Friday, October 30, 2020

Dashed Off XXIX

 "Thus mathematics can I think be viewed as the science of analogy and the widespread applicability of mathematics in the natural sciences, which has intrigued all mathematicians of a philosophical bent, arises from the fundamental role which comparisons play in the mental process we refer to as 'understanding'." Atiyah

Hume takes solitude to have a special connection to uncertainty.

category theory as semi-deontic (cp. Eugenia Cheng)

"If I must necessarily will, why need I speak of will at all?" Augustine

Compatibilism is the attempt to reconcile a freedom they do not understand with a necessity they do not know to exist.

baptism as transfiguring our natality

The picturesque is that which, being conceived in terms of framing and composition, pleases in general on being observed and remembered.

"Calculi without calculations seem to be gratuitous algebra." Ryle

Goodness lifts up beauty and holiness lifts up goodness.

All our good works are bits and pieces.

"Christianity, then, is at once a philosophy, a political power, and a religious rite: as a religion, it is Holy; as a philosophy, it is Apostolic; as a political power, it is imperial, that is, One and Catholic." Newman
-- it's somewhat odd to associate the philosophy aspect with apostolicity rather than catholicity

In a consequentialist world, all philosophy becomes sophistry, using reasoning only for a desired effect.

John the Baptist died before Christ so as to continue his work as Forerunner of Christ, even in Hades. (cp. certain Eastern kontakia)

Hope teaches desire to desire better. (cp. EP Thompson)

Public engagement should grow out of doing good to people you know.

There is an astounding gap between what people say they value and what they reward.

Strato of Lampsacus: the good is 'what completes the dynamis through which we achieve energeia'

We are born to act; acting is an end we receive through our natality.

Aristotle's ethics is not naturalistic; it explains a practice of becoming civilized unto godlikeness. This, with variations, is common to all ancient Greek ethics, even the Epicurean.

"Where there is potentiality, the worse comes about through some mischance." Alexander of Aphrodisias

A plausible explanation of at least some time disparity between dream and waking: While in the dream, it feels like ordinary experiencing to some extent, in fact much of what 'happens' in a dream is in reality just supposed by the dreamer to have happened; the dreamer does not actually go through the whole experience, but only parts, the rest being merely suppositional.

dreaming as coherence without constancy

elimination argument against negative utilitarianism, replacement argument against traditional utilitarianism

Virgil's Fourth Eclogue as an exposition of natality

If the causal closure of the physical is known a priori, it must be synthetic a priori; if it is not known a priori, we have no evidence that establishes it, or that is of a kind that could, so it is not known a posteriori.

Some mental events are also physical events, such as the deliberate pointing of a finger.

"Everyone has within an unerring compass." Wang Yangming

The public sphere is made possible by the private sphere.

Liberty as a human right is founded on human common good.

respecting ideas enough to cultivate their roots

the danger of academic philosophy degenerating into smart people studying their own fantasies

"The philosophers of France, in their eagerness to escape from what they deemed a superstition of the priests, flung themselves headlong into a superstition of lawyers." Henry Maine

sacrament as unifying, as teaching doctrine, as strengthening for moral life

Andrew and Philip, who interact with the Hellenistic Jews in John 12:20-22, both have Greek names. And Andrew's brother, Simon, has a name that works in both Aramaic and Greek. Thus all the disciples from Bethsaida have names suggesting Greek-speaking families. 

Prudence is the steward of wisdom.

beauty, sublimity, and design as key concepts in a robust ecology

authority -- authorization -- authorized action

People who are taught nothing will tend to produce nothing.

re-presentations (new editions) of art
(1) corrective (e.g., to fix or expand)
(2) consumerist (e.g., to sell anew)
(3) revivalist (e.g., to make available again or to a new audience)
--these are, of course, not mutually exclusive
-- re-presentations vs remakes (remakes are attempts to do over from the beginning)

Whenever debunking does not itself involve inconsistency, the same argument for debunking could be used to argue that the explanation used in the argument is incomplete. This becomes quite obvious in, e.g., evolutionary debunking arguments, which never introduce any strict inconsistency; all such cases are incomplete, because the kind of explanation involved in the debunking is incomplete.

