Friday, June 13, 2014

Dashed Off VIII

As always, what it says on the tin, and to be taken with a grain of salt. Sorry for the length; but I am still almost a year, and nearly three full notebooks, behind on these things.

per defectum naturalis ingenii
per defectum disciplinae
per defectum plenae instructionis
per defectum aetatis

Divine essence is being God and divine energy is God being.

Dialectic search is the crystallizing of poetic play and rhetorical weighting into analytic structure.

marriage as showing all the effects of original sin

Marriage as a sacrament is constituted by mutual free consent under the blessing of the Church; in the West, this blessing is given generally, and in the East often required particularly for each case.

matrimony as sign of the Spirit as Life-giver

the cultural mandate // the Great Commission

the state as ceremonial application of constraint

French philosophy has historically been typological in approach.

the Petrine Office of the Church and Isaiah 51:1,2

the will to truth as part of the will to good

constructive, corrective, and probative rationality

suspicion // first inclination

justice as the structure of peace

Greatness is measured by the power to appreciate the good of the small.

To live in hope requires learning how not to force every issue.

Any complex urban civilization requires a servile base, of animals, machines, or men.

Usury is the sin of treating interest on loans as free of the standards of contractual justice.

semiotic Platonism: temporal things as signs of Beauty, of Truth, of Goodness; creaturely beauty is nothing other than the creature's signification of Beauty; ascent through signs to the pure form of the signification; eros and sign; etc.

Nietzschean approaches as deliberately fractured Platonisms

Every instrument of progress must simultaneously be an instrument of (selective) conservation. You cannot have progress without some ratcheting, some consolidation of prior gain.

design principles for constructing arguments and positions with retorsion immunity

Persuasion occurs by alignment of interests.

Speculative thought presupposes learned tradition.

the Word as inner gadfly (cp Malebranche)

Massive philosophical systems are germination grounds for powerful philosophical ideas. cp. Whitehead (AI): "The scope of an intuition can only be defined by its coordination with other notions of equal generality."

discovery, exemplification, interpretation

order, part, whole, correspondence, distinction/difference

the predicables as identifying the logical structure of induction

Whitehead's 'replacement' of Revelation with the speech of Pericles is interesting; it is the exaltation of the thesis of local political adequacy over that of political inadequacy in the face of universal jurisdiction -- of the citizen above the person. This is connected to Whitehead's consistent mistake in understanding persuasion, and his failure to recognize that it is persuasion that is the foundation of might-makes-right.

traditions as open source interactions

Mind is known as a condition for the possibility of objects.

An activity is analyzable into an active subject and its end.

The process of experiencing consists in the receiving beings prior to and distinct from the process, into the process itself, so that they are now objects of experience.

"creativity is the actualization of potentiality" Whitehead, AI

The primary weakness of Whitehead's philosophy of organism is that it lacks an adequate account of the organic, i.e., instrumental; or in other words nested occasions.

That we aspire shows that we are ordered to ends; aspiration is ordering of self to end.

straightness : space :: simultaneity : time

"you cannot prove a theory by evidence which that theory dismisses as irrelevant" (Whitehead)

Good counsel is rooted in respect for what is important.

Every theory with epistemological consequences affects the field of evidence.

The logic of music is inventive, not probative, and is part of logical poetics, building on consonance and dissonance, and patterns thereof (the same and the different in their cycles).

Whitehead's account of evil reduces it to (experience of) metaphysical limitation.

Human life requires a narrative background; it involves the construction of narratives against this greater narrative background.

recapitulative beauty

A learned orthodoxy presupposes adventure.

Mill's entire argument in On Liberty presupposes a social and political structure that harmonizes diversity.

speculative metaphysics as the adventure essential to civilization

That which we observe in perception through the senses does not present itself to us as a closed system.

If, in Whitehead's terms, natural science only concerns homogeneous thoughts about nature, it cannot include in its concern either the intelligibility of things or natural science itself.

Faith makes understanding of rational first principles deeper by adding new first principles, with which they can be compared.

biology as the economics of energy in living forms

The survival of a tradition depends on the continual development of means for handing down the tradition, both improving and developing already existing means and developing and refining new means.

Tradition is education.

Popular piety is the priestly work of the baptized by which they minister to and support the sacramental ministry of the Church.

One could posit a simplistic Platonist and a simplistic Hegelian as the Parmenides and Heraclitus of intellectual history.

Subalternation of sciences shows how we are social even in the realm of knowledge itself.

Human beings are capable of something analogous to commutative justice in their dealings with food animals.

philosophical similitude : sacred doctrine :: induction : metaphysics

Nothing prevents emotional reactions from fulfilling the same or similar logical functions as any other signs. This raises the question of the natural semiotic character of emotional reactions.

