Friday, August 24, 2018

Dashed Off XX

This ends the notebook that was completed in April 2017.

Confucianism as a civil religion of good citizenship (Gu Hongming)

Every sacrament exhibits the principle of 'the truth is made present in its similitude', but each in a different way.

'probability' in Treatise is about belief
(1) the need for checking
(2) the limits of checking
(3) 'knowledge degenerates into probability', from (1) and (2) with rationalist account of knowledge and belief
(4) promiscuous need for checking
(5) 'total extinction of belief' from (3) and (4)
(6) total extinction of belief impossible by nature
(7) Therefore the rationalist account of knowledge and belief is false.

incompleteness theorems as indicators of analogical predication (likewise mathematical hierarchies, likewise nonunivocal but obviously linked uses of terms like 'number' and 'addition' in different fields)

Consent is too often conflated with cooperation, for which it is only the most general precondition.

While probabilities may be part of our body of evidence, we do not in general assess probabilities in assessing evidence. Instead, we usually (a) look at what the evidence seems to say about the world, which involves a kind of extrapolation or simulation given the evidence, and (b) look for indicators of trustworthiness in what it says.

A body of evidence is a symbol (in Peirce's sense) consisting of an iconic sign of the world and indexical signs concerning the relation of that sign to its object.

One is a saint in the measure to which every moment of one's life is described in its disposition by the Lord's prayer.

- the need for a ritual/liturgical/sacramental sociology analogous to a moral sociology

A study of American constitutional law is a study of American history.

philosophy of art as an organon of philosophy (cp. Schelling)

The state is a means to the development of human life, not the end of that development.

Human life must be aesthetic, ethical, and religious all at once.

Note the bizarre tendency of people to treat 'imposed a rule on oneself to prevent a problem' as a sign of lack of willpower (see, e.g., people's reactions to the Graham Rule). This is a fruitful point for considering subversions of temperance in our society.

part-contiguity & part-continuity (distinction in terms of whether boundaries are distinct or shared)

stage theory // occasionalism

(1) through failure of the knower's power to know
(1.1) in itself
(1.1.1) deficiency (enduring)
(1.1.2) weakness (temporary)
(1.2) in its means and instruments
(1.2.1) inadequacy of means (cause privative)
(1.2.2) impediment (cause positive)
(2) through failure of the known
(2.1) contradiction/incoherence
(2.2) inconsistency with the conditions of the knower

A Bolzano-influenced argument against semiotic rationalism.
(1) Signs require intention for any kind of use.
(2) Either this intention is mine or an intention I recognize others to have.
(3) In both, judgments are required.
(4) Therefore judgments must precede both invention and reception of signs.

monstrousness as semi-absurdity in ethics (presumptive absurdity)

Deliberative government requires self-review checkpoints for consistent action in high-stress situations -- that is, points at which deliberation can be paused and/or set aside for a better time -- points of reasonable delay.

Sacramentals are actions by which the Church intercedes for effects, especially spiritual effects, and the objects materially used in these actions, which are related to the sacraments.

integral parts of the sacrament: minister, matter, form, end of institution
subjective parts of sacrament: mode of sacraments in different rites, also distinction of emergency vs proper/perfect
potential parts: sacramentalia

devotional sacramentalia (get their value from devotional association with the sacraments) vs. impetratory sacramentalia (get their value from the intercession of the Church)
-- might perhaps be better to see this as two dimensions along which sacramentalia variably fall

the sacramentalia as expressions of God's favor to the Church, and thus of the dignity of the Church

If you couldn't get Ought from Is, then learning a new Is would not itself ever have any implications for reasonable behavior.

Every truth has a speculative face and a practical face.

"The nuptial union then is the law of nature, the foundation of human society, and it necessarily superinduces to the law of self-government, the law of family of government...." John Quincy Adams
-- Note that this ends up being quite strong in his view -- the civil association arises not out of individual consensus but out of consensus of families, each family having but one vote.

"Just as water reflects the face, so one human heart reflects another." Pr 27:19

Classify enough things and you will eventually discover something significant.

Sincerity carries an intrinsic power of oratory.

Utilitarianism in practice is reductionism about public interest/common good/public good/mutual benefit. Nothing really requires this -- arguably Bentham, of all people, manages to avoid it, although it is precisely an aspect of his approach that later utilitarians have treated as incoherent. But it is not surprising either -- although the fact that it generally goes unnoticed is.

In assessing whether an action is proportional, we (rightly) assess three things, not one:
(1) whether it is the kind of thing that can achieve a reasonable end.
(2) whether it is done in a way that fits the conditions of a reasonable end.
(3) whether it is done in a measure that befits a reasonable end.

There is no forgiveness without sacrifice.

Part of genius is ardor.

To frame good philosophical reasoning in good poetry, one must first step back from the former to see it in one insight, and then one must sensibly express the insight. It is not an easy task!

Santayana's Three Philosophical Poets could just as easily be called 'Three Kinds of Honesty'.

One weakness of Peirce's account of signs is not including reduplication. Its functions are partly handled by the interpretant, but not as reduplicative. Arguably this is why Peirce ends up having to proliferate classifications.

heroic virtues as virtues in a life of grace and prayer

When we reflect on our mind, we do not find a bundle of perceptions, but perception; getting the bundle, or indeed the plural perceptions, requires a particular kind of causal analysis.

