Friday, April 19, 2019

Dashed Off VII

It is one of the wonders of the modern age that its ethics manages to be both subjectivist and sanctimonious.

"And they will go out and see the corpses of the guilty men who rebelled against my word, for their soul will not die and their fire will not be quenched and the wicked will be judged in Gehenna until the righteous say of them, 'It is enough'." (Targum Isaiah 66:22-24)
- "It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into Gehenna, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched." Mk 9:47-48
- NB that Jesus quotes Is 66:24, but adds, like the Targum, the reference to Gehenna.

Aeonic life in Scripture is associated with immortality (Rm 2:7; 1 Tim 6:16); it is that which is in Christ (Jn 10:28; Rm 5:21; 1 Jn 1:2; 1 Jn 5:11).

The supreme judge by which all controversy in theology is to be determined can be no other than the Holy Spirit speaking through the Scripture as it is prayed and proclaimed by the Church.

"Men's fondness for trifles is the necessary effect of their ignorance of things excellent." Daniel Bellamy
"There are some follies, which none but wise men can commit."

The good of a satisfying story is not something that can happen all at once.

Prophetic prediction is not bare telling of the future but the identification of signs under which the future takes significance.

determining that a claim is out of the way of guess // determining that an event is out of the way of coincidence

hospitality norms as likely source of the notion of sacred precinct

Augustine vs. the harm principle: De Civ Bok II, ch. 20

the conditions required for cultivating a populace both hardy and humane

Cyril of Alexandria on original sin, In Jo. 1:32-33 (Book 2, ch. 1)
"he conveyed his penalty to the whole race"
"Since the first Adam did not preserve the grace given by God, God the Father planned to send us the second Adam from heaven."
"just as through the disobedience of the first we came under God's wrath, so through the obedience of the second we might escape the curse"

All sciences (in the rigorous sense of the word) are normative for that to which they are directly relevant.

etiquette & moral safety in minor matters

Modern representative systems impose the dual demand that representatives represent their constituents and that they maintain reliable and consistent positions. This is possible if the representative represent the rationally identifiable good of the constituents, but there is a separate demand, arising from broader culture, that representatives represent the overall subjective preferences of their constituents, in which case the whole thing is incoherent.

Charity gives to virtue meritoriousness.

components of a brand (Keller): name, logo, slogan
-- in this conception slogans are somewhat analogous to captions

Propaganda often masquerades as critique.

The state's having some kind of right to exclude is a condition for its having a full right to defend.

Buffier's three qualities of first truths dictated by common sense: (1) nothing more clear; (2) universally received; (3) basis of action in the conduct of life.
Buffier insists on common sense so that he may be agnostic about almost everything else.

Our sense that the world is independent of our minds is partly social.

the partness of the body in its environment

The usual way of showing that something is possible is showing that it is actual.

strict sameness of kind
same in respect to type
(loose) sameness = resemblance
sameness for practical purposes

X-for-practical-purposes as involving extrinsic final cause // conformity to exemplar as involving extrinsic formal cause

The existence of probability as something beyond possibility is itself something that should make us suspicious of the principle of indifference.

Floating point arithmetic is obviously arithmetic, but it does not strictly obey the standard rules of arithmetic -- association may fail, some numbers are indefinable, some operations (e.g., cancellation) return answers not strictly correct, distribution may fail, equals may be represented divergently, long strings of operations can be chaotic so that one has to consider the 'safety' or stability-under-tiny-perturbations of a result.

naive philosophizing (original participation) -> critical event (point of wondering) -> forced reflecting -> enriched philosophizing

Education is either by faith or by trial-and-error.

Human beings are not satisfied with the speaking of the truth; we want it spoken with authority.

The will to truth is a will to unity.

The answer to 'why' is not always a cause, but it is always cause-related.

You could make up some kind of artificial moral theory that doesn't require solipsism to be false, but the existence of other people is essential to morality, and being moral really requires belief in other people's existence, and if you are a solipsist, whether you are being mroal is measured by a moral standard that takes other people to exist.

In mathematics, zero is not a successor except when it is.

Leibniz's law of continuity: "In any supposed continuous transition, ending in any terminus, it is permissible to institute a general reasoning, in which the final terminus may also be included."
- in letter 1702 to Pierre Varignon: "the rules of the finite are found to succeed in the infinite"
- Note similarity to Whewell.

"The imitation operates always with less force than the object imitated." Quintilian (Institutio Oratoria X.2; quoted in Du Bos, Critical Reflections, Part I, ch. VI).
-- Hume certainly had read Quintilian -- had he read Du Bos early on as well?

Deus ex machina is associated with spectacle, and thus its misuse is linked to misuse of spectacle.

obscure beauty, delicate sublimity

Nietzsche errs in thinking fear & pity harmful to life.

Once you allow a special actuality operator, you can't have all possible worlds being equally possible.

Democratic values in their modern forms mimic Kant's kingdom of ends, but supposedly for the here and now (not 'merely possible'): a society of people, each legislating wholly for themselves, all legislating in harmony, everyone treated as the most valuable thing. It is unsurprising that it degenerates into people attacking other people for not playing the way they think they should.

