Friday, January 11, 2019

Dashed Off I

As always, dashed-off notes.

intransitive to be: to exist
transitive to be: to cause x (to make x to be)
intr. reflexive to be: to act (to be so)
trans. reflexive to be: to do x (to enact x)

excluded middle as a feature of universes of discourse (its failure as a sign that we are not dividing one universe of discourse)

int. to live: to be alive/to live
trans. to live: to enliven/quicken/give life to x
intr. ref. to live: to live as
trans ref. to live: to give life as

int. to think: to think (to be thinking)
trans. to think: to think of x
intr. ref. to think: to reflect (to be reflective)
trans. ref. to think: to reflect on x

int. to make: to be a maker
trans. to make: to make x
intr. refl. to make: to cultivate oneself
trans. refl. to make: to cultivate oneself as x (to make oneself be x)

The Kantian postulation of God is essentially a postulation of the (ultimate) unity of practical reason.

Kant on holy wills & the postulation of the possibility of angels

Pfleiderer's argument for teleology based on will as original would also work for moral realism, with minor modification (indeed, specifically moral teleology).

Material implication detaches implication from inference; which is why 'material' should perhaps be taken as alienans.

assertion : ordinary inference :: command : challenge :: question : search?

arity is a modal notion: how many objects a relation *can* relate

self-identity as relating subject and predicate: the self-identity of F is F's being F.

first subject, first ground, first totality

'What is?' as a necessary question

Modern governments are too high-maintenance to be indefinitely sustainable.

"Truth may be safely borrowed from all quarters, and it is not the less true because it has been borrowed." Max Muller

The error of quietism involves confusing 'love God for Himself and not for the sake of reward' with 'love God without regard for reward'. It creates a fictional kind of love divorced from all hope or fulfillment.

the course of every healthy inquiry:
(1) consideration of truth, dialectically
(2) contemplation of truth, intellectually
(3) admiration of the majesty or beauty of truth

"We can easily distinguish three classes of miracles. Some miracles are ideas materialised, others facts idealised, while a third class owes its origin to a simple misunderstanding of metaphorical phraseology." Max Muller
-- This is a neat and clean summary of the liberal position on miracles.
-- Note that these are in fact the three kinds of story (although one would have to state the third less tendentiously).

Modern heresies, among those who remain Catholic, tend to be, in one way or another, misconceivings of the common good of the Church.

"Whatever in nature had to be named, could at first be named as an agent only. Why? Because the roots of language were at first expressive of agency." Muller

"To overcome an error, we must discern its partial truth." E Caird

kinds of epistemological theistic argument
(1) error (Royce)
(2) skepticism-breaking
(3) illuminationist: (a) ontologistic (b) non-ontologistic
(4) epistemic precondition

Prediction is merely a branching complexity problem; it is detachable from questions of determinism. Prediction, in other words, is a use of a system of conditionals.
Prediction is hypothetical by nature.

Note that Frege takes yes/no questions to have the same thought/proposition but not the same force.
(The usual problem raised for this is that "John knows that Bill is coming" is not equivalent to "John knows whether Bill is coming"; but this seems to assume falsely that the latter is literally an embedded question.)

The yes/no of yes/no questions works exactly like true/false.

In punishment one can
(1) communicate what is the appropriate behavior for common good (public rebuke)
(2) correct behavior by discipline so as to be more appropriate to common good (corporal, shaming)
(3) force a restitution to common good (fines, community service)
(4) impede ability to harm common good further (imprisonment, exile)
(5) end ability to harm common good further (death)

Social rights in constitutions often have addressability problems: e.g., if people shall have free water, who is being addressed, specifically in this implied imperative? This interacts with the fact that different possible addressees have different capabilities and limits.

