Friday, December 01, 2017

Dashed Off XXV

"beings do not wish to be governed badly" (Aristotle, Met 1076a)

Taking into account all possibilities is as teleological as taking into account a goal in the future,and for similar reasons.

What has proportion is by nature reason-like.

A society cannot be more free than it is temperate or courageous.

the industriousness of spiritual poverty

The fundamental wrong of hypocrisy is that it is a refusal to repent.

The spirit of repentance is the mean between hypocrisy and brazenness.

four senses of id quod non est (Victorinus)
(1) privation
(2) not another
(3) not yet
(4) above what is

does not please on being seen
displeases on being seen
pleases on not being seen

problems as signs of predicables

God can be first moving cause only by being first efficient cause.

memorable, intelligible, true
appetible, eligible, good
lovable, enjoyable, beautiful

As a man may sin with a hand or foot, so Adam sinned with the whole human race.

the inbreaking of the world

The visible part of the Church is but the tip of its iceberg.

True love unifies by signs.

coherence and our sense of the external world as thoroughly philosophical

No human being has intrinsic title to the service of another human being.
extrinsic titles by: just exchange (private good) or just law (common good)
Just exchange requires it be for equivalent service, or for appropriate wage, or in compensation for loss or risk.
Just law, of course, requires that it be genuinely consistent with and conducive to common good.

A government does not have intrinsic title to the property of its citizens. Extrinsic title may rise from requirements of common good, either positive (general taxation) or negative (seizure for purposes of punishment) or from specific benefits (exchange of goods and services).

It is a moral responsibility of every good citizen not to appeal to the coercive power of the state except where genuinely necessary for safety and justice.

Justice is a giving virtue.

The human mind is naturally aphoristic.

participation and reflection as the fundamental mode of human learning

Aristotle's De Caelo 292a3-6 describes a lunar occultation of Mars. Three possible dates for it (Savoce, Natali):
16 March 325
4 May 357
20 March 361

syscholazein kai symphilosophein

Rashi's commentary on Gen 1:2: "The Throne of glory was suspended in the air and hovering over the face of the water with the breath of the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He, and with His word, like a dove, which hovers over the nest."

schismatics as brethren (Optatus)

Medieval etymologies make more sense when one recognizes that they are extrapolating from how many Latin words were in fact formed.

commercio formatarum in the unity of the Church (Optatus Adv Don Book 2.iii)

communicatio memoriis sanctorum

"L'attention est la seule faculté de l'âme qui donne accès à Dieu." Weil

"it is one contradistinction of genius from talent, that is predominant end is always comprised in the means; and this is one of the many points, which establish an analogy between genius and virtue" Coleridge

Problems must be investigated many times in many ways to be properly understood.

constancy and coherence as signs of substance
substance as ground of invariances

A real definition summarizes a real explanation.

the evening reflection and the morning reflection of the Church

"in respect of Christ's true body no order is above priesthood, whereas in respect of Christ's mystic body, the episcopate is above the priesthood" (ST Supp 29.6ad1)

unction is intrinsically petitionary

Sacramental form should (1) establish what sacrament is given (2) indicate the divine power working in the sacrament (3) identify the effect. (Matrimony, however, complicates these matters.)

"just as baptism is a spiritual regeneration and penance a spiritual resurrection, so extreme unction is a spiritual healing or cure" (ST Supp 30.1)

People often fail to do what they prefer simply from the difficulty, or from inertia; and it is mere equivocation to say that this is because they prefer nondifficulty or not exerting themselves. Not preferring to use the means is not the same as preferring not to use the means.

The right to punish must always be bestowed; seizing it is wrong in and of itself.

The authority to punish cannot be severed from the responsibility to punish.

The most basic form of retributivism is that one may only punish the deserving. No retributivist in practice also holds that all the deserving are to be punished, so the only question then is what additional principles are needed.

Hart's theory of punishment gets things exactly backwards. Retributivism is suited only to answering the general justifying aim, except in certain obvious cases; utility is only a suitable consideration for systems already restricting punishment to the guilty, and set up for precisely that purpose of punishing the guilty. Whom we actually punish must be tempered by concerns for general welfare, however.

eagerness to punish as a character flaw

Most arguments against the death penalty may be adapted to have force against life imprisonment.

One needs reasoning well before one gets to argument.

toledoth // apostolicity

Whether a story or account is useful is a purely causal question.

laws of nature // world-soul
(the analogy becomes more exact if we think of natural powers of the world-soul)

What makes geometry so powerful is the ability to make new definitions.

the twin themes of pity and hope in Middle-Earth

pity and counsels of healing

the conditions of good government (cp Polybius)
(1) The political order is voluntarily accepted by the people through reason rather than through force.
(2) Governance is by the most just and most wise.
(3) The community is structured by traditionary and customary respect (for gods, for parents, for elders, for laws) and the will of the majority prevails.

confirmation as the sacrament of many ends

centers as point-boundaries
circularity as directional indistinguishability

putting one idea in the guise of another to see how they interrelate

There is no single property of pleasantness common to all pleasures.

hierarchy, collegiality, conciliarity
subsidiarity, solidarity, x

stylization of thought as an instrument of thought

geography of possibilities, topography of reasons

aphorism as cellular communication

Human sexuality naturally tends to allegorize other things as sexual (this allegorization is a major part of what is called bawdiness).