Habermas's dialogical principle of universalization itself requires justification in terms of natural principles of reason.

Gaus-style defenses of public reason try to make it replace natural law -- serving the same function while being constructed. Lister-style defenses, on the other hand, make it a part of customary law, but close to its first principles, springing from the natural law principles governing civic friendship plus the relevant civic conditions.

the golden mean as an experimental framework

Trust is built into every language.

prudence as concerned with mediations (manner, mode, means)

vice-resistant vs. vice-vulnerable reasoning (obviously there is no general resistance to biasing or coopting of lines of reasoning by vice; but some reasoning is mroe and some less vulnerable to such corruption)

Talk of presupposition shows that some arguments are serially related and some are not; and thus that there is a flow of inference, even considered abstractly, and thus that there is a form of logical and epistemic presentation to which arguments are not indifferent.

The word 'preferences' seems to be used in a highly equivocal way for desires of very different kinds, not all definitive or even greatly influential for choice, regardless of their own intensity. Part of this is because desires are constituted as preferences not merely by being desire but also by their role in a practical rational scheme.

Irony is the proper attitude to fortune.

Bede: formation of Eve from Adam's side an emblem of the Church, Christ's Bride, formed from the wound in His side

the creaking crickets ricochet / their quiet calls across the way

sacerdotal orders as limiting force-supported oligarchies

Making reasonable provision for oneself is often part of being of service to others.

Song is appropriate for worship because in it we send forth a word on which our spirit dwells.

the universality of poetics as epic character

Every science has a probative, a constructive, and a corrective aspect.

Every substantive philosophical position is a thinking of both person and world.

reductionism as based on 'deepities'

Human language includes things as well as words.

Sacramentalia spring up from the praying of the Church in, with, and for the sacraments.

time in terms of energy expenditure

the Beatitudes as expressive of the principles of human dignity --> human dignity transfigured into sainthood

internal testimony to human dignity: conscience, intellect qua sense of sublimity, will qua capable of love
external testimony to human dignity: revelation, history

Human dignity is the span between being in the image of God and being united to God

Only in Christ is humanity made fully manifest to humanity.

reference class problem as a natural classification problem

the difficulty of building a theory of probability in which it is not an occult quality (this difficulty spreads to other things, e.g., credences and utilities)

"In every part of natural philosophy, accidents often lead to discoveries, which reason alone might no easily have reached." William Charles Wells

A civilization can be characterized negatively by what it finds generally unthinkable, that from which its people recoil even in thought.

A theory of the external world is by its nature a theory of evidence.

Intellect has an affinity for wholes, being a power of participating being as a whole.

Perhaps God gives private revelations in general in order to insist that theology and worship have a poetic and symbolic aspect.

Determining the accuracy of a narrative cannot precede establishing an accurate interpretation of it.

four levels of providence
(1) granting capability
(2) conserving capability
(3) granting direct action
(4) conserving direct action

The pen mediates between me and the text, but it is my acting power that applies the pen to the textual effect, and thus my power mediates between the acting power of the pen and its effect, because it is my power that is immediately proportionate to the effect.

The word 'simul' in Aquinas means merely 'one in such a way as not to be distinguished by before and after'.

Tradition is the divine application of Scripture to life.

3 areas in which obediential potency is important: supernatural works of Christ as man, sacramental operation, salutary acts by human power

conservation principles a difficulty for strict regularity theories of causation

Occasional causes are in some way non-principles.

those things the verisimilitude of which requires their verity, that can only be truthlike by being true

potentiality as having one's principle of possibility in another

sacramental character as occasional cause of grace

Nothing can give itself a completion without the aid of a completing cause that is not requiring that completion.

We form our consciences through good loves.

aphorisms as seeds of philosophical inquiry, made to grow by aporetic method

Tradition is structured by gratitude, for in it we receive benefit from those who came before.

history of Europe: civic justification of imperial regime -> imperial justification of feudal regime -> feudal justification of liberal regime -> liberal justification of welfarist regime -> welfarist justification of ? regime

Divine covenants are not neutral entities mediating between parties to it, but divine activities.

Natural law is the expression of the image of God in us, being an image of eternal reason.

Faith is an act of God illuminating us.

The preaching of the Church is the means through which God communicates the benefits of redemption in word; and the sacraments are the means through He communicates them in sign and thing.

interiority (as a practice) as a precondition for formation of conscience
human dignity as creating a responsibility for interiority
Scripture as light for formation of conscience

A consumerist society is one that markets even wars.

'Making safe' is too vague, malleable, and indiscriminate a goal to be a serious military purpose.

Prediction is made possible only by the identification of constraints and limits.

time as a direction of information dependence (cf. relation to entropy; light cones; temporal paradoxes)

Treating parthood as a four-place relation is not really different from treating it as a two-place relation while being more specific about what is allowed in the places.

