Friday, November 16, 2018

Dashed Off XXVII

diversification:
(1) by formal difference (genus to species)
(2) by matter (species to individuals)
(3) by participation (exemplar to examples)

ontological argument and the real composition of essence and esse
that there could only be one being whose essence is actually to be + many beings -> composition of esse and essentia
(NB if this reasoning can be made, it establishes composition without assuming existence of a being whose essence is actually to be)

It is foolish to try to purge religion of the difficult and the tedious, and equally foolish to try to confine it to such.

"to act without any principles is to live by chance" Mary Astell

It is a widely recognized practical principle to do by substitute what cannot be done by the thing itself.

That none may serve as slaves, some must serve freely.

"Gnosis without praxis is the theology of demons." Maximus Confessor

The Maronite liturgy for the assumption especially emphasizes the gathering of the apostles around the Virgin.

We improve our practice by remotion (eliminating discovered errors and fault), intensification (increasing good we've discovered), and assent (finding higher unifying goods).

All the power of law to be obeyed lies in habit.

When people do not respect a freedom in their own activities, the result is always a government that actively tramples on it.

The Fifth Amendment establishes grand juries as part of the judicial checks and balances; this is an obvious point, but it is often overlooked in discussing constitutional checks and balances.

If actual liberalism were always describable by the North Star slogan -- "Right is of no sex, Truth is of no color, God is the Father of all, and we are all brethren" -- it would always be a splendid thing. It is this that holds the full appeal of liberalism as a vision of society. But in every society, high sentiments are used as cover for base graspings, and what we get in contemporary liberalism is too often an elaborate set of political power plays masquerading as morality. A liberal society cannot become just a wax nose for some agenda and still fall under the idea that made it attractive in the first place.

In drifting from Right, Truth, and God, modern liberalism becomes a politics of making things up as one goes along. This often has the brilliance of improvisation to it, and new and clever things are sometimes discovered, answers formed to new situations. But it is a role-playing game in which the rules are just whatever others can be convinced (by sweet words or by insults) to allow. Every good thing will be sold off tomorrow to satisfy some group's whim, the moment feelings tip their way.

Bellarmine puts an emphasis on membership in the Church by desire -- catechisms and excommunicates are in the Church by desire rather than properly.

A people without heroes cannot often be heroic.

The structure of rationalization is the same as that of hypothesis formation.

Fiction by its nature presupposes what is not fictional.

cosmological arguments based on the impossibility of
(1) actual infinite
(2) infinite regress
(3) dependency without an independent
(obv. there are overlapping cases)

It seems clear from the Short Treatise that Spinoza developed his views partly in opposition to a (broadly) Thomistic natural philosophy.

Duty speaks most loudly when it is partly echoed by need.

For every propose semiotics, ask, "What theory of evidence does this suggest?"

Human life needs not only forgiveness but a system of forgiveness.

Equality cannot adequately substitute for reciprocity -- it lacks the latter's capacity to accommodate difference.

All citizens are part of the public sphere by virtue of being citizens; this is just what the public sphere is for a citizenry, the domain established by the union of citizens qua citizens.

the cycle of system and rhapsody in the historical development of philosophical ideas

Christianity evangelizes and expands by layers, often many layers over a very long period of time.

Love and duty tend naturally to have similarities with each other.

Much of government administration is just a system of lists.

Civil rights depend on civic education.

Much of what is called 'public opinion' is not really opinion but a set of interested attitudes. (cf. RB Perry)

Computer programming should be seen as a modern liberal art.

Where there is no light, there can be no mercy.

Nothing drives the world toward dystopia like utopia.

Much of our belief is deferential; it's not that, psychologically, we have much or even any commitment to it, but it is what others say, so we go with it until we have reason to think otherwise.

Imaginative verisimilitude does not work on anything like a Bayesian principle.

experiments as essentially ordered causal series.

It is insufficiently remarked that no moral theory requires that human beings intervene to prevent great evils except under very specific conditions. One reason it is little remarked is that we usually think about these things in cases where the conditions are relevant; but step back from the conditions and it becomes clear enough.

Every obligation arises out of a teleology.

Hume's taste of the fig & Locke's Essay 2.13.24

'loss of problems' as a philosophical disease (Wittgenstein)

Aristotle's account of tragedy makes it an exploration of eudaimonia by reversal.

moral law as a postulate of philosophical inquiry (Plato's Gorgias suggests something analogous to this)

To understand what virtue and duty deserve, the philosopher must posit a point of view according to which the duty or virtue and its desert are united. To understand how they are to be done at all, the philosopher must posit a notion of an in-principle capability of acting morally. To understand how they are to be done adequately, the philosopher must posit the notion of an in-principle process commensurate with their quality.

Sooner or later, academic writing always becomes a parody of itself.

The primary danger with political faction is not disagreement, even heated disagreement, but the rise of a mentality in which people count themselves as just and right because of whom they oppose.

Any view in which moral goodness has no connection to power or to knowledge is inevitably incoherent.

It belongs to the nature of good parenting to draw greater good from the errors of one's children, a feature that is most clear with the parenting of small children (since that is when parenting is most likely to swamp other factors) and in teaching (since this is a relatively specific form that in great measure consists of drawing good out of error).

There are no indefeasible evils.

