Saturday, July 27, 2019

Old Thunder

Hilaire Belloc was born July 27, 1870 in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France. As a child, he got the nickname Old Thunder for being noisy and boisterous, and he never really stopped. A great walker, when he was trying to convince Elodie Hogan to marry him, he once walked from the American midwest to northern California to see her, trading sketches and poetry recitations for shelter and food. From his book, The Free Press (1918), arguing for the necessity of diverse news sources:

The man who tells the truth when his colleagues around him are lying, always enjoys a certain restricted power of prophecy. If there were a general conspiracy to maintain the falsehood that all peers were over six foot high, a man desiring to correct this falsehood would be perfectly safe if he were to say: "I do not know whether the next peer you meet will be over six foot or not, but I am pretty safe in prophesying that you will find, among the next dozen three or four peers less than six foot high."

If there were a general conspiracy to pretend that people with incomes above the income-tax level never cheated one in a bargain, one could not say "on such-and-such a day you will be cheated in a bargain by such-and-such a person, whose income will be above the income-tax level," but one could say; "Note the people who swindle you in the next five years, and I will prophesy that some of the number will be people paying income-tax."

This power of prophecy, which is an adjunct of truth telling, I have noticed to affect people very profoundly.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Dashed Off XV

Ceremony by its nature is due to, and should be appropriate to, merit and office.

fundamental rights -> operationalized fundamental rights -> operationally adjacent rights

Frege's judgment stroke links argument to (one, unified) arguer -- that is, puts the premises into the same collection rather than a different one (truth-acknowledgments). Note, however, that on Frege's use of 'judgment' all judgment is correct, indicative of what is actually true. It unifies the argument by relating it to a single agent (it does not matter whom) and to objective reality at the same time.

hunting-style inquiry, trapping-style inquiry

quasi-property: patent, copyright, trademark, shell corporation, aboriginal songline, manorial title
quasi-property arising from residuation, from letters patent (or equivalent), from regularized customary law
- all quasi-property arises form rights associated with classifications

The clinical aspect of medicine needs to be rooted in a broader humane context.

Humanitarian traditions typically include many professions, some central and some ancillary.

pardon : state :: sanctuary : Church

market convergence on mere facsimiles of the good, the true, the beautiful: the convenient, the pleasant but illusory, the profitable

The essential idea of arithmetic is not number but counting. One counts forward, and backwards; one counts countings.

Human rights are operationalized by the natural workings of humanitarian traditions, and the operationalization is formalized in a legal regime (sometimes only of customary law).

We tend to think of counting as a mapping to number; but one may think of number as mapping to count.

Mathematics builds on ostensive definitions, but it does not rest satisfied with them.

To be a human being is to be somewhat abstract.

A weathervane cannot be recognized as a sign except insofar as it is recognized as in some way a unity with what it signifies.

naturalism as the collapse of the distinction between showing and saying (this seems to be the root of Wittgenstein's impatience with naturalisms)

The forms of equality that matter most -- in the sense of having the greatest effect in protecting human dignity itself -- are
(1) that more or less everyone have the ability and opportunity to build a functional independence (a space of their own);
(2) that the law not be partial in its application, but fair;
(3) that there is a standing expectation of mutual courtesy, even if mostly formal, regardless of other distinctions.

Subsidiarity, not democracy, is the fundamental principle of self-government. (As much as possible should be local and/or with voluntary participation, and supportive of people solving their own problems where possible.)

The Western liberal model for society gets all of its admirable features from, and to the degree, it has viable and navigable proxies/institutions/practices for (1) rule of law; (2) civic friendship; (3) subsidiarity. Everything that people find of lasting value in it, and that it often provides better than many competing regimes, is found in its approach to these three things. Its partisans often misdiagnose this, however, because they take the model to be the end, not a means.

the cogito as contingent a priori (its necessity is only conditional)

motives of credibility
(1) suggestions
(2) purely pragmatic considerations

Every Aristotelian category divides into complete and incomplete.
Complete-or-incomplete as a transcendental distinction (This is = perfect/imperfect.)

Free choice finds not fully adequate object short of the Beatific Vision.

Strict evidentialism in the ethics of belief confuses good taste and moral requirement.

The power of the Scottish National Covenant was the power of the idea of a nation sworn to God as it fell on a people eager for a superior alternative to its king.

