Saturday, June 02, 2018

Dashed Off XI

Every philosopher reflects the history of philosophy, but all do so under limitation and with distortion. Thus one may say figuratively that every philosopher is the history of philosophy thinking about itself from a different angle.

the neighborhood of an argument as modal (possible variations)

the three kinds of distorting influence on reasoning: neglect, excessive attachment, deliberate willfulness

The Bolzano problem for miracles as violation of laws of nature: If 'laws' is taken a priori, impossible; if 'laws' is taken empirically, merely unusual.

As nothing comes from nothing, all progress is through the destroying of something, and what one destroys to make progress can set limits to how much progress one can make. Modern European nations arose and fed their political improvements by devouring the infrastructure of the Church, then the resources of the colonies, and all throughout the resources of enemies. This is fact, not itself a moral matter (that requires a finer-grained determination). But progress, however defined, is a devouring in order to grow, a destroying in order to produce, whether that is like drawing elements from ore, or like predator eating prey, or like theft. And, even independently of the morality of it, that is why one can always find reasonable people who oppose it.

"Man lives, and can live, only by communion with that which is not himself." Brownson

"When the mind is in its normal state, nothing more is ever needed for belief than the removal of the obstacles interposed to believing; for, if we consider it, the mind was created for truth." Brownson

consensus gentium -> providential men -> special providence -> divine care for the human race

the pursuit of nirvana as a pursuit of openness to the infinite intelligible

"What is not actual cannot act, and therefore both subject and object must be actualities prior to thought, and therefore when unthought." Brownson

what is necessary, what tends to be, what happens to be

'No Ought from Is' implies (with only some basic assumptions added) that there is no synthetic a priori.

reading for improvement, reading for challenge, reading for benefit, reading for mere pleasure

"Number (positive integer) cannot be defined (seeing that the ideas of order, succession, aggregate, etc., are as complex as that of number." Peano

negotiation, benefaction, donation, oblation, and association as economic relations

The swifter the news process, the less accurate it is. The more accurate it is, the more it has had to take time for sifting.

Mt 4:3 // Mt 27:40
cp Wis 2:18 (Benedict XVI)
- Note link between Ex 17:7 and Dt 6:16, and how it reflects on the Temptation
- contrast with Mt 28:16-18

Imaginative geniuses have imaginations different from non-geniuses in quality, not merely quantity; but the qualitiative superiorities reveal us to ourselves by means of exemplars. What we have is in them transfigured, and yet, when expressed, we may imitate the expression and learn what we previously had not.

"The belief that a picture yields only visual impressions is a curious illusion." Croce

"The principle of contradiction itself, is at bottom nothing but the aesthetic principle of coherence." Croce
-- This is backwards, of course, but the connection is real.

In choosing what to sculpt, the sculptor chooses his motivations in sculpting.

Art dies; sometimes it dies slowly, but it dies.

Gentile's fundamental antinomy of education
(1) Man as object of education is and must be free. (Education presupposes freedom and tries to increase it.)
(2) Education denies man's freedom. (Education treats man by ignoring freedom and acting so as to strip him of it through discipline.)
-- (2), of course, is obviously wrong in reality. But notably Gentile's argumetn for it works under the modern notion of "full and absolute liberty" i.e., autonomous agency that is unconstrained. In this sense, however, (1) is wrong.

Culture is in us and in the world, and it is concerned with things beyond itself as well as with itself.

There is nothing wrong with reading books that do not fundamentally change us or our views; such things are the roughage in our nourishment.

The first impulse to art is crude, inept, and does not draw admiration; the goodness, adeptness, and admirableness is had through work. Acting simply from first impulse, art is chaos. To reduce this chaos, we have formed techniques applied with good sense, which cultivate artistic desires in particular directions and provide for their satisfaction.
The first impulse to art is given by nature; it cannot be learned, nor acquired by work.
Technique is that by which one's person is adjusted and moderated.
If the first impulse to art were adept, we could cast aside artistic geniuses and ignore technique with good sense.
The first impulse to art is root and beginning, the unornamented material. Work is the flourishing fruitfulness of technique. Without first impulse, work would have nothing to extend. Without work, first impulse would not become beautiful.
If an honest mind applies good sense, there will be technique.
The facets of genius are rooted in categories arising from good sense.
Geniuses are valued for being able to transfigure their first impulse and being able to work. As they work, technique with good sense is formed as the product of genius, and it is then what people become capable of through work.
The great artist influences by exemplarity, the poor by dictation of rules. Great artists become exemplary. Silent, they serve as grounds for analogies; not giving anything, others still receive.
Technique according to standard, expression appropriate: this is technique with good sense. One who is concerned with good sense follows reason.
An artist must not abandon technique with good sense even for a moment.
Techniques are established reason. Techniques are caution in matters of import. Technique with good sense cuts short the over-long and extends the over-short. It adorns values and is a sort of beauty of accomplishment.

rites as moral techniques

some key principles of journalistic ethics
(1) Claims should be sourced.
(2) Claims should be supported with independent confirmation.
(3) Where relevant differences exist among possible sources, this should be shown.
'Actually have the evidence adequate to your own claim' is perhaps the key principle of journalistic ethics.

matrimony as the sacrament of the union of the Word and human nature (Aquinas Comm in Rom c7.L1, sect. 522)

Vico and the Latin language as sage philosophy

Rational discourse is the breath of the body politic.

The rule of review in Descartes's method requires a topics. (cp. Vico)

The Faith does not serve your political convenience.

Some of what people call freedom is merely treacherousness.

Without some form of tradition on which it can draw, historical interpretation is impossible.

levels of ethics of governance
(1) internal (what is usually called government ethics)
(2) political (the ethics of political means)
(3) moral (universal & end-governing)

"Action is the revelation of being." W. Norris Clarke

When people will not work for common good, disagreement leads to escalation leads to collapse.

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