Monday, July 19, 2010

Dashed Off

"Grandeur of Ideas is founded on Precision of Ideas." Blake

the Blakian argument for innate ideas

marriage as a sort of religious order

habitus of truth: wisdom (sapientia), understanding (intelligentia), knowledge (scientia)
habitus admitting of true and false: opinion, suspicion, suppositional inference (logismos)
habitus of error: there seems no traditional list of these

"How important it is in the spiritual life to rouse oneself to great things!" Teresa of Avila

the infinite seeking infinite works in an infinite sense of love

sacrament as merciful action
sacrament as abiding presence

the wave of truth collapsed to the particles of proposition by human judgment

to unwind the modern world and weave anew in light of it

Marriage is an intellectual disposition organizing emotional and sexual inclinations, or at least the presumptive resolution to tend toward such a state. It shares this with, e.g., priesthood and professionalisms of all kinds, differing from them in how it organizes other incliantions and in what sort of disposition is involved.

Every argument must be analyzed not merely in terms of its abstract plan but also in terms of its instrumentality to an end.

Love is not merely juridical, but it is juridical; this is why we so often speak of it in terms of rights, privileges, and debts.

deference, loyalty, purity, equability, and care

We should look at temptations as the battles God is teaching us to fight.

to lament the insensitivity of the unjust rather than to hate them (St. Diadochos)
by our sympathy to others becoming heralds of God's goodness (Abba Isaac)
speaking ill of another as moral cannibalism (Abba Hyperechios)

Rhetoric is swifter than analysis but not more lasting.

the analogy between Epicurean gods and Platonic forms

Philo's double world objection to Cleanthes and Aristotelian objections to Platonic forms

geometrical diagrams as demonstrative descriptions of geometrical figures originating from the principles of those figures, as conclusions from premises

the incubation of arts in sub-civilizations and subcultures

Patience is the seed of lasting cheer, and lasting cheer the seed of ardent joy.

The acts of prayer, adoration, conession, thanksgiving, reparation, petition, may be fleshed with sentiment or may not; but we do not pray with all of our heart until we pray with sincere sentiment.

You may read the letters on the sacred page, or hear them spoken aloud, but until your heart hears the word syou have neither read nor heard holy scripture. And how may you tell that your heart hears them? It is when you live them in wiser judgment and more loving works.

ends of marriage vs. ends of acts in marriage

Human dignity requires not merely that defect be remedied but also that excess be restrained.

Licet corrigere defectus naturae

We certainly do let practical reasons confirm us in our beliefs (& disconfirm as well) -- one sees this in scientific inquiry as well as real life.

Matter is that in virtue of hich a thing can be-or-not-be; thus that which exists but exceeds the proportion of its matter is not corruptible insofar as it does so exceed it.

rights as instruments for securing justice vs. rights as instruments for protecting from injustice

Kant's duty of respect for man even in the logical use of his reason -- we should, rather than simply supposing his claims to be absurd, suppose that there is some truth in it worth seeking out

Examples serve as moral encouragement in that (a) they prove feasiblity and (b) they make visible what the practical rule expresses more generally. But the latter concedes more than Kant admits, because from it one can build a theory of moral learning from examples. We can draw the rule out of the example, so to speak, and be guided by it by the instrumentality of the rule or even without the rule in investigation of the rule.

rights as a facultas for exerting one's abilities, given in light of some common good (as a human being, as a citizen, as a member of a family, etc.)

Pascalian wagers to the existence of reasons do not need an exhaustive division of possibilities

'Cannot' is always relative to a 'can'.

Sciences, especially architectonic ones, are defined by the analogical, not the universal.

Just as being has categories (substance, quantity, quality) so also transcendental unity has categories (sameness, equality, likeness) broadly corresponding to these. And so too must truth, goodness, and beauty. This will bear much thinking.

Transcendental arguments are dialectical because they proceed from conceptions of reason, which are principles extrinsic to things; and this form of inquiry is dialectic. But we can cover dialectically everything metaphysics covers. And knowing this we now better understand Kant.

