Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dashed Off

As usual, transferring some of my dashed-off notes to the blog, and the usual caveats apply: mere ideas, grains of salt, and all that. It's been a while since I've done this, so there will probably be another soon.

Genius only fully expresses itself by not relying on itself as such.

prevenient & consequent consolations

Sensation has as its object the singular properly and directly but also after a fashion the universal itself. For if many singular instances are sensed and they do not differ in some feature, this feature as recognized by the mind is the universal.

Hume's custom as empeiria (experientia)

Superstition arises not from a lack of reasoning but from a misdirection of it.

The world continues to exist only because God rests in it.

Distinctions sometimes convince as well as arguments do; for distinctions, like arguments, may resolve problems. But one may say that they do so not as directly effecting but as removing impediments. Much the same can be said of redescriptions.

Every effect is evidence of its cause; but it is only seen as evidence for its cause through someone's recognition of how that effect would relate to its cause. Someone who did not understand that this effect requires that kind of cause could have evidence of the cause without seeing any evidence for it.

the experience of reading a good book
in itself: complacentia, desiderium, gaudium
in its effects: liquefactio, fruitio, languor, fervor

fideism as a philosophical autothysis mechanism

It is curious how people talk about naturalistic explanations when they really mean natural explanations. There is realy no such thing as a naturalistic explanation, since any explanation put forward by a naturalist coudl be accepted consistently by someone (even if not by everyone) who does not accept naturalism. Naturalism when it comes to explanation is a negative doctrine: it tells us that no explanations are legitimate explanations that are not natural explanations. This is different from saying that anyone who accepts a natural explanation is conceding naturalism in some way, which is both obviously false and involves a logical confusion. Naturalism explains nothing; it merely makes a claim about what kind of explanation is to be accounted a good kind of explanation. (Likewise you find people who think flying in an airplane is a 'naturalistic' method of travel, a complete concession to naturalism. There are always gullible people who can be fooled by a similarity of words.)

The pure transcendentals are terms that are present in the knowledge of all things: being, one, etc. This is why metaphysics is the source of all principles on which all the sciences are based.

We should avoid the mistake of thinking of the three acts of the intellect -- apprehension, judgment, and inference -- as always separate and distinct; in fact they are often intermingled, for we are not always considering things that are self-evident, like simple quiddities and first principles, and even when we are we are not always considering them as such. But it is only in such pure cases that sharp distinction, rather than mutual support or impediment, can be found.

scientia : vegetative soul :: intelligentia : sensitive soul :: sapientia : rational soul

The intellectual virtue of science judges conclusions in a field in light of the principles of the field; the intellectual virtue of wisdom judges principles and conclusions of a field alike.

Wisdom pertains to the principles of the whole of human cognition; thus we say it deals with the first and highest causes, for it considers what is most prior and most intelligible in its own nature. Likewise it itself serves as the completion of all human cognition, for it is impossible for one's knowledge ot be complete except by grounding it in what is most intelligible and illuminating. Since all ofhuman cognition only finds a good order in light of it, it is rightly said that the wise set all things in order.

The true history of a civilization is the history of its saints and sages.

The best philosophical positions are "divine, examined in themselves, but also irrefragable, according to arguments" (Cons. Phil. iv pr i).

The human intellect is in need of completion by the world.

We investigate the natures of things on the basis of their acts.

We spend most of our lives residing in the senses, either the external senses or, when we are more withdrawn, the imagination and memory. But we are called to reside in a better palace, in the spiritual senses, so to speak, which is to say, we are called to dwell in understanding intermingled with love.

When I sue a word, like 'dog', I mean to signify not my sensations of a dog, nor the means by which I signify. I do not tag the word 'dog' to things I receive, but actively mean something, and in this case I mean a dog; I then express this vocally. THe forming of this meaning is conception, the meaning formed is the concept or internal word, which I express in external words. THere are two kinds: those that are simple understandings, which are expressed as definitions and descriptions, and those that are syntheses or analyses, which are expressd in sentences or, indeed, in many other ways. This internal word is not what is known, which is the thing itself; nor is it that by which it is known, which is what we receive from the world through the senses; but it is that in which we know, for the conception of the word is the knowing of the thing, the intellect's expression of the thing in itself, the forming of the world int he mind, the mind's assimilation of the universe to itself.

All understanding is a sort of deep reading.

We say that something, like a claim, is true not because of an intrinsic propertyor form but because it exists relative to an intellct capable of judging, just as food is healthy not in itself but relative to the health of an animal. But insofar as we can recognize that something in the thing is a cause or reason for judging it true, we can also call this cause or reason the truth. If we fail to recognize that this is a shift in sense, we make it easy for ourselves to stubmle.

To have a coherent theory of rationality you must have a teleology of reason.

What is true is true of something.

Our theories, being artifacts and constructions of the mind, are measured against the mind; but our minds are measured against the natures of things, and so too our theories by way of our minds.

"Human nature is like honeycomb because we hold the treasure of reason in our bodies, just as honey is contained in the comb." Palamas

Suppose causes regress infinitely. Then God (by way of Spinoza). Suppose they don't. Then God (by way of Aristotle).

Tense logic is really a logic of direction.

Legal abilities are a certain kind of permission.

Sensation is already the beginning of a process of abstraction.

Sensation is not mere apprehension; there is a sort of judgment of sense by which, not intellectually but in the sensing itself, we judge whether something is or ir not. and these judgments, whereby, for instance, we do not merely apprehend brightness, registering it as brightness, but recognize it to be over there, make up a considerable part of our mental life. Much confusion could be avoided by remembering that sense judges as well as apprehends.