"the practice of temperance varies according to different times...and according to different human laws and customs." ST 2-2.170.1ad3

the Lord's Prayer as a school of humility (Dante)

The theme of the Purgatorio: we are free to repent, which is the restoration of love to its natural character, and this repentance sparks true friendship to life and ennobles it.

Marriage is not an expression of the sexual, but the rational form of life that includes the sexual.

All discussion of possibilities involves abstraction, so modifying an account of abstract ideas, or rejecting them altogether, inevitably affects what can be said about possibility.

Berkeley's view of the mind is primarily of the will rather than the intellect; in a sense notions are acts of will. This is worth considering more broadly.

the sign-structure of devotions: we devote ourselves to something as the locus or sign of something, insofar as the one manifests the other under some aspect (the devotional interpretant)

In practice people treat testimony in the absence of a defeater as a more powerful kind of evidence than personal experience.

People often confuse 'a question can be raised' with 'a doubt has been established'.

(1) Christianity had a swift propagation, the essential shape of which is known.
(2) This advance is of a kind that it would be explained by the truth of Christianity.
(3) Explanations of the fact based on the supposition that Christianity is false, e.g., by imposture and gullibility, are inadequate to capture the effectiveness of the propagation.
-- A problem with the imposture explanation is that while it sounds plausible and simple at the general level, when one looks at specifics, it requires an immense number of successful impostures, not all of which are simple or plausible.

acting-pleasure, satisfaction-pleasure, fulfillment-pleasure

index, icon, and symbol as a division of signs insofar as related to instrument of signification (based on the manner in which the instrument signifies)

Emphasis on miracles, prophecy, inspiration of Scripture in modern apologetics is heavily reactional; i.e., they would have a place but not the emphasis they do except for what opponents of Christianity emphasize.

(1) analogy of nature and system of miracles
(2) analogy of nature and system of sacraments

the sacraments as infusions of divine civilization

Every human person, in his relations to other persons, serves as a symbol.

As a model of character, Jesus has an unusual catholicity of appeal for a peasant from a backwater province as presented by a ragtag bunch of peasants from a backwater province. (Although, to be sure, it is possible to exaggerate both the catholicity and the backwater.)

Sacred doctrine acts like a lens, bringing certain philosophically discoverable truths into greater clarity and focus.

Christianity is very much a semiotic religion.

Job (dialogue), Ecclesiastes (soliloquy), Proverbs and Sirach (counsels), Wisdom (treatise), Psalms and Song (poetic meditation)

autograph originalist inerrantism about Scripture // deism

Understanding defective causes requires understanding conserving causes.

The imposition of names is not purely arbitrary, and thus a name widely recognized raises a defeasible appearance of appropriateness.

Antiquity of institution continually preserved indicates a durability suggestive of truth.

People regularly say things of the idea of space that are only true of the idea of the possibility of extension, likewise with the idea of time and the idea of the possibility of succession.

the blending operation of the imagination (note that this is stronger than recombination)

Axioms clearly may be understood more or less well by different people, or by people at different stages of learning, and therefore they are not, as found in human reasoning, static things, but refinable in formulation and admitting of degrees of clarity.

Neoplatonism has done is well for the uses of theology because it can work at the level of terms and at the level of civilizational schemes.

the Divided Line and the structure of meaning in every term

Overwhelming and enduring factional dominance breeds corruption.

infused virtue | associated frequent practice
prudence | spiritual reading/reflection
justice | vocational duties
fortitude | confession
temperance | communion

polemic by grignotage (typically an approach of those in a weak position, or with severe resource limitations)

Erasure of the past is often a way of pretending to a righteousness or rationality one does not have -- one removes possible points of comparison.

Mathematicians make their hypotheses on two primary grounds: analogy (structural) and induction (ordinary rather than mathematical, i.e., by looking at what is commonly found in a bunch of cases).

The advance of physics has, overall, expanded what is to be recognized as in-principle possible; discoveries have widened general horizons faster than they have refuted particular possibilities.

a priori and a posteriori, if taken to refer to (in)dependence from experience, are relative categories -- nothing prevents something from being both in different ways. (The same is true of older logical senses.)

simultaneity // co-location

That sentences describe things, or ideas have objects, is a relation of facts (or ideas and facts), not a relation of ideas nor a matter of fact. All semiotic relations can only be placed on one side or the other by gerrymandering (or by collapsing the distinction). The same is true of causal and constitutive relations of things: they are intrinsic relations of things.

The problem of induction is usually put in terms of past and future, but it arises from doubt about inference from actual to necessary.

R. Morehead takes universals to be design, but one could go the opposite direction and convert design arguments into arguments about universals.

Much of what Plato's Socrates says about ignorance makes sense if you take it to be a sort of persuasibility.

Permissibility is always conditional, even if the conditions are sometimes very general.

Atheistic arguments from evil require that the relevant moral principles, as understood and formulated by us, are not only true enough for our purposes but so perfect that even an omniscient being could not do better.

possible, being
intelligible, true
valuable, good
integrable, one?

To get a probability requires using a possibility to measure a possibility.

"Even in the world a friend can make satisfaction for a friend." Aquinas

Conditionalizing what counts as reasonable discourse on agreement of people, independently of considering whether those people are being reasonable by some prior standard, is an absurd and inevitably fatal move -- it holds discourse hostage to the obstinate and strategically unreasonable.

No community completely determines itself; there are always prior elements on which it depends.

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