God acts numine, nature acts nomine; and the nominal act echoes the numinal, but under a name.

to accomplish the particular commandments through the general

"A man can never be harmed by anyone else, except by way of causes that lie within himself." Cassian

Acedia is a capital vice becuase it impedes the transformation of mind required for true repentance.

Divine consolation instills patience.

Docilitas requires an active and honest mind.

censoriousness as an anti-philosophical vice

Learning (docilitas), reciprocity, & consistency as the fundamental principles of critical thinking.

purposive occupation of the understanding through the entertaining play of the imagination

Most goods are only partial substitutes for each other.

Rawls's veil of ignorance presupposes people who are imaginative, sensible, and prudent even when considering only their own interests.

Dispassion is essential for accurate judgment of the just & unjust, the good & the bad, because passion carries with it an interest to a particular good without regard for its relations to other goods. This does not, of course, mean that passion has no role in such things, only that dispassion must play a key role in judgment or evaluation for purposes of accuracy.

To postulate a possibility is to posit a cause.

It is not possible to assess the relation between quality of the product & quality of the act producing it wihtout considering the final cause.

- on a Leibnizian assumption in a certain class of arguments from evil

the good of triumphant good

Infinites can be more or less inclusive even if they aren't more or less extensive, e.g., { odd integers} is less inclusive than { natural numbers } but not less extensive.

Oughts are described by propositions or verb phrases, values by abstract noun phrases, goods by noun phrases both concrete and abstract.

pain as bad with respect to pursuit of the pleasant, as good with respect to the pursuit of self-preservation (within limits both ways, of course)

That God is divinely just entails that God is divinely wise and vice versa, and so it is with all essential attributes.

Principles are established not through argument but through the work of coming to understand their terms.

three grounds of false friendship: carnality, sentimentality, vanity

order-of-nature Molinism vs. possible-worlds Molinism


Nietzsche's mistake: to conceive of the will as syphilitic

the will to life as a will to craft

The most expensive luxury in the world is incompetence.

Sensory perception always has some sort of connection to the object perceived because it is an alteration in some way be the object; but one may for many reasons perceive the object as being something it is not.

A major problem with much prayer is that we pray for magic, not grace.

The only kinds of confidence worthy of respect are those rooted in humility.

Prayer, like Scripture, has a literal and a spiritual sense.

Sometimes the language in which we express an argument should be geared not to persuasion but to transport.

Philosophiren ist dephlegmatisiren, vivificiren. (Novalis)

As Head, Christ is threefold principle of the Church: principle of its being, principle of its coming to be, and principle by which it is known.

"Values" are related to each other as means and ends.

perfective vs. dispositive generators

trade & information exchange along networks of courtesy and obligation

An infrastructure for compassion is not an infrastructure of it; left to its own devices it can become an instrument of extraordinary cruelty.

Science, do what it will, cannnot avoid occasional surprise.

Form is a principle of both actual and potential motion.

Deontic obligation is necessity-like because it actually is necessity, namely, necessity for a good to be had or an evil to be avoided. Even Kant's categorical imperative is the necessity for having the good will, inasmuch as it is, so to speak, the intrinsic character of it.

threefold character of sensory experience
(1) presentation of object
(2) actuality and potentiality
(3) signification

causation as found in features of experience, in habits of association, and in categories of inference

Civil society consists almost entirely fo instrumetns for reducing, navigating, and resolving risks.

distressing situations as symptomatic of ethical risks

Hierarchy with reasonable means of review gives a legitimacy to correction that is lacking in correction among equals.

the circulation between lust and vainglory

resentment as a sign of vainglory

The key to moral reform is careful regard to deliberate venial failing; it is here that the greatest potential for prevention and repair exist.

Attention is the greater part of prayer.

Without a notion of moral deference, one's account of rights will be seriously defective.

Scripture does not merely have words; it has intonations & moods.

Nothing is more ecumenical than death.

