Saturday, March 02, 2024

Bonaventure for Lent XVI

 By reason of that light given naturally to man by God and known as the light of the divine face, human reason dictates to each individual man that we are to think of the first principle in the highest and most reverent way; in the highest way because He proceeds from no other; in the most reverent way, because other things proceed from Him. In this there is agreement among Christians, Jews, and Saracens, and even heretics. But to think that God can and does wish to produce one equal to and consubstantial with Himself so that He might have an eternal beloved and cobeloved is indeed to think of God in the highest and most reverent way; for if one thinks that He is not capable of this, one does not think of Him in the highest way; and if one thinks that He is capable of this but does not will to do it, one does not think of God in the most reverent way.

[Bonaventure, Disputed Questions on the Mystery of the Trinity (1.2 concl.), Hayes, tr., The Franciscan Institute (St. Bonaventure, NY: 2000) p. 131.]

Friday, March 01, 2024

Dashed Off V

 Every magisterial authority short of God's is a ministerial authority. This includes the magisterial authority of reason.

The 'primity' of the Father is constituted by the processions (the Father is only 'First' relative to the other Persons), not vice versa.

The Father's filiation of the Word --> appropriability of divine essence to the Word (=divine intellect as attribute) --> participation of intellectual creatures qua intellectual in the similitude of the divine intellect --> use of intellectual terms to describe God

The counterfactual is a way of describing the actual.

Human actions among different people are capable of
(1) cooperative overlap
(2) coordinative interlocking
(3) imitative reflection
(4) motivated continuing.

coordinative inerlocking
(1) by communicated coordinating factor
-- -- (a) received from coordinator
-- -- (b) proposed and accepted
-- -- (c) negotiated
(2) by inferred coordinating factor

As our loves become mroe pure, their integrity takes on greater and greater simplicity.

Thought thinking itself, thinks itself as cause. (Brentano)

"...there is but one way for philosophy to last, which is for it to be true." Gilson

One can often move from a lower-order universal proposition to a higher-order particular proposition about regularity or general fact or necessity or the like; likewise, one can often move from a lower-order Box to a higher-order Diamond.

The point of "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is not that you are going to hell but that hell is avoidable.

Models, by their very function, must hold up under approximation.

"The subject is a sign; the predicate is a sign; and the proposition is a sign that the predicate is a sign of that of which the subject is a sign." Peirce (CP 5.553)

validity: the possible states for all the premises all include possible states for the conclusion

deduction : Box :: induction : True :: abduction : Diamond

validity, convergence, and eventual guess as woven together in inquiry

Peirce's typologies of signs
mode of apprehension of sign: qualisign, sinsign, legisign OR potisign, actisign, famsign
mode of presentation of immediate object: descriptive, designative, copulant
mode of being of dynamical object: abstractive, concretive, collective
relation to dynamic object: icon, index, symbol
mode of presentation of immediate interpretant: ejaculative, imperative, significant
mode of being of dynamic interpretant: sympathetic, shocking, usual
relation to dynamic interpretant (manner of appeal): suggestive, imperative, indicative
mode of being of final interpretant: gratific, action-producing, self-control-producing
relation to final interpretant: rheme, dicisign, argument OR seme, pheme, delome
relation to dynamic & final interpretant: assurance of instinct, of experience, of form

-- Peirce's 'final typology' of sign is perhaps an attempt to bridge gaps between himself and Lady Welby.

Everything in the universe has interpretant-ward possibilities and object-ward possibilities.

the palaetiological problem for the universe itself

observability as a form of interpretant-ward possibility
evidence as a form of object-ward possibility

Semiosis is a potential infinite.

possible solutions to palaetiological problems: break, bounce, shuffle

All historical accounts get us only an approximation of the historical event insofar as it is signifiable by the sources and evidences, even under optimal conditions.

evidence as indexically converging
evidence as descriptively tessellating
evidence as abducitvely suggesting

the solidarity and subsidiarity of the virtues

the covenantal virtues (modes of acquired virtues under Torah)

Zhu Xi's analogies with respect to mandate of heaven
mandate of Heaven : command of sovereign :: li : receiving of office from sovereign :: qi : difference between those who can and can't discharge duties of office
Heaven : Emperor :: mandate : giving letters patent or credentials :: li : duty of particular office received :: sentiments : personal attention to duties :: capacity : various forms of effort and achievements

finite collections as allowing the syllogism of transposed quantity (Peirce)

Activism done badly tends toward rule of men, not rule of law.

Democratic societies consistently show themselves to be good at generating the material required for a just society and to be poor at generating the form required for a just society.

