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Philosophy / Re: Analogy
Last post by Geremia - February 23, 2024, 03:46:11 PM
Quote from: Luc on February 23, 2024, 03:05:30 PMIf there is a relevant difference between the ox example and the fire example
No. He simply gives a natural instrumental sign as an example elucidating instrumental sign.

Quote from: Luc on February 23, 2024, 03:05:30 PMbetween signs which immediately signify things and those which signify other signs
Formal signs certainly do signify of themselves ("immediately signify"), but the fundament or signified of an instrumental sign needn't be itself a sign, does it?

Quote from: Luc on February 23, 2024, 03:05:30 PMif there are no natural, formal signs, then the connection between a sign and what it signifies is probable at best.
John of St. Thomas, in his Tractatus de Signis (pp. 80 "Whether There Exist on the Side of Mind-Independent Being Intrinsic Forms Which Are Relations" ff.) does an excellent job refuting those who deny that there are real relations in the extra-mental universe.
Philosophy / Re: Analogy
Last post by Luc - February 23, 2024, 03:05:30 PM
Quote from: Deely's Rediscovery, p. 105[...]both natural and stipulated signs, formally speaking belong to the same species; both represent something other than themselves to a cognitive power. They lead the intellect to a knowledge of something other, whether this awareness is based on natural relation or stipulation is inconsequential.
So, according to John of St. Thomas, all stipulated signs are instrumental signs, but not all instrumental signs are stipulated signs and, in particular, ox-footprints and smoke are instrumental and non-stipulative (natural) signs of an ox and a fire respectively. Is this correct? If there is a relevant difference between the ox example and the fire example, I don't see it.

If such is the case, then it would seem that my first distinction, that between signs which immediately signify things and those which signify other signs, is closer to the formal-instrumental distinction than my second, which overlooks the distinction between the distinctions(!) between formal and instrumental signs, on one hand, and natural and stipulative intrumental signs on the other. The point, however, remains the same: if there are no natural, formal signs, then the connection between a sign and what it signifies is probable at best. The analogical understanding of the world is replaced with an equivocal one; faith is replaced with conjecture, which, according to Clement of Alexandria, counterfeits faith as a flatterer countefeits a friend.
Philosophy / John of St. Thomas's division ...
Last post by Geremia - February 23, 2024, 01:47:04 PM
Quote from: Luc on February 23, 2024, 09:41:00 AMformal signs, which immediately signify actual things, and instrumental signs, which directly signify only other signs.
Tractatus de Signis, Summulæ ch. 2, p. 27 (Deely's transl., my reformatting/rearranging):
Quote from: John of St. ThomasHence arises the twofold division of the sign [divisio signi]. For insofar as signs are ordered
  • to a power [ad potentiam], they are divided into
    • formal signs
      • the formal awareness [notitia] which represents of itself, not by means of another.
    • instrumental signs;
      • represents something other than itself from a preexisting cognition of itself as an object, as the footprint of an ox represents an ox. And this definition is usually given for signs generally.
  • to something signified [ad signatum], they are divided according to the cause of that ordering into
    • natural [naturale]
      • represents from the nature of a thing, independently of any stipulation and custom whatever, and so it represents the same for all, as smoke signifies a fire burning.
    • stipulative [ad placitum]
      • represents something owing to an imposition by the will of a community [ex impositione voluntatis per publicam auctoritatem], like the linguistic expression "man."
    • customary [ex consuetudine].
      • represents from use alone without any public imposition, as napkins upon the table signify a meal.
See Teixeira, 21st Century Realism: John Deely's Recovery of Poinsot's Doctrine of Signs (2018) pp. 94-105.
Philosophy / Re: Analogy
Last post by Luc - February 23, 2024, 12:25:25 PM
Your recommendations are appreciated.

Quote from: Geremia on February 23, 2024, 11:57:24 AMThat seems to be too simplistic a difference between formal and instrumental signs. Upon what are you basing this distinction?