A weakness in Shepherd's account of causation is the lack of a causal similitude principle -- she does have a principle analogous to this (linking variation in effect to variation in cause), but this gives a very limited set of results, since it is about the weakest you can get in terms of how cause & effect share *some* resemblance.

Shepherd seems to accept something like Newton's view of the relation of God to space (Essay XI).

One thing modern liberalism gets roughly right is the human need for a space that is one's own.

"The greatest heresy in the Church is that there is no such thing as heresy." Thomas Petri

Pain is an evil in that it is a privation of good, but a good insofar as it is ordered as an appropriate means to an appropriate end. This is not quite being 'an instrumental good'. It is itself good in an appropriate context.

tip-of-the-tongue experience as knowing one could say it at another time (e.g., that one had said similar things)

A telepath would have to be very good at distinguishing entertaining and aserting

Maintaining family networks and relationships is an integral part of genuine care for health.

The inability to see the value of pastiche and nostalgia to architecture is the inability to see the value of celebratory architecture, architecture that celebrates human life rather than just itself.

Langton: Kant's phenomenal distinction as really and extrinsic/intrinsic distinction

Our nature is such that our intuitive cognition is both sensible and intelligible.

Most puzzles about vagueness seem to confuse universal claims with near-universal particular claims.

'Common sense' generally does not yield strictly universal claims. (The only plausible cases are self-evident principles, which are more fundamental than common sense.)

'Ignorance is no excuse' can only be true relative to a promulgation by which one can deem people to be in a position to know.

A danger of republics is their tendency to try to make law for the entire world.

There is a sense in which philosophy requires progress on all fronts simultaneously.

The use of formal methods is primarily guided by analogy.

The Flame Imperishable: "It refers rather to the mystery of 'authorship', by which the author, while remaining 'outside' and independent of his work, also 'indwells' in it, on its derivative plane, below that of his own being, as the source and guarantee of its being." Tolkien
-- Note that Melkor sought the Flame but (1) could not find it because (2) it is with Ilüvatar.

the enokion (rent) that the soul pays to the body (Theophrastus)
practical wisdom as house-steward to theoretical wisdom (Theophrastus)
anger as the whetstone of fortitude (Crantor)

"In my studies of totalitarianism, I tried to show that the totalitarian phenomenon, with its striking anti-utilitarian traits and its strange disregard for factuality, is based in the last analysis on the conviction that everything is possible -- and not just permitted, morally or otherwise, as was the case with early nihilism." Arendt "The Concept of History"

Factional politics naturally tends toward being realm of theorizing without moral accountability.

Moderation is not a matter of willpower; it must grow rather than be forced.

Third-party forgiveness is impossible without behalf-authority, either natural (e.g., divine) or delegated, and the attempt to exercise it is a corruption of mercy where such authority is lacking.

Political apology has very little to do with forgiveness, being concerned with the minimization of harm.

The people cannot give governments authority over something if the people themselves do not have authority over it.

Nm 11:25 & holy orders

unity of virtues -> virtues as unconditional goods

There are times when a slight itch is more unwelcome than a hard hit, and a hard hit may be unwelcome at times and welcome at others. This variation in the (un)welcomeness of the painful or unpleasant is important and wholly overlooked.

All preferences are comparatives; one can only identify one thing as 'preference-satisfying' in cases in which our preferences are clearly circumscribed.

Ecclesial customs should be exercised in such a way that, whether those customs were of the whole Church or of only a tiny remnant, they would in some manner still contribute to manifesting the Notes of the Church.

the microbiome as inhering organic instrumentality

Rieger: K5c as the weakest doxastic logic avoiding Moorean paradox (5c being B~Bp -> ~Bp).
no commissive Moore: Bp -> ~BB~p
no ommissive Moore: Bp -> ~B~Bp
K5c = KDNom

K is a source of problems for doxastic logic, unless we just mean that to which one is committed in principle.

stories as quasi-doxastic ventures

obligationes and Topics viii.3 (159a15-24) and Posterior Analytics 1.13 (22a18-20)

Arrogance is often indistinguishable from a kind of stupidity.

trial-balloon believings
(we have a tentative something or other that certainly fills this kind of role)

As natural knowledge of God is indirect and based on created effects, natural lvoe fo rGod is indirect and based on created benefits. But charity is our participation in divine love, which is thus for God Himself, and transfigures this natural love.

Study requires planning, fairmindedness, persistence, and restraint.

In romantic love, one may love someone's beauty as a good in itself and also love it as a way to love that someone, as a good that this beauty manifests.

Good can manifest other good, so that one may love that other good in and through it.

"The likeness we have to God precedes and causes the likeness we have to our neighbor." Aquinas

We sense with our bodies, measure with our bodies, simulate with our bodies, use our bodies as calculating devices, analogize other things to our bodies.

When I count with my fingers, the counting is not an act that can be solely in my brain.

broadcasting vs narrowcasting tradents
preserving vs conserving vs exemplative traditionary acts

Our being to the image of God means that God's creation of human beings is also an act of tradition.

Moral authority arises not from being a victim but from being a hero.

In the final analysis, dealing with sophists requires being battle-seasoned; there is no method, just a sense of what to expect and the skill to adapt in light of it.

The three things the public needs to see from law enforcement are respect, honesty, and participation in the community.

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