Saturday, May 04, 2024

Three Petals Out of the Sunflower

 Three Flower Petals
by Archibald Lampman 

 What saw I yesterday walking apart
In a leafy place where the cattle wait?
Something to keep for a charm in my heart--
A little sweet girl in a garden gate.
Laughing she lay in the gold sun's might,
And held for a target to shelter her,
In her little soft fingers, round and white,
The gold rimmed face of a sunflower. 

Laughing she lay on the stone that stands
For a rough hewn step in that sunny place,
And her yellow hair hung down to her hands,
Shadowing over her dimpled face.
Her eyes like the blue of the sky made dim
With the might of the sun that looked at her,
Shone laughing over the serried rim,
Golden set, of the sunflower. 

 Laughing, for token she gave to me
Three petals out of the sunflower.
When the petals are withered and gone, shall be
Three verses of mine for praise of her,
That a tender dream of her face may rise,
And lighten me yet in another hour,
Of her sunny hair and her beautiful eyes,
Laughing over the gold sunflower.

Friday, May 03, 2024

Dashed Off X

 In the Church, one individual subject, Christ, becomes a coexistent community of persons, by moral, juridical, and sacramental incorporation.

"Just as the eye looking forth in every direction does not see itself, so the intellect, attentive to and occupied with external objects, escapes notice of itself. The intellect scarcely ever, or not without supreme effort and difficulty, turns its keen vision to itself and its own operations." Reid (Oration IV (1762))

Richard Hooker's modes of preaching: catechism, public reading of Scripture, reading of Apocrypha and Homilies

The Eucharist, through the concurrence of divine power, is the instrumental cause of a mystical participation in Christ for all of the prayerful faithful participating in the Mass, even those who do not receive, because Christ actually is in the Eucharist by both Body and Blood.

Hooker's degrees of ecclesiastical honours:
(1) titles
(2) place
(3) ornament of dress
(4) attendance by ministers
(5) privilege
(6) endowment

Kings may be able to summon bishops under their authority to council, by means of their monarchical power to convene, but they cannot make them episcopate in council.

"The miserys of Men are many; yet many things we esteem evil very generally are found good without taking a larger view than of Mankind itself." Colin Maclaurin (to Hutcheson, 22 Oct. 1728)

A manor is a legal construct consisting of demesnes and services both customary and contractual, organized over time by a customary law inherent in the manor itself, arising from time and usage.

the Church as 'imagined community' (as objective cause)
the Church as matrix for experience
the Church as divine instrument
the Church as the destination of its members

possible solutions to problems of pluralism
(1) imposed framework
(2) common framework
(3) improvised frameworks

intrinsically narrative goods

The world necessarily has vast numbers of repeating patterns. -> use of analogy as path of discovery

Very precise inquiry can get you very precise results, but is assumption-sensitive: slight errors at the beginning can throw everything off. Messy inquiry is not as assumption-sensitive -- you can discover even if your starting point is wrong -- but has difficulty getting nonmessy results. Inquiry needs to oscillate between the precise and the messy.

kinds of interpretation of QM
(1) classical-quantum dualism
(2) quantum reduced to classical (broadly understood)
(3) classical reduced to quantum
-- These roughly correspond to Copenhagen, hidden variables, and many worlds, although the details of each are heavily adapted to particular problems.

The key question of QM: Are there real irreducible probabilities?
quantum mechanics and the private life of measurables

Abner Shimony on entanglement: 'passion at a distance'

(1) Only that which is circumscribable by a definite boundary has a location.
(2) Only what is definably matchable to a change has a time.

The state is the governance of the people, incorporated.

Legal positivism is the position that treats legal obligations as magically separate from other obligations.

communions or associations relating to religion or piety as instrumental parts of the Church as a society

The most salient fact about methods of inquiry is that there are extraordinarily vast numbers of them, of many different kinds.

whole-or-partial as transcendental distinction

merely partial -> derivatively whole -> whole in se -> whole a se

light and being as interlinked complements
formal object quo: natural light
formal object quod: being

"The prophetic office of Christ consists in teaching, prophesying, and working miracles." Schleiermacher
"The priestly office of Christ includes his perfect fulfillment of law (i.e., His active obedience), His atoning death (i.e., His passive obedience), and His intercession with the Father for believers."
"The kingly office of Christ consists in the fact that everything which the community of believers requires for its well-being continually proceeds from Him."
-- The weakness of the latter two is palpable.