All debunking arguments at least implicitly rely on assumptions about counterfactual cases.

Honesty in inquiry is more likely to get you the approximately true and less likely to get you the definitely false across virtually the entire range of true and false.

That a form of cognition or perception has evolved at all is an at least defeasible reason to think it is linked to something true; one defeats it by showing that, here and now, it is not.

All processes of coming to believe are defective with respect to some possible standard that could be used with respect to such processes; the question that matters is whether they are defective with respect to standards relevant to themselves in their contexts.

Wishful thinking and hasty generalization are most often approximately accurate and near-reasonable, because they are most often simply skewing or oversimplifying real evidence; the result is distorted, but this distortion may range from slight to gross. People discussing these things err by only focusing on the gross distortions with absurd results, and not the cases, more common, on which the conclusion would be reasonable if the evidence were just slightly different.

Whether a process consists of wishful thinking or hasty generalization cannot be determined solely by looking at the process.

Scientific inquiry is distinguished from its counterfeits entirely by relevant virtues, applicable norms and standards, and general benefits.

In any practically useful sense of 'best explanation', our best explanation may be incomplete or wrong.

The very possibility of moral cognition is a fact guaranteeing that there are at least some moral truths, even if only relative and minimal.

the beautifying effect of quietness

We are often foolish, but we may sort our follies wisely.

signs as implements to let useful things become salient

Ens dividitur per contingens et necessarium: et est per se divisio entis. (Aquinas)

The logic of science is a practical logic of means-end relations.

Belnap's Refref Conjecture: Doing is equivalent to refraining from refraining.

-- NB that Mill takes the principle of utility to be stated in the Protagoras (although he takes this to be evidence that the dialogue is considering non-Platonic ideas).

the analogy between prudence and providence on evils and chance

Prudence must consider chance and contingency; therefore prudence is not reducible to rules.

The common good is a hierarchy of goods, not an aggregate.

To identify something as a fundamental goal of society is to identify it as an end of the human person.

None can understand moral law without understanding wisdom. 

bathing in the springs of one's existence

"Reason is immediate poet -- directly productive imagination." Novalis

Novalis's magical idealism
"Magic is the art of using the world of sense arbitrarily."
--one turns thought into external objects and external objects into thought
-- the ideal and the real are only parts of a livingwhole, the absolute, and only art can properly perceive it
--the magical power of fiction (making present what is not present), enigmatic language, the inexhaustibility of symbol

the Crucifixion, the nonsense-breaker

dance & gestural rhyme

"Every intellectual act stretching toward God as its object is simply more perfect than an intellectual act concerning something created." Scotus

Aquinas's account of Lucifer's fall portrays Lucifer as a sort of philosopher.

A spirit of wanton destruction against even the inanimate natural world is a failure to rise to rational life.

All who are baptized may have a ministry; to be ordained a priest is to become a ministry. A priest is the sacramental economy in its seed form.

Kant confines the ethical, as opposed to the juridical, to that which *cannot* be external in itself (in the lawgiving or obligation itself).

The Holy See has the negative right to prevent its public teachers form exercising an influence on the visible liturgical commonwealth that might be prejudicial to the unity of the Church.

All temporal power is instrumental to the royal power of Christ the King.

hospital, church, order, manor

Contrastive explanation arises from the nature of alternatives, not the nature of explanation.

Matrimony, as the domestic church, is a greenhouse of devotions.

The single most important social skill is managing one's own mortification, and the second most important is easing another's.

Will being an intentionality toward an object, the a priori practical principle can only be an a priori form of the object. Imperatives, on the other hand, are formulated by the intellect in light of objects of will, and how they are understood. Thus Kant's reversal of this is the wrong move entirely.

NB Kant's argument that empiricism of practical reason is more dangerous as error than mysticism of practical reason (although he denies both in favor of rationalism of practical reason) because "mysticism is still compatible with the purity and sublimity of the moral law" (CPrR 5:71).

The commandment to love God requires us to love God, not merely to strive to love God.

the commandment to love God and the postulate of immortality

All human rights are refractions derived from the primal authority of reason, which itself derives from the primal authority of the Logos.