Monday, October 24, 2011

Paying Attention To The Sky has Ratzinger's address on receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Wroclaw. What's wrong with the suspicious philosophers.
Thus history, with its ups and downs, has an encouraging side: it lets us have confidence that anyone who is following the Word of God, anyone who follows the heart’s command to assent, and takes this a signpost for the onward journey of thinking and living, is on the right track. History shows us that thinking along with the Word of God has always something new in store and never becomes boring, never pointless. Anyone who looks into history is not just looking backward. He is also getting a better idea of which way to go forward. Without the anticipation of faith, thought would be groping around in emptiness; it would be able to say nothing further about the things that are really essential to man. It would have to conclude, with Wittgenstein, that we must be silent about what is ineffable. It is not doubt but affirmation that opens up the wide horizons to thought. Anyone who encounters the history of theology sees that the suspicions of Heidegger and Jaspers are unfounded. The pre-knowledge of believing does not oppress thought; it remains ex aequo — that is, it is that which really challenges thought and sets it in a restless motion that produces results.
I guess all those RC women and families that employ birth control pills (now that condoms are protections against disease) and the polls tell us that such are legion these days, have the wrong kind of faith--faith in medicine.

(PS. The Polt source does not open. Where does it come from?)
The RC BC confusion can be cleared up with the proper interpretation of Aristotle, and clearing up the misunderstanding between potential life and actual life; dynamis and entelecheia. It's probbly Francisco Suárez's fault, but I'm not a specialist.

The Polt link worked for me just now, and I also tried it on a machine where I don't have credentials, so it should be open to all. It is a PDF file - if that's an issue, try right-click save.
I added the title to the link. It should show when the mouse hovers over the link.
Believing is not an act of the understanding alone, not simply an act of the will, not just an act of feeling, but an act in which all the spiritual powers of man are at work together

Intense, even if some--such as Heideggerians --might not care for the Pope's message.
"Believing is not an act of the understanding alone..."

For us left wing of the Protestant Reformation types, however, it is primarily dependent on the understanding. Our right-wing Protestant brethren may prefer Luther's "by faith alone." And while there is no denying faith, it ought not be in conflict with what we know to be the case.

Kant tends in the direction of us left-wingers (as he was a pietist) when he insisted that our speculations not be in conflict with reason.
Im quite certain Pope Bene. schooled in the tradition of Augustine, and Aquinas, objects to the protestant sole fide. But nonetheless his points on belief are worth considering (even from an existential perspective--note also his comments on Pascal) Religious belief is not believing in a colloquial sense-- ie you believe the Rangers will win,etc--and not strictly ...verificationist (as he points out). Did Kant believe, or was he religious?/ Im not sure but IK completely opposed Aquinas and any notion of a rational theology.
It's been a while since I read Kant's "Religion within the boundaries of reason alone." What I recall is that it has no doctrine of God but rather justifies the superiority of Christianity on the basis of the perfection of the figure of Jesus found in the pre form-criticism reading of scriptures.

And then his First Critique, with its phenomena/noumena division, can be understood to allow a place for the divine. His "starry heavens above and moral law within" provide a non-scriptural absolute foundation for philosophy.
Kant rejected Aquinas's standard arguments for..God for one. And isn't the point that "noumena" does not have the standing that knowledge via phenomena (sensibility, ie science) has? .I would say Kant's God is speculative at best (ie, we don't know the ding-an-sich)--not absolute or considered proven.
The only thorough-going critique of Kant's First Critique I have studied is by P.F. Strawson. It is pretty severe. Strawson regards Kant's transcendental idealism as getting in the way of what is Kant's best work.

Kant does find proofs of God's existence flawed. Strawson characterizes Kant's major problem as mistaking the unity of experience for the experience of unity. I interpret that to mean that characterizations of the whole of things in Kant's terms are deficient. Strawson specifically dissociates Kant from Spinoza's views while allowing that Kant's insistence that speculation must not violate the discoveries of the natural sciences remains valid. And Strawson does point out that if one extrapolates from Kant's arguments to a notion of nature as the whole, it can be a consistent argument.
"nature as a whole"

I have noticed a, what I would label, nature-is-bunk trend in the philosophy I stumble upon. Or as MH put it: phusis is not "nature". Silly Romans.
"...nature-is-bunk trend in the philosophy I stumble upon."

Insofar as Badiou's influence spreads, that would be its consequence. Nominalism works without holistic conceptions, and gets a lot of work done in the process. One can hold up an individual entity to look at. One cannot do the same with the whole of things.

For me it boils down to who has the better account of language: the nominalists or the idealists? I simply do not find learning theory's account (a grunt is the same as e=mc2) persuasive.
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