Monday, February 25, 2008

Dashed Off

Again, a diverse and semi-random selection from my notes. They are, as the sidebar says, pollen and literary seedings.

It is noteworthy that people generally make a fuss about Enlightenment values only when they are incompetent to build an Enlightenment. Such pale reflected images, seen as if in a dream, selected and collected like little daisies to remind oneself that fields can possibly exist!

Noah Webster on the empire of reason

interior instinctus ad credendum

It is easier to know that a thing is not what it is not than to know that it is so as to know that iti s identical to itself.

the NT miracles as emblematic of the sacraments (Wiseman)

Butler's Analogy is really an argument from the conditions that make prudence possible.

the law of excluded middle as a rule for the construction of a limited domain

"My own realm of thoughts, i.e., the totality S of all things, which can be objects of my thought, is infinite. For if s signifies an element of S, then is the thought s', that s can be an object of my thought, itself an element of S." Dedekind

good philosophy as incipient virtue
philosophy -> wisdom -> order of virtue

The pagan Greeks had a conception of philosophy as a search for wisdom not had: the philosopher is neither wise nor foolish, but one who, knowing that he does not know, seeks to know. But it is also possible to have a conception of philosophy as the radiance of wisdom received, as the unfolding of a wisdom already possessed; and the two are not mutually exclusive. Christian philosophy is an example: faith is an incipient gift of wisdom, unfolded in the search for wisdom in fullness. Exitus: it goes forth from wisdom. Reditus: unto wisdom it returns. For Wisdom is inexhaustible; receiving it, there is always more to receive; participating it, there is always more to participate.

philosophy the draughtsman of being (Rosmini)
-> i.e., in its subsistence, in its intelligibility, and in its lovableness or goodness

"...what philosophy imagined was less than Abraham's actual achievement, just as the simple faith of truth is greater than the deceitful boast of eloquence." Ambrose, On Abraham, bk 1 ch. 2

art : fear of the Lord
knowledge : knowledge
  piety is its practical part
prudence : counsel
  fortitude is its practical part
understanding : understanding
wisdom : wisdom

the Christian calling: to do the truth in charity (Eph. 4:15)

We can have natural inclination to the acts characteristic of this or that virtue; it is another thing entirely to say we can be naturally inclined to what is characteristic of them all. To be naturally inclined to the labors of fortitude tends to conflict with natural inclination to gentleness; even if we hold that for every virtue we have a sort of natural openness (since we can acquire any virtue), a serious inclination to firm daring will tend on its own to suppress our openness to cautious prudence, so that we have no particular inclination to it. It is only by coordinating, restraining, cultivating, that we can develop an inclination to all virtue.

Sacred doctrine uses philosophical texts as extrinsic and ancillary; it uses Scriptural texts as intrinsic and basic; and it uses the texts of the doctors of the Church as intrinsic and ancillary.

When formality and etiquette decay, the result is not less hypocrisy but more crass hypocrisy.

"Who has ever seen men persuaded to love God by harshness?" Juan de la Cruz

Christ's union with the Church is a union of habitation, for it is His Temple; a union of affection, for it is His Bride; a union of operation, for it is His instrument; a union of grace, fo rit is His sacrament in the world; and a union of moral communication, for He imparts His dignity and excellence to it.

For an act to be sinful, it must be by consent, free, and advertent. (Liguori)

Liguori's syllogism
An insufficiently promulgated law does not oblige.
A law doubtful to the prudent is insufficiently promulgated.
.: A law doubtful to the prudent does not oblige.

Successful sophistry is based on three things:
1) cunning estimation of the people involved
2) shrewdness in the means of flattery and persuasion
3) impudent confidence so as not to waver in a way that will be seen to be vain or base

scholia as the drinking songs of academics, crooked music for a thought-drunken round

The true rhetoric of instruction involves goodness, power, and understanding.

philotimia and philhedonia as the chief anti-philosophical desires

- compressed air engines
-> major problem is efficiency, since efficient air compression is difficult. Safety's an issue, too, but arguably this is a matter that can be handled by good design.

Polemic as a sort of intellectual vigilantism
-> to the extent it is justified this is because the intellectual realm is in chaos, and even vigilante justice is better than none. But it is a sign of chaos, being an emergency provision, a patch to cover the gaps of justice on the intellectual frontier

It is to our glory to overlook an offense, because wisdom is the root of true patience. (Pr. 19:11)

Faith is new light on all things, though it be but a glimmer.

The Parts of Logic
(1) Pertaining to intellectual representation
(2) Pertaining to composition and division in judgment
(3) Pertaining to procession from one thing to another
  (3a) so as to allow resolution into first principles
    (3a1) with certitude insofar as this comes from reasoning
    (3a2) with certitude insofar as this comes from understanding of the propositions used
  (3b) so as to allow inquiry
    (3b1) on a basis that allows belief or opinion
    (3b2) on a basis that allows only suspicion
    (3b3) on a basis that allows only inclination of sympathy and imagination
  (3c) so as to undergo deviation into error

A proposition or enunciation is either part of a contradiction, where contradiction is an opposition allowing no middle ground.

The problem with aequiprobabilism is that it is difficult to determine what equal probability would be.

The difference between Callicles and Socrates is a difference of myth.

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