Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Links and Notes

* Mark Chu-Carroll at "Good Math, Bad Math" has been summarizing sequent calculus and linear logic. Good stuff.

* Lee discusses proportionality in just war theory at "verbum ipsum". Lee's right; there are a lot of things that are said about this in contemporary discussions that don't make much sense.

* "Cliopatria" has a symposium on comparison of British and American imperialism.

* Thomas Williams has an interesting paper (PDF) arguing that the Scotist doctrine of univocity is true and salutary. (h/t: The Prosblogion) Univocity is summarized as:

Univocity: Notwithstanding the irreducible ontological diversity between God and creatures, there are concepts under whose extension both God and creatures fall, so that the corresponding predicate expressions are used with exactly the same sense (in scholastic jargon: have exactly the same significata) in predications about God as in predications about creatures.

Where a hardcore Thomist (or a Thomist-sympathizer) will really stumble is not, as far as I can see, addressed in the paper, though, and that's the assumption that if the concept is the same, "the corresponding predicate expressions are used with exactly the same sense." If the same concept can be predicated in different ways, it isn't clear that they are "used with exactly the same sense." And, in fact, I take it that everyone agrees that the concepts do not apply in the same way to God and creatures -- in God what is signified is transcendental, in creatures categorical; in God unrestricted, in creatures restricted; etc. -- so we seem right back where we originally were in the dispute: are the 'corresponding predicate expressions' really used with the same sense even if the same concept is used in both? Predicates, after all, are not merely concepts, but concepts predicated of subjects in certain ways. But I do think Williams's argument is salutary. Let's have no more bashing of Scotus for such-and-such consequence univocity without taking the trouble to show that it really is a consequence.

* Michael Gilleland has posted yet another translation of the famous ninth-century Irish poem, Pangur Bán. (He links to another post in which he presents three others. The Flower translation of the poem hung in my dorm room for most of my undergraduate years.

* Ocham muses on Tibbles at "Beyond Necessity."

* An interesting discussion is going on at FQI about Kierkegaard and arguments for the existence of God.

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