Diversity makes society beautiful; it does not necessarily make it work.

understanding of terms as involving reference, definition (account), and upshot

interpretability, interpretation, correct interpretation (or understanding)

The easiest way to attain a state of belief unassailable by doubt is to be stupid.

the human person as delomic symbolic legisign

postulation, assertion, proof

Who wins elections is largely about how votes are split. When we vote it is not the numbers that do the work but the relative division; we are not contributing by adding a unit but by adding a unit to a particular slice.

We do actual building and engineering with abstract concepts, not artist's renderings; abstract things are often more practical than concrete ones.

Intellectualized politics are not very flexible; in politics, the flexibility is usually in the muddle. Politics is the art of bounded pools of muddle.

only good --> ought

"The notion of practical sign merely requires that it signify its significate as something to be given in practice, not by causality of the sign itself but by causality of another cause, though signified by this sign." Poinsot
"The notion of practical sign does not come from the exercise of efficacy precisely in its nature as a sign, as though it had in itself an eeffective power, but rather that it is ordered to a work as its principal end, whether this work is brought about by means of a power communicated to the sign itself, or joined to it from without...."

The same signs are capable of functioning in speculative or practical orders.

The Church as we find it in the New Testament and the Apostolic Fathers is an organization of organizations, heavily concerned with very mundane practical matters, although subordinating them to doctrinal and devotional ends.

practical signs & the ministerial efficient cause

A firm is a deontic system structured by obligations woven together; it is a pattern or structure in deontic space.

lawyers as deontic engineers

categorical imperative // postulate of relativity
(moral maxims are structurally the same law in all rational decision spaces)

It is generally impossible to know what an experience is evidence for unless one knows what the actual experience is.

computer programs as practical signs

sign of the Cross as zikkaron

Theology needs to be nourished by liturgy.

Civil societies are actual societies; states are general deontic structures instrumentally used by them to facilitate various activities of the civil society (including forming other deontic structures). The Church is more like civil society than the state, because it is also an actual society. The clergy and hierarchy in general is the analgoue to the state, although it is a very different deontic structure.

(1) A resembles B in respect R.
(2) B has property F in a way related to R.
(3) F is not inconsistent with other properties of A.
(4) Therefore A has property F in a way related to R.

Mackie's "argument from queerness" is just an attempt to turn Moore's open question argument on its head, and is subject to the same kinds of responses, as well as the obvious response that people do not, in fact, find moral qualities to be "queer", but instead treat them as ordinary parts of the universe, and take them to have any number of analogies and causal connections to 'natural facts', regardless of how one might explain these. His argument ends up being that moral qualities are queer if you dismiss or ignore most of what people say about them.

We obviously do not think that people ought to keep promises on the ground that we demand it; we demand it on the ground that promises are to be kept.

possible worlds considered rhematically, dicentically, and delomically
ordered pairs of possible worlds
-- unordered pairs are how one would identify single possibles to be one way or another; ordered pairs would be usable to identify signed relations between the options

Chalcedon's canon 28 explicitly ties Constantinople's authority to those privileges that Rome had that were specifically connected with Rome's being the imperial city. The obvious question to consider then, is whether Rome has privileges not derived in this way. And the obvious thought is that by privileges they specifically meant those identified in Nicaea canon 6.

the iconesque as an aesthetic category

Every period in history is structured by its narrative histories more than its actual chronological prelude, except where the latter is very recent (within living memory). Nonetheless, while as one goes back the actual prior events matter less and less, some continue to be influential, going even back to prehistory. The influence grows thinner and more sporadic, but never wholly fades.

Christ's atonement is a propitiation for divine wrath in the same way that God has wrath.

The tyrant is the philosopher king inverted, and likewise the democrat is the timarch inverted.

Note that Spinoza means by 'will' a faculty of affirming or denying (IIP48S) and takes faculties to be constructed to simplify thinking.

Spinoza's ignorance argument does not in fact explain why we think of ourselves as having free will; it would explain instead why someone who had the idea of free will would take deterministic beings to have it. Ignorance simply does not get us either alternative possibilities or ultimate sourcehood as an appearance. In reality, Spinoza's explanation has to be that the error of free will is an innate idea (Letter 58). Indeed, he takes infants, children, drunks, and lunatics all to be able to access this idea, so literally everyone has it. It's also worth noting that Spinoza himself has to appeal to ignorance (IIIP2S).

"Right is a kind of moral power, and obligation is a moral necessity." Leibniz

Job 41:11 "Who has a claim against Me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to Me."

Works of fine art are often impossible to characterize adequately without attributing values to the works themselves.

