Friday, September 18, 2020

Dashed Off XXI

This begins the notebook that was begun in August of 2019.

God as Creator is principle of Scripture (exitus); Christ as Redeemer is end of Scripture (reditus)

a freedom adequate for virtue

"The body charms because the soul is seen." Frances Reynolds
"It is cultivation that gives birth to beauty, as well as to virtue, by calling forth the visible object to correspond with the invisible intellectual object."

Benenti & Meini (2018): contour theory should be thought of in terms of perception of 'manifestations that are similar' rather than perception of similarity
-- NB that they take it to apply to visual arts insofar as they convey dynamic information

Augustine's criticism of Neoplatonism (DT Bk IV, ch. 4)
-- Note that he grants that Neoplatonist contemplation is veridical. His argument is that it is irrelevant to temporal matters like the resurrection of the body or the eschaton, and our full purification requires temporal mans. Thus faith is needed.

"In what we may call 'the analogy of speech-acts,' the Father ('who spoke [est locutus] by the prophets') locutes, the Son is the illocution, the promise of God, teh Spirit is the 'perlocution,' the effect achieved through (per) the speech-act." Vanhoozer

the Lord's Supper achieves all five of Searle's illocutionary points (Melvin Tinker, "Language, Symbols, and Sacraments: Was Calvin's View of the Lord's Supper Right?")

Without a principle of sufficient reason, there is no way to assess the adequacy of explanations.

Nationalism is the product of a long-successful progressivism; it is the result of progressives pushing national identity over local identity in order to facilitate their reforms. (This is seen especially when looking at the history of progressivism's intersection with Romanticism.)

'Secularization' as a word originally meant the seizure and liquidation of the property of the Catholic Church. It then was used metaphorically for the repurposing of religious things and practices by people like Dilthey and Weber.

It is important not to confuse charity and meddling: the latter is often pride's aping of charity.

"The major poetic idea in the world is and always has been the idea of God." Wallace Stevens
-- Modern poetry, he notes, in trying to get away from this idea can only adapt it in a new way, or find a subsitute for it, or find a way in which it is unnecesssary, which "probably mean the same thing".

I went to the world;
it whispered of truth,
it spoke of itself
in chant and in hymn,
the chant of the stars
in regular course,
the hymn of the stars
in argentine light.

"The soul, he said, is composed / Of the external world." Stevens "Anecdote of Men by the Thousand"

the external world as the foundation of indispensability arguments
--perhaps self and other minds are co-equal?

"To share in the rationality of a craft requires sharing in the contingencies of its history, understanding its story as one's own, and finding a place for oneself as a character in the enacted dramatic narrative which is that story so far." MacIntyre

(1) The human body plays a major role in one's constitution as a human person, not a minor one.
(2) We can distinguish modification of the body itself from ornamentation of it or correction of it for the purposes of improved bodily function.
(3) Our body is part of what connects us to other people within human society.
(4) The body is a precondition for human action in the world, and a sort of ecosystem for its incubation.
(5) We are born into a normative web interconnecting with our body, which can change and shift but also resists change, not being infinitely malleable. This web is social, medical, and jural in character.

the modulation of basic goods by and in humanitarian traditions

Humanitarian traditions give a local direction of progress to moral ideas and activities.

There are many who can only trust to God's mercy if they can dictate how it will work.

Hume's Dialogues as an implicit account of religious imagination: analogies, natural inferences, social relations/contexts, imaginative indeterminacy

The people insist on rights to protect themselves; states insist on rights to extend their power. Every practical consolidation of rights in law and institution has been some structure of governance extending its power.

The possibility of death is inherent in bodily life.

The only teleology of analytic philosophy is problem-formulation, and thus the only direction of progress visible in it is the better formulation of problems.

parsimony as a form of the doctrine of the mean
(Every reasonable conclusion consists in a mean between going too far beyond the evidence and not going far enough with the evidence.)

It is impossible to formulate the atheistic argument from evil without conceiving of the world as a failure.

If we take ? as a modal operator, how would we interpret ~?~
~?~ → T → ?

Many errors in politics and ethics arise from assuming that because someone is the principal authority, he or she is the absolute authority, or an authority of unlimited scope in that domain.

We are stakeholders in each other.

Sensible ideas (phantasms) underdetermine concepts.

One must beware of 'due process' protections that are really 'diffusion of responsibility' protections for people who are denying real due process to others.

To demand that people always act optimally is perverse.

Capital punishment can only be proportionate in dealing with one who is both dangerous (periculosus) to and corrupting (corruptivus) of the common good.

static vs dynamic analysis of argument
labtesting vs fieldtesting of arguments

To love another well, oneself loving well must be loved well.
To love well, one must love well what one's well-beloved loves well.

modal operator variations
(1) strong-weak hierarchies
(2) n-ary
(3) operator indexes
(4) ordered vs unordered
(5) interacting vs non-interacting

approximative quantities [several]
range quantities [1-5]

simultaneity // colocation // compossibility // overlap

Intentionality reveals itself as the possibility of prudence.

