Friday, July 01, 2022

Dashed Off XVI

 "The intelligible is the soul of the sensible as the body of the intelligible is the sensible." St. Maximus

All knowing is through some likening.

Sacred Tradition perfects tradition as grace perfects nature.

The 'post-truth age' has existed since the Fall.

"Reciprocity preserves cities." Aristotle (Politics 1261a32)
"Friendship is the pursuit of a common social life." 1280b38-39

"Even the gods love play." Plato (Cratylus)
"Speech (logos) signifies all things (to pan) and keeps them circulating and always going about."

Hades as sophist vs Hades as philosopher (Cratylus 403a1-404b4)

Cratylus 407b shows that allegorical reading of Homer was common even in Plato's day.

Van Til's predication argument: "on the presupposition of human autonomy human predication cannot even get under way"
"The final point of reference in all predication must ultimately rest in some mind, divine or human. It is either the self-contained God of Christianity or the would-be autonomous man that must be and is presupposed as the final reference point in every sentence that any man utters."

"a combination of means conspiring to a particular end implies intelligence." Dugald Stewart

"Belief in the personality of man, and belief in the personality of God, stand or fall together." George Fisher
"Self-consciousness can only be referred to self-consciousness as its author and source. It can have is ground in nothing that is itself void of consciousness. Only a personal Power above Nature can account for self-consciousness in man."
"Unconditioned being is the silent presupposition of all our knowing."
"The Greek Philosophy was a preparation for Christianity in a threefold way. It dissipated, or tended to dissipate, the superstition of polytheism; it awakened a sense of need which philosophy of itself failed to meet; and it so educated the intellect and conscience as to render the gospel apprehensible, and in many ways, congenial to the mind."
"As the Gospels were for the Church, so they were from the Church."
"The personality of God gives to man his true place. Man is a person, and religion, instead of being a mystic absorption of the individual, is the communion of person with person."

NB that Spinoza explicitly links repentance and free will

Something like sacred Scripture has to be organically grown in a community, not imposed (this distinguishes it from some other kinds of revelation).

the Bible as symbolic Kingdom of God, with the real Kingdom of God its object

Goldwin Smith: virtue, knowledge, and industry as the most general topics of history

'the age of unsettled opinion' (McCosh)

As one goes higher, the relation between idea, as a universal abstract rule, and ideal, as case under the rule, becomes more intimate, converging to God, who is both idea and ideal.

In political disputes, always look to see what you are being forced *not* to defend, due to the need for resources to fight over a topic du jour.

One of the hardest things to learn is not to fight the decoy battle.

physical cause : influence :: moral cause : imputation

Church Militant : Power :: Church Patient : Wisdom :: Church Triumphant : Goodness

occasionalism of sacramental life

Induction is inherently teleological. Suppose a simple enumeration, in which I find that cases 1, 2, 3, etc. have such-and-such feature F. This could be a real pattern, or it could be an accident. What is the difference between a real pattern and an accidental pattern? In the former, what we find is that to which things really tend. The induction principle is not 'the future is like the past' so much as 'in the kind of thing we have experienced there is a tendency to F that will yield F unless some cause intervenes'. (Cp. James Clerk Maxwell on 'The same causes produce the same effects.')

"If the world might have had a cause, then it must have had a cause." Nathaniel Emmons

sex principia as categories for experimental components

A hypothesis requires both accommodation of prior evidence (retrodiction) and prediction because (1) accommodation establishes that the data are not manipulated to fit the hypothesis and (2) prediction establishes the hypothesis is not manipulated to fit the data.

equations as at-least-contingent identities

assumption Box, projection Diamond

The modern world consistently confuses knowing oneself with constructing an authentic brand.

The problem with 'social construction' as actually used is that it is regularly applied to things for which 'construction' is the wrong metaphor.

socially grown vs socially constructed

making up ways to pretend to be righteous

regularity -> disposition -> intelligence

Teleological arguments are not generally based on probability and improbability.

Individual facts cannot be recognized as facts except insofar as they imply laws.

evidence, coherence, endurance, and beauty

Inference to the best explanation is always in light of an end.

"Science both does, and must, make the permanent metaphysical presupposition that the world is non-aberrant." Nicholas Maxwell

Newton's Rule III clearly sets aside intensive qualities because the extensive equalities raise no specter of total diminution even in principle (because they don't admit of intension and remission).
Rule IV is a rule of theory progress.

's Gravesande's pragmatic axiom: "We must look upon as true, whatever being deny'd would destroy civil Society, and deprive us of the Means of living." (He takes this to imply Newton's Rule II and Rule III.)

The problem of induction is usually formulated on the assumption that principles can only be justified deductively or inductively, but the problem with the assumption is that these options are usually too narrowly conceived (in fact there are several kinds of both) and do not include counterfactual suppositions, convergence arguments, pragmatic vindications, or coherence arguments. [Even Carnap notes that past experience is a third and, although in principle he rejects it, synthetic a priori is a fourth.]

deontic justifications of induction

Induction in the abstract requires one principle: that there are universals, not just particulars and groups of particulars.

There is no problem with having an inductive justification of induction or a deductive justification of deduction, as long as these things are taken to be dialectical, not demonstrative. If there were no such things, then we should worry.

Rejection of certain kinds of inductions entails contradictions.

pluralism of rights & pluralism of societies

Human beings can only understand a demonstration by placing it within an appropriate ecology of dialectical reasoning.

experiments as designed changes in designed composites

three aspects of image of God in humanity: dominion, dignity, microcosm
the Jewish prohibitions of murder, adultery, and idolatry as protecting three aspects of human dignity

immediate/intrinsic ends
extrinsic ends or functions: system ends
extrinsic ends or functions: population ends
finables (usefulness for an end)
as-it-were ends

A perpetual problem with experimental study of 'intuitions' is that if you ask a person a question, you get their intuition about *what would answer a question like that*. This is often different from what one wishes to study.

essentially ordered vs accidentally ordered composition

Newton's Third Law as giving a property of 'force' (it is an interactive causing)

mass as acceleration-resistance, as strength of gravitational flux, as strength of interaction with gravitational field, as energy reserve, as source of spacetime curvature, as difference between quantum frequency and wave number
-- Newton's Third implies that active and passive gravitational mass are always proportional; Einstein's general relativity assumes in the equivalence principle that inertial and passive gravitational masses are the same.

the Beatific Vision as the core of filiality

"There is nothing that human malice cannot abuse, since it abuses even God's goodness." Aquinas

purposiveness in the effects -> understanding in the cause

legal tender as a centralizing device

As it is necessary for contingent things either to exist or not to exist, and some contingent things do, some necessary beings must have contingent effects.

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