The liturgical commonwealth takes shape within the Church through the coming-together of the baptized and confirmed to form a system of mutual interaction and cooperation, a sharing of Christ, of the gospel, of Scripture, and of the sacraments as common good, an interchange fo kindred impulses of spirit and faith, a common will oriented to the Kingdom of God.

The Old Testament scriptures share normative dignity and inspiration with the New Testament; they are not only respected as references for the New Testament nor as way sof indicating the historical continuity of the Jewish and Christian worship, but because Christ is in them by anticipation. The Old Testament is not a mere supplementary appendix. We do not cease to value the premonition in having the foretold; the allusion is not the less for the alluded; the things in our premonitinon are very much for our benefit, and provide a vocabulary and a platform for understanding the foretold.

"By reason of its coexistence with the world there exists in the Church a legislative and an administrative power, which is an essential effluence from the kingly office of Christ." Schleiermacher

high-end ready-to-wear, made-to-measure, bespoke

-- The Clacton Spear is the world's oldest extant worked wooden implement (about 420,000 years old).

"An idea is a composite entity, for it exists when the mind sets up as present to itself a sensation that has pre-existed in the body, and it is a represented sensation." Amo
"Every idea pertains to the mind as regards representation, to the body as regards sensation."

Pascal's "Man is but a reed..." and sublimity

"To compare an effect in my head with its wholly unknown cause does seem to be an impossible feat." Stebbing
"In order that physics as a science should be possible, it is necessary that we should be able to consider some characteristics in isolation from other characteristics."
"To admit responsibility is to admit both that something is brought about (i.e., is caused) and also that what is brought about is good, or is evil."
"There is no sense in speaking of compulsion unless there is a compeller and compelled."
"But if increase of entropy is the criterion of the distinction of earlier from later, how was it discovered that entropy increases *as time goes on*?"

To think in terms of 'Science vs. Religion' or 'Left vs. Right'  or similar things, is to think in allegories.

'The right to command' and 'the right to be obeyed' are not exact correlatives.

Raz's definition of authority: 
'X has authority to Phi' = there is some X, Y, Z, such that
(1) Y permitted X to Phi or gave him power to do so
(2) Y has power to do (1)
(3) X's Phi-ing will affect the interests of Z and Y has authority over Z.
-- Raz is not assuming that X, Y, and Z are different persons.
-- This is obviously untenable, as it requires an infinite regress, and as 'affect the interests' is useless for practical purposes since anything may 'affect interests' of anyone depending on what the interests are, and one cannot have an account in which the only Y's are those with unrestricted authority over everyone. In addition, 'permission' presupposes reference to authority, not vice versa (this is true even with usurped permission, as seen in how we analyze cases in which someone gives permission beyond their authority).

Commands are selections of possible orderings; counsels are selections of characteristics for possible orderings.

Social facts have moral elements, just by being social.

Many legal positivist arguments seem tob e based on the false assumption that you have shown systems to be separate if you have shown them to be distinguishable. I suppose it does make sense that they would tend to assume some kind of separability principle. Are there analogues of other empiricist principles? For instance, is the emphasis on social facts really just an analogue of the copy principle?

Raz's account of law seems to make laws components in a judicial system.

"If law is a social institution of a certain type, then all the rules which belong to the social type are legal rules, however morally objectionable they may be." Raz
-- The conditional is false -- the antecedent does not require the consequent unless you hold that all rules belonging to a social institution are rules in the same sense, which is false even in ordinary institutions like workplaces. (Social institutions are not genera of rules, but complexes of rules of different kinds.)
-- However, even if we assume it is true, it is question-begging in import, because it assumes that any rules, however morally objectionable, could belong to the social institution, when in fact it is clear that social institutions can be inconsistent with some rules, so that you get incoherence or category mistakes if you try to introduce them. Some rules are simply foreign to given types of social institution. Thus 'belonging to' is where the moral claim is introduced.

In many forms of natural law theory, laws are attached to institutions, and ultimately to natural institutions like basic communities.

What Raz calls 'sources' are merely titles, and presuppose obligations for being titles specifically rather than random irrelevant facts.

While assessing appointments to the bench, we take intellectual honesty to bear on legal skill, and essential to establishing actual legal skill, although not determinative solely on its own.

We distinguish assessment of legal acceptability in human laws and assessment of moral goodness because we are talking about two distinct kinds of law; it would be absurd to say that, because constitutional acceptability and statutory acceptability are distinct, that the latter does not depend on the former.

In general, legal postivist arguments would make nonsense of any conception of higher and lower law.

