Friday, September 07, 2018

Dashed Off XXI

A healthy public sphere must first and foremost be honest.

the 3 elements of Catholic Action (Peter Maurin)
1. Teaching of Christian Doctrine
2. Daily Practice of the Works of Mercy
3. Reconstruction of the Social Order

The tendency to think in terms of predicate calculus has led to an unnatural separation of sense and reference, with senses stuck on references like flags on poles, and, of course, both of these are separated from other aspects of meaning. It is as if one treated steering a ship as one thing, its hydrodynamics as another, its materials as another, all just glommed onto each other, without starting where we actually start, the ship and how it moves.

Hume scholars tend to focus on ideas, but Hume himself is often more interested in the transitions; it is not a static view but a dynamic one.

Much of Hume's theory of imagination makes a very good theory of guessing.

"When people find themselves every moment in danger of being robbed of all they possess, they have no motive to be industrious." Adam Smith

good government as the union of authority and usefulness

Priests who sneer at legalism are often in fact sneering at the rights of the faithful.

Veto and prorogation both provide much needed checks and balances (it is a weakness of the American system that it lacks the latter); but prorogation to be appropriate needs to be done with public conditions (usually time limit and a condition relevant to the resolution of the problem requiring prorogation).

monarchical sources of revenue
(1) demesnes (rents, working estates)
(2) civil list (salaries, pensions)
(3) taxes reserved for monarch
(4) grants (e.g., by parliament)

Popular sovereignty requires that citizens, operating as citizens, have executive, legislative, and judicial authority of some kind. Only to the extent that (1) they clearly have this and (2) other authority is clearly dependent on their having this, is it reasonable to say that the people are in some sense sovereign.

"Moral repair is the process of moving from the situation of loss and damage to a situation where some degree of stability in moral relations is regained." (Margaret Walker)
"Moral repair is the task of restoring or stabilizing -- and in some sense creating -- the basic elements that sustain human beings in a recognizably moral relationship."
"Repair cannot mean return to a status quo, but must aim at bringing morally diminished or shattered relations closer to morally adequate form."

'external' in 'external world' as analogous to 'other' in 'other mind' (perhaps there are analogues of external, independent, and continuing in 'other')

"All other values are relative for, of, or in a person." TH Green

absolute idealism : metaphysics :: coherence theory of truth : logic
-- this raises the question of the metaphysical analogues of other theories of truth

least means (Rosmini)
as considering means: secondary causality
as considering leastness: excluded superfluity
-- from both of these comes permission of defect
as exclusion of superfluity involves using secondary causes to answer needs of secondary causes: systemic totality
as considering distribution for greater good: continuous gradation
as uniting continuous gradation with secondary causation: variety in actuation and modification
as uniting variety and excluded superfluity: excluded equality (excluded redundancy)
as applying least means maximally: unity of action

If PSR is principle of causality plus note of intellect, one would expect reason-principles analogous to causal principles.

three parts of law of germ (Rosmini)
(=seminal reasons!)
(1) all beings have been created in a state of involution or germ
(2) Germs produce other germs by evolution.
(3) Original germs should be no more in number than is sufficient for the purpose.

ordered or directed analogy (this can make some sense if one thinks of analogy as act of analogizing)

Just as a community cannot make all wrongdoers accountable, it cannot validate all victims.

real being & rational being (being of reason) // real truth & rational truth

"Where would such an idea, say as that of God, come from if not from direct experience?" C. S. Peirce (6.493)

now -> always -> ground of always
here -> everywhere -> ground of everywhere
allowed -> obligatory -> ground of obligation
this -> all -> ground of all

Aquinas takes the oblation to be the genus and sacrifice to be a species of it involving making-sacred (i.e., doing something to what is offered rather than just giving it).

