Friday, July 07, 2023

Dashed Off XXII

 Human societies are structured by favors and obligations.

"Whatsoever has or can have the nature of being, is numbered among the absolutely possible things, in respect of which God is called omnipotent." ST 1.25.3

Will is always with respect to wisdom, whether it is full or defective. Will wholly independent of wisdom is an incoherent notion.

Trust in testimony is already implicit in reason.

unexpected coherences of dogmas as a confirmation of their truth

loan/credit pairs // virtual particles

Elections are not selections of solutions but priortizations of problems to keep in focus.

The greater the wisdom, the greater the freedom.

wellroundedness with respect to duties as important for performing one's duties well

Democratic systems tend to become corrupted to the extent that direct physical and legal harms are justified as responses to hypothetical, speculative, and symbolic harms.

Israel: purgation :: Church : illumination :: New Jerusalem : union

A phenomenon is an instance of objective causation, and to take it as a phenomenon is to treat it as such.

As first good, God is necessarily part of every common good.

Creation is the act of love that makes all our loves possible.

Gardner's analysis of tort law ("Torts and Other Wrongs"):
the law of torts is a law of
(a) civil recourse
(b) for wrongs
(c) in which primarily corrective justice is attempted
(d) in a primarily reparative mode
(e) in response to claims for unliquidated sums
(f) where the duties breached are non-contractual
--> (a) distinguishes from criminal law, (d) from equity law, (f) from contract law, etc.

Law requires a reasonable moral justification for it to function across time.

In a field like law, the distinction between normative and non-normative is purely a matter of what you happen to be doing at a given time.

truth as sough -> normative standards of inquiry

Qualified immunity for police messes with the Fourth Amendment because the Fourth Amendment was historically protected by the possibility of civil lawsuit. The latter had advantage over other protections, like the exclusionary rule, in recognizing a power of the people.

classification of influence-traces in philosophical texts
(1) nominative: direct reference
(2) reiterative: use of same words
(3) testimonial: a person witnesses to influence
(4) allusive: influence explains structure
--> nominative traces may be generic or specific; they may be citations but may also just be references by name

1. History of Philosophy as a Field
2. The Great Coherence: evidence, problem, theme, landscape
3. The Great Conversation: person, influence, network, constraint, dynamics, diffusion, response
4. The Great Tradition: archive, spirit (Geist)

Learning of a cause through its effects, we are delighted in general when we can then experience the cause itself.

Richard of St. Victor's argument for the Trinity works given that God is Love and we understand that charity is participation of this Love, but not on what can be purely known by reason without the help of revelation.

Eternity is the only truly definitive ending to any human story, so all story endings are provisional in feel unless they end with the beginning of acquaintance with eternity (death), the symbol of eternity (marriage), or some close-enough proxy of either. 

elevated authenticity as one mode of great art

Bureaucrats are continually trying to present themselves as revolutionary or visionary.

Human beings are themselves the first scientific instruments.

What we rule, we measure, and we measure in order to rule.

Gustaf Sobin on our own "incadescent dark" age

Concepts do not free us from the jumble of images or the analogies of sensible cogntion, but turn them into sources of light. Rational cognition is guided by the thread of images through mazes that would othewise require immense powers of abstraction, angelic powers.

Everything is incorruptible to the extent and in the way it can be.

Aquinas (De coelo Bk I.287) takes the beginning of the world in time to have the end of manifesting the excellence of the first principle's "power over the totality of being, namely, that the totality of being depends entirely on it and its power is not confined or determined to the production of some given being."

The legislative attempt to reduce judicial discretion led to greater prosecutorial discretion, which resulted in the expansion of plea bargaining; this expansion was facilitated by the explosion of civil litigation following on industrialization, since it eases caseload pressure, and was consolidated by the fact that in so many criminal cases the trial just covers known ground. Legislatures then started assigning harsher penalties, thus designing the law in light of prosecutorial discretion.