Admittedly I can't point to a passage of St. Thomas in which he makes this distinction. My intention was to distinguish between those signs which resemble and are, so to speak, transparent to what they signify (as our visual perception of a solid object like a water bottle is transparent to the water bottle even though it fails to capture the essence of the water bottle as a solid body which exists independently of our viewing it and which retains its essential properties regardless of the angle from which we view it) and those which signify only by some kind of linguistic convention (as the written words 'water bottle' signify a water bottle despite bearing no resemblance to the latter). It seems to me that when we confuse one kind of sign with another, then we begin to whether wonder our senses are not deceiving us even as words sometimes deceive us, resulting in Cartesian skepticism and its sequels.
Philosophy / Analogy
Last post by Geremia - February 23, 2024, 11:57:24 AM
Quote from: Luc on February 23, 2024, 09:41:00 AMA few weeks ago I read a comment in the library on Fr. Warkulwiz's cosmological essay, Universe Without Space and Time, which says some very interesting things about analogy, symbolism, and intellection, making reference to Brian Kemple's PhD dissertation on Ens Primum Cognitum in Thomas Aquinas and the Tradition; and a quick search of the forum shows that you have mentioned this same dissertation in another place. I have long suspected that notion of analogy is the key to a sound metaphysic, and wish to understand it better (Erich Przywara of Analogia Entis fame(?)
Jacobus M. Ramírez, O.P. is the Thomistic expert in analogy.

Quote from: Luc on February 23, 2024, 09:41:00 AMis my principal philosophic influence). I am particularly interested in the nexus of this concept with the history and philosophy of science and how the medieval "analogical understanding of the world", ruined by the Fall and restored, at least in potency, by the Incarnation, seems to have gradually dimmed since the thirteenth century,* resulting in a general failure to distinguish between symbols and signs, or, in Thomistic terms, between formal signs, which immediately signify actual things, and instrumental signs, which directly signify only other signs.
That seems to be too simplistic a difference between formal and instrumental signs. Upon what are you basing this distinction?

Quote from: Luc on February 23, 2024, 09:41:00 AMThis confusion seems to be behind the prevalence of what Baudrillard called simulacra, signs which have no, or are not taken to have any, ultimate referent but are, so to speak, opaque or, as you
It was actually my Scripture scholar and Thomist friend, Sébastien "SR", who wrote that. My comments to what my friend wrote are indented (like the one where I cite Dr. Kemple's dissertation).

Quote from: Luc on February 23, 2024, 09:41:00 AMsay, "just there as a meaningless terminus ad quem". This modern opacity of signs, in clouding the distinction between truth and falsehood and between sincerity and hypocrisy, clears the way for the pragmatistic, communistic subordination of contemplation (theoria) to action (praxis), language as an instrument of social control, Orwellian doublespeak, bull**** in the sense defined by the analytic philosopher Harry Frankfurt, so this is far from being a merely theoretical interest—on the contrary, such tacit quasi-Nestorian divorcing of the true from the good is precisely what is characteristic of this peculiarly modern deviation! "But he that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, because they are done in God" (John 3:21); for charity "Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth" (1 Corinthians 13:6), but "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice" (Romans 1:18).

(* Non-modernist Catholics are, of course, inclined to think of the thirteenth century and the Pontificate of Innocent III in particular as the zenith of Christendom, but no sooner does the sun reach its zenith in the sky than it starts to decline. Our Lady's teaching St. Dominic the Rosary in 1214, the definition of transubstantiation by the Fourth Lateran Council, and Gregory IX's establishment of the Roman Inquisition are all indicators that there were were dark clouds on the horizon even before St. Thomas came of age.)

Is this your comment?
It's my comments on my Scripture scholar friend's answers to my questions.

Quote from: Luc on February 23, 2024, 09:41:00 AMand are there any sources which you would recommend for a better understanding of analogy and the history of science, besides Kemple's dissertation?
The Duhemian Mary Hesse is an expert in analogy and the modern sciences.
Philosophy / Parents & Children
Last post by Geremia - February 06, 2024, 07:13:32 PM
This interview is spot-on:

Quote from: Fr. JenkinsMinisters of state came from other nations of Europe to visit his [St. John Bosco's] schools to ask how he did what he did, and he would simply tell them you cannot do what we do here because your governments will not let you. He said we base our educational system on the pillars of reason, religion, and kindness, and you are not allowed to do that. You are forced to use the repressive system, you cannot teach the children about God, and you are condemned to breed a kind of tribe of, well, monsters.

Quote from: Fr. SanbornLittle children who are are respectful and obedient are a delight. Everybody loves a little humble child. This is the great attraction of the little baby of Bethlehem, but when a child grows up to be something that is completely unbridled, 'fresh', and disrespectful to adults and does anything he wants and then wears his hair in weird ways and does a lot of strange and ugly things, of course who wants to live with that? Who wants to have that around the house? An obnoxious child is like a curse upon the family.
Catholic Resources / Re: Writings of the saints and...
Last post by Geremia - February 01, 2024, 12:24:15 PM
Catholic Resources / Re: Writings of the saints and...
Last post by kerrysky - February 01, 2024, 01:52:44 AM
Book of the day (Thursday, 1st of February 2024)

