Friday, October 05, 2018

Dashed Off XXIII

"If we do not know what we receive, we shall never wake into love." Teresa of Avila

Catholic citizens should be integralist about their own political power as citizens; it is another question whether this always requires, or is even always benefited by, this or that form of large-scale integralism.

Partisanship puts pressure on the mind to conflate ends and means.

Hope is a power of repair.

Note that Hume ends the History with the moral that the English constitution is not particularly rooted in ancient tradition, and that its excellence is in great measure happenstance.

The proud may be broken; the humble never.

already = not-still-not

reductio ad absurdum as a limit to doubt

"...humility has this excellent quality, that no work which is done in a humble state leaves any distaste in the soul." Teresa

The infused virtue of humility involves having a glimpse of how one looks from the divine perspective.

Liberalism, as generally practiced, trains people to see no higher goals in religion than emotional comfort and fulfillment of spirit. People too mired in its democratization lose their ability to make sense of people who see in religious practice absolute submission, or infinite compassion, or union with God, as someone used to thinking only in finites has difficulty making sense of the thought of those concerned with the infinite. This is a symptom of a broader problem with liberalism, its tendency to finitize all values.

NB that while Hume argues that the use of organs indicates mind-dependence of perceptions, Shepherd argues that it establishes the dependence of the perception on mind-independent objects.

taking subject-object to have primacy over act-potency leaves us with no real change, only differences (difference of object under difference of notice)

blasphemy laws based on offense vs blasphemy laws based on sublimity
-- Whatever one's view of the latter, the former is an abominable mongrel that consists of trivializing something while still being punitive about it, as if one made human dignity to be nothing more than a subjective preference while still putting people in jail for murder, treating murder as nothing but a violation of preferences. It turns solemn justice into petty malice.

Reproducibility is important for experiment because it allows one to move from talking about this physical event to an abstract object. Reproducible events can, qua reproducible, be treated abstractly as having a single structure and character across reproductions.

Rhetoric uses logical ideas under relative qualification.

People have no motivation or incentive to be active citizens if their power keeps being infringed. Other things can be relevant factors, but civic apathy or quietism is often linked to how unstable and uncertain people take their power to be.

The best pedagogy requires seeing things at once more abstractly and more concretely.

God as 'that true Virtue, from which all virtues spring'

How often the evidence is there before us and we do not even recognize it as evidence!

There can no more be a sharp separation between ethics and metaphysics than there can be one between practical and speculative understanding; whatever the distinction, there must be perichoresis.

while, when, and where as binary modal operators (symmetric)

squares of opposition for all of Llull's dignitates

the eclectic as intermediary between the occasional and the systematic
-- the occasional as our normal mode of philosophizing

popular consent as material ground of positive authority, reason as formal ground of authority, God as exemplar ground of authority

"Because God is the creator of the natural simplicities in minds and bodies, He has the simplicity which belongs to Him by nature as an activity." Palamas

quarantine rules // conflict of interest rules

A hypothesis: where (a) Box and Diamond are D-modalities; (b) the square of opposition is exhaustive in its order, such that its elements are disjunctively convertible with being; and (c) there is a dependency of some kind of Diamond on Box; then one may use Diamond to argue for the existence of God as the ground, principle, or prime of Box.
uncaused, opposing conditions existing, opposing conditions not existing, causable
necessary, impossible, possible, possible-not
intrinsic good, privation of good, admitting of good, admitting of privation of good
intrinsically true, intrinsically false, able to be true, able to be untrue

God as counter-skeptical guarantee // God as conserving cause

One may always move from an exclusive Diamond to an inclusive Diamond by disjunction with Box.

existence proofs: infinite regress, Diamond to Box, reduction to contradiction, accumulation of diagnostic marks

It seems that atheistic arguments from evil can only be ad hominem (in Locke's sense), never ad judicium. Are there exceptions? (An ad jud argument would need a way to ground knowledge of what God would do, even though the argued-for is that there is no God.)

All good we know in our everyday experience permits evil of some kind.

the problem of curial cliques
-- one element to this is that curial positions are basically spoils system (contrast with patriarchs and bishops), with both the advantages and disadvantages that follow from that.
-- this is perhaps intensified by the fact that cardinals, as electors, endure, thus giving a stable body of people competing, in a broad sense, for key positions and whose projects depend on position capture; this leads to networks and thus cliques.

An effect of separation of powers is sequester of faction (functional decentralization).

