Log24

Sunday, August 23, 2020

“An Object Lesson” Continues.

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:28 AM

From yesterday morning’s post “An Object Lesson” —

IMAGE- A Jesuit on words and shadows

A search for the origin of a photo in yesterday’s New York Times
obituary of linguist Geoffrey Nunberg yields . . .

“Words are not things, but activities,” observed Dwight Bolinger,
a revered linguist who taught at Harvard before retiring to Palo Alto,
and he might have been describing Nunberg. Early this morning—
about 2:30 a.m.—he called Bolinger’s words “my favorite linguistic
epigram” in his posting on the Language Log, where blogging linguists
“chew the electronic fat,” as Nunberg puts it.

— Ann Hurst, undated article in Stanford Magazine , March/April 2005

In reality, Nunberg said something slightly different —

Meanwhile, elsewhere . . .

Scholium —

From Log24’s Language Game,  Jan. 14, 2004 —

“Ludwig Wittgenstein,  Philosophical Investigations :
373. Grammar tells what kind of object anything is. (Theology as grammar.)”

Saturday, February 4, 2012

“X”

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 6:00 PM
 
   Click to enlarge

See also Theology as Grammar.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wednesday December 26, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM
A Wonderful Life

Part I:
 
Language Games

 
on December 19:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/071219-StanLilith.jpg

See also the noir entry on
“Nightmare Alley” for
Winter Solstice 2002,
as well as a solstice-related
commentary on I Ching
Hexagram 41, Decrease.

Part II:

Language Game
on Christmas Day

Pennsylvania Lottery
December 25, 2007:

PA Lottery Christmas Day: Mid-day 041 and 2911, Evening 173 and 0666

Part III:
 
A Wonderful Life

The Pennsylvania Lottery on Christmas at mid-day paired the number of the I Ching Hexagram 41, “Decrease,” with the number 2911, which may be interpreted as a reference to I Chronicles 29:11

“Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.”

This verse is sometimes cited as influencing the Protestant conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer:

“Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever” (Mt 6.13b; compare 1 Chr 29.11-13)….

This traditional epilogue to the Lord’s prayer protects the petition for the coming of the kingdom from being understood as an exorcism, which we derive from the Jewish prayer, the Kaddish, which belonged at the time to the synagogical liturgy.

World Alliance of Reformed Churches

The Pennsylvania Lottery on Christmas evening paired 173 with the beastly number 0666.  The latter number suggests that perhaps being “understood as an exorcism” might not, in this case, be such a bad thing. What, therefore, might “173” have to do with exorcism?  A search in the context of the phrase “language games” yields a reference to Wittgenstein’s Zettel, section 173:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/071226-Zettel.jpg

From Charles L. Creegan, Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard:

Language-games give general guidelines of the application of language. Wittgenstein suggests that there are innumerably many language-games: innumerably many kinds of use of the components of language.24 The grammar of the language-game influences the possible relations of words, and things, within that game. But the players may modify the rules gradually. Some utterances within a given language-game are applications; others are ‘grammatical remarks’ or definitions of what is or should be possible. (Hence Wittgenstein’s remark, ‘Theology as grammar25 – the grammar of religion.)

The idea of the ‘form of life’ is a reminder about even more basic phenomena. It is clearly bound up with the idea of language. (Language and ‘form of life’ are explicitly connected in four of the five passages from the Investigations in which the term ‘form of life’ appears.) Just as grammar is subject to change through language-uses, so ‘form of life’ is subject to change through changes in language. (The Copernican revolution is a paradigm case of this.) Nevertheless, ‘form of life’ expresses a deeper level of ‘agreement.’ It is the level of ‘what has to be accepted, the given.’26 This is an agreement prior to agreement in opinions and decisions. Not everything can be doubted or judged at once.

This suggests that ‘form of life’ does not denote static phenomena of fixed scope. Rather, it serves to remind us of the general need for context in our activity of meaning. But the context of our meaning is a constantly changing mosaic involving both broad strokes and fine-grained distinctions.

The more commonly understood point of the ‘Private Language Argument’ – concerning the root of meaning in something public – comes into play here. But it is important to show just what public phenomenon Wittgenstein has in mind. He remarks: ‘Only in the stream of thought and life do words have meaning.’27

24
Investigations, sec. 23.
25
Investigations, sec. 373; compare Zettel, sec. 717.
26
Investigations, p. 226e.

27

Zettel, sec. 173. The thought is expressed many times in similar words.