The Council of Frankfurt 794 rejected II Nicaea because it read it as saying that icons of saints should receive the same veneration as the holy Trinity -- which is so off that it seems it has to be due to a bad translation.

It seems that classification-based validity would be affected by differences in tone or coloring, as in 'dog' vs 'cur' or 'argent' vs 'silver', even if only in marginal cases.

All of history is a testimony to the ingenuity of human beings in going wrong.

(1) Start with Calvin's concessions on infallibility of the Church (Institutes 4.8).
(2) Go beyond: The bishops can represent the Church in this.
:::: Scripture treats bishops as having representative authority.
:::: It is recognized among Apostolic Churches.
:::: It is rationally plausible on the basis of order.
(3) Go beyond: The Pope can represent bishops in this.
:::: Petrine privileges
:::: It is consistent with the way the Church Fathers treated Rome.
:::: It is rationally plausible on the bases of honor and deference.
(4) But not too far: These representations cannot be unlimited, and have conditions.
:::: Divine authority has pre-eminence.
:::: Bishops and Popes have repeatedly recognized this in circumstances in which they were speaking representatively.
:::: Rationally, they are clearly not always speaking representatively.

We can look at any causal series and ask the reason why it is as long as it is.

All forms of participation are cases in which the less universal derives from the more universal, in some way.

tone-meaning arising out of: etiquette, aesthetics, common usage and derivation therefrom, context

The Bible's ideal reader is the Church herself.

Theism is a very large family of related positions, and thus is not the sort of thing that can be assigned a single probability in a context.

Probabilities only exist within a universe of discourse.

A probability is not a brute fact but a measurement; before you can have your probabilities, you must have your means of measurement.

the epiphany and transfiguration aspects of divine tradition

The first requirement for theological language is to facilitate speaking truly.

Too many people do not care about arguments as such, seeing them only as a tool for manipulating others into silence or confusion.

The kind of causality we experience within the stream of experience itself (as opposed to the causal character of having experience at all) is one experience shifting our disposition to receive another experience.

We don't merely move from idea to idea according to resemblance; we resemblance-make among ideas that are available.

Refusing to forgive is a vice in that it subordinates common good to private mood.

Nyaya as a theory of grounds of signification

to transfigure students of this world so that they are also candidates of heaven, workers so that they are also worshipers, thinkers so that they are believers, friends of man so that they are also friends of God

Feuerbach's comment about the stars is key to understanding his failure. The heavens do reveal human nature. But it would be absurd to treat this as suggesting that the stars are nothing but reflections of human nature. The 'nothing but' Feuerbach finds for religion does not derive from the anthropological analysis as such, but only from the axiom of materialism assumed from before the beginning.

Feuerbach approaches theology as if the Church as such had no place in it.

other minds and readiness to respond

In interacting with other people, we recognize ourselves as being already part of a perspective other than our own, distinct from us, independent of us, and continuing when we are not aware of it.

We do seem to cognize with feelings to some extent: who feels gratitude, feels something as gift; who feels anger, feels something as threat; who feels sorrow, feels something as loss. It is, of course, a question whether the object-content comes first from an independent source or is discovered by the feeling itself.

Feuerbach is exploiting a weakness of subject/object metaphysics (given that the object is in some sense in the subject), one that doesn't arise when subject and object are understood by means of act and potency. Taking subject and object as primitive provides nothing to prevent reduction to reflexivity.

As there are apparent answers to prayer, the question of the efficacy of prayer is a subset of the problem of induction.

Bentham relativizes the principle of utility to the interest being considered.

Verbs are 'doing words' because 'do' is a general verb. You can use verbs to answer, "What is being done?" Not all verbs allow for clear answers to time questions on the other hand (infinitives for instance). Thus verbs are better classified as action/doing words than as time/aspect words (as some have suggested).

The problem of induction is not any kind of problem at all unless things appear to be connected.

Religion unites man with himself; in it he finds God as the principle of his own coherence.

Feuerbach's account of the Incarnation is essentially the counterpart to Kant's; where Kant sublimates it into pure practical reason, Feuerbach passionates it into the 'heart', i.e., our sensibility. Their accounts are not wholly wrong, even; but given the limits of their methods, what they are each doing is capturing one aspect of the appeal of the Incarnation to the human mind, and ignoring all the rest, or, indeed, anything that one does not find in the mental attraction itself. Kant traces out how it is morally magnetic, Feuerbach how it is touching to the heart, and then each goes away pretending to have said all that was worth saying. Feuerbach, however, captures more than Kant does, due to the nature of the doctrine.

At-at is a poor account of motion because an account of motion must explain to begin with why one thing at one place/time can be at another.

multiplicity of potential -> need for a mover to select

the facingness of painting, the amidst-dwelling of sculpture

Allusion is the mother of poetic diction.

A mass media society is a society of facsimile emotions.

Feuerbach's conflation of providence and miracle quite clearly leads to a false view of Judaism, which takes providence to be linked to covenant.

"The relation of the communal experience to the individual experience is constitution, not summation." Edith Stein

Scientific knowledge is a community knowing.

The dictum de omni et nullo can be interpreted as making syllogistic validity dependent on classification-based validity.

It as through permissible things that the obligatory becomes feasible.

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