The Myth of Er teaches that philosophy is the only solution for tyranny; without philosophical pursuit of the Good, you will always slide toward tyranny.

lion : 1 Nicaea :: eagle : 1 Constantinople :: ox : Ephesus :: man : Chalcedon

First drafts of even very good ideas are often very flawed.

The merits of the saints are the merits of Christ in the saints.

"Scripturae enim non in legendo sunt, sed in intelligendo." Hilary of Poitiers (Ad Const. Aug. 2.9)

"The way of knowing God goes from the one Spirit, through the one Son, to the one Father; and inversely, essential goodness, natural sanctity, and royal dignity flow from the Father, through the only-begotten, to the Spirit." Basil

Bonaventure for Lent XV

 Since sin is a withdrawal from the First Principle, which is three and one, every sin distorts the image of the Trinity and defiles the soul in its three powers: the negative appetite, rationality, and the positive appetite. For every sin proceeds from free choice, which bears within itself the mark of the Trinity: because of its power, the will reflects the Father; because it is rational, the Son; because it is free, the Spirit.

[Bonaventure, Breviloquium, Monti, tr., Fanciscan Institute Publications (St. Bonaventure, NY: 2005) p. 127.]

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Bonaventure for Lent XIV

 ...there are some qualities that befit creatures in greater or lesser degrees in such a way that no imperfection is implied; such as unity, goodness, and truth. And with such qualities, the highest degree is to be attributed to God to whom every perfection is fitting. There are other qualities that involve some perfection together with imperfection, such as mobility which involves a certain actuality together with possibility. And because of the imperfection inherent in such qualities, they cannot and ought not be attributed to God in the proper sense, neither in the superlative degree nor in any lesser degree.

[Bonaventure, Disputed Questions on the Mystery of the Trinity (6.1 ad 2), Hayes, tr., Franciscan Institute (St. Bonaventure, NY: 2000), p. 232. Without looking up the Latin, I'm assuming that 'possibility' here should be 'potentiality'.]

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Countless Rays of Heavenly Glory

We Are Wiser Than We Know
by Charles Mackay

 I. Thou, who in the midnight silence
 Lookèst to the orbs on high,
 Feeling humbled, yet elated,
 In the presence of the sky;
 Thou, who minglest with thy sadness
 Pride ecstatic, awe divine,
 That e'en thou canst trace their progress
 And the law by which they shine, --
Intuition shall uphold thee,
 E'en though Reason drag thee low;
 Lean on faith, look up rejoicing --
 We are wiser than we know. 

 II. Thou, who hearest plaintive music,
 Or sweet songs of other days;
 Heaven-revealing organs pealing,
 Or clear voices hymning praise,
 And wouldst weep, thou know'st not wherefore,
 Though thy soul is steeped in joy,
 And the world looks kindly on thee,
 And thy bliss hath no alloy, --
Weep, nor seek for consolation;--
 Let the heaven-sent droplets flow, 
They are hints of mighty secrets --
We are wiser than we know. 

 III. Thou, who in the noon-tide brightness
 Seest a shadow undefined;
 Hear'st a voice that indistinctly
 Whispers caution to thy mind:
 Thou, who hast a vague foreboding
 That a peril may be near,
 E'en when Nature smiles around thee,
 And thy Conscience holds thee clear,
 Trust the warning-look before thee --
Angels may the mirror show,
 Dimly still, but sent to guide thee --
We are wiser than we know. 

 IV. Countless chords of heavenly music,
 Struck ere earthly Time began,
 Vibrate in immortal concord
 Through the answering soul of man:
 Countless rays of heavenly glory
 Shine through spirit pent in clay --
On the wise men at their labours,
 On the children at their play.
 Man has gazed on heavenly secrets,
 Sunned himself in heavenly glow,
 Seen the glory, heard the music, --
We are wiser than we know.

Bonaventure for Lent XIII

Now no one despises the supreme Principle or its command in itself, but only because such a person either wants to acquire or fears to lose something other than God. This is why all actual sin may be traced back to these two roots, namely fear and love. They are the roots of evil deeds, even though they are not equally primary.

For all fear has its origin in love, since no one is afraid of losing something unless that person loves it.

[Bonaventure, Breviloquium 3.9.3-4, Monti, tr., Franciscan Institute Publications (St. Bonaventure, NY: 2005) p. 122.]

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Harp of Narekavank

 Today was the feast of St. Gregory of Narek, Doctor of the Church. He was born in the Kingdom of Vaspurakan, on the border between modern-day Turkey and Iran, around Lake Van, a very large salt lake. This area was one of the major cultural centers of medieval Armenia. He spent most of his life at the Monastery of Narek (Narekavank), which had one of the Armenian Church's major schools, where he taught theology.