And from an earlier chapter of Creegan:

The ‘possibility of religion’ manifested itself in considerable reading of religious works, and this in a person who chose his reading matter very carefully. Drury’s recollections include conversations about Thomas à Kempis, Samuel Johnson’s Prayers, Karl Barth, and, many times, the New Testament, which Wittgenstein had clearly read often and thought about.25 Wittgenstein had also thought about what it would mean to be a Christian. Some time during the 1930s, he remarked to Drury: ‘There is a sense in which you and I are both Christians.’26 In this context it is certainly worth noting that he had for a time said the Lord’s Prayer each day.27

Wittgenstein’s last words were: ‘Tell them I’ve had a wonderful life!’28

25
Drury (1981) ‘Conversations with Wittgenstein,’ in Ludwig Wittgenstein: Personal Recollections, pp. 112ff.
26
Drury, ‘Conversations,’ p. 130.
27
Drury, ‘Some notes,’ p. 109.
28
Reported by Mrs. Bevan, the wife of the doctor in whose house Wittgenstein was staying. Malcolm, Memoir, p. 81.

Part IV:
 
L’Envoi

For more on the Christmas evening
number of the beast, see Dec. 3:
  “Santa’s Polar Opposite?” —

Did he who made the Lamb
make thee?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday October 13, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:22 AM

Simon’s Shema

“When times are mysterious
Serious numbers will always be heard
And after all is said and done
And the numbers all come home
The four rolls into three
The three turns into two
And the two becomes a
One”

Paul Simon, 1983


Related material:

Simon’s theology here, though radically reductive, is at least consistent with traditional Jewish thought. It may help counteract the thoughtless drift to the left of academic writing in recent decades. Another weapon against leftist nonsense appears, surprisingly, on the op-ed page of today’s New York Times:

“There is a Communist jargon recognizable after a single sentence. Few people in Europe have not joked in their time about ‘concrete steps,’ ‘contradictions,’ ‘the interpenetration of opposites,’ and the rest.”

— Doris Lessing, winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature

The Times offers Lessing’s essay to counter Harold Bloom’s remark that this year’s award of a Nobel Prize to Lessing is “pure political correctness.” The following may serve as a further antidote to Bloom.

The Communist use of “interpenetration,” a term long used to describe the Holy Trinity, suggests– along with Simon’s hymn to the Unity, and the rhetorical advice of Norman Mailer quoted here yesterday—  a search for the full phrase “interpenetration of opposites” in the context* of theology.  Such a search yields a rhetorical gem from New Zealand:

“Dipolarity and God”
by Mark D. Brimblecombe,
Ph.D. thesis,
University of Auckland, 1999
.

* See the final footnote on the final page (249) of Brimblecombe’s thesis:

3 The Latin word contexo means to interweave, join, or braid together.

A check of the Online Eymology Dictionary supports this assertion:

context 1432, from L. contextus “a joining together,” orig. pp. of contexere “to weave together,” from com “together” + textere “to weave” (see texture).

See also Wittgenstein on “theology as grammar” and “context-sensitive” grammars as (unlike Simon’s reductive process) “noncontracting”– Log24, April 16, 2007: Happy Birthday, Benedict XVI.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday April 16, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:01 PM

The Abridgment of Hope

Part I: Framework

From Log24,
Here’s Your Sign,
Aug. 8, 2002–

“Paz also mentions the Christian concept of eternity as a realm outside time, and discusses what happened to modern thought after it abandoned the concept of eternity.

Naturally, many writers have dealt with the subject of time, but it seems particularly part of the Zeitgeist now, with a new Spielberg film about precognition.  My own small experience, from last night until today, may or may not have been precognitive.  I suspect it’s the sort of thing that many people often experience, a sort of ‘So that’s what that was about’ feeling.  Traditionally, such experience has been expressed in terms of a theological framework.”

