Friday, May 30, 2008

Dashed Off

It's a bit long because it has been a while since I've done one of these. Sundry notes, good, bad, and cryptic:

Good reasoning is less about manipulation of premises than about refinement of principles.

Grace perfects nature as love perfects reason

harmony in the body for the sake of consonance in the soul

the road to Emmaus: we often walk beside the truth without knowing it

Moral progress brings moral risks, and this sets up a tension between the cautious, trying to minimize moral risk, and the eager, trying to maximize moral advance.

the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire

It is not our place to judge whether we are charitable, but solely to pray for charity in thought, word, and deed.

the children of Sarah (1 Pt. 3:6): they who do what is good and fear no intimidation

Grace lends charm to reason.

An argument is an organization of resources in an environment, for a purpose.

The forgetting of faith is the forging of chains.

parenting as rational service

Our trials and burdens are among our gifts.

systemic factors facilitating the spread of culpable dispositions

Somehow the end of the world is always in fashion.

habituating the automaton to obey what reason has discovered to be true

He who writes in naught but prose
contributes less than he'd suppose.

1st articulation of system: connection of parts
2nd articulation of system: distribution of force

The force of taste is the force of an exemplar.

the faith that holds off moral death

quasi-sound arguments

hypothesis as a discursive device (cf. Santayana)

money as sign (token), as measure, as pledge

likings vs. desires

There is no philosophical discipline, only disciplines that are philosophical. ('Philosophical discipline' is in a sense like 'spiritual discipline'. Benedictine spirituality and Franciscan spirituality are not 'right' ways or 'wrong' was, but the refraction of the inexhaustible truth through the diversity of human nature. So too philosophy.)

cost-of-reasoning containment of contradiction explosion

When you can classify, you can extrapolate.

The two things against which we need strategic guards are falsehood and foolishness.

An archive is a communication channel; as w/ any such channel a key issue is reduction of noise.

Historians only purge their histories of fables until they find new types of fable to charm them.

Even if there are no national characters, there are advocacies of national self-images.

Even where an act is permissible and not itself in bad moral taste, it may be morally inadvisable for other reasons.

An act may be permissible in its primary aspect, but not in some circumstantial aspect; and even where it may be permissible in both, it may be in bad moral taste.

Salus ex Judaeis est.

Deus suam gloriam non quaerit propter se, sed propter nos. ST II-II. 132.1 ad 1

the conditions under which a nation can be a philosophical community

dramatic representation as a way of understanding alien philosophical positions and discourses

A conception of the resources of rationality is essential to an adequate account of rationality.

Good moral taste is a virtue ancillary to prudence.

all the mighty commonwealth of things

Tradition is stability in motion.

sketches of problem-outlines

discretio caritatis, oratio continua

separateness without separation

3 aspects of every cognitive act
(1) extension to object
(2) cognitive self-presence
(3) dwelling in the divine light from which one comes, and according to which one proceeds, and to which one tends

Medicine has a robust moral end: the health and healing of human life, in a manner fitting and appropriate to human life

The problem with trying to eliminate poverty is that its form is protean.

the NQV's of opposing philosophical schools

teleology as a transcendental condition for the possibility of scientific inquiry

explaining the less known by the better known vs. explaining the less familiar by the more familiar

The proper discipline of the imagination, neither too rigorous nor too lax, is one of the essential keys to good philosophical work.

An argument's conclusiveness is never manifest from the 'mere form of the expression', that is, the form without regard for the meaning; but it may be manifest from how the form gives structure to the meaning. That is, the 'formal' is always with the 'material'; we focus on it or abstract it not by separation but by attention. Logical reasoning is hylomorphic.

the soul's natural appetite for managing the body.

imagination as the Green Lion of the Great Work of philosophy

the imagination to dabble and the reason to restrain

the black fire of judgment writ on the white fire of grace

To make the rightness and the advantageousness of an act irrelevant to each other is to divorce reasoning about rightness from practical reason.

Folly! Queen of governments,
ruler of nations, muse of every age,
inciter of false hope and empty dreams,
teacher of artists and strummers of chords,
whisperer in every public ear,
truce! Make me no gifts or favor,
and I will not so fiercely fight you
with words from a venomous pen.

the joy of another's understanding

It is letting oneself be questioned that is the piety of thought.

We should not ask, "Is utilitarianism right or wrong?" so much as "Under what conditions is utilitarian reasoning good reasoning?"

ethical gymnastic (Kant)

3 aspects of tradition
(1) stability of position
(2) transference by consent
(3) loyalty & solidarity

We only know what makes something probable in light of evidence that it is that probable.

prayer as hope in action

Without law there can be no forgiveness; without wisdom there can be no reconciliation; without love there can be no healing.
(Cf. Wright)

Scientific progress can only be discerned in light of the final causes of scientific endeavors.

the philosopher as civilization in one person

A single self has many I's, many egos, each the center of a stance in the world.

In the cogito Descartes constructs a center of gravity for the self (so to speak) that is invariant under a certain kind of perturbation. He then gives this constructed point an interpretation, on the basis of which he engineers the world.

A key does not have a power to open locks. It is, instead, so disposed as to be able to fit the lock mechanism; and in proper conjunction with that a certain action on the key is an action on the lock, to open it.

Much cognition is implicit; so too the inspirations of grace.

the practice of gratitude (gratitude as a spiritual discipline)

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