Ideas change the world by meshing with incentive structures, turning loose tendencies into specific purposes.

assessment of 'fit' as an elimination by classes

ancient castles work like sand

aphorism, by way of aporetics, becoming system

forms of Catholic education: schooling, homeschooling, scouting, internship/apprenticeship

dialogue, by way of maieutics, becoming system

Businesses are rarely designed to maximize profits, and, noticeably, tend to run into problems when they focus too much on profit, as such.

the problem of collateral damage in protests (cf. Gandhi and the clothmakers)

All evaluation is a kind of classification.

Typological classification is intrinsically evaluative (goodness of fit).

Newton's Third Law & the notion of contact

forms of intemperance
(1) inappropriateness to rational role
(2) inappropriateness of mode and measure
(3) inappropriateness of response to what is communicated

to signal what is good vs to signal that one has virtue

Thayer's steps to positive plant identification
(1) tentative identification
(2) reference comparison
(3) cross-referencing
(4) specimen search
(5) contradictory confidence

foraging as based on search image
foraging as an exercise in classification

In foraging, "Each plant is a complex skill, which often takes much time to master." Thayer, Nature's Garden

"...he that is armed is always master of the purse of him that is unarmed." Fletcher

It is sophistry, literally and truly, to pretend that reason has no intrinsic teleology.

In epistemic matters, we always begin in medias res, and it is a mistake to think we ever do otherwise.

There must be a good God for there to be a Jane Austen.

childishness as a vice opposed to temperance

Adequate moral reasoning requires both classificatory and causal forms; the loss of the latter is one sign of degeneration, and the loss of the former a sign of a different degeneration.

yin-yang as the structure of causing

ostension, depiction, description

attention, joint attention, ostension

"Homo est substantia rationalis constans ex anima et corpore." Aug DT 15.7.11

We perceive sympathetically that something is alive directly by its way of movement, and learn what it is for it to be alive indirectly by analogical inference.

perceptions that involve inferences

rhetorical cascades & options that are live vs dead, force vs unforced, momentous vs trivial, low-effort vs high-effort

the 'religious black market'

political argument and denial of area

relevant worlds analysis

Determinism requires some form of principle of sufficient reason. (Presumably, varying the PSR would vary the kinds of determinism possible -- think about this.)

thrownness as creatureliness (Edith Stein)

consensus gentium as first approximation (preparatory for consensus sapientarum)
consensus gentium as the ordinary standard for material fallacies

the original of beyondness
- poss. from diff. of infinite and finite
- relation to (metaphor arising from) diff. between visual and tactile , which seems more basic, but also to give a more limite dnotion of 'beyond', if taken only on its own.

Nietzsche's survival account of the logical depends on the perishing of ideas in the 'chaos of ideas' being linked with inconsistency. ('The ideas that were consistent with one another remained, the greater number perished -- and are passing.') N. is savvy enough to recognize that the account only gives an ongoing process, a still-changing logicality, but he is perhaps too swift to think he can get a sufficiently strong link between inconsistency and perishing (it's not clear he has any adequate mechanism for it.)

theories of personal identity // theories of constitutional maintenance
(1) continuity views
--- (1a) formal
--- (1b) material
(2) teleological views
-> note that fission is not an issue for constitutional maintenance; it's a weaker identity than personal identity on any account

trust-busting and market checks-and-balances

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Evening Note for Thursday, July 25

Thought for the Evening: Friendliness as a Civic Virtue

I was discussing Aristotle's virtue ethics today and mentioned the importance of the virtue of friendliness for Aristotle's view. Aristotle doesn't spend a lot of time talking directly about it, but it is structurally important for his entire account in the Nicomachean Ethics. We tend to think of it as just a nice trait, but Aristotle takes friendship to be essential to civilized life, so he regards it as a civic virtue. (This is actually quite easy to prove: Aristotle gives it as one of the major virtues; all of Aristotle's major virtues are civic virtues, because the reason he selects them out as important is that they each play an important role in life in a Greek city state; therefore etc.) The virtue of friendliness, philia, amicitia, affabilitas is, roughly, the virtue of being the sort of person open to friendship of the sort that binds society together.