Part II: Context

From Ann Copeland,
Faith and Fiction-Making:
The Catholic Context
“–

“Each of us is living out a once-only story which, unlike those mentioned here, has yet to reveal its ending. We live that story largely in the dark. From time to time we may try to plumb its implications, to decipher its latent design, or at least get a glimmer of how parts go together. Occasionally, a backward glance may suddenly reveal implications, an evolving pattern we had not discerned, couldn’t have when we were ‘in’ it. Ah, now I see what I was about, what I was after.”

Part III: Context Sensitivity

From Log24’s
Language Game,
Jan. 14, 2004–

Ludwig Wittgenstein,
Philosophical Investigations:

373. Grammar tells what kind of object anything is. (Theology as grammar.)

From Wikipedia

Another definition of context-sensitive grammars defines them as formal grammars where all productions are of the form

a yields b where the length of a is less than or equal to the length of b

Such a grammar is also called a monotonic or noncontracting grammar because none of the rules decreases the size of the string that is being rewritten.

If the possibility of adding the empty string to a language is added to the strings recognized by the noncontracting grammars (which can never include the empty string) then the languages in these two definitions are identical.

 Part IV: Abridgment

“Know the one about the Demiurge and the Abridgment of Hope?”

— Robert Stone, A Flag for Sunrise, Knopf, 1981, the final page, 439

Also from Stone’s novel, quoted by Ann Copeland in the above essay:

You after all? Inside, outside, round and about. Disappearing stranger, trickster. Christ, she thought, so far. Far from where?

But why always so far?

Por qué?” she asked. There was a guy yelling.

Always so far away. You. Always so hard on the kid here, making me be me right down the line. You old destiny. You of Jacob, you of Isaac, of Esau.

Let it be you after all. Whose after all I am. For whom I was nailed.

So she said to Campos: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord.” (416)

Monday, August 30, 2004

Monday August 30, 2004

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:07 PM

Q.E.D.

A Log24 entry of Aug. 17, 2004, on the
three Semitic (or “Abrahamic”) religions:

“Looney.”

From Scotsman.com News
Mon., 30 Aug., 2004
11:43 AM (UK)

Ex-Priest Sentenced
for Disrupting Marathon

By Pat Hurst, PA News, in Athens

An ex-priest who lives in Britain was given a 12-month suspended sentence today for disrupting the men’s Olympic marathon in Athens.

Cornelius Horan, 57, a former Catholic priest living in London, appeared before a Greek judge this morning, local police said.

He was sentenced and released from custody but his whereabouts are unknown.

Irishman Horan, originally from Kerry, dashed from the sidelines to attack the marathon front-runner during yesterday’s event.

He told officers he staged the disruption to “prepare for the second coming”.

A police spokesman said: “He has got mental problems. He is not very well.

“His only explanation for his behaviour was that it was for the second coming.”

Horan also disrupted last year’s Silverstone Formula One Grand Prix by dashing across the track.

Leslie Broad, of Deunant Books, which publishes Mr Horan’s books on its website, said: “We publish two of his books on biblical prophecies and he seems to be fairly convinced that the second coming is due fairly shortly.

“After the incident at Silverstone, he did say he would never do anything like that again.

“He comes across as a shy, very intelligent and compassionate man but as is often the way with people who are very intelligent, it sometimes manifests itself in very strange ways.

“I think he found prison a fairly uplifting experience. He came out feeling that he had met a lot of people he wouldn’t normally have met, people who had committed serious crimes.”

Horan’s victim yesterday, Vanderlei De Lima, from Brazil, was at the head of the race just three miles from the finish.

Horan grabbed him and bundled him into spectators at the side of the road.

After a scuffle, the runner managed to get away, but he was clearly ruffled and finished third.

The Brazilian Olympic Committee put in an official complaint to the Greeks and at one point the final medal ceremony to be staged during the closing ceremony was in doubt.

Horan was arrested and taken to the General Police Division of Attica, where he stayed overnight.

Author biography
from
Deunant Books:

Father Cornelius (“Neil”) Horan


Horan

“Neil Horan was born in 1947, in Scartaglen, County Kerry, in the Republic of Ireland. After schooling in Ireland he was ordained a Catholic Priest in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Killarney, in 1973.