We may distinguish between first analytics and second analytics. First analytics considers inference as such. Second analytics considers inference according to its various kinds: demonstrative, probable, rhetorical, poetic, sophistical, which are inferences with ends in view and therefore partake soemthing of their ends.

Reasoning per impossibile involves abstracting by simple consideration in matters of necessity.

Sensation is a corporeal act of cognition: it is not prior to cognition, but itself a cognitive act, a kind of knowing which has as its object the shaping of matter (so to speak) by light, or sound, or chemical reaction, or what have you.

Knowledge is a sort of multiformity; form is limited by matter; therefore knowledge depends on the degree to which one is relatively free of material limitation.

Behind malevolence one often finds things to be pitied.

the four paths of charity
(1) universal hospitality
(2) liturgy throughout life
(3) expansive reciprocity
(4) friendship with God and man

agape as divine jen (ren)
shu as part of jen
chung as part of jen

Aporia force us into higher levels of abstraction.

Suppose that "every mover is moved" (M) is true. It is so either per accidens or per se.
Suppose per accidens. Then M is not necessary. Therefore ◊~M. But ◊~M→~M (X). Therefore ~M.
Why? Suppose (◊~M & ~M). To be moved is to be moved by another in such a way that what is potential becomes actual. If something can be a mover because its potential for moving becaomse actual, it si moved. ThereforeIf ◊ indicates that there is anything with the potential for making ~M true, then ◊~M&M is a contradiction. Since ~M is true by supp., ~◊~M, which is alos against supp. Therefore If M is true per accidens, either X or ◊ does not indicate &c. But per accidens rules out the latter, because it requires ◊~M and being mover and being moved are incidentally joined; but if there is nothing w/ the potential for making ~M true, being mover and being moved are not joined incidentally but per se. Therefore if M is true per acidens, also ~M. This is confirmed by the fact that if being mover and being moved are incidentally joined, given that the latter can be sometimes found w/o the former, it is imporbable that the former is never found w/o the latter.
Suppose it is true per se. Then either each moer is moved by the same kind of motiaon as that by which it moves or it is not.
Suppose that it is. Then the same thing would be actual and not actual in the same respect. This is impossible.
The genera and species of motion are finite. But the regress cannot be infinite, and ~M is true. For either there is recurrence or there is not. Suppose there is not: then the regress is finite, and ~M is true. But suppose there is: Since a serieis of moved movers in a chain, where being moved and being mover are joined in their nature, are themsleves a unified moved mover, then whatever moves according to a species of motion would have to be moved according to the same species albeit mediately rather than immediately. Therefore ~M.
Further, if there were an infinite regress of per se moved movers, the whole of the chain would be a unified mover (since per se); but this infinite mover would be a self-moved mover, actual and not actual with respect to the same thing, which is impossible.

What mathematicians usually discover are uses.

A good lector will love the words themselves as rich with meaning.

One can make sense of much of Spinoza by reading 'thing intelligible purely through and in itself' wherever he says 'substance'. Then: such an intelligible is prior in intelligibility to what receives intelligibility from it (Part I, Prop I), it cannot be produced by another (vi), existence pertains to its nature (vii), it is necessarily infinite (viii), it necessarily exists (xi), it is indivisible (xiii), it is God alone (xiv), ntohing can exist or be conceived w/o it and whatever exists is in it (xv), and so forth. But he fluctuates between the level of intelligibility and other levels, if looked at in this way, & does not properly distinguish 'being caused by' from 'known through'. Thus extension becomes a mode of God, and things flow from God by necessity of his nature.

dimensions of inquiry
-related to decision, to assent, to apprehension, &c.
- in effect a moral psychology of inquiry

There is need for fortitude in our playfulness; for it is easy for playfulness to dissipate when it is most needed.

reference-grounded definitions vs arbitrarily constructed definitions

moral counsels and moral taste

How one uses an expression presupposes what it is for.

Temperance and fortitude can be treated as satellites or adjuncts of justice because applying reason to passions (whether to restrain or endure) presupposes applying reason to will. Likewise, all virtues can be treated as adjuncts of prudence because they all presuppose right reason.
This contributes toward seeing how the Chinese virtues relate to the Greek.

Much of the damage caused by pride comes from its mimicry of the self-reflectiveness of prudence.

slightly on the wicked side of reason

The only thing that would make it so "you can't get an ought from an is" is ought's being a primitive.

With the Jews God creates a vocabulary.

The Eucharist as
(1) a work of Christ's prophetic authority to proclaim
(2) a work of Christ's royal authority and power
(3) a work of Christ's priestly mediation

a schematic of theology

Giving to others their due is justice because it follows from good where there is something due. But hter eis a kind of giving that goes beyond all due, depending on it not in the least; and this has more of the nature of good because it does not require this other notion of something due.

beasts made from useful jumblings

to show & teach w/o books or signs

There is no reason to despise epicycles that do what they are supposed to do.

the Cloud of Unknowing: the road to heaven is measured not in yards but in desires

Much religion is born of allegory, and one sees this in operation even among religions usually thought of as rather primitive.

'a simple knowing and feeling of your own being'

I) Suppose the world has always existed. (1) Not by nature (2) Only cause capable of such effect is God.
II) Suppose it began to be (1) Not by infinite regress. (2)Only cause capable of stopping regress is God.

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