The People are the primary and original enforcers of the Constitution.

The excellence of the work of art lies in its suitability for eudaimonia.

grex (Jonas Faria Costa) -- weaker than group, characterized by proximity, openness, asymmetry, and privacy, like people hanging out at coffeeshop or mall
--> the first seems best understood as involving not distance but shared forum or venue, which provides standing potential for grex or group

A standing problem in structuring a court system is the need to be thrifty about resources that courts inevitably eat up.

Our experience of ourselves as persons is as source (principle) and as proceeding.

jurisdictional error // category mistake

the Eucharist as reparation for wrongs done in ignorance

The (fragmentary) Laterculi Alexandrini has a list of Seven Wonders, but only 3 are extant: Artemision at Ephesus, Pyramids, Tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus.
Diodorus Siculus mentions in passing the Pyramids (twice), the Obelisk of Babylon, as belonging to the Seven Wonders.
An epigram attributed to Gregory of Nazianzen: "There are seven wonders of the world: a wall, a statue, gardens, pyramids, a temple, another statue, a tomb. The eighth was I, this vast tomb rising high above these rocks; and among the dead I am most celebrated, owing to the greed of they furious hand, murderer."

"Religious virtue is divided into two parts, into that which pertains to the Divine and that which pertains to right conduct (for purity of life is part of religion)." Gregory of Nyssa, Life of Moses 2.16.6

"These gentile nations are therefore a preparation and prelude to the anticipated Messiah, the fruit. They in turn will all be transformed into the fruit when they acknowledge him and the tree will thereby be consolidated." Judah Ha-Levi, Kuzari 4:23

"Nevertheless, the intent of the Creator of the world is not within the power of man to comprehend, for His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts, our thoughts. Ultimately, all the deeds of Jesus of Nazareth and that Ishmaelite who arose after him will only serve to prepare the way for Messiah's coming and the improvement of the world, motivating the nations to serve God together as Zephaniah 3:9 states: 'I will transform the peoples to a purer langauge that they will call upon the name of the God and serve Him with one purpose." Maimonides, Mishneh Torah (Hilkhis Melakhim, 11:4)

two conditions for summary judgment: no material dispute as to evidence, entitlement to judgment as a matter of law

As a general rule, langauges that use te-based words for tea got their tea by sea (because coastal cities used 'te'); languages with cha-based words for tea got their tea by land (because Mandarin used 'cha'). As with all such general rules, there are anomalies, but all admit of explanation (invasion, interaction of te-languages and cha-languages, etc.).

The K axiom in modal logic makes all the truths of the same modal kind; e.g., if temporal truths (distributable according to times) imply nontemporal truths, it is violated.

Every strong modality is based on a kind of unity.

When we say that God speaks to us, this can take four forms.
(1) verbalization in vision or auditory locution
(2) presentation of appropriate benefits
(3) correction by appropriate penalties
(4) internal inspiration

"Where natural right recognizes what is good (honestum) and prohibits the contrary by way of judgment, natural law does these two by way of obligation and command through precepts." Albert the Great

Albert's definition of kingdom (regnum) [Super Matt c. 5]
A kingdom is
(a) power and lordship, complete in one, animated by justice, ordered by laws,
(b) structured by determinate parts,
(c) strengthened by the force of arms, governing optimally the cities, and equipped with superabundance of external goods and riches for what is needed.

Mass, Christ's Session, and the Plotinian account of prayer

A continual problem with consequentialisms of all kinds is that "You yourself should do X" and "A world with X being done is better if everything else in the world is set up correctly" are not interchangeable or even straightforwardly linked.

"Conversation is not an enterprise designed to yield an extrinsic profit, a contest where a winner gets a price, nor is it an activity of exegesis; it is an unrehearsed intellectual adventure." Oakeshott

"...everyone who bets any part of his fortune, however small, on a mathematically fair game of chance acts irrationally...." David Bernoulli