In terms of Heidegger's notion of maintaining the force of primordial words, the Neoplatonist is always better situated than Heidegger himself.

Neither flesh nor abstraction can substitute for tradition.

followable way is not equal to stable way,
to follow what can be followed is not changeless following,
doctrines that can be spoken are not the doctrines that last

NB that Kant thinks that an a priori proof of "All thinking things are simple substances" would insuperably block the Kantian approach to critique.

"A vice, indeed, turns into heresy when it is defended by arguments dependent on false doctrine." Peter Damian
"...if the prince is God's agent who dispenses retribution to the offender, he who gently pats criminals and villains on the head is undoubtedly the agent of the devil."
" is from holy preachers within the Church that we learn how to resist all perverse and wicked men who seek deceptive goals."
"The same Scriptures, moreover, while instructing us in the practice of patience, also sustain us with consoling hope."
"Truly God's provident will must be praised, since when he cuts, he cures, when he strikes, he instructs, and when he wounds, he restores us to health."

"The love of the beauty of the world, while it is universal, involves, as a love which is secondary and subordinate to itself, the love all the truly precious things which bad fortune can destroy." Simone Weil

There are four kinds of true success for boys and men: great deeds of body, like exploring or military heroism; great deeds of mind, like discovery and profound teaching; forming a family so that it thrives; and living a priestly, cenobitic, or eremitic life of prayer. Those men are greatly to be pitied to whom none of these options are open.

Aesthetic judgment is subjective only in the sense that it incorporates reference to the real action & effect of things on the mind.

Certain arguments please us by their structure, inspire us as argument with a kind of disinterested favor, and so may be called beautiful; this is not a mere personal preference but the form of its communicability to the rational mind.

ornament as charm supplementing beauty (vesting charm) vs. ornament as secondary beauty vs ornament as vesting beauty

the play of arguments

"In any dimension of warfare, victory is achieved by reducing the connectivity of the opposition's network while improving your own network's connectivity." John Robb

(1) beauty of chance things
(2) intelligible beauty
(3) moral beauty

Perfection gains by beauty and beauty by perfection, good and beauty being interlinked.

God as the 'Ideal' (in the Kantian sense) of the Intelligible, the Moral, the Beautiful, the Sublime

"The good the soul turns to in order to be good is the good from which it gets its being soul at all." Augustine
"Whoever loves men should love them either because they are just or in order that they might be just."

Beauty in argument tends to apply more to the reasoning, sublimity in argument more to the understanding.

beauty under the note of novelty, of harmony, of virtue, etc.

Augustine (DT X.3.8): the mind thinks it is a body through an excessive love of sensible images. Cp. also X.3.11
DT XI.3.14: "The limits of thinking are set by memory just as the limits of sensing are set by bodies."

Attacks on the History of Philosophy as a discipline are generally attempts to bully historians of philosophy into support for a particular narrative of the actual history of philosophy.

Hume's account of the galley effect does not give any reason why it would actually convey a notion of a limit, rather than just indefiniteness.

Kant's noumena as underlying infinites

the sublimity of humility as dividing religion from superstition (Kant)

In metaphysics, from the very beginning, reason has achieved great things, had many triumphs. But so vast is the field that the greatest of our victories are but little steps in comparison.

(1) Intellectual beauty and sublimity are the first and primary forms of beauty and sublimity.
(2) Intellectual beauty, including moral beauty, is to be loved as well as respected.
(3) All sensible beauty is suggestive of intelligible beauty.

landscape gardening and the picturesque from many perspectives
-- similar to the ornamental aspect of architecture
-- landscape gardening as extending ornament outward

Populism is not a political position but a strategy.

moral necessity (law), moral actuality (character), moral possibility (freedom)

personal relationships as involving the habit of presence

beauty, sublimity, symbolic order, instrumental order, system

The Kantian judgment0functions approach to definition, while not as useful as the genus-species approach or the four-cause approach, does seem to get good results, especially with more formal concepts.

"For beautiful art, Imagination, Understanding, Spirit, and Taste are requisite." Kant

Kant: complete communication requires articulation, gesticulation, and modulation (word, deportment, and tone)

Kant divides the fine arts into those of speech, form, and play (of sensations), but it seems better to treat each art as mapping differently on a 'grid' of these three, each one involving something of each (even the most static visual art draws on our linguistic classifications and subtle variation according to circumstances), but in a different measure.

Policies can only be fruitfully debated when the participants recognize that there are things more important than policies or debates about them.

Doctrine and prayer are so intimately bound together that depreciation of one is depreciation of the other.

'Coolness' in any generation is associated with competitive superiority.