The Autobiography of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen


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Philosophy / Thomistic arguments for homesc...
Last post by Geremia - January 21, 2024, 03:01:41 PM
Divini Illius Magistri §73:
Quote from: Pope Pius XI73. Nevertheless, Venerable Brethren and beloved children, We wish to call your attention in a special manner to the present-day lamentable decline in family education (domesticam institutionem). The offices and professions of a transitory and earthly life, which are certainly of far less importance, are prepared for by long and careful study; whereas for the fundamental duty and obligation of educating their children, many parents have little or no preparation, immersed as they are in temporal cares. The declining influence of domestic environment is further weakened by another tendency, prevalent almost everywhere today, which, under one pretext or another, for economic reasons, or for reasons of industry, trade or politics, causes children to be more and more frequently sent away from home even in their tenderest years. And there is a country where the children are actually being torn from the bosom of the family, to be formed (or, to speak more accurately, to be deformed and depraved) in godless schools and associations, to irreligion and hatred, according to the theories of advanced socialism; and thus is renewed in a real and more terrible manner the slaughter of the Innocents.
Even the 1983 Code of Canon Law, can. 798 is very pro-homeschooling:
QuoteParents are to entrust their children to those schools which provide a Catholic education. If they are unable to do this [which is certainly true today!], they are obliged to take care that suitable Catholic education is provided for their children outside the schools [viz., homeschooling!].

Also, coed (especially during adolescence) is anti-Catholic; Divini Illius Magistri:
Quote from: Pope Pius XI68. False also and harmful to Christian education is the so-called method of "coeducation." This too, by many of its supporters, is founded upon naturalism and the denial of original sin; but by all, upon a deplorable confusion of ideas that mistakes a leveling promiscuity and equality, for the legitimate association of the sexes. The Creator has ordained and disposed perfect union of the sexes only in matrimony, and, with varying degrees of contact, in the family and in society. Besides there is not in nature itself, which fashions the two quite different in organism, in temperament, in abilities, anything to suggest that there can be or ought to be promiscuity, and much less equality, in the training of the two sexes. These, in keeping with the wonderful designs of the Creator, are destined to complement each other in the family and in society, precisely because of their differences, which therefore ought to be maintained and encouraged during their years of formation, with the necessary distinction and corresponding separation, according to age and circumstances. These principles, with due regard to time and place, must, in accordance with Christian prudence, be applied to all schools, particularly in the most delicate and decisive period of formation, that, namely, of adolescence; and in gymnastic exercises and deportment, special care must be had of Christian modesty in young women and girls, which is so gravely impaired by any kind of exhibition in public.
What St. Thomas says in De Regno lib. 2 cap. 3 about the perils of commerce applies also to the "promiscuity" of a school classroom environment:
Quoteintercourse with foreigners, according to Aristotle's Politics [V, 3: 1303a27; VII, 6: 1327a13-15], is particularly harmful to civic customs. For it is inevitable that strangers, brought up under other laws and customs, will in many cases act as the citizens are not wont to act and thus, since the citizens are drawn by their example to act likewise, their own civic life is upset.
Classrooms are thus a training ground for "free trade" commercialists.
Émile Keller advocated that the sexes be separated as far as possible in workplaces, so a fortiori why not also in schools?

Catholic Home Schooling: A Handbook for Parents by Seton Homeschool director Dr. Mary Kay Clark gives some excellent arguments for homeschooling:
Thomas Nelson's preface lists 8 advantages of homeschooling (pp. xvii-xx):
  • "You do not waste the students' time."
  • "You do not re-teach what the student already knows."
  • "You can give your own children more individualized attention."
  • "You can gear the work to a pace your children can handle and that will keep them interested."
  • "You can (and should) eliminate the option to fail!"
  • "You can build in automatic consequences for failure to perform."
  • "You can emphasize reading."
  • "Home schooling eliminates the silliness and nonsense picked up from peers."
Dr. Clark's ch. 1 (pp. 1-22) argues homeschooling's advantages:
  • no sex-ed (indoctrination into homosexuality; cf. Fr. John F. O'Connor, O.P., "The State of [']Catholic['] Education"; he told parents not to send their children to "Catholic" schools)
  • character formation
  • academics
  • public (& "Catholic") schools "the training camps of the enemies of Jesus Christ and His Church." (p. 9)
  • raising "cradle Catholics"
  • benefits for the
    • student: socialization
    • mother
    • father
    • family
    • community
    • Church
    • nation
Catholic Resources / Re: Writings of the saints and...
Last post by kerrysky - December 25, 2023, 03:17:01 AM
Book of the day (Monday, 25th of December 2023)

Merry Christmas everyone!  :)

The Little Catechism by St John Marie Vianney