Aristotle says that the Greek of his day had no name for the virtue. (One of the less-appreciated, but immensely important, implications of the Doctrine of the Mean is that we can discover virtues and vices for which we have no name.) It concerns general pleasantness toward others (NE II.7.13) but is like friendship (NE IV.6.4), which is no doubt why he calls it by the name philia in II.7.13. It's not the same as friendship in the proper sense, but the person who has the virtue is the sort of person we would tend to say is a good friend, except that in itself it does not involve the actual bond of affection that is required for an actual friendship. The person who is friendly acts in a pleasant way even to strangers, although not indiscriminately. He will please where it can be done honorably and appropriately, and will refrain from pleasing where it cannot, adapting his behavior to each context. The virtue is a mean between obsequiousness and flattery on one side (the difference being that the obsequious are overeager to please for pleasure's sake and the flatterers are overeager to please for what they can get out of it) and what is usually translated as surliness on the other (in English, we would certainly usually just call this vice unfriendliness). Aquinas's terms for the vices are adulatio (fawning, we might say) and litigium (quarrelsomeness).

Aquinas gives a nice summation of why friendliness needs to be seen as a civic virtue by drawing an analogy with truthfulness (ST 2-2.114.2ad1):

...because man is a social animal he owes his fellow-man, in equity, the manifestation of truth without which human society could not last. Now as man could not live in society without truth, so likewise, not without joy, because, as the Philosopher says (Ethic. viii), no one could abide a day with the sad nor with the joyless. Therefore, a certain natural equity obliges a man to live agreeably with his fellow-men; unless some reason should oblige him to sadden them for their good.

As he notes, it maintains fitting and orderly relations among human beings. (It is often overlooked that when Aquinas discusses natural law, one of the precepts he explicitly gives for natural law as it concerns goods of reason is "to avoid offending those among whom one has to live" [ST 2-1.94.2], which is exactly the obligation to which he is appealing here in his discussion of friendliness.)

That seems basic enough. But it is a severe test. Argument, and remonstrance, and sometimes rebuke, are all things that can be done in a way consistent with friendship; but how many of our political arguments do we pursue in a way that still leaves open friendly relations with the people with whom we are arguing? In how many cases are we starting -- not reluctantly being forced to accept in the end, but starting -- with a stance of enmity and opposition. To live agreeably with the people with whom you happen to have been cast, to the extent honestly and genuinely possible, is not the only obligation we have to consider, but it is always an obligation. And when we do not at least attempt to comply with it -- if we do not at least recognize it as a valuable thing and, even if sometimes we fail in the spirit, at least grit our teeth and try -- that is a very corrosive thing. Nothing will eat through social bonds more quickly than that acid. And what corrodes our social bonds is both never good for our characters and absolutely toxic for civilized life.

Various Links of Interest

* Conimbricenses is a resource site for information on early modern philosophy associated with the University of Coimbra -- Suarez, Portuguese Aristotelianism, and the like. It's still slowly building, but already there's quite a bit that's of interest.

* The Loyalist side of the American Revolution

* The U.S. State Department recently honored Imam Abubakar Abdullahi for having saved 262 Christians from massacre in Nigeria, even at one point begging the would-be killers to take his life instead of theirs.

* Mark Pulliam discusses the various false stories that have sprung up about the Scopes trial.

* Armin Rosen discusses the recent surges of reported anti-Jewish crimes in New York City. It's a good discussion of just how difficult it can be to pin down the causes of something like this.

* Carol Goodman, A Home of Her Own – How Jane Austen Found the Space to Write

* The Unicorn Tapestries, at "Public Domain Review"

* Keith Sciberras argues that Caravaggio's famous painting of Judith beheading Holofernes might not be by Caravaggio.

* Victor Mair discusses the little we know about the historical Mulan.

Currently Reading

Maria Edgeworth, Belinda
G. W. F. Hegel, The Philosophy of History
John Skalko, Disordered Desires
Augustine, The Trinity

Poetry Interrupted

Freedom is fullness, especially fullness of life; and a full vessel is more rounded and complete than an empty one, and not less so. To vary Browning's phrase, we find in prose the broken arcs, in poetry the perfect round. Prose is not the freedom of poetry; rather prose is the fragments of poetry. Prose, at least in the prosaic sense, is poetry interrupted, held up and cut off from its course; the chariot of Phoebus stopped by a block in the Strand. But when it begins to move again at all, I think we shall find certain old-fashioned things move with it, such as repetition and even measure, rhythm and even rhyme.

G. K. Chesterton, "The Slavery of Free Verse", Fancies Versus Fads.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

A New Poem Draft and Two Poem Re-Drafts


Cicadas now sing me to sleep
with a blanket of late morning heat
as I on the cool grass am laid;
my memories they carry away.
The ceiling, a pale turquoise blue,
my pillow a tuft by a root,
the clouds in their friendship now hide
the blazing and blazon of light.
My attention now flickers and fades
into sleep at the nooning of day.

