Friday, December 18, 2020

Dashed Off XXXIII

 This finishes the notebook that was completed in March 2019.

Every form of record has a typical deterioration rate in an environment.

"Monotheism is the true consolation of history." Cohen

Evolution could not happen the way it does if things did not have benefits beyond those selected for.

Intelligence increases the field of good fortune by increasing the ability to take advantage of opportunity; education does the same.

Descartes's Meditation Four is an argument that error depends on will, not intellect, but it does so for a reason other than an intrinsic defect of will itself.

A notebook is a trace of learning.

the Mencian four shoots as identifying universes of practical reasons (with the fifth for how they interrrelate)

"...I apprehend a proposition, when I apprehend its predicate." Newman

We do ethics that we may do metaphysics.

angelic hierarchy as capturing aspects of liturgy

God qua possible is the concrete locus of the principle of noncontradiction, God qua actual is the concrete locus of the principle of sufficient reason.
-- perhaps principle of causality rather than PSR
-- raises question about other modalities. Temporal & locative would be specified (downstream versions of principle of causality. The interesting one is deontic: presumably the first principle of practical reason.

Malebranche on revelation & the external world // Descartes on immortality (Rep 2nd Obj)

the extension argument for immortality (Descartes VII: 153): death depends wholly on division or shape-change; mind is not such as to be divided or change shape.

grounds of conscientious objection: as human, as member of a religion, as citizen, as professional

"He was born and was baptized that by His Passion He might cleanse the water." Ignatius (Eph 18:2)
-- this is a complete theology of the sacrament of baptism

Talk of source and target in metaphor always makes the process sound more directed than it usually is. (Aristotle's use of the vocabulary of proportions avoids this.)

reasonableness, rightness, endurance, moderation

How often in this world does human friendship consist in saying, in word or deed, "I do not know what to do, but I am here if you do!"

The world of pleasures and pains is small, and a mere tracing of the world; utilitarianism is the ethics of a small outline of a barely-seen world.

technical teleology --> technical theology (the Muse)

The living creatures of Revelation represent the fourfold face of judgment: the ingenuity of man, the fierceness of lion, the power of ox, the inescapability of eagle.

"Our view of the Lord's Supper must ever condition and rule in the end our view of Christ's person and the conception we form of the Church." Niven
"The life of the single Christian can be real and healthful only as it is born from the general life of the Church, and carried by it onward to the end."
"A purely invisible Church has been well denominated a contradiction in adjecto; since the very idea of a Church implies the manifestation of the religious life, as something social and common."
"Outward social worship, which implies, of course, forms for the purpose, is to be regarded as something essential to piety itself. A religion without externals, must ever be fantastic and false."

Christ in praying, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do", is classifying the relevant sins as shegagah (Num 15:25-26, 28).

blasphemy against the Holy Spirit & Num. 15:30-31

Liturgy figures the moral life, but it does so not directly but by figuring that which moral life itself figures.

"Prayer is longing." Cohen
"Truth for the individual becomes truthfulness."
"God is the God of truth, and man is to be come the man of truthfulness."
"The fear of God is always sustained by love."

daily bread & Pr 30:8

Consent regularly travels across parties. Sometimes this is due to background responsibilities, sometimes due to requirements of fairness, sometimes due to dependencies in the act, but consent to do X with regard to one person will often require consent to do Y with regard to another person. It is very difficult, in fact, to have hermetically sealed consents or consensual relationships not consenting to something broader than the relationship. (This is a reason why contract law gets so complicated.)

secularization as infrastructural undermining

Doctors do not have a duty to care of just any sort, but specifically to conscientious and appropriate care.

censoriousness as the great vice of the Media Age

forms of standard evangelism
(1) massed (conversion of central institutions)
(2) ordered (religious orders and societies, etc.)
(3) immersed (small-scale apologetic maneuvers)
(4) passive (being available, with people filtering themselves in)

"That a whole nation has a right to do whatever it pleases, cannot in any sense whatever be admitted as true." John Quincey Adams

It is necessary that all necessary beings necessarily have necessary features.

rhetorical persuasion and the thin end of the wedge

Conscientious objection, generally considered, is when a person operating in a matter for which they are responsible refuses to cooperate or comply with an action that they judge to be inconsistent with the ends of that responsibility.


Every appeal to conscience requires another specific reason bringing the matter within the purview of conscience.

dharma as performance of what is enjoined

The Nyaya syllogism is not a static thing but the transformation of a claim from proposed to established.
Unestablished: There is fire on the hill.
How to establish? Smoke.
In what way would it establish it? As in a kitchen.
We can apply this here: There is smoke in that way.
Established: So there is fire on the hill.
Notice that the Nyaya school is then right that if you stop the process after the third limb, you haven't actually established the proposition for anyone -- it hasn't been changed! (With just yourself, it can be understood that you could transform, but you don't need to convince yourself.)

the Church's right to doctrinal objection in response to law and custom

"The conduct of men is much more governed by their passions than by their interests; the whole history of mankind is one continued demonstration of this axiom." John Adams

pedagogy & Aristotle's Poetics: Good pedagogy has plot, character, spectacle, etc., although thought is most important & it is partly improvised.