Traditionally, the justification for judges developing law in cases where laws were unsettled is that they were applying a higher law. This is often explicitly stated.

"...marking a rule as legally binding is marking it as an authoritative ruling." Raz

Everybody wants to be a connoisseur.

'Efficacy of law' is a metaphor for objective causality.

The family is both a norm-creating and a norm-applying institution.

Most legal systems are not primarily structured around courts.
Most legal systems do not claim authority to regulate any and every type of behavior; in fact, outside of totalitarian systems, there is no legal system that does not reject that claim -- they all recognize behaviors over which they have no authority.
As legal systems can include legal systems, most legal systems do not claim to be supreme.

Thursday, May 02, 2024

Father of Orthodoxy

 Today is the feast of St. Athanasius the Great of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church. From On the Incarnation (Chapter 3):

He deals with them as a good teacher with his pupils, coming down to their level and using simple means. St. Paul says as much: "Because in the wisdom of God the world in its wisdom knew not God, God thought fit through the simplicity of the News proclaimed to save those who believe." Men had turned from the contemplation of God above, and were looking for Him in the opposite direction, down among created things and things of sense. The Savior of us all, the Word of God, in His great love took to Himself a body and moved as Man among men, meeting their senses, so to speak, half way. He became Himself an object for the senses, so that those who were seeking God in sensible things might apprehend the Father through the works which He, the Word of God, did in the body. Human and human minded as men were, therefore, to whichever side they looked in the sensible world they found themselves taught the truth. Were they awe-stricken by creation? They beheld it confessing Christ as Lord. Did their minds tend to regard men as Gods? The uniqueness of the Savior's works marked Him, alone of men, as Son of God. Were they drawn to evil spirits? They saw them driven out by the Lord and learned that the Word of God alone was God and that the evil spirits were not gods at all. Were they inclined to hero-worship and the cult of the dead? Then the fact that the Savior had risen from the dead showed them how false these other deities were, and that the Word of the Father is the one true Lord, the Lord even of death. For this reason was He both born and manifested as Man, for this He died and rose, in order that, eclipsing by His works all other human deeds, He might recall men from all the paths of error to know the Father. As He says Himself, "I came to seek and to save that which was lost."

Wednesday, May 01, 2024

And Grass-Roots Mingle with His Hair

 Song of a Maid Whose Love Is Dead
by Thomas Lovell Beddoes 

 Merry, merry little stream,
Tell me, hast thou seen my dear?
I left him with an azure dream,
Calmly sleeping on his bier --
But he has fled!

 "I passed him in his church-yard bed --
A yew is sighing o'er his head,
And grass-roots mingle with his hair."
What doth he there?
O cruel! can he lie alone?
Or in the arms of one more dear?
Or hides he in that bower of stone,
To cause and kiss away my fear? 

 "He doth not speak, he doth not moan --
Blind, motionless he lies alone;
But, ere the grave snake fleshed his sting,
This one warm tear he bade me bring
And lay it at thy feet
Among the daisies sweet." 

 Moonlight whisperer, summer air,
Songster of the groves above,
Tell the maiden rose I wear,
Whether thou hast seen my love.
"This night in heaven I saw him lie,
Discontented with his bliss;
And on my lips he left this kiss,
For thee to taste and then to die."

Monday, April 29, 2024

Caterina da Siena

 Today is the feast of St. Catherine Benincasa of Siena, Doctor of the Church. From a letter to Messer Ristoro Canigiani:

You know that God is supremely good, and loved us before we were: and is Eternal Wisdom, and His Power in virtue is immeasurable: so for this reason we are sure that He has power, knowledge, and will to give us what we need. Well we see, in proof, that He gives us more than we know how to ask, and that which was not asked by us. Did we ever ask Him that He should create us reasonable creatures, in His own image and likeness, rather than brute beasts? No. Or that He should create us by Grace by the Blood of the Word, His only-begotten Son, or that He should give us Himself for food, perfect God and perfect Man, flesh and blood, body and soul, united to Deity? Beyond these most high gifts, which are so great, and show such fire of love toward us, that there is no heart so hard that its hardness and coldness would not melt by considering them at all: infinite are the gifts and graces which we receive from Him without asking. 

 Then, since He gives so much without our asking—how much the more will He fulfil our desires when we shall desire a just thing of Him? Nay, who makes us desire and ask it? Only He. Then, if He makes us ask it, it is a sign that He means to fulfil it, and give us what we seek.