Location is determined by boundary and the character of that boundary (the boundary is to where as the clock is to when).

Loved by God more than we love ourselves, we learn from this love to love ourselves properly, with a love of self that includes love of neighbor, which is itself made proper by our learning from God's love.

We think of ourselves using the phantom image of our bodies in our imaginations.

We accept not merely scientific theories but scientific theories in the context of their lineages.

the sea as a weighted graph of communications between ports, weights determined by feasibility (a function of means, energy cost, and risk)

the superposition of saliences

instrumental causality as more fundamental than subject-object distinction

What Heidegger calls 'time' is more properly traditionary being.

Authenticity exists only in the context of a community, which provides what may or may not be made my own, and without which (i.e., without which at all) I would be merely feral.

readiness to appear as confirmability

Minas Tirith & Rangers as two forms of response to & defense against the dark things of the world.

transhumanism as alchemical quest

Tradition is that from which Dasein tacitly understands and interprets.

Tradition is the condition of the possibility of a history that is Dasein's own, by being the condition of the possibility of concern.

Reason is the foundational sense of proportion.

Dasein as traditionary hands down a way of life that is concerned with tradition so as to take account of it.

The primordial human tradition is human nature itself.

In human beings, worth is grounded in what one bears: all bear the image of God and participation in eternal reason, the Virgin bears Christ and the beginning of the Church, Christ bears all divine things and the ope of our salvation, the martyrs bear the Passion of Christ.

All tradition is in its way a handing down of a way of bearing God's image and living as such; but some such tradition is treason.

Guilt is an experience of a deficit.

By tradition we reflect the divine processions, and only in light of the divine procession do we reach full understanding of tradition, at least so far as this life allows.

Scripture : estate, heirloom :: Tradition : inheritance

Human nature is both handed down and a handing-down.

The love-community is a constant transfiguration of the life-community.

the intrinsic corruption of Heidegger's conception of historicity

the Catholicity of the Church as the bulwark of human dignity

Just as the purpose of medicine is not to heal simply speaking but to discern the factors for health that the patient himself or herself may draw as near as possible to health, so also the purpose of rhetoric is not to persuade but to discern persuasive factors so that the audience may themselves draw as near to persuasion as possible.

A dialogical account of rationality virtually begs to be immersed in a dramatic account of rationality.

A genre is a recurrent proportioning of means to end, considered as a typical structure for communication.

Tradition is an organized structure, not a collection of givens for us to add together but an original synthesis with structured moments.

genre as discursive affordances

beneficial vs official utilities

That pain and pleasure are multiply realizable we know from our own case.

ethos : locution :: logos : illocutionary force :: pathos : perlocutionary force

Tradition is the act of the teachable.

In orders the priest and in marriage the couple are made sacraments for the whole Church.

the vocation of all creatures to praise God, as part of creation (cf. Ps 148)

The development of doctrine is the Church as alive, coming from one, living as one, tending to one.

the supertranscendentals as a reason for the doctrine of analogy

inquiry-structuring problems vs inquiry-baffling problems

Preferences are not so much ordered as overlapped.

The action of the final cause is the action of the efficient cause, considered as arising from the intentional similitude of the final cause in the efficient cause.

Contrition arises from love, and complete contrition from complete love.

All legislation is the establishment of ritual.

The form of unction is prayer of faith for the sick.

unction as special purgatorial practice, purgatory in life -- remission of temporal punishment (the intrinsic indulgence of the sacramental system, and even when it is not plenary, it prepares the soul for any other indulgence for the dying that is) -> 'blots out sins and remains (reliquias) of sins'

The Marian prerogatives, both negative and positive, are signs of the properties of the Church, for they follow, by remotion or bestowal, from Mary's role as Mother of God, in which she is a sign of the Church.

the election of Israel as the type of Christian hope

Technology is that whereby human beings attempt to make the uncanny a matter of course.

betrothal : coronation :: minor orders : holy orders

TIMARCHY -- Received Code
OLIGARCHY -- Calculation
DEMOCRACY -- Opinion
TYRANNY -- Passion
lesser objectivity as it descends
more dependent on private willfulness as it descends (the extent to which good can be public)

That omniscience is approached by remotion shows in part in the fact that on analysis it turns out to be a family of concepts; not being omniscient, we cannot capture omniscience by going only one route.

We must believe that in Pentecost the Church is given the implicit power to overcome Babel in theology, for this is a reflection of the unity of the Church. But it does not follow that we fulfill this potential easily.

We-intentions are not special extensions of I-intentions, but rather I-intentions are the special limit case of We-intentions. We proceed from We to I.

Every probability is under the form of a modality.

