Friday, March 20, 2020

Dashed Off V

This ends the notebook that was finished in December 2018. A fair amount about Boole's logic and Mill's philosophy of religion here.

the felt experience of something qua something, and of another qua another
-- the experience of being one with something that is another

The modernist error, Self-identification is identity, is a variant of a more general error, Freedom is self-creation.

It is an error to conflate what someone deserves of society and what someone deserves simply; the former depends on the responsibilities of society.

multitudo as transcendental
explicitly: De spir. creat. 8.15; In III Phys 8.352; In III Phys 12.394; ST 1.30.3; ST 1.50.3
compare also: I Sent 24.1.3; CT 1.72; Super De Trin. 4.1ad3

whole & part : one :: act & potency : being

res : aliquid :: ens : unum
res : aliquid :: self: other

'Fibonacci' as a name was invented by the French historian Guillaume Libri in 1838; his real name was Leonardo, often Leonardo Pisano.

Dimitri Gutas, "Greek Thought, Arabic Culture"
-- Note that the usual House of Wisdom stories are myths, but they also underplay the massiveness of the Abbasid translation movement, which was not confined to any particular institution; the bayt al-hikma seem to have had a narrow function as a minor part of this, and the term likely is a generic term for any sort of state library, and always associated with Persian history and poetry.

Fuller's inner morality of law requires recognizing the distinction between aspiration and minimal duty. (Cp. Nicholson)
-- Note also that Fuller is not talking about *particular* laws.
What Fuller opposes is the notion that law is a "one-way projection of power downward" rather than a cooperative activity that requires giving people something they can abide by.

Sometimes we argue not for a further end but just because we can't not argue the point.

translations of ∃x(Fx)
There is at least one x that is F.
There at least is an x that is F.
Something that is x is an F.
Posit an x that is F.

Civilization is built out of layers and layers.

In impetratory prayers there is a difference between praying for what you'd like and praying for what you want.

the relation between nationalization of religious life and iconoclasm (as states intrude in the prerogative of churches they tend toward different versions of iconoclasm)

In analysis of argument, order of cogency is more important than cogency itself; that is, it's "this could be persuasive given that" that matters most.

The spread of vaccination through Japan in 1849 suggests that a key element in the later swift modernization of Japan was the existence of already developed efficient networks of intellectuals.

association of text with picture
(1) by immersion
(2) by caption
(3) by illustration

Mill is in a sense right that the assent of others is "second-hand evidence" but fails to do justice to the fact that it is nonetheless evidence. Every kind of second-hand evidence is first-hand evidence of a more nuanced thesis.

Boole takes all the uses of language in reasoning to be reducible to (1) identifications (2) compositions and resolutions (3) equations.

Boole's uninterpretables are uninterpretable in the sense that any interpretation (if possible) would necessarily have to go beyond the vocabulary of classes. In the step x-2xy+y=0, x and y are class designators; xy would normally be a class designator, but 2xy cannot be a class designator in the same sense. Boole's logic handles class relations by shifting in and out of the system of classes itself, as recognized by the logic.

2xy should be seen as a bookkeeping comment, or a pile of miscellaneous information about classes that we need to track for the action we are in the midst of performing.

x^2=x is not for Boole a general rule for reasoning but a general rule for classes/terms.

liberality : magnificence :: chastity : virginity

eutrapelia as a guardianship of meaningfulness

"Whatever opinion a person may adopt on any subject that admits of controversy, his assurance if he be a cautious thinker cannot be complete unless he is able to account for the existence of the opposite opinion." Mill
"As the human intellect though weak is not essentially perverted, there is a certain presumption of the truth of any opinion held by many human minds, requiring to be rebutted by assigning some other real or possible cause for its prevalence."

-- Look more closely at Mill's use of 'experience' in "Theism" -- it seems to expand or contract as he wishes. For instance, we have no more direct experience of force or matter qua permanent than of permanent mind, but the former get classed as 'experience' and the latter not.

Mill makes at least four mistakes in his criticism of consensus gentium (despite rightly recognizing its structure):
(1) He falsely assumes that the Intuitionist, as such, requires that the mind be made by God. The reason for this seems to be overassimilating all intuitionists to Descartes.
(2) He falsely slanders the religion of "barbarous tribes", completely failing to regard the beauties, excellences, and even rationalities that can be found there.
(3) He falsely assumes the Intuitionist would agree that evidence for something contrasts with an internal tendency for mind, such that having the one can immediately exclude the other.
(4) He overshoots in his conclusion, claiming the argument cannot establish an inherent tendency of mind *even as a hypothesis*, solely on the gorund of an unproven lack of such tendency in some. (It's as if one denied a natural ability to count large numbers on the ground that some people only count to three or so.)

Note that Mill's rejection of marks of moral design is based on his assumption that it would have to consist entirely of moral ends in the sense of good for sentient creatures; the stabilities of things are excluded explicitly; and there is no sense of suitabilities for moral life beyond the very limited one he allows (of our being able to feel pleasure). It's a very utilitarian line put forward to block the idea that we can be sure God is a utilitarian, but even on such terms the scope of his argument is too narrow for his conclusions.

There is a perfectly straightforward sense in which health is natural to an organism even if it is always unhealthy.

