Friday, December 02, 2022

Dashed Off XXIX

 hegemonic symmachy as the primary structure of American international power

Gibbon's criticism of Julian the Apostate on allegorical exegesis (xxiii) is extremely unfair, given the value of fable as metaphor or figure, as well as genuine structural analogies and germinal morals.

Governments often construct markets as taxation devices.

In properly perceiving something, we also perceive, in a loose sense, things associated with it.

In politics, all our good intentions are justified by arguments that have a life beyond our intentions. Every argument gets analogized, generalized, made less qualified, shifted in meaning, regardless of what we intended.

The sense in which a sign makes things known is not the most fundamental sense of making things known.

personal harm, proprietary harm, adjunct harm

culture : sign :: skill-context : means

the mind's self-aspiration, in which it wills itself as a whole without willing everything about itself, in which it wills its own willing

Oral traditions grow like vines on material traditions.

An artifact is in some way always of the artificer even if the artificer is dead.

rejection of self-movers & thermodynamic rejection of perpetual motion machines
-- think about this more

All practice is through means.

Every divine title is a path of worship.

use of means : participating divine providence :: use of signs : participating divine light

plan as formal means
design as productive plan

fortitude as a sign or symbol of immortality

kinds of debunking
-- astonishing coincidence
-- insensitivity
-- truth independence
-- lack of safety
-- evidence of unreliability

All debunking arguments are attacks on means.

structure of instrumental means : tool, means-relativity (formal character of means), intended consequences

the domestic church as the primary maintainer of traditions that reflect Tradition

People will try to hide cruelty and malice behind appearances of compassion, dishonesty behind gossip presented as truthtelling, injustice behind selective fussy concern for what is right, arrogance and contempt behind shows of humility. Vices strive to imitate the symbols of virtue. The defense against this is to reason things through and look to experience and for good advice.

Someone chanting a slogan at you is not advising you or aiding you, but demanding that you comply.

"This body of ours has been yoked to us by God in order to be a fellow worker and under our control." Palamas

totalitarianism as a sin against apophaticism

To get social justice, you have to start with social prudence.

Every human passion has a face that leads to God, but this face cannot be reached just through the passion alone, and in some cases -- like anger -- people only rarely find it even with help.

Sometimes things are not wrong but are nonetheless better left alone.

Tutiorism is rooted in a failure to recognize the intellect as a free power, capable of acting otherwise, and thus needing to be perfected by prudence, the virtue of free judgment.

the unity of virtues = full moral integrity // divine simplicity

-- monopsychism
-- God as coordinating mind
-- God as ordering cause
-- necessitarian universe

sophistics as argument diagnostics

Politics will always falter when there is an inability or refusal to abstract as at least part of one's assessments.

giving one's secular life a Christian tinge
(a) by emphasis
(b) by conceptualization
(c) by witness
(d) by transfiguring overlaps
(e) by filling interstices

antecedent vs consequent mercy

pandemics as large sets of overlapping epidemics

democracy & the problem of merely accidental majorities

Nothing teaches how to read like reading.

the possibility of x as resident in the exemplar for x

Judith 16:20-21 & hell

-- friezes are found on Ionic rather than Doric styles of temple (the Parthenon is an unusual exception)

-- one can imagine a Humean virtue epistemology based on usefulness and agreeableness to self and others (i.e., advantageousness in business and action, and facilitation of love and esteem) [this would get results rather different from Hume's actual epistemology]

It follows from Hume's account of space that mathematical points would always have a color.

sensus communis & the capacity of one sense modality to provide signs for another (colors for sounds, spatial relations for tactile relations, etc.)

three are the cats at the gates of hell;
their eyes see thing that no tongues tell

God as supercommunicative good

Elections are not 'legitimate' or 'illegitimate'; they are legal or illegal. The laws that serve as standards may be better or worse for the community, but there is no other standard by which an election can be judged than the laws that constitute it: Does this election work by a regular process as determined by law?

God will see to the New Jerusalem; our role is play what we are dealt.

Esther 1:3 // Gn 40:20
Esther 2:7 // Gn 39:6
Esther 3:4 // Gn 39:10

Doing the right thing often goes wrong; it is necessary for an ethics to take this into account.

Who kills a person deliberately, makes that decision for everyone; and it is rare that anyone is even in the position to do that.

"Nothing becomes obsolete like a period vision of an older period." Anthony Grafton (on forgeries)

particular good : sign :: common good : interpretant

Jer 19:3 and the Petrine ministry

Jurisprudence is a kind of metaethics.

kind of being, way of being, order of being, context of being

"Man was made in the image of God, which contains these two principal rays -- holiness and immortality." Turretin

-- moral isangelia (monastic/religious)
-- metaphysical isangelia (Lk 20:35,36)

comminatory vs definitive punishment

All moral actions are incomplete until they are returned to God.

