Friday, September 21, 2018

Dashed Off XXII

constancy and coherence as features of laws of nature (invariance and change-patterns)

Humean fictions as a doubling of ideas (slightly varied) treated as if the same -- e.g., the idea of vacuum (empty space) from (a) the idea-set of two bodies and nothing else (empty) and (b) the idea-set of two bodies with interposing body (space); or unchanging duration from (a) unchanging idea-set and (b) changing idea-set.

The coherence theory of truth detaches immediate apprehension from truth.

fiction vs abstraction accounts of constancy

All of relativity theory and all of quantum mechanics requires abstraction well beyond what empiricism can handle.

To say that lying can be permissible is to say that truth is not itself a good for fortitude.

Protestantism naturally tends to make Christianity more like Islam.

Dedekind cuts and the ability to say 'these numbers are relevant and those are not'

not-incipit-not, not-incipit, incipit, incipit-not
not-desinit, not-desinit-not, desinit-not, desinit

A widespread tradition of an event that would have had to have been widely witnessed is prima facie reason to believe the event occurred (cp 'Kuzari principle').

Sinai tradition
Either based on (1) purportedly real experiences or (2) legends arising later.
If (1), then either (1.1) real experiences or (1.2) conspiracy and lies.
If (1.1), then either (1.1.1) real experience of real or (1.1.2) hallucinatory experience.
If (1.1.1), either (1.1.1.1) supernatural event or (1.1.1.2) confusion over natural event.
-- Of the non-supernatural alternatives, only the legends branch is worth taking seriously without direct proof -- e.g., the conspiracy would have to be massive, the hallucination would have to be massive, and the natural event would have to be indistinguishable from a preternatural miracle.

People regularly speak as if legends just magically grew up, spontaneously appearing for no definite reason. But neither in organ nor in development nor in preservation do they work this way. the actual causes must be considered.

Even children will not believe just any crazy thing.

In matters of testimony, one must not confuse proof of defeasibility with proof of defeat.

the existence of the Jewish people as a preternatural miracle
the Life of Christ as a preternatural miracle with supernatural elements

Judicial review must be a means of upholding the law or it is a usurpation of power.

A self-victimizing culture arises when the broader culture confuses being a victim with an act of moral rebellion against evil.

Democratic politics is a process of discovering how horribly evil you have been when your opponents start doing what you already do.

If you ask whether an argument is plausible, you are asking about its poetics. If you ask whether an argument is convincing or compelling, you are asking about its rhetorical usefulness. Do not confuses these with other logical questions.

tarka as an assistant to pramana
--tarka, unlike pramana does not establish the nature of the thing or give anything definitive, but it gives weight to an alternative in apparent conflict

"all wrong cognitions have the resemblance of right cognitions; whenever a wrong cognition appears in the world, it always bears the semblance of a right cognition" Uddyotokara

Philo's Embassy to Gaius and Philippians 2:6

ecclesial infrastructure as standing reserve

Science is self-correcting in the way accounting is. But the books must actually be balanced and audited.

legal justice // political prudence

the Kuzari argument // the traditionary argument

concrete nature -- tutelar
abstract principle -- preternatural
death -- beyondgrave
ultimacy -- deity
Perhaps we can think of these as causal efficacy from over-limits -- the limit of human life (death) the limit of human rule, the limit of the concrete, all limit. But there is something about consciousness here, since we have invisible intelligent power in deity, tutelar, and some beyondgrave; preternatural is not intelligent but intelligible above/beyond (our) intelligence.

beyond the limits of humans as understanding agents
(1) intelligible power under which we stand
(2) intelligent power beyond us
---- (a) by being forces beyond death, which we cannot escape
---- (b) by being forces at root of nature, which we must presuppose
---- (c) by being ultimate

sublimity & natural religious experience

We think of languages as having a defined structure, and this is not wrong, but the actual structure is fuzzy, ranging from the barely coherent nongrammatical up through the perfectly serviceable nongrammatical through normal grammatical registers up to the most polished polished grammatical registers and then to the overly defined and stilted registers.

The feeling of doing one's duty often supports one in difficult and miserable times.

analogy of natural providence + analogy of moral providence + analgoy of Israel -> (by convergence) the truth of the Catholic Church

"Hierarchy within can alone preserve egalitarianism without." C. S. Lewis
"The Dictator and the Secret Police breed in countries where schoolboys lack the No Sneaking Rule."

Sirach as a meditation on Scripture as applied to life (quotes or arguably alludes to almost every OT work, follows a scriptural structure in 44-49, note the grandson's prologue)

legend development
(1) embellishment of prior story
(2) literalization of metaphor
(3) confusion of stories
(4) fabrication entering testimonial stream

elements of system
uddesa: list of topics
laksana: definition/account for each topic
pariksa: critical examination of account's application to topics
systems as related topics with examined accounts

As faith is both personal and ecclesial, so also is prayer both personal and ecclesial.

Nomen substantiae potest aliquid repraesentere in opinione. (Peter of Cornwall)

Noumena as well as phenomena must be able to be signified.

the gifts of the holy Spirit as new formal modes of knowing and willing

the link between romance and pleasant embarrassment

Overlap as 'possibly a point is in both a and b'
Parthood as 'necessarily a point in a is in both a and b'

All limitations on free speech are the expression of some special interest.

Democracies primarily work on group loyalties.

Museum curation often fails by omission, not of topics, but of key context.
Museums are often legendaria, mythological presentations, telling a story that is more about an identity than any history.

boundary/border as symmetric binary operator B(a,b) [similar to overlap]

a is part
Therefore there is something b such that a is part of b

Reception of tradition has two axes, which might be called preservation and generation.

memory as giving testimony to oneself

the plasticity of tradition

Habermas errs by substituting consensus for peace.

The democratic institutions of the Western world are not, and never have been, very concerned with consensus.

the client-forming character of bureaucracy (bureaucracy as patronage system)

ethical integrity, intellectual merit, societal impact in research decisions

If the rational being is to think of his maxims as practical at all, he must think of them as having the regulating principle of will in both matter and form.

the sophistical political maxims [Kant]
(1) fac et excusa
(2) si fecisti, nega
(3) divide et impera

acceptation of the faith vs tradition of the faith

Note that Kant claims that a hereditary nobility is a rank that precedes merit. But the real character of hereditary nobility is that it is a rank rewarded for another's merit, which could not be adequately rewarded otherwise. It is not that hte merit is passed down, either; it is that the inherited rank is the reward for the progenitor. It may then be confirmed in further service, because it then functions as a familial practice of honorable service.

Nature does not make talent and will hereditary; but we do in fact inherit the consequences of the talent and will of others.

Meritorious service to the state is made possible not merely by talent and will but by the means to leverage them.

three forms of teaching
(1) dogmatic
(2) catechetical
(3) dialogical

Pyrrhonians treat the authority of reason as an external authority.

Human beings are always stupid -- but not equally stupid at all times.

'a is at least part of b' is equivalent to 'b is at least the whole of a'

force as mereological (Hegel)

Shepherd's theory of causation involves a generalization of Newton's first law.

templates as patterns that are transcribed to produce a consistent product with a particular character

Parity arguments require (1) similarity of structure and (2) unavailability of relevant principled differences.

Too much of the discussion of empty names conflates or fails to appreciate the difference between 'existing' and 'posited for consdieration'.

Philosophy within, citizenship without.

Journalism forms a check on politics only if it is not itself corrupt, and only if it is not a bottleneck for information that citizens need in order to govern well.

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