Fame is a disposition to friendship; that fame worth having is a disposition to friendship on the basis of virtuous benefit to others.

Hume's account of promising is effectively positivist: it consists of resolution procedurally communicated in such a way as to create a sanction.

indelible character // obligation (this is surely right, although Hume's argument for it is defective)

HoP as applied philosophy of philosophical reasoning

What makes quietism an error sufficiently grievous to note is that is error about hope implies errors about heaven and glory.

usury // taking bribes (cf Ps 15:5)

1 Enoch 14 & 71 on tongues of fire
cp 1 Cor 3:16; Eph 2:21

Natural resources are resources under an interpretation.

The Crucifixion becomes a sacrifice in the context of Passover.

To be called to discipleship is to be called to a mode of loving one's neighbor.

Hume's vivacity is his way of handling modalities (some of them, anyway).

Traditionary allegiance is not based on promise or consent, although it may be supplemented by such, and must be if it is to be completely developed.
- imitation, custom, interest, moral debt
- Custom is not mere imitation.

Acts 9:34 as a figure of Rome (note that it follows the conversion of Saul)
Tabitha & Hellenistic Judaism

Over time reason naturally creates customs of self-regulation that, while not intrinsic to reason as such, are rational in the sense of being appropriate to reason and its inquiry, as its end.

Morality posits an objective commonality to human life as such.

Love of God regularizes love of self so that it may serve as a standard for love of neighbor.

insurmountableness of evil vs. gratuitousness of evil

voluntary obligation : natural law :: promise : customary law :: formal contract : positive law

marriage, inheritance, adoption

Even as an office of nature, marriage is especially suitable as a sign; its significative potential is evident in marital customs around the world.

baptism : faith :: unction : hope :: eucharist : love :: orders : prudence :: matrimony : temperance :: penance : justice :: confirmation : fortitude

3 forms of the principle of solidarity : solidarity, friendship, social charity

The Cross seals the unity of the human race.

The principle of subsidiarity derives from the principle of personal primacy.

Speech acts are not units of language.

Respect for the author as the beginning of literacy.

The canonical character of Scripture is an act of the Holy Spirit performed through the Church in its preaching, prayer, and practice.

space and time as similarities of possible physical action

Talking about works of art is to the productive as talking about concepts is to the speculative; one does not in general spend much time discussing questions like "What can count as a concept?" "How are concepts individuated?" "What makes something a concept?" The point is somewhat obscured by the fact that 'work of art' often really means 'work of fine art', but the restriction of domain does not change anything. Note that the same can be said fo talking about acts/actions and the practical.

exemplar ideas // virtues

lust as imperialism of sexual body

marriage as a discovery that love is a source of knowledge

The single most important element of a dilemmatic argument is the determination of its domain of application.


  1. MrsDarwin3:03 PM

    "Marriage as a sacrament is constituted by mutual free consent under the blessing of the Church; in the West, this blessing is given generally, and in the East often required particularly for each case."

    I'd be interested to hear you elaborate on this one.

  2. branemrys3:17 PM

    It's an attempt to reconcile the Western view of the sacrament, which requires only free mutual consent (everything else is just to protect the sacrament from being abused or to make it clear and undeniable that it is indeed sacramental), and the view of the sacrament that is more common in the East, which takes the recognition of the Church as essential to the sacrament, and not just a safeguard of it. If the claim you quoted is true, both views would be correct, with the difference just a matter of different customs by which the Church blesses marriages (in the West it would do it generally for all, in the East it would do it specifically for each).

  3. MrsDarwin11:00 PM

    This is interesting because, as I understand, the East has a more liberal policy toward divorce/remarriage. Could part of that be that in the West, if the sacrament is taken to consist of the consent of the couple, the Church has less culpability in the failure of the marriage, whereas in the East, since the blessing is specific to the marriage, the responsibility of the couple is lessened since the Church carries the responsibility of the specific blessing? I hasten to add that I know almost nothing of marriage practices in the East beside what's written here, so I'm merely speculating.

    But if that is the case, it reminds me a bit of the gentle murder paradox, where if the free mutual consent is not the only thing required to effect the sacrament, but also an outside agent, then that admits of the possibility that the marriage could be unsacramental not merely because of lack of free mutual consent on the part of the couple, but because of some culpability of the outside agent.

    I am plenty open to being corrected here, though.

  4. branemrys7:22 AM

    I don't know if that's ever a contributing factor or not. The question is complicated by the fact that the East has some variation on these matters, and moreover is much less likely than the West to presume that a Christian marriage is sacramental -- in at least much of the East second marriages are never treated as sacramental marriages, even for widows and widowers. It also doesn't have any real process of annulment -- when they talk about divorce, they are talking about a large set of things that would also include cases that in the West would certainly have been annulled; they're just all lumped together.


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