Rome is Dead

Rome is dead; its pillars fall,
they crumble down to blowing dust.
The rabbits bound in ruined hall,
a shell, a long-degraded husk.
A lonely pier upon the seas
is stretching boatless, unremarked.
Upon the hills the careless breeze
ignores things buried by the park.
The temple formed for sacred rite
by gawking tourist's heedless tread
is unrevered, its holy might
a souvenir; yes, Rome is dead.

But heart is stirred by Latin word,
the hand inspired by Roman deed.
The names we have in splendor heard;
from press of time they have been freed.
This temple stands, a church now made,
and Christ now rules, a greater king,
where once to Jupiter they prayed
or to Minerva hymns would sing.
All things recall; that power still
constrains the world like earth and sky.
Where Rome has stood, it ever will:
if Rome is dead, it does not die.

bad cat

some cat has jumped
onto the poetry books
jumbling the words
cutting lines and verses
into pieces
shredding sonnets

the rhymes are all displaced
the meters
the metaphors are all
tissue paper shreds

when i catch
the crazy feline
who stole the capitals
the punctuation marks
i will say
bad cat

Hermit of Annaya

Today is the feast of St. Sharbel Makhlouf, or Charbel, monk, priest, and hermit of Lebanon. He joined the Lebanese Maronite Order in 1851, and was granted permission to enter the eremitic life in 1875, in which he stayed until his death on Christmas Eve in 1898. The Maronite Catholic Church began as an ascetic movement, St. Maroun himself having been an open-air hermit, so hermits are very important to it as part of carrying forward its heritage. A few months after his death, there were reports of a bright light shining over his grave, and people have ever since traveled to his grave at Annaya for healing.

A little-known fact: there is a fossil crustacean, Charbelicaris maronites, a probable relative of the modern-day lobster, named after him, due to its discovery in Lebanon.


Feast of St. Sharbel

O Christ our Light, You fill the earth with light;
You choose worthy teachers to teach Your Church,
securing the good of those who love God,
molding Your people into Your image.
You give Your saints the word of life and truth;
as flame to flame they kindle ardent faith,
each a star to show us the path of life.

From Sharbel's hermitage a great light shines:
through his prayers we receive salvation,
through his intercessions, health of spirit.
O Sharbel, you found the pearl of great price,
giving everything that you might have it.
Our Lord Jesus Christ called you to follow,
and without hesitation you followed.


Cedars grow tall on Liban hills,
life rooted deeper than human will;
flame is bright over muddy grave
of a hermit-saint who hid his face;
the heart is kissed by burning light
as cedar soars to sun and sky,
is charged with day without a night,
and burns but is not burned.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Proud Sultana of the Summer Hour

To the Poppy
by John Holland

Lethae perfusa papavera somno. -- Virg : Georg : i, 38

Poets have emblem'd Vanity in thee;
Feign'd thee a gay and worthless flaunting flower,
The proud sultana of the summer hour:
Before the breeze the crimson bloom may flee,
But shed thy charms, a capsule green remains,
With juice narcotic rich: by curious art,
The essenced drug express'd, allays the smart,
And lulls in easy trance, beguiling pains,
The woe-worn heir of life; ah, stupor sweet,
That helps ev'n pain, of watchfulness to cheat
An hour: I would not choose to yield my breath,
lull'd in the poppied atmosphere of death:
But who can tell?—the thought my soul refrains—
Yet, flower of injured fame, thy worth induced my strains.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Kant and Generality of Maxims

In introductory discussions of Kant, and sometimes beyond, it is common to raise the problem of the level of generality for maxims. Kant's categorical imperative tells us,

Act only according to that maxim that you can at the same time will to be a universal law,

where a maxim is the rule you are making for yourself in making a decision. So, for instance, if I am considering whether I should make a promise that I know would have good consequences but that I also know I can never fulfill, my maxim is "Make a promise you know you will break if it gets good consequences", and Kant holds that I should consider whether this is something that can be consistently willed by a consistently rational being under all circumstances. The answer, of course, is that in making a promise you are relying on the norm of promises being something that are kept and yet you are also making an arbitrary exception for yourself. On Kant's view all immorality is a failure to treat moral principle as moral principle by making special exceptions for yourself or other people that do not derive simply and purely from what it is to be a rational being.

