Friday, July 16, 2021

Dashed Off XV

This ends the notebook that was finished in May 2020. 

non diversa, diversa sed non adversa, diversa et adversa

purification: persuasion to the good
illumination: strengthening light
perfection: proposal of clearer end

The freedom of speech in friendship is the principal and highest form of freedom of speech.

Two ways in which moral life requires community: rational support and personal gift. All moral life presupposes both, and everyone requires both in order to progress in moral life.

Are all angels sent to minister to us?
-- this is the most natural reading of Hb 1:14 on its own.
-- In Is 6:6, even the seraph seems to minister to Isaiah.
-- but authority of Dionysian and Gregory
-- Gregory clearly places the emphasis on withdrawal (Nam superiora ila agmina ab intimis numquam recedunt)
-- Gregory clearly recognizes a distinction between administrant and assistant acts; ministering to us is administrant, not assistant, and assistance is the higher act. (Note that this parallels the active/contemplative distinction.)
--On Gregory's account, angels ministering directly to us are engaged in a kind of sacrifice for our sake; we are taking them away from higher duties, yet they aid us out of charity.
-- The Thomistic solution, base don Dionysus, is that by illumination the higher angels normally minister *through* the lower angels, not in visible but invisible mission.
-- there is a related issue with respect to Lucifer as a cherub
-- there is an additional complication in Christ as Head of Angels, which (it could be argued) results in a blending of assistance with administrance.

In Scripture, we specifically see angels
(1) participating in divine court (Job 6, Is 6, Tb 12:15)
(2) engaging in heraldry (Gabriel, Hb 2:7, Gal 3:19, Acts 7:53)
(3) representing nations (Daniel)
(4) representing churches (Revelation)
(5) being connected to individuals (Acts 12:15, Mt 18:10, Tb 12:12)
(6) guarding places (Gn 3:24; Ex 25:17ff; cf. 1 Kg 6:23-28, representation on the Ark of the Covenant)

angelic : Israel :: apostolic : Church
-- how does this relate to prophetic : Israel :: apostolic : Church ? From Stephen's speech there would seem to be a link.

ST 1.113.5 ad 3: As the infant in the womb is still part of the mother, it is protected by the mother's guardian angel, who protects all that pertains to her.

The Dionysian gives us an account of angels specifically focused on their role in divine liturgy.

It is an irony that Protestant attempts to strip exegesis of purely human traditions of allegories led to a form of biblical scholarship that is literally nothing but human traditions of hypotheses. (In fairness, the more conservative flank of Protestantism has consistently resisted this tendency, although it has also had to give way repeatedly.) The point is not a criticism of Protestantism; rather, the point is that clean-sweeping to get around excessive reliance on human tradition is not the right way to handle it, because all you do is change which kind flourishes.

The state is not the foundation of politics; the person is, particularly insofar as the person is capabel of sharing in common with others, which begins in families.

To govern well you must harmonize households.

Play is an integral part of a meaningful life.

The story about Zhuangzi and the butterfly is specifically about transformation: two distinct things and not way in the transformation to be sure which is which.

baptism -> synergy -> theosis

Damascene's concern with freedom likely has Muslim doctrine in view.

A sukka is principally constituted by its roof (shakh); the other elements are walls, which can be almost anything that can hold up a roof, and an intention, which establishes the roof as formally a shakh for the covering of a festival sukka.

It is worth reflecting how much of Jesus' own religious life would have been organized around pilgrimages; his family seems to have made pilgrimage to Jerusalem almost every year.

{you shall dwell in booths} for seven days vs. you shall dwell in {booths for seven days}

Sifra 'Emor 17:11 (103a-b): R. Akiba links sukkot to the clouds of glory (by way of Lv 23:42), 'ananei kavod
-- Something like this is suggested by Targum Onqelos and Targum Ps-Jonathan, as well
-- Note that Ps 18:12 (=2 Sam 22:12) calls clouds the sukka around God. 

rabbinical ceremonies carrying forward ceremonies from the Temple days vs. rabbinical ceremonies symbolically commemorating Temple ceremonies

Perception always rules out possibilities, although not always in a straightforward way.

-- --  primarily (formal & final): baptism
-- --  secondarily (formal): penance
-- --  -- -- -- (final): unction
-- -- primarily (formal): confirmation
-- -- -- -- -- (final): eucharist
-- -- secondarily (formal): ordination
-- -- -- -- -- (final): matrimony

All legal entities and processes require some sensible anchor. Legal constructions may pile high, but there must be something to check, to confirm, and to guide judgment.

