphanius, Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria, Leo
Christ: Tertullian, Ambrose, Cyril of Alexandria, Jerome, Augustine

Professional obligations arise only from contract, from reason, or from tradition.
Professional obligations qua professional are formed by professionals, not descended from heaven, and what constitutes them are practical ways of building a fence around moral obligation; they are not themselves oracular sources of obligations, but specifications of obligations.
Professional obligations are, by their very nature, instrumental to other obligations.

the obligation to exercise moral agency as a foundation for the right of conscientious objection

We can learn nothing from a sign if we are not properly disposed to it.

the immediate object of a sign: that which it expresses/represents
the dynamic object of a sign: that which it targets/indicates
An icon of a saint has as its immediate object the saint and as its dynamic object Christ in its fullness.

Hume's principles of association work really well for certain kinds of music (although Beattie would still be right about the need for contrariety).

being, tending, expressing

the Ineffable Name as rehmatic indexical legisign
- Peirce takes all proper names to be such, but this is arguable. Rather, it seems the pure functionality of proper-naming has this structure, but proper names are not necessarily purely indexical even in being used as proper names. Contrast proper names with demonstrative pronouns on this.

Peirce's theory of signs is an indirect theory of inquiry. This is one reason for later explosion -- the link between semiosis and inquiry leads to an attempt to characterize the former in a way adequate to the wonderful richness of the latter, and thus to fully describe signs-in-inquiry.

What is the subject-matter of philosophy? (families of answers)
1. some particular kind of thing
2. in some sense everything
2.1 as ideal system (system of reasons)
2.2 as real world (system of causes)
2.3 as unity of real and ideal
2.3.1 in the One: Pagan Neoplatonism
2.3.2 in the All: Absolute Idealism
2.3.3 in God: Christian Neoplatonism or Personal Idealism, depending on emphasis

Spiritual icons
(1) as seen in space
(2) as enacted in time
(3) as conceived in thought
(4) as lived in person

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