'to put the commonplace truths of human affections in an interesting point of view'
'to remind men of their knowledge as it lurks inoperative and unvalued in their own minds'

the need for journalism about failures of journalism

The Mass cannot properly be understood until one sees how all of the Sacraments are involved in it.

The heart of philosophy is application of principles. In order to apply principles well we develop arguments. In order to develop arguments well we develop analyses of arguments.

Deception massively interferese with assessment of costs and benefits on other fronts.

Substance is related to accident not merely as cause but, even setting aside causation, it is still related to accident as principle.
- it is efficient cause qua conferring existence
- it is material cause qua potential to the accident
- but it is principle not only in these ways but also as that on which the accident depends, qua prior actuality, precisely insofar as it is prior to the act of the accident
In other words:
- insofar as it (considered as) perfecting
- insofar as it is (considered as) perfected
- insofar as it is (considered as) neither perfected nor perfecting
In each case the principiation implies the causation, given the nature of substance & accident, but they are distinct.

Personhood adds to rational nature 'this act not dispositionally or actually dependent on another act with which it is fit to be unified'.

In order to have supererogation, all you need is not to conflate moral duty and moral taste.

Power and knowledge are kinds of goodness.

Measure is based on indivision; mathematics analyzes kinds of indivision pertaining to quantity.

predicate states what subject is: substance
predicate states what is in the subject
- essentially and absolutely
- - as pertaining to matter: quantity
- - as pertaining to form: quality
- not absolutely but with reference to another: relation
predicate refers to subject but is taken from something extrinsic:
- totally
- - but not as a measure: vestment/habit
- - as a measure:
- - - time: when
- - - place
- - - - with regard to order of parts: position
- - - - without regard to order of parts: where
- from a certain point of view in the subject
- - from the point of view of the principle: action
- - from the point of view of the terminus: passion

noting remains: negation
subject alone remains: privation
subject & genus remain: contrariety

Prudence unites duty and self-interest.

Part of the proper reading of a poem is inventing and imagining situations for it.

Marriage cannot give spiritual increase (as such) to the Church, but it can contribute the material disposition for it.

To none of God's saints is it given to live in ease, but to some it is given to suffer more visible hardships. To all is it given to persevere in the faith.

Who cannot recognize the sublime shows himself irrational, incpaable of recognizing the true reach of reason.

There is a charity of the angels, transcending all passion, but in general charity given to human beings must be fleshed in human forms. That usually means that one must cultivate the warmth of home and hospitality for it, for people will often find the more purely celestial versions too strange, or too hot, or too cold, or all three, to bear.

Organic life makes discrete parts act as if they were continuous in some way, for it makes them one in a greater degree than the merely discrete.

Resurrection is analogous to creation and to formation, btu different from each. For, whereas creation gives form and matter alike, and formation gives form to matter, resurrection gives matter to form.

The effect of worldly society is that one can say the same but mean ever the less.

The repulsion of distraction in prayer is itself fruitful prayer.

the presentiment of reason in favor of explanation by final causes

Marriage as a sacrament represents Christ's Passion, not as to penalty (despite possible jokes) but as to charity.

Within marriage sex can be an act of justice and religion; when marriage is also sacramental it can also be an act of faith and charity.

Morality under the dispensation of death is genuine morality; but its being so fails to do anything about the condition under which it operates.

A word like 'survival' is fundamentally ambiguous, as the word 'life' is; it must be made precise, not taken as a primitive.

We may know that a capability exists without knowing that circumstance in the cause which makes it so capable; for the former may be known by knowing the effect, but the latter can only be known by knowing the cause.

Askesis is the art of purity of heart.

By knowledge we are justified (Is 53:11) da'at

human intellect: infinite exemplar cause
human will: infinite final cause

sublime ideas, true judgments, strong reasonings, good lives: the aims of philosophical reasoning

One of the tasks of the philosopher is to unlock the implicit intelligibilities of things - of experiences, of events, of lives.

the relations among: problem, position, argument, idea

To produce phenomena we need to be able to correct for error.

