10 Ideas for Studying Better at University Business Degrees.
Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.
Here are the best and briefest tips for reading textbooks fast:
I first picked up Grossman's novel casually just under a year ago, during the springtime. I read 50 pages then quit.
UPDATE July 9th: I quit on this book just over half way.
All the historical and cultural interest cannot defeat the bleakness and hopelessness of the scenario of Nazis versus Soviets.
I have heard there is a virtue in not completing things that are of lower value. And this novel is definitely of lower value to me now.
And it's also true, I believe, that one cannot judge a novel unless one has read the whole thing, beginning, middle, and end, so I will refrain from passing judgment on this novel. But I will say that Grossman's novel is of lesser importance to me now, having read 418 pages of it. Never have I given up a novel which interested and involved me. But - you know - life's too short. I may write an appreciation of what I have read so far.
Another day, another liberal chick flick.
Thank God we have movies for everyone these days. I can appreciate two aspects of "films for women and gay people". First, I appreciate the sheer badness of basing films on identity politics, the way the film archly winks and smiles at a small group of people in a desperate attempt to make money. Second, just as I appreciate the bull shit of women and gay people, so I can enjoy the bull shit of art made to appeal to women and gay people. And "Jupiter Ascending" is a good example of both sheer badness and good quality bull shit.
Re-reading the first half of the first chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, it becomes clear to me that Arjuna is not only on his own side. Rather, Arjuna seeks to transcend the duality of both sides.
The movement of Indian culture is always from collective violence and chaos and destruction to personal peace, unity, harmony and cultural creation.
What a night! I moved the mattress into the lounge-room and laid it on the floor, with only a thin cotton mat protecting the mattress from the carpet, so that I could clean thoroughly under the bed. It was hard getting to sleep at all, but when I did, I woke a few hours later in a dream-panic.
If any novel can be claimed to have a truly catholic form of Cabalism, it is this.
John Adams' "On Canon and Feudal Law", is a short essay which only makes sense at all when put in context. In as few and simple words as possible I will do that here.
European law, Adams says, is illiberal and oppressive, conducive to tyranny, because it keeps people poor, socially trapped and ignorant; by contrast, American law is liberal and free and anti-tyranny, because it enables people to become rich, socially mobile, and educated.Adams describes how the rich are expected to fund education, along with the poor. (Nowhere does he suggest that this funding ought be done by governments, as per the progressive income tax.)
"The workers want three things: comfort, dignity and respect."
If you have a registered ID. Hopefully it will be engaging cool conversation.
After reflecting at length on the Golden Revolution, Edmund Burke describes or suggests that the monarch ought to be or profess to be a servant. This is an astonishing claim! Elsewhere he stands against suddenly changing old traditions, and changing the title of the king from lord to servant seems like quite a great change, to say the least!
1. I am reading Edmund Burke's great letter, 'Reflections on the Revolution in France'. It really needs to be broken into sections with headings.
I just realized that for all the techno-millennial romanticism, we are the ones living through the technological singularity, not the characters in books. The global AI is the web; the superintelligent power is human consciousness newly connected. The prosperity and economic problems are fast being solved. The singularity is here.
Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction provides an overview of Scholastic approaches to causation, substance, essence, modality, identity, persistence, teleology, and other issues in fundamental metaphysics. The book interacts heavily with the literature on these issues in contemporary analytic metaphysics, so as to facilitate the analytic reader’s understanding of Scholastic ideas and the Scholastic reader’s understanding of contemporary analytic philosophy. The Aristotelian theory of actuality and potentiality provides the organizing theme, and the crucial dependence of Scholastic metaphysics on this theory is demonstrated. The book is written from a Thomistic point of view, but Scotist and Suarezian positions are treated as well where they diverge from the Thomistic position.Next specimen, then.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
