Friday, June 29, 2018

Dashed Off XV

This ends the notebook that was finished at the end of February, 2017.

Appeals to authority are appeals to experience.

Pragmatism is right that there is, as Peirce says, an inseparable connection between rational cognition and rational purpose; but its conception of both sides seems defective.

Our sensory experience does not include merely 'things sensed' but also 'ways we came to sense them'.

Our senses feed into our experience only insofar as they already give us invariances.

Given how Peirce describes meaning & intellectual purport of symbols, it follows that they are, while constrained, infinite under those constraints.

the relevance, truth, and structural cogency of a given account of historical philosophy

intrinsic contradiction
contradiction with the known
contradiction with the not yet known
consistency with the known
requirement by the known
intrinsic necessity

the Zeitgeist of ancient Greece as moderate will to power
- it is this that Socrates opposed

conservation laws as totality-designating principles

Theses attacked by Zeno as absurd:
(1) Everything is composed of units.
(2) There is a void.
(3) Space and time are discrete.
- Zeno seems to take these as the foundations for the idea that things are moved.

[philosophical stages of a problem]
sophist stage (verbal maneuvering)
Socratic stage (dialectic = laying bare problem)
Platonic stage (dialectical ascent = transforming the perspective)
Aristotelian stage (reducing to principle and method)

Plato as Socrates 'beautified and rejuvenated' (2nd Letter)

Morality covers both the universal and the particular.

infused virtues as synousia with God

"For what warrant have we for trusting our mental faculties unless there be one in their number which is cognizant of eternal truth?" (Ward)

If you have a well-formed conscience, its dictates are of value to me as they are to you; the difference being only that to you they are definitive and to me they are advisory.

holy synod // well formed conscience

the Notes of the Church as ways the Church reflects God

"That the very idea of a Law implies a Lawgiver, is a proposition with which I am not prepared to concur; but that it predisposes the mind, in a most signal and peculiar degree, for the *reception* of that idea, cannot surely admit of doubt." (Ward)

What matters more than what a saint does is why the saint does it. But certainly sometimes simply imitating what a saint does is a way to start getting a sense of why.

We can have a perfectly sensible sense of 'private judgment' that does not involve equating it with pride, that, on the contrary, allows a private judgment that is not pride at all; but it is also clearly true that pride is a kind of private judgment.

scientific experiment as requiring a cultivation of the aesthetic sense of order and of the aesthetic sense of novelty

We can recognize that an experiment might not be well suited for drawing conclusions, even though the right conclusions could be drawn from it, and that an elegant experiment makes things clear in a way that a clumsy one does not.

A diocese should be a home to faith and devotion, which is why bishops should be cautious about things that might squelch the latter; they make the diocese unhomely.

dianoetic vs noetic epistemic operators
pistic vs eikastic doxastic operators

When the Skeptic speaks of following appearances, he elides the fact that not all appearances are of the same kind.

exemplarity as arising from the fact that intellects can have 'forms other than their own'
- likewise, equivocal causal powers can in a certain sense have 'forms other than their own', so one would expect exemplarity there, as well

"There is none so worthless whom Love cannot impel, as it were by a divine inspiration, towards virtue." Symposium 179c7-8

evaluating arguments by
relevance : UD & terms :: truth : judgment :: validity : quantity & quality

being like God
Theatetus 176b1-3; Republic 613a7-b1; LAws 715e7 and following

"The State in which the law is above the rulers, and the rulers are the inferior of the law, has salvation and every blessing which the gods can confer." Laws 715

The mimetic theory of art makes the most sense if you are a Platonist (who has a rich enough treasury of things to imitate), and makes less and less sense the farther you stand from Plato.

development of doctrine in natural religion

Reliance on authority inevitably tends to create a sort of eclecticism, built out of bits and pieces of explicit statements of authority that are interwoven by means of various things form other sources to help interpret those explicit statements, pulled in precisely because of that help.