But, the line of thought also goes, what if we fiddle with our maxims? So one version is, suppose a person, call her Alice, is considering whether to repay a debt to another, call her Sara, because she doesn't want to do so. 'Don't pay your debts when you feel like not doing so' is not a universalizable maxim. But suppose Alice tinkers with her maxim, and says, "But my maxim is actually, 'don't pay your debts when you are Alice and you would have to be paying Sara'. This seems universalizable!"

Alice, however, is certainly wrong here, because she is lying about her maxim; the maxim being the actual subjective rule from which her action proceeds, her maxim in fact includes trying to pretend that her maxim is merely what she says it is in order to get the result she wants, and this is not universalizable. Deliberate maxim-tampering is not a problem with Kant, because it's the actual rule you are using to guide your action that needs to be considered, not the maxim that you arbitrarily and dishonestly claim that you are following. (We run into a similar bit of sophistry in discussions of double effect; people pretend that you can be intending something just by saying 'I am intending this, not that', but in fact your intentions are not declarations but your actual disposition and aim in acting. If you deliberately murder your enemy while saying, "I am only acting in self-defense," that does not mean you were acting in self-defense but that you are a liar as well as a murderer.) Maxims are not things put out by a maxim factory according to custom specifications. They are the rules actually in play.

But there are other attempts to raise the generality problem for maxims that don't involve any attempt at maxim-tampering. To use an example from Bergeron and Tramel's "Rightness as Fairness: Kant's Categorical Imperative", 'In order to make money, rob a bank', is not universalizable. But what if, from the beginning (so it is not maxim-tampering), the maxim is actually, 'In order to provide money for such-and-such person with such-and-such characteristics unique for me, rob such-and-such bank'. That is, suppose that this is literally my first and last thought, that I in particular should rob this bank in particular. If we blow this up on a universal scale, we get -- the one unique action.

In fact this is not true; as neither you nor the bank are a universal feature of rational beings, nor of the life of rational beings, and the maxim cannot be willed as something to which all rational beings in such a situation would be subject as rational beings (which is what Kant means by 'universal'), it is not universalizable at all. Merely saying you've universalized it is not true. Nor is it willable as universal law; there is nothing in it that could be willed as a law for every rational being at all. It is something you are explicitly willing for yourself as a unique individual, and it is contradictory to do that and also will it as something that should be applicable as a rule for everyone.

The problem with this kind of counterexample is that it is based on the false assumption that all that is required for a maxim to pass is to be implementable if made general. But Kant is very clear that the point of 'universality' is specifically that it must be the sort of thing that could apply to anyone.

In general, overspecification of maxim will get the same result, and thus will not pose a problem for the categorical imperative.

But could we go the other direction? To borrow another example from Bergeron and Tramel, suppose I am deciding whether to sit in my study, and the maxim that I adopt is, "In order to work comfortably, I should sit in the study." This doesn't seem universalizable. So surely something has gone wrong.

However, this is also not a problem for the categorical imperative. If this is literally my maxim, if we are not being loose in stating it, then it is an immoral maxim, because universalized it treats working comfortably as a decisive and definitive end for every rational being, which is not consistent with the concept of a being capable of acting according to universal law. In reality, we would generally assume that there are implicit conditions that are not explicitly stated here; as it stands it is a technical maxim, how to do something I might want to do (work comfortably), and does not actually specify the point of doing so. If I intend working comfortably as a universal moral end all rational beings must pursue, I am certainly a moral loon, and not rational at all. But if I intend working comfortably as the sort of thing I could do in these circumstances in order to be better prepared for doing my duty, this is an end that could be willed as an end of significance for all rational beings, and if that end universalizes, my real maxim is universalizable.

The problem with all of these is perhaps that people tend to assume that all maxims can be perfectly written down in simple sentences, but one of Kant's key points is that rules can often have conditions that are not explicitly stated. This is why there is only one categorical imperative. I can write down an imperative in a form that indicates no conditions at all -- "Do your homework" -- but any rational person would know that it in fact has conditions -- it would be a sign of irrationality to try to obey "Do your homework" even to the point of death, for instance, and it is not even the right kind of imperative to trump every other possible imperative that might come along. Likewise, your maxim may be stated as 'Do X for purpose Y', but Y itself might be only a thing being done for some other reason, and 'Do X' might be conditional on more general imperatives being met, and X's relation to Y might itself depend on some rational or irrational principle or other. All of these are relevant to whether the maxim can in fact be willed as universal law, that is, a rule of action a rational being could will for all rational beings.