Estel as the condition for the possibility of Amdir in matters of salvation (estel being trust that healing is possible, amdir being expectation of that very good)

Amdir: expectation OF good
Estel: expectation THAT Good will do good

the human person as demiurge

"Romance and poetry, like ivy, lichens, and wall-flowers, need Ruin to make them grow." Hawthorne

The problem with American Catholicism is not that it has no roots but that it does not put down any. Its roots are inherited and not encouraged to grow deeper into new soil.

The privation of sin does not expire with time.

accounts of qualia & accounts of figurative language

The promulgation of consent is governed by convention.

in dubio pro reo
in dubio mitius

Having been united by goodwill with the Word, the Church became inseparable from Him, having in all things one work with Him, in a supremely intimate union. The Word, indwelling the Church, unites with Himself all He receives, preparing the Church to enter into communion with all the dignity that He, the Son, indwelling the Church, makes common for them. He makes the Church one with Him by virtue of the unity to which He raises the Church, communicating to the Church all primacy and willing by good will to accomplish all manner of things with and in and through the Church.

To be united in marriage is to be such that some of one's operations are cooperations simply by virtue of the marriage itself.

(1) Marriage is a more basic society than civil society.
(2) Civil society has moral obligations to marriage.

Mt 6:13
Kingdom : Father :: power : Son :: glory : Spirit (Bulgakov)

An account of belief is defective if it does not allow for believing in common.

We can misapply 'I'. ('Am I the one doing that?')

"the whole world is man's potential and peripheral body" (Bulgakov)

deference-structures, loyalty-structures (membership), and exchange-structures in society

deference (authority), loyalty (common wisdom, communal values), and exchange (shared agreement) as colors of starting-points for arguments in rhetoric

The heavens filtered through human mind declare the glory of God; by human poetry day utters speech to day and by human lore night manifest knowledge to night.

Duradus claims diaconate is a sacramental; Victoria takes this to be probably true; Bellarmine takes it to be a sacrament. Starting with Paul VI there is clear attribution of indelible character.
Given the nature of the diaconate, one would expect to be able better to observe the major-sacramentality of the order in extraordinary rather than ordinary matters.
The deacon does not serve only by doing but by the witness of being.
Optatus on the diaconate as third priesthood (Contra Parmen 1.13); see also Leo I (Ep 12.5, 14.3f); Jerome (Ep 48,21)

All discussion of pure possibility seems to require something like Aristotle's argument by analogy for prime matter.

Much of scientific experimentation proceeds by making a series of bets that will ultimately result in a loss; the scientist is looking for a loss.

Betting against a necessary truth is a sure loss regardless of one's evidence for it.

necessity-like contingent truths (one's own existence, very general causes, practically-necessary truths with moral certainty)

Lack of evidence is only evidence to the contrary to the extent one's search is discernibly general.
There is a dog in the room -> A dog exists
~ (There is no dog in the room -> No dog exists)

Note that language in Genesis begins with God and comes down to man; man extends it to describe his world; the temptation comes by conversation, and the fall leads man to be afraid of God's voice; then man seeks to ascend to God and God confounds the language.

(1) Not all human judgment is belief, or of the same kind.
(2) Under the right conditions, probable reasoning can lead to certainty.
(3) How evidence affects the probability of a conclusion depends on the entire context, not solely on features of the evidence, and changing the evidence can sometimes require evaluation of all the other evidence.
(4) Evidence may overdetermine a conclusion.
(5) Evidence does not always affect the probability of a conclusion; it may change other features of evidence (e.g., availability or defeasibility).
(6) Absence of evidence is only evidence of absence if one has definite reason to think one must accept a negation as failure rule for one's conclusions.
(7) A reasonable person not only considers evidence for a position but ramifications of changing a position.
(8) There are no degrees of belief as such.
(9) Evidence and belief are distinct things not subject to the same measure.
(10) Logical inference captures more fundamental aspects of evidence evaluation than probability theory.
(11) Inquiry is more properly modeled as a search than as a probabilistic weighing.
(12) When people talk about probabilities in the context of inquiry, they do not mean only one kind of thing.
(13) New evidence can change what counts as evidence.
(14) The most important element for evaluation of evidence is why something is or is not evidence; any reasonable assessment of probabilities is downstream from this.

True humility has an intrinsic link with clarity of perspective.

People make themselves evident.

the dangers of soundbite ethics

schematic instrument // formalized argument

"Reflected beauty like reflected light has a special loveliness of its own -- or we shouldn't, I suppose, have been created." Tolkien

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