0.1 Aim of the book
0.2 Against scientism
0.2.1 A dilemma for scientism
0.2.2 The descriptive limits of science
0.2.3 The explanatory limits of science
0.2.4 A bad argument for scientism
0.3 Against “conceptual analysis”
1. Act and potency
1.1 The general theory
1.1.1 Origins of the distinction
1.1.2 The relationship between act and potency
1.1.3 Divisions of act and potency
1.2 Causal powers
1.2.1 Powers in Scholastic philosophy
1.2.2 Powers in recent analytic philosophy
188.8.131.52 Historical background
184.108.40.206 Considerations from metaphysics
220.127.116.11 Considerations from philosophy of science
18.104.22.168 Powers and laws of nature
1.3 Real distinctions?
1.3.1 The Scholastic theory of distinctions
1.3.2 Aquinas versus Scotus and Suarez
1.3.3 Categorical versus dispositional properties in analytic metaphysics
2.1 Efficient versus final causality
2.2 The principle of finality
2.2.1 Aquinas’s argument
2.2.2 Physical intentionality in recent analytic metaphysics
2.3 The principle of causality
2.3.1 Formulation of the principle
2.3.2 Objections to the principle
22.214.171.124 Hume’s objection
126.96.36.199 Russell’s objection
188.8.131.52 The objection from Newton’s law of inertia
184.108.40.206 Objections from quantum mechanics
220.127.116.11 Scotus on self-motion
2.3.3 Arguments for the principle
18.104.22.168 Appeals to self-evidence
22.214.171.124 Empirical arguments
126.96.36.199 Arguments from PNC
188.8.131.52 Arguments from PSR
2.4 Causal series
2.4.2 Per se versus per accidens
2.5 The principle of proportionate causality
3.1.1 Form and matter
3.1.2 Substantial form versus accidental form
3.1.3 Prime matter versus secondary matter
3.1.4 Aquinas versus Scotus and Suarez
3.1.5 Hylemorphism versus atomism
3.1.6 Anti-reductionism in contemporary analytic metaphysics
3.2 Substance versus accidents
3.2.1 The Scholastic theory
3.2.2 The empiricist critique
3.2.3 Physics and event ontologies
184.108.40.206 Against four-dimensionalism
220.127.116.11 Identity over time as primitive
4. Essence and existence
4.1.1 The reality of essence
4.1.3 Moderate realism
4.1.4 Essence and properties
4.1.6 Essentialism in contemporary analytic metaphysics
4.2 The real distinction
4.2.1 Arguments for the real distinction
4.2.2 Objections to the real distinction
4.3 The analogy of being
"This thing which I have called for convenience the Tao, and which others may call Natural Law or Traditional Morality or the First Principles of Practical Reason or the First Platitudes, is not one among a series of possible systems of value. It is the sole source of all value judgements. If it is rejected, all value is rejected. If any value is retained, it is retained. The effort to refute it and raise a new system of value in its place is self-contradictory. There has never been, and never will be, a radically new judgement of value in the history of the world. What purport to be new systems or (as they now call them) ‘ideologies’, all consist of fragments from the Tao itself, arbitrarily wrenched from their context in the whole and then swollen to madness in their isolation, yet still owing to the Tao and to it alone such validity as they possess. If my duty to my parents is a superstition, then so is my duty to posterity. If justice is a superstition, then so is my duty to my country or my race. If the pursuit of scientific knowledge is a real value, then so is conjugal fidelity. The rebellion of new ideologies against the Tao is a rebellion of the branches against the tree: if the rebels could succeed they would find that they had destroyed themselves.
Scholastic metaphysics provides the alternative to rebellion in the theoretical register. My survey of Dr. Feser’s book above highlighted one section where he derived from his metaphysics a method for investigating essences; in effect, when applied to the realm of the human essence, this is the foundation of accurate ethical theory. We can discover the essence, and so the purpose, of the human being by observation and reasoning, and from there determine what kinds of conditions and behaviours prevent us from reaching that end. In this way we can discover and acknowledge the entirety of the human good, and therefore avoid arbitrariness and gross immorality in our ethics."
"One of the pleasures of this book is that Dr. Feser is locked in argument with those who seek to explain reality but whose examination of it often leaves out something important. He is not afraid to say that an argument is “bogus” or “absurd” or “incoherent,” nor is he afraid to explain why. Dr. Feser says these things only after he shows the point that grounds his judgment. And lest we forget, philosophy is about judgment. Truth is in a judgment—we say of what is that it is and of what is not that it is not. What is particularly good about this book is its order. Truth is reached by critically examining observations and explanations that do or do not explain reality.
"In this sense, Dr. Feser’s book is quite the opposite of the “fuzziness” of the modern mind that claims that nothing is true or that all is relative. But once said, the truth of the position that nothing is true is open to judgment. This judgment is what Dr. Feser provides in this book. In this sense, it is one of the most refreshing books I have come across in years. Who else is willing to make a case, to articulate in the name of scholasticism, a cohesive case, for teleology, analogy, prime matter, causality, substance, common sense, esse et essentia, and the validity of the mind’s knowing powers?
"Dr. Feser is aware of many good philosophers who, like himself, are working their way through the modern mind. They discover, often surprising themselves, that their pursuit leads them to Aristotle, Aquinas, and the scholastic tradition."
"[T]he dominant political tradition of modernity did not simply discover a pattern laid up in heaven to contemplate. Rather, Enlightenment liberalism was a project that set out to transform the world. Moreover, this multigenerational project was aimed against a particular enemy—namely, the Church and, with it, the social world that Christianity had brought into being in Europe. Thus, the famous “state of nature” that grounds liberal argument is a cunning substitute for the biblical account of Eden. The bourgeois virtues of the commercial republic, in turn, are meant to supersede the classical and Christian virtues, which in some cases now assume the character of vices. The sovereignty of the people as the sole legitimating principle of the liberal regime places in question the sovereignty of God. "
"[T]he Enlightened builders of the liberal regime were quite certain that they had discovered principles of political right that were universally applicable—and that in time might be applied beyond politics to the sphere of morals. Burke, in contrast, was guided by a kind of certainty in (traditional) morals, by an immediate intuition of the human good, while he viewed with the deepest skepticism speculative theories of political right. Whereas the Enlightenment “builds down” from politics to morals, the conservative “builds up” from morals to politics. Perhaps it would be fair to say that the liberal tradition, even today, has not yet generated a credible account of moral life. Perhaps it would be similarly fair to say that the conservative tradition has not yet generated a credible account of political life. "
The Alien movies, of which Prometheus is a prequel, made no pretense to high art. They were horror, pure and simple. At their best, in the James Cameron masterpiece "Aliens", they are the blend of suspense and science fiction, showing humans at their worst (greedy) and best (maternal).
Life runs so quickly. We try to control or direct it and we cannot guide the whole thing unless we know the central point. We are like puppets whose strings are a-tangle, and we don't know which one to pull to draw all the other strings up.