Friday, November 26, 2021

Dashed Off XXVI

 "...when Inference is clearest, Assent may be least forcible, and, when Assent is most intense, Inference may be least distinct..." Newman

What we imagine is a representative, not an exact, image.

Cartesian arguments depend on saying the mind is finite, but what they generally show is that the mind's attention is finite.

"Unless numeration is to issue in nonsense, it must be conducted on conditions." Newman
"We are what we are, and we use, not trust, our faculties."

contranatural, preternatural, and supernatural activations of obediential potency

counterartificial, preterartificial, and superartificial ways of using functional tools

The Malebranchean position is that our minds cannot represent the infinite, but the infinite can be represented to our minds.

"Being contains all things, but all beings, both created and possible, in all their multiplicity, cannot fill the vast extension of being." Malebranche
"The impression the infinite makes on the mind is finite."

Bureaucracy is a child of agriculture and organized military.

conscientiousness and accuracy of language

The three moral failings Xenophanes saw Homer and Hesiod attribute to the gods (B11 & B12) are theft, adultery, and deceit.

Elections are not built on faith but on legal process.

A hypothesis is an assumption for a family of stories that arise by combining it with other assumptions. Evidence applies directly to these stories rather than the hypothesis.

If one person had only the sense of touch, and another only the sense of hearing, but were connected so as to communicate, they could still agree on 'something is here' and (allowing for translation of modality) 'something exists over there'.

Evil is intrinsically an exception.

Luke in Acts 4:32 could hardly fail to recognize that these are descriptions of friendship.

Acts 4:25 and scriptural inspiration (cp Acts 15:28 and ecclesial inspiration)

Means of freedom have to be discovered and they have to be designed and maintained.

Maximus Confessor, Ambiguum 10, takes when 'when' and 'where' to be very fundamental categories. (This is the core of his argument that matter cannot be eternal.)

Providence in things is the divine-ward tendency of their being and action.

The sequences of frequentism are not necessarily temporal; this is often missed by critics.

We are temples and are always turning ourselves into dens of thieves.

probabilities as possibility sequence proportions

to eat, drink, and be merry in the love of wisdom

"Sometimes the value of a thing is not what you get with it but what you pay for it." Nietzsche

All specific potential is with respect to some kind of mover.

elements or components of argumentative interaction: motivation, logical structure, counterfactual variation, history, accessibility, personal view

the consensus gentium argument for the authority of conscience

the hyperpersonality of God

In the life of charity, we live the doctrine of the Trinity.

Christian doctrine must be accepted not point by point but as a whole.

baptism the sacrament of God's delight in His people

detachment: loving things in accordance with divine intention

shadow-casting as partial light-blocking

Fanny Price on sublimity (ch. 11)

'thoughtless and selfish from prosperity and bad example'

Every theory in physics has a physical/observational interpretation, connecting it to experiment, and an inter-theoretical interpretation relating to the whole field of physics, which makes metaphysical assumptions about what kind of things are genuinely possible.

Every actual change implicates all of its possibilities, as part of its being the kind of change it is.

"I am, because we are; and since we are, therefore I am." Mbiti

It is important to grasp that 'victim' is not the opposite of 'villain' and 'hero' is not a synonym of 'saint'. The principles of classification are quite different.

It is astounding how much power people give to those who will say, "I will hurt those who have hurt you."

"It is opinion that loses and wins battles." Maistre

Rarely experiencing sublime things stunts the mind, makes it petty.

Excessive focus on activism can poison politics by overmphasizing opposition and support, to the exclusion of other important things.

Even God cannot make a more perfect mother than a Mother of God.

liberative vs preservative redemption

Christ as entitative, redemptive, and intercessory mediator

the redundantia of Mary's fullness of grace upon the Church

grace in the personal, the moral, and the juridical orders
Mother of God (personal), Mediatrix/Mother of Mercy (moral), Queen of Heaven (juridical)

real vs affective presence

Mary, Queen of Lovers of Wisdom

the rosary as a school of contemplation (Garrigou-Lagrange)
the rosary as a form of preaching

affective participation in the Virgin's humility and faith as a presentiment and preparation of mystical participation in the same

There are many 'greatest saints', each in his or her particular order.

Mary : intrinsic, physical, immediate cooperation with the Word in Incarnation :: Joseph : extrinsic, moral, mediate cooperation with the Word in Incarnation :: the Baptist : extrinsic, moral, dispositive cooperation with the Word in Incarnation

Blasphemy generally requires hypocrisy. One may innocently say something like a blasphemous claim out of ignorance; one may blaspheme out of sheer malice to another; but generally it requires a prior disposition of tipping the hat to what one is inclined to mock or disparage.

"Our whole nature leads us to ascribe all moral perfection to God, and to deny all imperfection of him. And this will for ever be a practical proof of his moral character, to such as will consider what a practical proof is; because it is the voice of God speaking in us." Butler
"there is in every case a probability, that all things will continue as we experience they are, in all respects, except those in which we have some reason to think they will be altered." 