Sukkot sacrifice Nm 29:12-34
The rabbis sometimes suggest that Israel is thereby atoning for the nations (association with the number seventy). [without the temple, they have no atonement] Rashi links this sacrifice to Sukkot rain.

b Sanh 37b: Exile atones for half one's sins (R. Yehuda); for everything (R. Yohanan)

the four species (Lv 23:40)
(1) etrog: fragrance and food
(2) palm: food without fragrance
(3) myrtle: fragrance without food
(4) willow: neither food nor fragrance
--- some rabbis see fragrance as suggesting learning Torah and food to suggest good deeds; thus all of Israel is represented, as one, performing atonement for each other.
-- R Akiba: each represents the Holy One
(1) goodly (hador) trees: You are clothed in glory and majesty (hadar). Ps 104:1
(2) palm: The righteous bloom like a palm. Ps 92:13
(3) leafy trees: He [i.e., the Angel of the Lord] stood among the myrtles. Zech 1:8
(4) willows ('arrei): Extol Him who rides the clouds ('aravot). Ps 68:5
-- another tradition associates them with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph

etrog: John; palm: Matthew; myrtle: Luke; willow: Mark

Resemblance can be asymmetric *in a situation*. That is, we can say both that John resembles his portrait and that John's portrait resembles John, but they are not equally appropriate to every situation.

Maimonides on existence of God
(1) Either the world has always existed or it was made after not having existed.
(2a) Suppose it was made after having not existed, i.e., appears.
(3a) Whatever appears after not having existed must be made by something other than itself.
(4a) Such a being is the deity.
(2b) Suppose the world eternal.
(3b) Then there must be a being different from the world, one that is eternal and cause of the world.
(4b) Such a being is the deity.
(5) Therefore the deity exists.

probable inferences as having a potuit and a decuit component
potuit, decuit, prohibentes removentur

Barton: 'methods' in Biblical scholarship are not methods but theories formalizing 'intuitions about the meaning of biblical texts'

It is a feature consistent throughout all of Scripture that it will tell one thing in multiple ways.

Source criticism, when it does not confine itself to modest causal inferences, always ends up manufacturing the text it interprets.

R Simeon (Zohar): the commandments are the body, the stories are the vestment.

Standards of decency do not in any clear way progress; they shift, sometimes for the better on this or that point but often at a cost. This is partly because standards of decency have to be practicable, relatively easy, and based on simple ideas and guidelines.

The economic system works more like a grammatical system than a physical system.

approach to a text
A1. sense of things
A2. assumptive frame
B1. internal evidence
B2. external evidence
B3. comparative evidence
-- A is like scaffolding for discovering and organizing B.
-- internal evidence: e.g., the author of John self-identifies as a contemporary witness (as evidence for authorship of John)
-- external evidence: e.g., Eusebius says Papias says there were two Johns (as evidence for the gospel being written by another John)
-- comparative evidence: e.g., John and Mark have a similar overall outline (as evidence for reliance of John on Mark)

Door (Jn 10:7,9): baptism
Light (8:12, 9:5): confirmation
Way, Truth, Life (14:6): penance
Resurrection and Life (11:25): unction
Bread (6:35, etc.) and Vine (15:5): eucharist
Good Shepherd (10:11,14): ordination
Witness-Bearer (8:18): matrimony

one: message consistent with Church doctrine (rule of faith)
holy: liturgical use
catholic: general acceptance
apostolic: apostolic root

with regard to efficient cause: dynamis
with regard to material cause: ergon
with regard to formal cause: semeion
with regard to final cause: teras

Jn 8:12 the light of the cosmos

conscientious objection, peaceable protest, petition for pardon

the confusion of distinct images and clear conceptions

Rights are always either inherited or conferred, and conferred rights always presuppose inherited rights.

pharmaceuticals as domestication of poisons

Marx's argument that emancipating the working class requires abolishing all class is based on an analogy with the emancipation of the bourgeois estate involving the abolition of all estates. But the latter quite clearly did not happen in reality, although it did in some places happen in name. Other estates still exist. What in fact happened was a sidelining of other estates as the bourgeois were increasingly in control of the institutions, either by seizure or by slow outside pressure or by successful building-anew. But distinctions of estate and order did not vanish; they just became less formalized and essential to institutional participation.

the bourgeois state as an insurance scheme for the prosperity of the bourgeois

Except at the extremes, social pressure is stronger than economic pressure. (Which is, of course, not to say that either ever stops being pressure.)

Weather talk is a chatting topic because it involves something that can be reasonably guaranteed to be in common.

Every serious political position can be analyzed into sine qua non and conditio per quam.

'The world is full of obvious things that no one by any chance ever observes.'

subsidiarity : unction :: solidarity : eucharist :: personal dignity : baptism

"For the end of the human being is a participation in teh final good; that is, it is the immediate knowledge of God according to his form. For he is the first truth and the final good." Gennadios Scholarios

The measure of horsepower (33000 ft-lb/min) was reached by taking typical work of a two-horse team for 10 hrs with 1 hr break. A horse that's healthy can easily do 14-15 horsepower for short intervals. (A healthy man is capable of about 1 hp for short intervals; athletes can get up to 2.5-3.5 for short, hard work.)

the feeling that an explanation is particularly needed

Twelve Angry Men as depicting the use of life-background in jury deliberation

water as the central problem of building maintenance

the relaxing character of cuteness

Freedom from propaganda presupposes some kind of freedom of speech; propaganda will always exist, and relative freedom from it requires that there be no mechanism by which it can monopolize discussion, because if there is a way to shut down freedom of speech, that is exactly what propagandists will try to capture.

The simplicity of a theory is relative to what you are trying to do with it.

