Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:59 PM

From the July 28, 2012, post "Hey"—

"You know my methods."

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Past Tense

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:09 PM

From a post that was written for Twelfth Night

Bernhard Weiss on the philosophy of Michael Dummett—

" … debates about realism, that is, those debates that ask
whether or not one or another aspect of the world is independent
of the way we represent that aspect to ourselves. For example,
is there a realm of mathematical entities that exists fully formed
independently of our mathematical activity? Are there facts about
the past that our use of the past tense aims to capture?"

Yes and Yes.

See also The Whirligig of Time in this journal.

Thursday, April 8, 2004

Thursday April 8, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Triple Crown

“The tug of an art that unapologetically sees itself as on a par with science and religion is not to be underestimated…. Philosophical ambition and formal modesty still constitute Minimalism’s bottom line.”

Michael Kimmelman, April 2, 2004 


From Hans Reichenbach‘s

The Rise of Scientific Philosophy:

Ch. 18 – The Old and the New Philosophy

“The speculative philosophers allotted to art a dignified position by putting art on a par with science and morality: truth, beauty and the good were for them the triple crown of human searching and longing.”

Ch. 15 – Interlude: Hamlet’s Soliloquy

“I have good evidence.  The ghost was very conclusive in his arguments.  But he is only a ghost.  Does he exist?  I could not very well ask him.  Maybe I dreamed him.  But there is other evidence….

It is really a good idea: that show I shall put on.  It will be a crucial experiment.  If they murdered him they will be unable to hide their emotions.  That is good psychology.  If the test is positive I shall know the whole story for certain.  See what I mean?  There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, my dear logician.
    I shall know it for certain?  I see your ironical smile.  There is no certainty….
   There I am, the eternal Hamlet.  What does it help me to ask the logician….?  His advice confirms my doubt rather than giving me the courage I need for my action.  One has to have more courage than Hamlet to be always guided by logic.”


On this Holy Thursday, the day of Christ’s Last Supper, let us reflect on Quine’s very pertinent question in Quiddities (under “Communication”):

“What transubstantiation?”

“It is easiest to tell what transubstantiation is by saying this: little children should be taught about it as early as possible. Not of course using the word…because it is not a little child’s word. But the thing can be taught… by whispering…”Look! Look what the priest is doing…He’s saying Jesus’ words that change the bread into Jesus’ body. Now he’s lifting it up. Look!”

From “On Transubstantiation” by Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe, Collected Philosophical Papers, V.III: Ethics, Religion, and Politics, 1981, Univ. of Minnesota Press, as quoted in the weblog of William Luse, Sept, 28, 2003

A perhaps more credible instance of transubstantiation may be found in this account of Anscombe on the Feast of Corpus Christi:

“In her first year at Oxford, she converted to Catholicism. In 1938, after mass at Blackfriars on the Feast of Corpus Christi, she met Peter Geach, a young man three years her senior who was also a recent convert to Catholicism. Like her, Geach was destined to achieve eminence in philosophy, but philosophy played no role in bringing about the romance that blossomed. Smitten by Miss Anscombe’s beauty and voice, Geach immediately inquired of mutual friends whether she was ‘reliably Catholic.’ Upon learning that she was, he pursued her and, swiftly, their hearts were entangled.”

— John M. Dolan, Living the Truth

Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and
    lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through
    the features of men’s faces.

— Gerard Manley Hopkins

Concluding reflections for Holy Thursday:

Truth, Beauty, and The Good

Art is magic delivered from
the lie of being truth.
 — Theodor Adorno, Minima moralia,
London, New Left Books, 1974, p. 222
(First published in German in 1951.)

The director, Carol Reed, makes…
 impeccable use of the beauty of black….
V. B. Daniel on The Third Man 

I see your ironical smile.
Hans Reichenbach (see above)

Adorno, The Third Man, and Reichenbach
are illustrated below (l. to r.) above the names of cities with which they are associated. 


In keeping with our transubstantiation theme, these three cities may be regarded as illustrating the remarks of Jimmy Buffett

on culinary theology.

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