He has served all his priestly life in the Southwark Diocese, covering London south of the River Thames and Kent, his first Parish being Bexley in Kent. His interest in Bible prophecy began when he attended a lecture in 1974, given by the Apostolic Fellowship of Christ, a group which had originated with the Christadelphians. Meaning ‘Brothers in Christ’, the Christadelphians were a small Church formed in 1861 by Dr John Thomas. Father Horan says he owes a debt of gratitude to the Christadelphian tradition for the understanding of the Bible which they gave him. He regards the Bible as the greatest Book in the world and has devoted his life to making it better known, especially the Prophecies.

He is not a prophet, considering himself to be merely an interpreter, has never received a Divine message or vision, and God has never spoken to him. He feels that he is right only in so far as he interprets the Book of Books correctly.

He is still a Catholic Priest, listed in the Catholic Directory under his full name of Cornelius Horan. Cornelius, a Centurian [sic] in the Roman army, was the first Christian convert; Father Horan is proud to bear that name and hopes to meet his famous namesake soon, when Jesus comes.”

A Glorious New World
by Father Neil Horan

“Are there passages in the Bible that foretell events that were, at the time it was written, far in the future? Father Neil Horan argues eloquently, knowledgeably and persuasively in this book, first published in 1985, that this is so. It is easy to scoff at predictions of events that were, according to the book, to have taken place a few years ago but which have not happened, but to do that would be wrong. With only the most subtle changes of emphasis in interpretation, it could just as easily be argued that events in the Middle East particularly have to a large degree fulfilled the prophecies for the years since 1985.

Then there are the events yet to come. They are, according to the author and his sources, to be the most significant in the history of mankind, and are going to happen soon. With a little thought, certain current-day world figures are a disconcertingly comfortable match for some of the characters who will act out the earth-shattering dramas to come. Even the most hardened cynic will get that prickly feeling down the back of his neck as he reads this book.

Taken together with Father Horan’s later work ‘Christ Will Soon Take Power From All Governments’ (also available from Deunant Books) the two books represent one of the most remarkable and significant bodies of work seen in this field for many, many years.”

Deunant Books on Theology

Ludwig Wittgenstein,
Philosophical Investigations:

373. Grammar tells what kind of object anything is. (Theology as grammar.)

Grammar and Geometry:
The Euclidean Proposition,
by J. B. Calvert:

For more on Wittgenstein, theology, and grammar, see the Log24

entries of Jan. 14, 2004.

Related material:

God Goes Hollywood,
by Jeremiah Cullinane

Monday, April 26, 2004

Monday April 26, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:24 PM

Outside the World

(A sequel to the previous entry)

Title: The Point Outside the World:
         Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein
         on Nonsense, Paradox, and Religion

Author: M. Jamie Ferreira
           (Love’s Grateful Striving
           (U. of Va., Charlottesville)

Appeared in: Wittgenstein Studies 2/97,
                    also in  Religious Studies,
                    Vol. 30, March 1994,
                    pp. 29-44.

See particularly the following passage:

The second rationale for the indirection of communication of the religious is also antitheoretical and a practical re-orientation (to acquire new skills, “to be able”) rather than the reception of information.

This appreciative understanding of the speaker distinguishes the austere view from that which rejects religious language, but the austere view also reveals an understanding of religious utterances as grammatical remarks, meaningful as rules of linguistic usage.  Wittgenstein points to “Theology as grammar” when he writes that “Grammar tells us what kind of object anything is” and that “The way you use the word ‘God’ does not show whom you mean — but rather what you mean.” 30

He illustrates: “God’s essence is supposed to guarantee his existence — but what this really means is that what is here at issue is not the existence of something.” 31

Grammatical remarks are rules for use; they are neither empirical conclusions nor attempts to offer a perspective from “outside the world.”

30 Philosophical Investigations, no. 373;
    Culture and Value, p. 50.

31 Culture and Value, p. 82.

As noted in the previous entry, the number 373 does seem to point, whether Wittgenstein meant it to or not, to “a point outside the world.”

Of course, the pointing is in the eye of the beholder… As, for instance, the time of this entry, 5:24, “points” to Kali, the Dark Lady, as played (yet again — see previous entry) by Linda Hamilton.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Wednesday January 14, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 3:00 AM

Language Game

Ludwig Wittgenstein,
Philosophical Investigations:

373. Grammar tells what kind of object anything is. (Theology as grammar.)

Related material:

See this date last year, and

Zen and Language Games

(May 2, 2003).

See also the phrase “May 2, 373.”

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