Taken as instruments for pleasure, e.g., in sex, human beings inevitably have severe limitations; placing too high a value on such a thing will inevitably result in disappointment with other human beings.

To reduce friendship to a feeling is to remove human society from reason, and to reduce on the highest aspects of human life to a matter of animal affection.

It is treu that our capability for procreation is a potential we have not obligation to actuate, and it is true that having children is somethin we can choose or not, as a matter of moral freedom. But it does not follow that we can treat a procreative act as not procreative; wishing does not make it otherwise than it is, and nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. We can adapt the use of our biological factulities, but cannot rationally pretend that those faculties are other than they are.

a fortiori reasoning as modal inference

Testing of hypotheses requires differentiating of evidential support.

Davy's Consolations in Travel as an evocation of the beauty and sublimity of scientific interest

Consistency has never been the measure of sincerity.

The artifact can, as it were, get away from the artificer to the extent that the artificer's action is like the action of a generator or generating cause.

forms of scientific inquiry
(1) eduction from experience
(1a) observationally
(1a1) direct
(1a2) indirect
(1b) experimentally
(1b1) direct
(1b2) indirect
(2) probable inference
(2a) because not otherwise
(2b) because it saves the phenomena
(3) suspicion
(3a) from analogy
(3b) from parsimony

Relics are ways of regarding saints themselves as icons.

the transfigured robes of Christ as Nature and Scripture
Scripture as a garment for the Word

Torah is very clear that animals & fields under our care are to receive rest & refreshment just as we are.

the rebuke of simony as an especially Petrine function

"Nations to be real must first be imagined." Alasdair MacIntyre

That form of government is best that, on the positive side, makes it most likely that those who govern will be virtuous, and, on the negative side, makes it most difficult for those who govern but are vicious to damage the public good.

"The seed of all sins is in my blood!" Nicholai of Zicha

reading the Psalms in the spirit of Davidian repentance

It is inconsistent to advocate a just wage and not make an efofrt to patronize excellent work of great value to life and society.

Unbelief is a sin only as an expression of pride or craving.

If evidence is an analogical term, the primary form of it is that which is evident, or, to caputre the activity of it (which is lost with 'is evident') that which manifests.
- Note that this does not require that we assume some kind of cataleptic impression (which is properly a mode of manifestation)

Every paradox is an implicit dilemma.

iconography as an exercise of sacred doctrine

In any society in which power pools into one of its sectors there willb e rising pressure from that sector agains the public good, as people within that sector apply their power in order to try to use the government to socialize all the risk of their practices, while they keep all the profits and benefits of them for themselves.

In politics it is often necessary to aim for the ideal but to be satisfied with the adequate; none are so dangerous as those who conflate the two.

Since a definition or defining account is the middle term of a demonstration, it is the principle of knowing.

Scientific inquiry is empirical not in that its object is sensible experience, but in taht it is studies mobile being as sensible; for the sensible changing of things insofar as it is sensible and involves change provides the initial knowledge from which other things are proven.

public apologies as modern purification rituals

patron saints: exemplary, emblematic, intercessory

The distinction between simple apprehension and judgment guarantees that we have a sort of implicit knowledge we don't know that we have. For the mind can be assimilated well to something and yet not have judged something about it; we can understand to some extent humanity, which is rational animality, without having thought about its being so.

Ambiguities do not arise from distinctions of suppositiones but from nondistinction of suppositiones.

The purpose of business is the sustainability of good things.

examples that express a situation as it is vs. examples that express a situation according to a proportional likeness

the dryad as personifying the beauty of the tree

Lyric poetry is no time to be brisk & narrative poetry is no time not to be.

Management is a calculation in which teh primary factors are cost, incentive, and profit.

A passover offering is not merely offered but eaten. Indeed, it is remarkable how often eating and sacrifices are linked.

pregnancy as a symbol of grace (cf. St. Gregory of Sinai)

the decay of classical learning as a contributory cause to atheism

All of our faculties must undergo conversion to God.