Biblical scholars have sometimes confused literary plausibility with historical plausibility. For instance, there is a literary plausibility to JEPD, in that the distribution of divine names seems not wholly arbitrary, and exhibits at least partial patterns, and in that there are functionally coherent portions that seem otherwise concerned with particular topics. There is a literary plausibility to hypotheses about redaction and even about some historical contexts. But this is treated as if it gave historical probability to various conjectures about those contexts, actions, etc. Perhaps an even more vivid cases is the Deuteronomistic History, a hypothesis which has had plenty of insightful points with structural plausibility but could never bear the historical weight that became attributed to it, because we simply don't have that kind of evidence on that kind of scale. Yet more obvious cases can be found in historical Jesus studies. (This contrasts in part with, say, dating NT books, which has sometimes been reckless in this way but has been more concerned with evidence, and also contrasts with purely literary criticism and canonical criticism on one side and with the study of manuscript history and variants on the other.) Thus one so often gets an interesting mix of ideas, serious analysis of evidence, and discussions that proceed as if the discussants had not the faintest clue how evidence and probable reasoning actually work.

Note that Caird praises the Reformation for secularizing the faith.

Every metaphor is a seed for a story.

Human beings have a standing social fear of evil rituals (in whatever form).

If there are credences, there is no particular reason to regard them as simulations of objective chances rather than assessments of salience for practical action. Indeed, the number of accounts of psychological development and structure that would not make the latter obviously preferable is very small.

Governments in practice only respect claims of natural rights when they can interpret such claims as giving license for expanding government power.

Imperialist expansionism is the political analogue of drug addiction: first you take speed to get your work done more effectively, then you begin working to get speed at any cost; first you exert imperial power to protect your interests, then you sacrifice your interests to maintaining and expanding imperial power. Imperialism teaches desire, craving, pleonexia, as an end.

To make a factual claim about the world is to make a normative claim for reason.

The principle of noncontradiction is simultaneously an Is and an Ought.

We often think of painters as dealing with flat surfaces, but it is worthwhile to remember that painting has layers (paint layers, varnish), textures, relations to frame (note Byzantine icons, for instance). Painters use microvolume to suggest deep volume; which is different from visual effect and perspective suggestions of depth.

"The Book of Acts is rightly closed with St Paul's arrival at Rome. An insight a statesman might have envied led him step by step from Jerusalem to Antioch, from Antioch to Corinth, from Corinth to Rome. The battle for the world's faith could be finally decided nowhere but in the world's capital." Gwatkin

"The roots of a belief may be deeper than the associations which suggested it or the flimsy arguments first advanced in its support." Pringle-Pattison

"The whole mind is present in every act of the mind, and every act of the mind implies the whole mind." R. Haldane

question-settling evidence
-- NB that such evidence is not necessarily indubitable; it just settles the question. E.g., if I wonder whether I have a mouse, and I see what seems to be a mouse just scurrying under the refrigerator when I turn on the light, this settles the question, not because there is no consideration that could lead me to think I was mistaken, but because there is no point in pursuing the matter further. That particular inquiry has been complete, no matter what new inquiries I might raise later.

Every step of an inference is characterizable by a question.

What premises are empirical or not can only be determined empirically, and will vary according to the empirical means available.

For it to be possible that there is something necessary, it must be necessary that there is something necessary.

Samkara's principle: Nothing even appears to be like a genuine impossibility.

Appearing-not-to-be requires relevant comprehensive search. E.g., I look over the whole room, therefore there appears to be no dog in the room. But if I only look in a corner, it does not appear to me that there is no dog in the room, but only that there is no dog in the corner. What is more, it requires that I have done a relevant search, or an action equivalent to one, in order to find what is being looked for.

external world fictionalism
-- note that Berkelely has often been read as such, although he is in fact an external world structuralist.

Note that Tillich has something like an erotetic ontological argument ("The question of God is possible because an awareness of God is present in the question of God") but characterizes it as having a transcendental structure ("This awareness precedes the question. It is not the result of the argument but its presupposition"). Systematic Theology I, 206. He does not, however, regard it as actually an argument, either.

A society involves a coming together (faith-like) in moving to a goal (hope-like) which must be accomplished by actions appropriate to a goal (love-like).

immersed vs transcending hope
E.g., a sick person may have hope for a cure, but also might have hope independent of the matter of sickness or health, e.g., hope for one's children.

