Friday, September 08, 2017

Dashed Off XIX

"For propaganda to succeed, a society must first have two complementary qualities: it must be both an individualist and a mass society." Jacques Ellul

stages of argument use: entertainment, consolidation, acceptance, diffusion

agent intellect as (ground of) intrinsic potential of philosophy

process of ideation: to sketch, to purify, to glorify

"Each emotion obeys a logic of its own, and makes deductions which no other logic can draw." William James

consecrated religious as signs representing the Church in its devotion (this makes considerable sense of many private revelations to saints)

enlightenment, purification, and transcendence as the characteristics of high philosophical contemplation

Note that James has a correct summary of arguments ex consensu gentium.

"The truth is that any state of things whatever that can be named is logically susceptible of teleological explanation." James

Belief is not thought at rest.

The ordinary magisterium is the Church's natural resistance to discordant innovations.

Private property is a ius sanctum by participation in, and protection of, human dignity.

the ethics that guide science as the ethics of civic life with scientific ends

the ethics required by scientific inquiry (esse) vs that required by good scientific inquiry (bene esse)

"The Church is essentially a popular institution, defending the cause and encouraging the talents of the lower classes, and interposing an external barrier in favour of high or low against the ambition and the rapacity of the temporal power." Newman

Intellectual work is like investment in its effects; sometimes it is sunk, or lost by accident, sometimes it stagnates or slowly declines, and sometimes it expands with a kind of compound interest.

betrothal // catechumenate

-more attention needs to be directed to the study of how arguments are extracted from contexts

Justice makes important the exclusive, the reformative, and the impersonal.

Matrimony "resumit et perficit" the sanctifying grace of baptism (Familiaris Consortio sect. 56).

solidarity: a firm and constant will to care for common good
subsidiarity & curation of common good

baptism : affective catholicity :: confirmation : effective catholicity

the notes of the Church as the standard for episcopal acction

To recognize an independent, continually existing world is to recognize in oneself a potential that can be made actual by an active power other than oneself. The independence and externality are recognized by reflecting on sameness and difference in one's being moved.

loyalty (Royce): thoroughgoing and loving devotion of an individual to a community = willing and thoroughgoing devotion of a self to a cause when the cause unites many selves in one and is therefore the interest of a community

Thoughts that are not thought together are incomplete.

(1) We find in nature things that exist from another, in the sense that we say that they are made to be.
(2) If everything together existed from another, there would be something beyond everything together, which is a contradiction; so some things must not exist from another.
(3) If everything together is not from another, something must not be from another.
(4) Therefore there must be something that is not from another.

Knowledge is not something produced so much as it is something grown into.

The human mind experiences the world around itself as question-raising.

"Consciousness of the body is comparable to the consciousness of a sign." Sartre

Everything Sartre says about freedom is ambiguous between freedom and craving.
Craving is the nothings made to be in the human heart, which forces man to try to make himself rather than to be; it makes human reality seem to be a grasping after oneself.

pride & the tendency to identify self with craving (cp. wrathful Buddhas)

plans as schemes of presumptive possibilities

"Man is an animal that interprets; and therefore man lives in communities, and depends upon them for insight and for salvation." Royce

Mere repetition does not make things more probable; only eliminating alternatives does.

Helen Wodehouse: 'ought' as 'This is what is needed'.

the narrative unity of human civilization

liturgy & Royce's communities of interpretation

Sidgwick seems consistently to underestimate the boldness of Bentham. (He is far from being alone in this.) he also falls back too loosely and lazily on hints and accusations of tautology, as if tautology were not another name for "necessary structure of consistent of reasoning" and as if tautologies and identities were not the sort of thing you need in order to clarify reasoning.

the intelligible structure, the rhetorical utility, and the moral character of an argument

the impossibility of an infinite regress in moral responsibility

ordained priests as sylleitourgoi of the angels
Each angelic order reflects an aspect of liturgy.