Logos in rhetorical discourse is a structuring principle, and works very well as such when it is actually given that role.

critical components of philosophical system: interact with many other components
indicator components: depend on many other components, without much interaction

Church as unity, Church as legal structure combining legal entities, Church as correspondence network among dioceses, Church as a supervisory structure for churches, Church as a cooperative population

liturgical commonwealth and the 'energies' of the Church

Lived experience is not self-understanding.

"A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets, and cannon -- authoritarian means, if such there be at all; and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionists." Engels

People often say 'the people' when they mean 'the politically organized part of the people'.

The 'administrative state' is not a single thing.

(1) Demand only what you could likely supply in reversed circumstances.
(2) Censure only what you have specific plans to improve.
(3) Propose only what you know how to discover to do.

In conversation, common ground is not reducible to a set of propositions; for one thing, it includes the world as shared.
Common ground in conversation is not public information but something appropriated into the conversation.

Propaganda succeeds through re-communication; indeed, this is more central to its success as propaganda than its effect on belief or larger practices. This is something that people have difficulty understanding: the success of propaganda is often independent of persuasion. Propaganda succeeds as propaganda by continuing to exist, by surviving, by being part of the environment. This could be by persuasion, or by shifting practice, but it often clearly survives in other ways. Most propaganda is mostly not believed or mostly ignored; but it is there. The point of propagandizing has always been to have the message in the environment. This is why propaganda can in a sense never be refuted, only outcompeted.

Statements do not describe states of affairs; states of affairs are our sense of the world as described by statements.

signification as logical instrumentality

Llull places the virtues and vices in the class of subjects he calls instrumentative/artifice; i.e., he sees them as instruments for doing good or evil.

In recognizing a metaphor as a metaphor, people recognize that it has a twist with respect to proper usage, or the normal sense. This is different from holding two senses in mind when interpreting it, which rarely happens.

Arabic: maadda
Hebrew: homer, gelem
Arabic: sura
Hebrew: tzurah

Maimonides' criticism of the mutakallimun: rather than drawing premises from the appearance of what exists, they "considered how being out to be in order that it should furnish a proof for the correctness of a particular opinion, or at least should not refute it."

Where suppositions of unknown possibility are allowed, subarguments seem to require a modal semantics that allows for impossible worlds.

We talk of feudalism and capitalism when we should instead talk of manorialism and firmism.

It is of the very nature of the Church Militant always to be in crisis, as it is of the very nature of the Church Patient always to be in quiet.

intrinsic & extrinsic title to being glorified (the title itself as well as the response to it is often called glory)

Androutsos's 'central dogma' of the Orthodox faith: The Church founded on earth by Christ is the treasure house of salvation.

Miracle is possible because creation is a free act of God.

Academia gets the research results it does largely being being a huge combinatorial machine.

the cord-with-cord-and-rope-with-rope view of parables (Midrash on Song 1:1, cp. Maimonides)

It is easier for us to grasp truths about communities by parable than by straight description.

No correct understanding of natural rights can be had without an understanding of natural responsibility.

That the universe was created by God through the Word is a precondition for the Word becoming incarnate.

Code of Ethics for Nurses: "Nurses have a duty to remain consistent with both their personal and professional values and to accept compromise only to the degree that it remains an integrity-preserving compromise."
-- the notion of 'integrity-preserving compromise' seems to me to be an insightful one in this context

God could make a rock a theophany because the rock qua creature can manifest God; such is creation. But incarnation seems to presuppose not just this but (1) generation and (2) creation to the image of God.

'the married harlot' (Maimonides's description of matter: always bound to form, always seeking new form)

"For the meaning of the words, that it was good, is that the thing in question is of externally visible and manifest utility for the existence and permanence of that which exists." Maimonides

Maimonides' orders of separate intellects
(1) hayyot ha-qodesh
(2) ophanim
(3) erelim (Is 33:7)
(4) hashmalim
(5) seraphim
(6) malakhim
(7) elohim
(8) benei elohim
(9) keruvim (i.e., cherubim)
(10) ishim (i.e., agent intellect, Dn 10:5)
"Each level of angel has a different name....The highest level is that of the Holy Chayot and there is none above it, except that of God. Therefore in the prophecies it is said that they are beneath the throne. The tenth level consists of the Ishim, who are the angel who speak with the Prophets and appear to them in prophetic visions. They are therefore called 'Ishim' for the reason that their level is closest to that of the human intellect."

Zohar (Ex 43)
(1) seraphim (Johoel)
(2) ophanim (Raphael)
(3) keruvim (Cherub)
(4) shinonnim (Zidkiel) -- Ps 18:18
(5) tarshishim (Tarshish)
(6) hashmallim (Hashmal)
(7) malkim (Ariel)
(8) bene Elohim (Hofniel)
(9) ishim (Zephaniah)
(10) arelim (Michael)

Abelard, Expositio in Hexaemeron on the anima mundi as a fabula for the Holy Spirit

"any being whatsoever which possesses some eminent quality out of the ordinary and is awe-inspiring, is called kami" Motoori Norinaga

detective story as unfolding potential for detection of out of a personality in a role