Protestants have tended to use 'private judgment' to refer to what would have to be judgments of faith; but judgments of faith are not private.

simultaneous catholicity, successive catholicity

Rejection of the visibility of the Church proper is not consistent with the actual portrayal of the Church in the New Testament, nor with its typological representation in the Old, which is social, and involves communication of signs.

Butlers argument for visible Church: Analogy II ch 1

"It is clear then, that the Churches of Christ all held communion in various ways; aiding each other, exchanging salutations, admitting those who brought letters of commendation to the assemblies and rites of the church, seeking for mutual advice. This was all instituted by the Apostles in accordance with the will of God." (Palmer, summarizing what is explicitly mentioned in the NT)

schism proper
estranged communion
imperfect or implicit communion
perfect and explicit communion

patriarchal obediences

appropriate administration of sacraments as a second-order note of sanctity (which means a system of orders itself of a kind suitable for cultivating or assisting holiness, according to the service of signs themselves appropriate to holiness)

sophistication and coherence of sacramental economy (as a language of signs) as a second-order note of sanctity
-How suitable is it to the Kingdom of God (how much sense does it make of 'Kingdom of God' as a description)? How inter-referential and mutually supporting is it, when fully functioning as intended? How rich is it as a symbol of divine grace?

Popular election of ministers, taken as sufficient in itself, is not consistent with the actual portrayal of the Church in the New Testament, nor with its typological representation in the old, which is hierarchical and by divine positive law through apostles/prophets.

Reasonable claim of apostolic succession grounds presumptively the claim that particular churches are part of one Church, although this presumption may be defeated by clear signs of schism or heresy.

the three fundamental elements of papal authority
(1) primacy of honor
(2) tribunal of appeal
(3) presidence in charity
Taking each of these to be understood in such a way as to be an appropriate means to uphold the faith and sacraments, and to maintain the harmony of the churches, and taking them both individually and in common, and taken them both themselves and as they redound on the ordinary episcopal and patriarchal privileges, one can go very, very far.
(There are, of course, powers and rights it will not include, such as customary rights that grow up organically, e.g., presidency of episcopal conference of Italy, or specific rights that have implicitly or explicitly been recognized by ecumenical councils like the right of legates and the right to have suburbican dioceses, and rights of secular authority, such as those over Vatican City State; but these are adjunct or derivative. There is a good arugment that the three above, taken in all combinations, are the essential components of papal authority itself.)

Cinematic swordfights need to be choreographed as stories told through fights.

In Kantianism all moral arguments are perverted faculty arguments, where the faculty is reason (or sometimes reason + other faculties).

Intemperance is might-makes-right of character.

the intrinsic rights of bishops
(1) to uphold the sacraments
(2) to proclaim the faith
(3) to advise those in their charge
(4) to hold synods
(5) to be free of secular interference in ecclesial matters

We reflect each others' dignity, like Indra's net.

The Beatific Vision is revelation in the purest and most proper sense. Any account of revelation not taking it into account is thereby shown to be defective.

Everyone's accounts of lying pinpoint exactly their views of the value of reason.

Philosophy stands above clique and intrigue only insofar as it is a humanitarian tradition, deeply rooted and thus transcending every age.

Honesty in journalism requires a memory for repetition in coverage over long periods.

of will's end and nature's end in use of nature: perversion of nature
of will's end and nature's end, where will and nature are separate: frustration of will
of import of action and import of word in one act: performative contradiction
of import of action and import of word in distinct acts, where deliberate: hypocrisy
of import of action and import of word in distinct acts, where unintentional: ?
of import of distinct actions: instability
of object of intellect or sense and object of sense: illusion
of distinct objects of intellect, in distinct acts of intellection: self-contradiction
of distinct objects of intellect, in one act: incoherence/confusion
of object of intellect and import of action: deception
(some refinement probably needed for these)

Just as we often have forewarning of deficiency and excess of food, so we often have forewarning of moral defect or excess -- but it is also not always transparent to us that or of what we are being forewarned, just as languor or crankiness may be forewarning of too little food without being recognized as such.