It is morality that usually makes history relevant to present concerns.

implicit vs explicit gift

Manetho: 'seventy kings in seventy days' (First Intermediate Period) -- figurative, may mean either short reigns or overlapping/disputed reigns or both
(We know that the main city shifted from Memphis to Herakleopolis during this period.)

There are few things in human society more enduring than its trash.

honor-as & the link between honor and trustworthiness in a role

directional vs consummative ends
-- Can one argue that all directional ends are subordinate ends and therefore direction ends imply some consummative end? This seems very plausible in most cases, but people bring up inertia-like cases.

natural obligation, ritual obligation, legal (positive) obligation

custom as expressed in rites

In mutual love, lover and beloved 'resonate' in ways that go beyond what either strictly knows of the other. The more perfect the love, the tighter the 'resonance'.

To some extent, every person is loved through a cloud of unknowing.

Assessment of photographic evidence needs to consider what is outside the frame, just like assessment of experimental evidence needs to consider the environment of the experiment.

modes of didactic painting: narrative, symbolic (e.g., iconography), allegorical

Dynasty XV: The Hyksos
introduced horse and chariot
capital at Avaris
traded with Minoans
Seth worship common
the god Reshep (storm and wars)
contemporaneous with Theban Dynasty XVI in Upper Egypt (i.e. the south)
"They ruled without acknowledging Ra."
Hyksos are wholly defeated and expelled in stages at end of Seventeenth Dynasty (Kamose, the last) and with the Eighteenth (Ahmose, his brother).

'Potiphar': seems to be late (noncontemporary) Egyptian name = Podjipera (Potiphera), 'he whom Ra  has given. According to traditional Jewish calendars, Joseph sold in about 2216 = 1544 BC, at end of Second Intermediate Period or beginning of New Kingdom.
Pharaoh is said to give Joseph the name Zaphnath-Paaneah (Gn 41:45). The 'neah' is almost certainly ankh (nh), meaning life. Some have suggested the original may have meant 'A god speaks and he lives.' Joseph's wife's name, Asenath, probably means 'belongs to the goddess Neith'. All of this, of course, is speculation on verbal analogies, since we have a probably loose Hebrew transliteration of an Egyptian pronunciation we only roughly know, although some of the analogies are very probable.

People give alms because they believe in some good, because they hope for some good, or because they love some good. This is true of all almsdeeds, physical and spiritual.

Hope is something even a pessimist can have.

"Lying is a language-game that needs to be learned like any other." Wittgenstein

Amicus animo possidendus est. (Seneca)

Russell's A History of Western Philosophy should be seen as a work on the intellectual conditions of liberalism.

"all is peril where principle is not the guide." Francis Burney

Hegelian synthesis as an answer to the Agrippan mode of hypothesis

We investigate by making provisional assumptions; who makes no such assumptions cannot investigate.

Sorites arguments against polytheism (Sextus Empiricus M 9.182-183)

Virtues in the justice family have an especially strong tendency to form rites.

Levinas as a generalization of Descartes's Third Meditation

Evil per se does not incline the will, so evil simply as such is something the will can only permit.

"The intellect and the will are not assigned to God figuratively but properly unless we want to become like Spinoza." Leibniz
"No wise person would say that punishments and rewards are intended equally by the legislator."
"The rules of justice are no less eternal truths than the rules of geometry, and they have force with all intelligent beings."

liberum sed cum ratione

election an act of grace, reprobation an act of justice
(pure grace -> mercy)  -> justice

Hawaii is not at a plate boundary, but in the middle of it. Its volcanic state is not clearly understood, but the current hypothesis, backed by various evidences, is that it is above a mantle plume that just happens not to be at a plate intersection due to the sheer size of the Pacific plate.

paleontology as a comparative interdisciplinary science

Not all societies are religious, but civil society, considered as such, is.

Mt 16:18-19 // Rv 20:1-3
Mt 24:21 // Rv 2:22, 7:14

Mt 17:1 // Ex 24:1
note that Nadab and Abihu were brothers (Ex 6:23), just like James and John

(1) The virtue of prudence is essential to happiness.
(2) The virtue of prudence is essential to duty.
(3) The virtue of prudence requires the falsehood of strict consequentialism and tutioristic deontology.

the boldness of courage vs the boldness of gratitude

Both mercy and justice are like love, from which they spring, but mercy is more like.

There is greater freedom in mercy than in justice.

Justice between friends is the highest justice on which we can act.

No human being can rise superior to all trouble, but the aspiration to it is a sign of the possibility of beatitude, and a preparation for it.

"The wish of death is commonly but disgust of life...." Francis Burney

Cultivating melodrama is one of the follies of youth.

All contingent power is completed in goodness. Such power is goodness extending toward goodness.

evangelism as communicating Christ

negative divine attributes -> positive human responsibilities

flickering kinds of signification