happenstance eclecticism vs principled eclecticism

nice example of anti-skeptical retorsion in Nyayasutra 2.1

rethinking the structure of philosophy of religion
God, the tutelar, the beyondgrave, the preternatural [by: what is met]
address, oblation, taboo, commemoration [to: the priestly]
inspiration, revelation, miracle, union [fro: the prophetic]
loyalty, liturgy (semiotic economy), adeption, superliminality [with: the communal]
genesis, providence, eschaton, alterity [in: the forum of meeting]
lure, gift, repair, mystery [through: the mode of presence]
religions proper, disenchantments, as-if religions, fictional religions

at least minimally personal: God, tutelar, some beyondgrave
impersonal: some beyondgrave, preternatural

kinds of tutelar: (1) transcendent, (2) imminent
(1) are tutelars starting to receive Divine attributions (Zeus being the obvious case). Likewise, beyondgraves may be tutelar (gods of death, demons), or human (shades, ghosts), or preternaturals (poltergeists).
Demigods as human tutelars, personifications as preternatural tutelars
pure preternaturals: Ideas (qua 'more divine than the gods'), karma, Lifeforce, mana, eternal Veda
-- How would Brahman be classified here? Will obv. depend on exact school, but prima facie seems a God/preternatural overlap
--All of these overlaps mean that we really need precise and principled definitions.

kinds of arguments for tutelars
(1) religious experience (e.g., Greer)
(2) design
(3) custom
-- (1) can be (a) direct (cf Epinomis) or (b) visionary (which is what Greer seems to have in mind) or (c) indirect (Muse)
-- (2) is obv. particularized. In a sense, Kant's complaint is that the design argument as such does not rise above the tutelar. Design + argument from evil (which are, strictly speaking, not inconsistent with each other) a possible reason for particularizing.
-- (3) seems to need to reduce to one of the others + testimony (although the source may be unknown)
-- Pluralism a reason for particularizing (1) to tutelars.
-- We may need (4) more purely causal as well -- cp Aristotle on first movers, if you don't take it to be (1a) or (1c).
--Is the impossibility of an ontological argument a distinguishing mark of the tutelar domain (or perhaps tutelars and beyondgraves)? Could you have a promiscuity of ontological arguments, as in mathematics? A possibility: A view like Platonic Forms but treating them as tutelars. (Abstract tutelars getting preternatural features seem most promising Tutelars getting divine attributions, on the other hand, are indistinguishable from God when get to an ontological argument.)

tutelar/devata, deity/Ishvara, preternatural/brahman
--this raises the question of where bhagavat fits; it seems extrinsic (based on devotional relations)

demiurge as tutelar with strongly divine attribution

It seems best to think of tutelar et al. as *kinds of attribution* rather than kinds of things.

Veneration of the Cross as a proxy for Eucharist on Good Friday

Recognizing incongruities requires counterfactual reasoning.

sophism // joke

kinds of incongruity in joke
(1) misassociation
(2) absurd effect (disproportion)
(3) impropriety

Since whether a characteristic is observable or not depends on suitable circumstances whether a term designating it is an 'observation predicate' depends on circumstances and whether an assertion involving it is an 'observation sentence' depends on circumstances.

All governments are some extent mixed constitutions; but there may be cases where on part is mostly residual or occasional.

"In searching for the principles of government, we may divide them into two kinds: the principles of authority, and the principles of power. The first are virtues of the mind and heart, such as wisdom, prudence, courage, patience, temperance, justice, etc.: the second are the goods of fortune, such as riches, extraction, knowledge, and reputation." Adams

Any society of popular government, if it is to be just and stable, must be pervaded by the common expectation that gods are to be worshiped, parents to be honored, elders to be respected, and customary laws to be obeyed.

etymological splitting and doubling in the enrichment of language
tradition -- tradition and treason
ratio -- ratio and reason
holiness (from Germannic) and sanctity (from Latin)
watch (from Germannic) and observe (from Latin)

God has unlimited standing to forgive because He is the Good Itself, the First Good which all other goods participate. All wrongs are primarily against Him, and all standing to forgive derives from Him. (None of this is true, of course, of us.)

Liberalism corrupts beliefs through pleasure-pressures; authoritarianism corrupts beliefs through utility-pressures.