Conjecture and refutation is effective only to the extent one has relevant accessible invariances.

Increasingly I think any discussion of modal logic should begin with the principle of noncontradiction.

the illative and aspirative aspects of worship

"the Church prolongs the priestly mission of Jesus mainly by means of the sacred liturgy" (Mediator Dei)

Sexual shame is rooted in the fact that sex involves much more than reproduction. Stripping it away requires treating sex as nothing but the physical process of reproduction, whether one thinks of it under the label 'reproduction' or not.

One of the greatest mistakes you can make is to assume that the world's critique of Christianity is coherent to begin with.

perception of signs as precondition for inference

the involution of moral life

Practices and procedures in politics adapt to accommodate regular and widespread responses of shame, pity, and reverence, where these responses lead t, or threaten to lead to, focused protest.

By perception we have an evidential point of view on which we can draw; by inference we draw on possible points of view related in definite ways to our own; by testimony we draw on the points of view of other people.

"our Reason is akin to the Reason that governs the Universe; we must assume that or despair of finding out anything." Peirce EP2:502

NB Peirce criticizes Hegel for not properly recognizing the distinction between essence and existence, leading to a kind of nominalism -- while the project of a phenomenology is an important one, Hegel conflates what actually forces itself on the mind with all that can be available to consciousness.

Seven mental qualifications of a philosopher (C. S. Peirce, CP 1.521-39)
(1) The ability to discern what is before one's consciousness
(2) Inventive originality
(3) Generalizing power
(4) subtlety
(5) Critical severity and sense of fact
(6) Systematic procedure
(7) Energy, diligence, persistency, and exclusive devotion to philosophy

rootedness in experience, rigor, and organization as the three features of system; systems as characterized by the modes and manners of these three features

Sanctity in this life is always partly aspirational.

An important and too often forgotten aspect of music is its tactile character: vibrations through the body, bodily responses like jolts, etc.

All complete explanation is in terms of something not more limited.

Tribute and homage to others is an essential part of the actual aesthetics of life.

"In all the things that so great and wise a God has created, there must be many beneficial secrets, and those who understand them do benefit, although I believe that in each little thing created by God there is more than what is understood, even if it is a little ant." Teresa

Love is a prerequisite for genuine stillness of mind.

The practice of prayer is fundamentally a matter of putting one's mind on God and coming to see all other things in light of Him, so that this becomes the normal course of thought.

Moral progress is possible only relative to a tradition.

If all earthly things may be a glass to see heaven through, so too may the saints and saintesses; they are not less glass than trees and mountains.

"It is the mark of a noble nature to be more shocked with the unjust condemnation of a bad man than of a virtuous one." Coleridge

"The study of history is the best medicine for a sick mind." Livy

What are called the 'gray areas' of consent are in fact just the cases in which consent is operating normally -- to get more than this, consent must be sharpened by special procedures.

Aristotle was more thoroughly empirical than many modern philosophers who consider themselves empirically minded; the latter often have endless tissues of assumptions they cannot empirically justify.

plain truth and figured truth and riddled truth

diffusion of powers of governance

humor as a means of denaturing wickedness

Liberal Christianity often seems like Cain, wishing to offer grains and fruits rather than a bloody lamb, and not always the best and finest.

miracle as divine riddle

Faith proposes to reason a richer principle, a greater happiness, and a more universal society than reason can see clearly on its own.

Human beings are a species much given to trophy-taking and trophy-giving.

Of all the gifts brought by faith, to be able to be free of the shackles of worldly politics, to be able to see outside its walls, is not a small one.

facts as beings of reason

introspection // organizational auditing

Descartes's 'primitive notions' are kinds of perceptible.

perception that X is like something previously experienced vs. perception that X is something previously experienced

each potential part of justice as grounding a distinct region of rights (although these regions are capable of overly due to interaction of virtues)

To say that Christ disclaimed all civil power is like saying the Emperor declines to take up the office of Headman of the Village; why would an Emperor insist on being a mayor?

The meaning of ritual is determined by its structure and the meaning of its constituents.

evidence as a reason for assigning a modal status

The course of government in the post-medieval era makes clear that there needs to be an eleemosynary branch of government, in check and balance with executive, legislative, and judicial branches. (Note, for instance, the tendency of republics to become dictatorships by way of executives pushing populist welfare expansions in exchange for increase of power, as in Venezuela and elsewhere.)

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