In Humean ethics, the magnetism of the good is sympathy itself.

Both 'propositional meaning' and 'emotive meaning' are always operative.

Stevenson's account, despite his intent, does not save disagreement about the good; disagreement in interest is not disagreement about anything; it's just a discord of interests.

generalization to salience values, salience conditions
Salience for
-- assertions: truth (being assertible)
-- imperatives: being in force
-- questions: being askable
-- wishes: being wished (to-be-wished?)

May John get well! Therefore John is not yet well.
God save the Queen! Therefore there is a Queen
If only I were rich! Therefore I am not yet rich.

"A Sign is nothing but a correlative Effect from the Same Cause." Hume ECHU (1750)
This was dropped from later editions.

assertive imperatives vs vocative imperatives

assertions : questions :: imperatives : optatives

(1) Rationality requires consistency in choice.
(2) Consistency in choice requires, for social agents, some form of governance.

optative ontological argument?
'May there be a God'; therefore, there is a God.
This *does* seem closely analogous to the Zenonian argument, but obviously the issue is how the optative would work with the necessity.

The 'feeling of understanding' is often more a feeling of breaking through to a new perspective.

Human sympathy is always approximative.

'no evil can overcome wisdom' (Wis 7:30)

You can build propositions just from vocatives and interjections. (You!--Wow!)

Hope and forgiveness are interlinked.

Caird: the phenomenal/noumenal distinction should instead be understood as a distinction between the world as imperfectly conceived and the world as more adequately conceived.

hierarchy as a kind of semiosis

By the authority of Christ the King, the Church has an inalienable right not only to Catholic places of worship and eleemosynary institutions, but also Catholic schools, Catholic hospitals, Catholic markets, and all such similar things, as prudence determines them appropriate and feasible.

A society can go far just on customs of trustworthiness, accountability, and personal initiative.

modestia as communication of dignity

analogies as the diagrams of sacramental theology

(1) A considerable portion of 'seemings' are crude and dubitable on their face; they have no 'felt verdicality' or 'assertiveness' or 'forcefulness'.
(2) 'Seeming' is an analogical, not a univocal term.
(3) 'Felt veridicality' is usually nothing other than apparent inevitability in practice or inquiry.
(4) We are often in doubt about how things seem.
(5) We can often change how things seem by changing perspective.
(6) How things seem is often contradictory.
(7) The role of seeming in inference and inquiry is entirely a matter of its being an effect.

Only by an absurdity argument against God's existence (or anything similar) can one rationally reject PSR -- i.e., by showing a case in which PSR results in an actual absurdity.

A brute fact, in the sense inconsistent with PSR, cannot be composite because its constituents are reasons explaining its being the fact it is. It cannot have intrinsically grounded relations for the same reason.

The Holy Spirit inspires sanctity in some, and part of this sanctity is a power of attracting others to sanctity, as magnet magnetizes iron; from these saints chains of others are suspended. Through these, God sways yet more souls, one drawn to the hints of sanctity in another. But there are countervailing forces, and the influence weakens down the chain.

"If ritual is suppressed in one form, it crops up in others." Mary Douglas

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that democratic popular-governance institutions are increasingly occupying a purely ceremonial role, like kings giving way to parliaments. This is related to their increase in nominal prestige; they give dignity and communicate legitimacy to other things without having much effect themselves; everyone lauds them and everyone maneuvers around them to do whatever they like.

Nomen naturae importat habitudinem principii. (Aquinas, In Phys II)

Dodgson to Mary Brown on hell, 28 June 1889

"Everything is real, so long as you do not take it for more than it is." Bosanquet

time as measure vs time as the life of the World Soul (Plotinus)

In politics, people regularly overshoot what they believe in order, first, to build a protective ring around what they do believe, and, second, to counterbalance what they think are their most serious opponents.

The actual world exhibits objective possibilities organized by causal order.

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