"Truth, expressed in practice, is called Justice." Soloviev

contiguity as resemblance with respect to causal reach (resemblance in how one would get to it causally)

the importance of encouraging poor entrepreneurs

Counterfactual reasoning for large, variable populations tends to fail because there are so many things that could shift the population behavior -- thousands and thousands of things that could affect voting or buying patterns, for instance. One is often best advised to look at narrow ranges of shifts, and even then one may have counterfactual explosion.

parsimony & the need to make experiments as useful as possible

two kinds of trivial maps: empty (Hunting of the Snark) and identity (Sylvie and Bruno Concluded)

Sankara's use of the principle of noncontradiction against the Jains

convertibility of being and being causal (not, of course, being caused)

syadvada as a modal logic

(cp. Loke)
Resurrection experiences: either (1) no disciples had purported resurrection experience (legends) or (2) some disciples did.
if (2), either the (2.1) experience was actual or (2.2) merely purported (false testimonies)
if (2.1), either the experience as (2.1.1) real or (2.1.2) hallucinatory
if (2.1.1), either (2.1.1.1) the person experienced was the same person as Jesus or (2.1.1.2) it was not (mistaken identity)
if (2.1.1.1), either (2.1.1.1.1) Jesus did not die (mistaken death) or (2.1.1.1.2) he died and rose
if (2.1.1.1.1), either it was because (2.1.1.1.1.1) He was never actually crucified (escape) or because (2.1.1.1.1.2) the crucifixion was botched (swoon).
if (2.1.1.1.2), either he rose (2.1.1.1.2.1) because of a chance cause (scientific anomaly) or (2.1.1.1.2.2) because of a divine intervention or miracle (resurrection)
-- Each alternative requires positing a defective cause of the testimony.
-- Note Strauss's argument against the swoon hypothesis in Life of Jesus
-- Note that the Gospels are structured so as to eliminate each branch that is an alternative to resurrection, and they do this fairly explicitly, emphasizing evidences of death, eyewitnesses, multiple witnesses, extended interactions, physical interactions, etc.

(cp. Loke)
empty tomb: assume either (1) there was no crucifixion or (2) there was.
if (1), this is either (1.1) because the story is made up (invention/legends) or (1.2) because the crucifixion was evaded (escape)
if (2), either we should assume (2.1) there was a burial or (2.2) there wasn't (unburied and destroyed)
if (2.1), either we should assume (2.1.1) there was a real change or (2.1.2) there wasn't (remained buried, but misplaced or lost)
if (2.1.1.1), the change is due either (2.1.1.1.1) to a human cause or (2.1.1.1.2) to a nonhuman cause.
if (2.1.1.1.1), either (2.1.1.1.1.1) Jesus removed himself or (2.1.1.1.1.2) others removed him.
if (2.1.1.1.1.1), either (2.1.1.1.1.1.1) he was there due to swoon or (2.1.1.1.1.1.1.2) he rose by anomaly.
if (2.1.1.1.2), either (2.1.1.1.2.1) the cause was natural (anomaly) or (2.1.1.1.2.2) the cause was supernatural (resurrection)

exploitation of citizens and their alienation from public work

Academia conceals its existing-for-others by failing to consider its dependence on the good will and support of the community, that it is, in fact, made possible by the sacrifices of others in the expectation that it will do general good.

In a genuinely free society, citizens can treat support of the functions of governments as a way of expanding their freedoms.

genius, taste, and spirit (there seems little aesthetic work on the last, although cf. perhaps Campbell on rhetoric)

Sometimes by 'hope' we merely mean patience.

Epistemology of any field simply reiterates the field from the perspective of knowing. The same is true of axiology from the perspective of known willing.

values as the qua of willing

"All defects are possibly remediable, otherwise they would not be defects." Ferrier

Marxism is often not bad when it comes to diagnosing the plight of the worker, but it has no actual solution to it because the response always amounts to, "Eventually the workers will fix it themselves."

The responsible citizen puts his life into the common good; but the danger is that this may make his life belong no longer to him but to those who have managed to find their way into the roles and offices that have been given power to care for the common good. The danger is that the latter may lay a trap with the common good as bait.

Working well under just conditions
(1) to act and be treated as a person
(2) to meet human needs of self and others in appropriate ways
(3) to be involved in fair exchanges
(4) to be an active member of society

Labor, work, is merely a material of civic participation.

creative citizenship: in which one's citizenship is an expression of one's person, a culmination of oneself as social, a good willed, something more than getting by -- a matter of honor, of which to be proud

Educational institutions estrange people by intensifying the emphasis on expertise while refusing serious recognition and respect to all expertise but their own.

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