Sympathy should not be used as a system of punishment.

motherhood as first hospitality

The baptism of infants signals the infinite value of infants, capable of being heirs of God's kingdom.

doxographies as empirical approximations of intellectual space

The people complaining most loudly on behalf of the public are never the ones who most take the public's interest to heart.

Placation arguably only makes sense of motivations in religious sacrifice once one has a stable system of sacrifice in place. (One needs to know what might placate.) The root motivation of sacrifice seems more likely to be related to generosity. People who are anxious do not give things up unless they think it will help; but the generous give freely. Once there are habits of giving, these can be turned to other ends.

We have a moral obligation to treat sacraments as holy and never merely as a means to profane things.

Matrimony is a means of extending charity (1) by requiring unions, to be sacramental, that go beyond an immediate circle; (2) by requiring unions to fit the preconditions for love of children; (3) by holding up standards of fidelity suitable for charity in the marriage itself; (4) by providing a model of spiritual motherhood and fatherhood, and for consecrated life; (5) by providing the graces and the pedagogy for realizing the union of Christ with His Church.

St. Augustine's doctrine of original sin is based on the sacrament of baptism and its exorcisms. No rejection of the doctrine that does not consider these is theologically adequate.

Herder's principle: Whatever can take place among mankind, with the sphere of given circumstances of time, place, and nation, actually does take place.
- As he notes, this involves seeing history as governed by fixed laws, and removes anything beyond focus on discernible facts and these laws.
- He also takes this as unaffected by agglutination of peoples.
- And he insists especially on its showing the transitoriness of flourishing -- reach the pinnacle, and there is no way to go but down.
- From this last he concludes that health and duration are not measured by height of glory but by center of equilibrium -- the balance of powers -- and when it is pushed to a higher excellence than this, downfall often follows (always, unless some countervailing violence pushes it back into equilibrium).
- A worry with the principle is how the modal collapse is justified.

True moral law must take into account all things, have an authority unlimited in scope, and, of course, be good in and of itself. It thus must reflect and converge on the power, wisdom, and goodness of God.

"The solitary man is not the man of nature." Gerdil
"The dependence of men is not contrary to the nature of man."

Aristotle Metaph 990a34-b8 and the two-world objection in Hume's Dialogues

the finite active participability of the human mind

Aristotle MM 12-8b26-32: We cannot have friendship with God because (1) God does not return love and (2) we cannot properly love God. A great deal can be learned by recognizing why there is something to these claims and why they are not strictly true.

vulgarity, magnificence, and meanness in liturgy

Citizenship is in and of itself an authority to assemble.

modalities as transcendentals
true or false, necessary or possible, necessary or true or possible, etc.
- this cannot be true of all modalities, some of which are categorical

matrimony as a recognition of the infinity of the other

"Sophisms produce revolutions, and sophists are succeeded by hangment." Donoso Cortes

the ecclesial hierarchy as the civic hearth of the infinite republic

A possible thesis: Sunni Islam tends to drive cultural history prior to Islamization into oblivion, because of its structure; this is different from the Shia structure, which absorbs in part the prior cultural history. There is more of every age of Persia in Iran than there is of every age of Egypt in Egypt.

Vice narrows the possibilities available to choice; virtue expands them. Some of this latter is direct, and yet more is indirect (e.g., by interlinking virtuous acts of different people). Some of this is an actual expansion or narrowing on an occasion, but most of it is over time and in tendency.

the liberal doctrine of legitimacy as an offshoot of divine right (Donoso Cortes)

Reason is neither universally adequate, nor absolutely independent, nor supremely sovereign; but its value is immeasurable nonetheless.

It is reasonable to limit the harm of human evil and to aid people in overcoming it; it is unreasonable to think you can end human evil, or that you gain anything by trying to punish it all. In a fallen world, toleration is a principle without which society is impossible.

the harm principle as anti-solidary

Property is appropriated socially; the reasons for extending possession beyond actual present physical possession are all social and even actual present physical possession requires social recognition to be possession as property.

The solidarity of humanity depends on the solidarities of family, of people, and of religion.

An artistic medium should in a proper sense be that in which materials are mixed or made suitable for artistic ordering.

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