From his Litany for the Church: 

 Treasure of profound goodness, desired, discovered, and concealed, absolute fullness that gathers everyone, never wanting, hardly differing from heaven above: Your altar extends beyond its space--into the inaccessible ether, your boundaries are marked by the fiery hosts beyond the chasm; immeasurable image of compassionate care, glorious throne of the King on high, beyond imagination. Please accept our prayers of petition with befitting incense offered in this place, the holy church, we plead. 

 [Gregory of Narek, The Festal Works of St. Gregory of Narek, Terian, tr. Liturgical Press (Collegeville, MN: 2016) p. 93.]

Links of Note

 * Eveline Groot, Public Opinion and Political Passions in the Work of Germaine de Staël (PDF)

* Terry Eagleton, Seeds of What Ought to Be, at "London Review of Books", reviews Richard Bourke's Hegel's World Revolutions.

* Qiong Wu, Alethic modality is deontic (PDF)

* Paul Shrimpton, 'Conscience Before Conformity': What the White Rose Students Can Teach Today's Young Scholars, at "National Catholic Register

* Stephen Harrop, Wisdom and Beatitude in Spinoza and Qoheleth (PDF)

* William Briggs, David Deutsch Rediscovers the Worst Argument in the World. ('The Worst Argument in the World' is a name given by David Stove to arguments of the general form, "We can only know things in such-and-such relation to us, therefore we cannot know things in themselves.")

* Ian Williams Goddard, A logic and semantics for imperatives (PDF)

* Richard V. Reeves, Why Some Are More Equal Than Others, reviews Darrin M. McMahon's Equality: The History of an Elusive Idea, at "Literary Review".

* Alexandre Billon, Why Are We Certain that We Exist? (PDF). This yields an account that is at least in the general vicinity of Malebranche's.

* Damion Searls, Translating Philosophy: The Case of Wittgenstein's Tractatus, at "Words Without Borders" 

* Jonathan Ichikawa, A Euthyphro Problem for Consent Theory (PDF)

* Abigail Tulenko, Folklore is philosophy, at "Aeon"

Bonaventure for Lent XII

  Concerning the origin of the capital sins, this is a brief statement of what we must hold: that actual sins have one source, two roots, three incentives, and a seven-fold head [caput] or 'capital' sin. The one source is pride, of which it is written: pride is the beginning of all sin. The two roots are a fear that badly restrains and a love that badly desires. The three incentives are the three things this world contains: the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life. Finally, the seven-fold head is: pride, envy, anger, sloth, avarice, gluttony. and lust. Among these, the first five are sins of the spirit, the last two, sins of the flesh.

[Bonaventure, Breviloquium 3.9.1, Monti, tr., Franciscan Institute Publications (St. Bonaventure, NY: 2005) p. 121.]

Monday, February 26, 2024

Bonaventure for Lent XI

 Enter into yourself, therefore, and observe that your soul loves itself most fervently; that it could not love itself unless it knew itself, nor know itself unless it summoned itself to conscious memory, for we do not grasp a thing with our understanding unless it is present in our memory. Hence you can observe, not with the bodily eye, but with the eye of the mind, that your soul has three powers. Consider, therefore, the activities of these three powers and their relationships, and you will be able to see God through yourself as through an image; and this indeed is to see God through a mirror in an obscure manner.

[Bonaventure, Itinerarium Mentis in Deum 3, Boehner, tr. The Franciscan Institute (St. Bonaventure, NY: 1956) 63.]

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Fortnightly Book, February 25

 The next fortnightly book is Sigrid Undset's Saga of Saints. I don't know much about it; it seems to have been published in 1934. It looks at the history of Norway through the stories of the Norwegian saints. The chapter titles are:

1. The Coming of Christianity to Norway
2. Saint Sunniva and the Selje Men
3. Saint Olav, Norway's King to All Eternity
4. Saint Hallvard
5. Saint Magnus, Earl of the Orkney Islands
6. Saint Eystein, Archbishop of Nidaros
7. Saint Thorfinn, Bishop of Hamar
8. Father Karl Schilling (Barnabite)

Karl Schilling is the only post-Reformation Norwegian in the list. Indeed, I wonder if Schilling, now Venerable Karl Schilling, might have been one of the purposes of the book; his cause was only officially opened in 1946, so Undset may have in part wanted to give his story a wider audience, putting it in a broader context. In any case, it should be an interesting Lenten read.