For Hume's 'custom', read 'presumption' or 'presuming'.

Rising above and not being conquered by suffering is always a greater good than the suffering is evil.

water and word and destiny

Decisions are often made from nothing but people growing tired of indecision.

dating as a form of jointly improvised theatre
-- this is more general than modern dating (cp. Mansfield Park)

territorial possession among animals
(1) occupation
(2) succession from prior generation
-- occupation by immediate presence, occupation by sign (scent, visual display, call)

Mr Rushworth's improvements // building of theatrical set

comprobatur arguments: Supposing X, Y, which has some support, would also be more established; therefore there is reason to accept X.

The rule of thumb for good acting is, "Show only to suggest," or (more crudely and inaccurately), "Don't show, suggest."

the tendency of politics to kitsch

Many things we call beliefs are in fact only conclusions.

loyalty of blood, loyalty of idea, loyalty of spirit

When people talk about norms, they often just mean aesthetics.

"It is absurd to break up the whole structure of our knowledge, which is the glory of the human intellect, because the intellect is not infallible in its conclusions." Newman

"What is repugnant to every human being is to be reckoned always a member of a class and not as an individual person." Dorothy Sayers

All knowledge leads to new wondering, for it is human to wonder.

Mrs Norris in MP is obsessed with means, to the extent of failing to give proper regard to ends.

two possibilities
(1) time is more fundamental than change; then either
-- -- -- (a) absolute time
-- -- -- (b) change is relative to clock used
(2) change is more fundamental than time; then either
-- -- -- (a) universal change (primum mobile)
-- -- -- (b) time is relative to clock used

the poetics of the Church as a story

religion and co-religion

the instrumental panoply of the human race

Progressivism works by attempting to put its opponents in zugzwang.

time as the mapping of change to a number line

error as a moral notion

A set is just a logical object with discrete membership structure. (This contrasts with certain notions of class, etc., which can have more indefinite membership structure.) The definiteness of sets is due to their being equatable if they have the same members.

People explain in-group violence by material conditions and out-group violence by ideology.

nonpreventive vs productive possibility

Modern cities do not do well in creating room for nice poor neighborhoods.

the pragmatic PSR (think James on concretely possible chicken)

If possibilities are classifiable, there is a principle of sufficient reason.

Whatever is potential is due to some actual; such an actual is either actualized potential or purely actual in itself; there is no infinite regress of actualized potential; therefore there is a first actual, which is purely actual in itself.

Human aspiration, in its nature, reflects the nature of spiritual inspiration; thus they are difficult at times to distinguish.

The inappropriate in liturgy one must oppose; the mediocre in liturgy, on the other hand, one must learn to accept, even when supporting what would improve it.

NB that Sir Thomas's comments on residency of clergy (ch XXV) are examples of irony, because analogous considerations apply to fathers, as a standard Sir Thomas does not meet.

NB in Mansfield Park (ch XXXIV), the art of reading aloud // moral education

Empiricism has difficulty with the distinction between that and what.

specific grounds of pardon
(1) peculiarities of crime
(2) reform & rehabilitation
(3) adequacy of punishment received
(4) higher obligations that must be served, requiring pardon in order to serve them
(5) common good and public trust better served by pardon than by punishment

Even in trying to be a better person for Fanny, Henry Crawford treats morality as an external compliance.

the seven yogas

baptism: Ruggiero/Roger
confirmation: Bradamante
orders: Turpin
penance: Rinaldo/Renault
unction: Astolfo/Astolphe
eucharist: Orlando/Roland
matrimony: Oliviero/Oliver

Justice is evidential.

A great deal of the quality of a TV series seems to lie in the successful navigation of conflicts between narrative progression and episodic integrity.

Accuracy of timepiece is a coherence notion. (Centrality in the intermeasurability of clocks.)

HoP: doxography, speculative extrapolation, historiography, speculative reconstruction, popularization, comparative interpretation

All civil rights are in fact procedural, being operationalizations by civil society of substantive natural rights.

Artistic improvement requires a sort of artistic repentance.

To go from Spirit in Man to Spirit in Universe is not to go far enough.

philosophy in the aesthetic mode, in the analytical mode, and in the historical mode

genuine protest vs pseudo-protest carnival

'to depict not the thing but the effect it produces' Mallarme

the Graces now bathe by the edge of the sea

"My anger is the effervescence of my pity." Bloy

The Muse works like a wind flowing through you.

polarity as directional difference

Eucharist as "the tender shoot of final participation" (Barfield)

"The Light of Valinor (derived from light before any fall) is the light of art undivorced from reason...." Tolkien (Letters 48n)

writhe, wraith, wreath, wrath

'an obscure sense of possible sublimity'

aggregative vs esemplastic imagination