Friday, July 09, 2021

Dashed Off XIV

ta'amei ha-mitsvot: "...the search for the reasons of the commandments is an objective counterpart of the subjective requirement that one who performs a commandment do so with proper intention." Novak 

Positions on instantaneous change. In a change from X to non-X, such that before incipit instant t there is X and after non-X, at t is there (a) X, (b) non-X, (c) neither, or (d) both? Classical: (a) or (b); Glutty (d, one version); Gappy (c); Coincidental (d, second version); eliminativist (there is no such instant).

Ps 19: The heavens declare God's glory, but Torah makes us to express it.

the command to honor father & mother as a protection for tradition

Nahmanides: Public miracles are proof of creation, for if the world were eternal, nothing could alter its nature.
Torah is the purpose of miracle.
"The mystery of the Sanctuary is that the glory which rested on Mount Sinai abides on it unseen." Nahmanides CT (Ex 25:1)
"The Rabbis hinted that all the commandments are included in the Sabbath and the Sanctuary." CT (Lv 26:1)

The temptation in apologetic discussion of particular miracles is to assume that the process goes: argument to miracles in general -> argument for this miracle in particular -> argument(s) from miracle. But the whole point of a miracle is that, qua sign and wonder, it is an appearance of a sort. And thus the right process is: (this apparent miracle -> argument from miracle) -> argument for this being a real miracle in the face of objections -> argument to miracles in general from reasons for particular miracle. Miracles aren't deduced; we start with them as apparentia and explananda; we then come to better understanding of the explanans and thereby the appearance with which we began.

general postulates of inquiry: truth, discoverability of truth, freedom of mind to discover truth.

"In all limits there is something positive." Kant

All factional politics works by seeking out specific enemies; this is a move both to economize efforts and to allow for drama that interests.

The Chorus speaks for the City, both within and without the drama.

Like us, angels must be invited into true beatitude.

Ezra: How to proceed in religion after massive disruption.
I Macc.: How to proceed in religion without prophets.

Jn 7:37-39 may be an allusion to the Sukkot-rain connection (cp. Zech 14:16-19 and Ez 47); Rv 7:9-17 may draw from it as well.

Plutarch describes Sukkot in Quaestiones Conviviales (he takes it to be a form of Dionysian revelry).

affixes as concept formation devices (red, reddish, nonreddish; honor, honorable, post-honorable, post-honorableness, quasi-post-honorableness)

NB Nietzsche's approval of Brandes's description of his position as 'aristocratic radicalism'.

"Consciousness is philosophy nascent; philosophy is consciousness in full bloom and blow." Ferrier

"Intellectual virtue owes both its birth and its growth mainly to teaching." Aristotle
"We ought to attend to the undemonstrated sayings and opinions of experienced and old people or of people of practical wisdom not less than to demonstration, because from experience they have an eye to see right."

"To flow is not to cause." Albert
"A cause does not act except on some existing subject; flow, however, of its nature says nothing other than the procession of form from the simple formal principle itself."
"There is no flow unless one form is in the flowing and that into which it flows."

the three ecologies of the Church: discipleship, gift, and prayer

aphorisms as riddles of the sibyls, fragments wafting around in the breeze

Faith, hope, and love each raise us to a new kind of unity.

the reserve powers of the family/household

As the completeness of the universe requires both immutable and mutable good, so it requires both revocable and irrevocable choice.

angelic fall : angel :: death : man (Damascene, De Fide 2.4)

To command is possible only because there is a law that provides it context.

Every age has something of the apocalyptic. But some have more than others, and every surge raises the possibility of the surge that overwhelms. Humanity is floating on a sea of troubles.

1341-1342: eclipses of sun and moon
1346: collapse of roof of Hagia Sophia in an earthquake
1347-1348: Black Plague
1354: Earthquake at Gallipoli
1409-1410: Plague
1417: Plague
1420: Earthquake at Thessalonika
1430-1431: Plague
1439: Council of Florence
1447-1448: Plague
1453: Fall of Constantinople

The foolish escape the poison only to be killed by the antidote.

distributive vs commutative etiquette

Church (according to Manning): four notes, three properties (unity, visibility, perpetuity), three endowments (indefectibility, infallibility, authority)

The Apostolic Datary arose from a single legal point: that where there was an accidental or unforeseen conflict between grants of favor, the earlier grant took precedence. Thus dating grants, along with other cases in which exact dating could be relevant, was formed into an office. But this led to the office being given authority over other matters concerned with grants, including fees -- which led to its functioning as a secondary source of revenue and treasury, and thus as an influential office, in effect working as a privy purse ('secret treasury'). However, as anything suggestive of selling favors was increasingly looked down on, and the datarial authority increasingly complicated, it began to be trimmed, starting with Benedict XIV; this continued until Pius X folded it back into the Chancery and gave its major powers to Congregations. It was turned into an investigative and administrative office until it was ended in 1968 by Paul VI. It's a useful case for studying the ways of curial bureaucracy.

"the three notes of Antichrist" (Manning): schism, heresy, and the denial of the Incarnation

"when the intellectual become pantheists, the simple will become polytheists." Manning

the business enterprise qua corporation
(1) legal personality (access to tort & contract law)
(2) limited liability
(3) transferable shares
(4) delegated management under a board

social vs legal honor: legal honor qualified the rights one held; it could be due to personal act (depraved crime, ignominous trade) or to personal relation (illegitimate birth, treasonous association)

It is not just that human beings use tools, it is that by skills we carry around specialized tools even when we don't have their physical implementation, and that we therefore can and sometimes do make whatever is in our environment a tool. Bushmen carry nothing but what is necessary, a few things that are especially useful but sometimes hard to improvise, and yet by long practice and study every single one carries around more tools than can be enumerated, a world of tools, because of their experience and skill.

"The mystical body of the Church consists not only of men but of angels." Aquinas

Christ is lord of angels by divine title and by title of exaltation; Mary is queen of angels by participation in Christ's exaltation.

first principles as quasi-instruments of the agent intellect

angelic enlightenment and co-understanding
In human beings, co-understanding is always mediated by signs; but angelic co-understanding is directly cooperative insight. (This is somewhat like Banez's view, in which the higher angel's light is united to the lower angel's light so that they function as one principle in the lower angel's cognition; cf. also Capreolus on the analogy with instrumentality.)

Temptation is a perversion of the angelic persuasion to good.