The human corpse is a relic of either sanctity, or excellence, or lost potential.

Garson, in suggesting that Austen privileges taste over execution fails completely to recognize that taste is domain-specific. Emma cannot have eminence over Jane Fairfax in musical taste; Jane, having both taste and execution, must be superior. But we recognize as readers that despite failures of both taste & execution, Emma has good taste in something extraordinarily important in comparison (represented partly, for instance, in her friendship with Knightley).

the good taste suitable for friendships of excellence

The difficult with sincere confession is coming constantly face to face with the fact of one's self-ignorance.

the sin proper to art as such

sublimity as a source of resistance to Berkeleyan idealism
- i.e., the difficult of believing that all this sublime furniture of the world depends on us
- it would have to be a non-Kantian account of sublimity
- B. could respond by distinguishing 2 kinds of dependence (in light of divine language). The question then would be: is this enough?

'Love perseveres, love endows. It envies not, boasts not, usurps not. It misbehaves not, serves itself not, overreacts not, resents not. Love rejoices not at evil but rejoices with the truth. It always lasts, always trusts, always hopes, always endures. Love never fails.'

the representation of logical structure in three dimensions & the rotation & translation thereof.
- certainly very different-looking arguments can be 'topologically' the same

Without shared goals there is no real arguing.

Human reason can only trace out some of the features of true human happiness on the basis of sensible and mental facts naturally available to it.

We can only specify the sense in which someone might have a problem with mental causation within the context of some account of causation.

Contingent predicates give contingent propositions.

the matter of logic (John of St. Thomas)
(1) predicables
(2) predicaments
(3) formation of per se propositions (which allow demonstrations)

informal logic
(a) as material
(a1) as pertaining to demonstration
(a2) as pertaining to correspondence
(b) as ordinary language
(c) as involving formal defect

Arguing over the individuation of actions is like arguing over the individuation of line segments.

Hypocrites bloom where moral activities are partly public in character.

Those who wish to wait to raise children in traditions until they are older think of the traditions chiefly as impositions of belief. But in practice they are more often sources of ideas and often they are training in the skills of using such ideas well. This puts a different complexion on the matter.

One of the inadequacies that plagues many accounts of causation is an inability to distinguish in a principled way between efficient and deficient causes.

theoretical propagation of ideas experiment-ward & back-propagation of ideas theory-ward

informal logic as the materials science of reasoning

Leadership is the organization of cooperation.

sexual desire as an incentive to that good will required for sustaining the species

Prosperity breeds tyrants and devastation confirms them.

confusion of popularization with rituals of entertainment

poetry as prelude to dictates of reason (nomoi)

When the text as read has vivacity, it sparks imaginative associations that facilitate understanding.

'Empire' is more like architectonic action that it is like place or thing.

the Delphic sayings as the root of resistance to tyranny: Know Yourself; Nothing in Excess

One of the essential features of the healthy life of the Church is an ability to respond to problems in many ways at once.

the distinction between 'schism' as a state and 'schism' as a sinful act -- very important

Laches & the courage of philosophical dispute

poets vs. lovers of the Muses

figurative speech : literal speech :: complex numbers : integers

The road to glory lies uphill.

two vectors of symbolism in liturgy: economic & cosmic

True piety requires a sense of one's own limits.

The teaching of music is successful when it leads to love of beauty itself.

The problem with ecumenism is that people pray for unity and do not act with the charity through which alone God brings unity into being.

The communal marriage of the Platonic polity is neither good nor happy nor just for the individual, nor does it do justice to individual eros -- but it is not intended to do so. Rather, it is to establish clearly the eros of the whole polity, that it may be an image of the eros of the soul, and to establish the friendship of the polity as a good beyond any private good of a part, that it may be an image of order in the soul.

Republics and democratic regimes are considered beautiful because they exhibit the most variety of any regime. They become ugly to the extent they have this through lack of sense and lack of self-restraint.

the Platonic character of Mill's utilitarianism

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.