Mill is right that anything of natural theology that succeeds, even if only in probabilities and analogies, is capable of strengthening the case for revelation: one has phenomena of apparent revelation, and then any indications and suggestions, however slight, can give support or clarification to the idea that it may be more than merely apparent. And this is why, incidentally, it is a mistake to ignore everything less than proof (although Aquinas is right that one should not treat such things as if they were proofs).

Mill's argument against internal evidences for revelation seems to fit quite poorly with the fact that he is already committed by his utilitarianism to progress in morality, and thus to change in moral standards. The latter makes it possible to consider (e.g.) possible cases of extraordinary anticipation or leaps-ahead, beyond a certain cultural level.

NB that Mill does not know there are nonreductive nomological accounts of what a miracle would be, in terms of a higher law, as we see in (e.g.) Malebranche. (But how could he have missed it in Butler? Perhaps he is simply leaving out the moral providence points that he rejects; but as the miracle could itself be treated as evidence of such a thing, this is problematic.) He's aware of similar accounts, but seems to regard them as ad hoc, rather than (as could be argued) one of the positions contributing historically to the spread of the idea that all is under law; and he immediately treats it as reductive. There is no sense that you could have laws concerned with antecedents that are themselves sporadic and rare. It is, regardless of whether the nomological accounts work, very certainly true that few if any alleged miracles are wholly sui generis in their features or circumstances. We get recurrences here as in other cases where things recur conditionally on a large number of things coming together. And Mill's account of laws can't rule out laws of this sort, by its very nature.
-- Note also the rejection of a reductive nomological account like Babbage's.
-- Mill's argument seems to be based on the assumption that 'miracle involving and depending on means' is an oxymoron, despite the great variety of views that take it to be perfectly intelligible.

Mill's character-of-Christ argument is effectively an internal-evidence-of-revelation argument, and his hopeful outlook a religious-tendency-of-mind argument, despite the fact that he seems not to recognize this.

"The idea of Providence, as affirmation of the divine governance of the world, is the opposite of the idea of Revolution, aimed at achieving its complete human governance." Del Noce

Where the festive is not embraced, the sordid reigns.

The root notion for 'axiom' is a kind of worthiness (cp. 'dignitas').

three elements of the modernist conflation of identity and self-identification
(1) confusion of declarative and performative
(2) confusion of membership and assignment to a class
(3) confusion of that which is classified with artifacts of classification

Academic theology's weird obsession with 'eschatological fulfillment', which pervades so much of the academic work of the twentieth century, seems to be a desperate attempt to mimic talk about the proletarian revolution.

Ayn Rand's atheism is exactly the same as that espoused by Karl Marx in the 1844 manuscripts.

'is' as rotated 'ought'

When Boole derives the principle of noncontradiction from his fundamental law of thought, he doesn't explain why the latter should be regarded as more fundamental -- why, for instance, the success of x^2=x should not be explained by its derivability from (representation of) noncontradiction.

Boole gets his indefinite class by representation nondistrubtion: All men are mortal = All men are some mortals, thus (y=vx). But E propositions are still converted to A.

The linguistic turn should have led to a greater recognition of the importance of authority for keeping argument intelligible -- even the most abstract metaphysicians or rigorous scientists in communicating their results depend on the standards established by the many and the wise for vocabulary and the like -- but it seems to have been a series of missed opportunities.

four kinds of mire
bog: peaty ombrotrophic
fen: peaty minerotrophic
marsh: herbaceous
swamp: woody (forest-canopy)

Were doxastic voluntarism false, it would be surprising that people are so bossy about belief.

the natural family as "the noble symbol and, through Christ, the compendium, as it were, of theocratic society" (Rosmini)

dichotomy x+(1-x)=1

Can one modalize Boole by taking ≤0 to be 'impossible' and ≥1 to be necessary?
- the uninterpretability of terms in process complicates things
- M is a problem, although D works, i.e., (x≥1) → (x>0).

"...the mind assumes the existence of a universe not a priori as a fact independent of experience, but either a posteriori as a deduction from experience, or hypothetically as a foundation of the possibility of assertive reasoning." Boole

"as we are baptized, so also do we believe; as we believe, so also do we glory." Basil Ep. 159
"that which is different according to its nature would not share the same honors."

pantokrator → omnitenens

As we cannot adore the Father and the Son unless our adoration is given by God, the Holy Spirit's being co-adored with the Father and the Son is a divine act the Holy Spirit shares with the Father and the Son.

"Every city, even the best governed, teems with tumult and indescribable disturbances that no one could abide after having been once guided by wisdom." Philo

the modal logic of strong and weak plausibility (M fails but D works)

The doctrine of the resurrection of the body requires that the body be taken seriously in its own right, and not be treated as a mere means; its being intrinsically a means cannot be taken as a license for treating it as existing only to be malleable to the will.

As certainty of its execution increases, imperative approaches assertion.

Faith and hope tend toward the Trinity as object; charity tends from the Trinity as the Trinity's expression in us.

"That which comes through reason in the form of utterance is uncertain, since it is dual, but the contemplation of the Existent without speech in the soul alone is firmly secured, because it arises in accordance with the Indivisible Monad." Philo

"The divine legislation is then in a manner a unified creature, which one must examine carefully through and through with utter precision and clarity, neither destroying its harmony nor breaking its unity." Philo

Story is more fundamental than language.

language as a means of story-building

Boole takes propositions to apply to moments of time or time-slices.

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