There are problems that could be raised about Kant's whole apparatus of law and maxims, mostly to do with the assumptions he makes about how practical reason works, and how it relates to the will (Kant in fact rejects there being any significant difference between practical reason and will); but there is no problem with the levels of generality in maxims. What is relevant is your actual maxim, not some dummy maxim you state as a proxy, and it doesn't matter whether it is very specific or very general as long as it can be willed as universal law. Universalizability is not about big scale but about being the kind of thing appropriate to a rational being as such. Kant has all the resources he needs to handle the major classes of supposed counterexamples that constitute the generality problem for maxims.

Universally Acknowledged

David Hume, Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Section VIII, Part I:

It is universally acknowledged that there is a great uniformity among the actions of men, in all nations and ages, and that human nature remains still the same, in its principles and operations. The same motives always produce the same actions: the same events follow from the same causes. Ambition, avarice, self-love, vanity, friendship, generosity, public spirit: these passions, mixed in various degrees, and distributed through society, have been, from the beginning of the world, and still are, the source of all the actions and enterprises, which have ever been observed among mankind. Would you know the sentiments, inclinations, and course of life of the Greeks and Romans? Study well the temper and actions of the French and English: You cannot be much mistaken in transferring to the former most of the observations which you have made with regard to the latter. Mankind are so much the same, in all times and places, that history informs us of nothing new or strange in this particular. Its chief use is only to discover the constant and universal principles of human nature, by showing men in all varieties of circumstances and situations, and furnishing us with materials from which we may form our observations and become acquainted with the regular springs of human action and behaviour.

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Chapter I:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Fortnightly Book, July 21

Maria Edgeworth was born in Oxfordshire, but her family was Irish, and indeed had a small estate in Edgeworthstown/Mostrim, which was where she spent most of her life -- she essentially supported herself by a mix of managing the estate and writing. The latter turned out to be surprisingly profitable -- at least for part of her career, she was easily among the most successful writers of the day.

Her second novel, Belinda, was her first triple-decker, published in 1801. It is a coming-of-age novel about a young woman, as you would probably expect from the title, and it is one of the novels that attempts to follow in the footsteps of Fanny Burney in establishing a form of novel-writing that is of moral value. She herself rejects the name 'novel' for it, because of its potential dubious associations and prefers instead to call it a Moral Tale; as she puts it in the Advertisement, she would be happy to call it a novel, but "so much folly, errour, and vice are disseminated in books classed under this denomination" that it would be better to call it something else. Belinda, of course, is the next fortnightly book.

The Standard Bearer

Today is the memorial for St. Lorenzo da Brindisi, Doctor of the Church, born Giulio Cesare Rossi in the Kingdom of Naples. He was well known in his day for his unusual talent for languages, and become the most important Capuchin preacher of his day. In 1601 he became a chaplain for the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolph II, in the fight against the invading Turks, where he became famous for being on the battlefield with the soldiers, with no weapons and a cross as his standard. He's quite difficult to find in English translation; from a public domain translation of his Mariale, Part I, Sermon I:

Therefore, since Christ is the Most August miracle of God, of which even Isaiah, chapter 25 in the Hebrew (says): I shall praise Thy Name because Thou has wrought a miracle [Is. 25:1]; Mary cannot be but a great miracle, since She is most similar to Christ, just as the full Moon is to the Sun. Wherefore just as God from the beginning placed two great lights in the sky [Gn 1:16]; so in Paradise (He has placed) two great miracles, Christ and Mary. Hence we read that the Angels, admiring Christ, (say): Who is this king of glory? Who is this king of glory [Ps. 23:8-10]? who is this, who comes from Edom, with garments dyed from Bosra, this handsome one in his stole, marching in the multitude of his fortitude [Is 63:1-2]? Similarly we read that admiring Mary (they say): Who is this who ascends from the desert, overflowing with delights [Song 8:5]? And again: Who is this who ascends through the desert as a stream of smoke from the aromatics of myrrh and incense and all the powders of the ointment-maker [Song 3:6]? Even still (they say): Who is this who steps forward as the surging dawn, beautify as the Moon, shining as the Sun, terrible as an army in battle array [Song 6:9]? Thrice do they wonder, since Mary, just as Christ, is a threefold miracle, of nature, of grace and of glory. Therefore, just as Christ is a great miracle to the Angels, so also Mary; a great miracle, Christ, a great miracle, Mary, the Mother of Christ: A great sign appeared in Heaven [Rv 12:1].

Stanley Gahan discusses St. Lorenzo's Mariology here.