The intentionality of choice is partly contrastive (this rather than that).

While language is a matter of convention, it is not purely a matter of convention, because it depends on precedent and anticipated usefulness to achieve its functions.

Wordbuilding is a kind of worldbuilding.

Robin Lakoff's politeness maxims
(1) Formality: Don't impose.
(2) Deference: Give options.
(3) Camaraderie: Show sympathy.

life as such vs. organic life

sacramental unction and transmortality

law and contract as deontic instruments

instrumental causes in deontic order --> secondary principal causes in deontic order --> first cause in deontic order

wholesomeness and natural sacredness

All decision-making is affected by internal luck (what we happen to recall, what mood we happen to have, etc.).

philosophy of science vs. philosophy of science scholarship

We identify holes by travel operations. If this is generally true, then something may be a hole with respect to one kind of travel and not to another. (Is a glass window a hole? To light, perhaps, but not to rain.)

John Quincy Adams meets Bentham: Diary of John Quincy Adams 4/29/1817

A thriving republic requires a nation filled with jacks of all trades.

"Errors in reasoning are lessons and warnings, not to give up reason, but to reason with greater caution." Newman

Correspondence & coherence theories of the truth converge at the limit.

Disquotation theories cannot handle figurative, and especially not ironic, cases of truth.

Stakeholder theory suffers from the fact that, unless you take everyone in possible causal connection to be a stakeholder; the stakeholding varies according to an immense number of variables.
Stakeholder theory flattens out what are fundamentally different, and often really noncommensurable, relationships.

Contribution of a claim, not truth, is the aim of assertion as such. (Truth is an aim of reason itself.)

The principles of medical principlism are really topoi.

Something is only error in the context of a broader system that shows that it falls short.

"...our most natural mode of reasoning is, not from propositions to propositions, but from things to things, from concrete to concrete, from wholes to whole." Newman

While Hempel claims that empathic insight provides no basis for systematic prediction, it's in fact harder to argue than he suggests: There is some reason to think it contributes regularly to at least semi-systematic (better than guess) prediction of certain kinds of phenomena. And all our systematic prediction presupposes refinement of semi-systematic sources.

Edward Coke: Common law is based on reason, but not natural reason as such; instead it is based on artificial reason, "gotten by long study, observation, and experience" in the context of courts.

juries as defenders of customary law
'reasonable person' standards as appeals to customary law
judges as drawing on customary law when appealing to local histories

possibility as the "embryo of being" (Peirce)

Demand in a market is partly negotiated.

the Catholic hallowing of the sensible world, the turning of the world into prayer, the religious elevation of empirical existence, the Sabbath of the universe

Hegel's characterization of the achievement of Protestantism essentially takes it to have replaced celibacy, poverty, and obedience with sex, acquisition, and slavishness to the state (Encyclopedia 552 / Philosophy of Mind).

With the Catholic religion, the state has no primacy except in a very narrow order.

Freedom is not complete until it reaches to the holy.

"...I cannot see why one should embark on the immensely difficult social practice of treating each person as important unless there is something intrinsically valuable about personality." George Grant

All creatures, by the very fact that they are creatures, have the right to seek their Creator.

Legal positivism is a sort of emergentism, holding that laws arise out of particular collections of nonlegal facts. Natural law theory, on the other hand, takes human laws always to depend on prior laws, until one reaches what is naturally law and then (ultimately, if the theorist takes it so far) First and Eternal Law.

Tikom, sikod binom.

religion and the family as the two natural limits of civil authority, without which it would have no natural limit; thus they are always the targets of the totalitarian-minded

wholeheartedness as the correlate of dignity

On Kant's account, cognition always has two aspects, receptivity and spontaneity.

"Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance." Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Little children try to possess things; if anything, they have to be taught that they do not possess everything.

When people reasonably reject epistemologies as implausible, it is always for reasons connected to implausible physics or metaphysics.

Horror grows from memory of fear, a sort of dark nostalgia.

memory of fear : horror :: memory of joy : ?

The concept of 'due process' by its nature posits a standard of process higher than the laws constituting the process itself; the process is only 'due' relative to that higher standard.

If logic is not normative, nothing prevents taking every argument, no matter how absurd, to have its own logic according to which it should be described as logical.

Philosophy is itself an effect whose first cause is first wisdom.

philosophy : motion :: divine wisdom : first mover

Dignity admits of more and less, and participates first dignity.

demonology as giving an account of the structure of moral temptation

"No one likes bad news, no one welcomes what condemns him; the world slanders the Truth in self-defence, because the Truth denounces the world." Newman
"No one sins without making some excuse to himself for sinning."

Christ came to earth humbly and also in glory.

Love enters the tomb before purity, to see the signs of holy resurrection, the first glimmering of salvation.

"Nothing but charity can enable you to live well or to die well." Newman