Human beings are not capable of infinite precision in their use of terms.

The very notion of an experiment implies that potential can deliberately be made actual in light of preselected ends.

All true devotion is a kind of learning.

We begin our assessments of truth not from single cases but from what usually happens. (This lets us clarify what is actually going on in single cases.)

Suggestions of what is good, drawn together and subjected to immense rational pressure, crystallize into obligations.

In an appropriate rational context, law forms itself like a crystal.

hypotheses as quasi-metaphorical

Any education more than merely casual relies on some notion of authority-to-teach.

The most impressively effective secularization has not been political but the secularization of sexual desire.

Politics is a negotiation of debts.

definitive, constitutive, and exhortative modes of doctrine

HoP and the exemplar causation of arguments

the Cantorian df. of a set: A set is a gathering together into a whole of definite, distinct objects of perception or thought, which are called the elements of the set.

status rationales
- conjecturalis (an sit)
- definitionis (quid sit)
- qualitatis (quale sit)
status legales
- scriptum et voluntas
- leges contrariae
- ambiguitas
Note that status legales deal with possible inconsistencies of law: with originating intent, with other laws, and with itself.

ciphers & analogies; codes & allusions

Aristotle's Rhetoric as a theory of inference from sign

A character in a narrative is constituted by revealed and suggested moral purposes.

Note that Aristotle explicitly allows deus ex machina for contextualizing (knowledge of what is otherwise unknowable).

the dignity of the bench as essential to the effectiveness of courts

unity + apostolicity -- papacy
unity + sanctity -- consensus of Church Fathers
unity + catholicity -- ecumenical Councils
sanctity + catholicity -- sacramental tradition
apostolicity + catholicity -- communion of episcopate
sanctity + apostolicity -- Scripture
-- But, of course, all these things must in some sense bear all four notes.

"The study of history shows us that grave external calamities often release internal dissensions and party quarrels." Ludwig von Pastor

vagueness & indistinguishability of things in other ways distinguishable

Aristotle on the utility of rhetoric
(1) Truth and justice have a natural tendency to prevail; thus lapses tend to be rhetorical lapses
(2) Some cannot be instructed, but something must even so be done toward conviction.
(3) By employing rhetoric on both sides of a question, we may see more clearly what is the case.
(4) As rational creatures we should be ashamed of not being able to defend ourselves by word and reason.

One needs a doxastic logic with tracks-of-belief (potentially multiple for any single believer). This would allow regimentation of beliefs where inconsistency is involved -- inconsistent beliefs lie along different tracks. Which would allow Bp -> ~B~p as being intrinsic to belief, which would be handy, without ignoring the problem of inconsistency. Moreover, this seems to be reasonably connected with explanations of how we can have inconsistent beliefs to begin with -- we don't generally just have B(P&~P), but rather we get to one by one route and to the other by another, and only recognize the contradiction when we compare across routes, not when we are considering a single route.

For any active power, one may distinguish Box and Diamond, as that which is beyond the power or its conditions (i.e., must be presupposed by it) and that which is within its scope. This raises the interesting question of whether every modal Box and Diamond can be taken to imply an active power of some kind.

curation of the museum of thought
collection, conservation, display, and education about historical arguments

respect des fonds as a light-fingerprint approach to archival curation (the archivist is avoiding creating a new fonds)
- this perhaps suggests that it is more important as the fonds is more fragile and more difficult to reconstitute (and less as the reverse).
- respect des fonds also serves as a natural default where there is no agreement on classification - minimal irreversible actions.

archival work as a possible humanitarian tradition

A society needs reasonable hortators more than it needs experts, not because the latter are unimportant, but because a society needs noncoercive reasonableness in ways going well beyond its need for expertise.

the Sitz im Leben of an argument

Allegorization of metaphor arises naturally out of reflecting on the meaning and implications of the metaphor.

Jn 14:12 and the sacraments

miracles associated with Peter's boat: two catches of fish, two calmings of storm, walking on water
- note that discourses involving Peter himself are found in close association with each case

Rhetoric is more naturally seen as dealing with persuasion (and being effective at dealing with it) at the level of audience rather than at the level of the individual.

"The basic pattern of legal reasoning is reasoning by example." Edward Levi

D axiom and infinition
G implies F: no end
H implies P: no beginning
Box implies Diamond: no exception
O implies P: no qualification
- it is the seriality, of course, that we are seeing here. [But note that D axiom does not on its own yield seriality.)

computerization as part of the miniaturization of fabrication

Every active power can be ab alio or non ab alio.
Thus: if we assume for the moment that Diamond and Box imply an active power,
(1) For such-and-such Box [or Diamond], there is an active power.
(2) This active power may be derivative or nonderivative.
(3) If nonderivative, there is a first active power in this line.
(4) If derivative, there is another active power for it.
(5) This cannot regress infinitely.
(6) Therefore there is a first active power in this line.
For instance:
(1) For there to be obligation, there must be an obligating power or powers. Pick one.
(2) This power is from another or not.
(3) If not, there is a first obligating power.
(4) If derivative, there must be an active power activating this obligating power.
(5) This cannot infinite regress.
(6) Therefore there is a first active power serving as principle of obligation in this line.
- A complication arises because one kind of active power may derive from a different kind.

a possible classification of theistic arguments
(1) active power arguments
(2) pure perfection arguments
(3) global-skepticism-blocking arguments
(4) practical requirement arguments

Highly confirmed anticipatory models allow one to identify causes based on deviations from the model. (This is related to Newton's First Law.)

the Golden Rule and commons-building

Things do not consistently replicate without a teleology.

ecclesial design arguments

Lady Susan as the World

upholding the dignity of work
(1) respect for labor
(2) moderation of labor
(3) days for rest and worship (formal recognition of human and divine dignity)
(4) protection from exploitation

the importance of legislative representation for corporate bodies, whether direct or indirect

The proper use of language is service to truth.

stability of adherence to truth, of communication of truth, of cultivation of inquiry

True discursive reasoning is an oscillation of simplicity and complexity.

topics : true :: rhetoric : good :: poetics : beautiful

Always to muse much and ponder deeply.

sources of intellectual authority
(1) clear possession of truth
(2) history of preserving truth
(3) history of protecting inquiry
(4) conventional deference
(5) certified accomplishment
(6) charismatic presentation

peace, exchange, mutual aid

Human perversity is (indirect) adaptive; reason, when enslaved by it, builds defenses for it.

sacrament of confirmation and growing in favor with God and man

Justice &c are right unconditionally, without regard for ulterior results -- but not without regard for ulterior ends.

We regard as right the adoption of certain ends because they are subordinate to other ends.

the Church's capacity to express divine things as a sign of its incorruptibility

wisdom as a thing not seen nor yet in hand, but nonetheless loved

the three intrinsic laws of the liturgical commonwealth
(1) The sacraments must be upheld.
(2) The sacramental system must be handed down.
(3) Sacramental responsibilities must be fulfilled.
- These arise from sacraments as received common good.

Primacy of honor calls for a certain deference and loyalty.

The goodness of virtue and the badness of vice must be communicated or a society becomes corrupted.

"Divine power is not circumscribed by any place and neither is the inexhaustible goodness of the Mother of God. For if the graces were restricted only to her tomb, only a few people would gain them. Now her graces are poured out in every place throughout the world." John Damascene (Hom in Dorm 2.19)

Ontological arguments seem to require an intellectual clarity that is generally beyond human beings to achieve.

power : authority of the Church :: wisdom : infallibility :: goodness : indefectibility

the Incarnation as symbolic theology; the sacraments as symbolic theology

"All speaking of God presupposes God speaking." Edith Stein

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