Monday, November 25, 2013

Achaeans = Ahhijawa, of course

I wrote earlier as if both Achaeans and Trojans were Vassals under Hittites Empire.

This is of course more or less the position not just of Walter Leaf (whom I had consulted) but also of Emil Forrer (whom he would have been basing himself on). There is also a recent doctorate in Tuebingen University by Joachim Latacz. Which I have not yet read.*

  • 1) Achaeans = Ahhijawa

    I see either Mykenai or Orchomenos or both after each other as capital of Achaean Empire.

    Thebai I see as a Canaanean enclave and as therefore interesting to Assyrians or interested in Assyrians, though they were later assimilated.

  • 2) Ilios = Wilusa (-usa is replaced by -ios), Troy = Tarwisa

  • 3) Paris Alexandros = Alaksandu

    In the Alaksandu tractate the word "[...]ap-pa-li-u-na-aš" appears. To me this sounds like Apollyon was the original either name or by-name of the deity of Troy, which Greeks later worshipped in Delphi as Apollon. Another name of the Devil. Even if in Greece he was not "chief god" of Olympic Pantheon.

  • 4) Lycians = Lukka, and far from seeing this as an impediment to identifying Ilios with Wilusa, I see this as an asset. If Lycians were SW Anatolia, and Troy NW, I simply suppose Lycians were indeed SW but also much of the W.

Of course, I am being conservative after assimilating the position of Leaf as if it had stood uncontested.

And I have not read the contestations either in full.

I was just watching a programme about the Hittites, 2004 : The hittites: A civilization that changed the world : narrator Jeremy Irons, where the pottery is so reminiscent of Greek pottery in being pictorial and in amphora shape, where this particular amphora shown was so Cretan in showing youths dancing over the back of bulls, the Hittite helmets shown in the programme are exactly the Mycenean helmets, the Hittite cities have the same kind of gate as Mycenae and Troy ... and of course the ultimately evil Teshub worship is very close to the worship of Zeus and Jupiter.

I wonder if Mursili's prayer (in that documentary) means that Teshub could not possibly have approved of his father Suppiluliuma's sins or instead that he repents on behalf of a father who acted without Teshub's approval for his misdeeeds, an approval he could have given to others and even to Suppiluliuma if he had waited. In the latter case, it is a diabolic cult. Not meaning Mursili need have meant it as badly as that himself, but he was instructed by the priesthood and the traditions.

That is what I meant by Homer de-diabolising (partly) the religion, and by Zeus of Pergamon - with a cult going back to well before Homer, to the times just after the Trojan war, when founded by Hercules' grandson Telephos (sounds a bit like Telepinu ...), and being closer to Teshub - being more than other main deities of Pagan Grecoroman pantheons, more than say Jupiter Capitolinus, Satan (cfr the Apocalypse and the Letter of Christ to the Church of Pergamon).

To return to the first sentence, it seems Achaeans were not always part of Hittite Empire - one Hittite ruler adressed the ruler of Achaeans as brother - exactly as he would with the Pharao. But that is the kind of thing that can change over time.

So, while knowing about these Pagans, pray God have mercy on their souls, and that we may imitate their virtues insofar as appropriate but not their Pagan error. And trust Homer on his history,** but not on his theology.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
St Catherine of Alexandria

*Joachim Latacz.
Wilusa (Wilios / Troia).
Zentrum eines Hethitischen Gliedstaates in Nordwest-Kleinasien.

** Though he was incomplete by not mentioning Hittites. I attribute this to a condemnatio memoriae, like when Lenin statues were dismantled all over Russia in 1990.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

410u3773 63n71113 410u3773

1. = 410U3773 63N71113 410U3773
2. = 410u3773 63n71113 410u3773
3. = /-\|_0|_|3773 63|\|7||_|_3 /-\|_0|_|3773
= alouette gentille alouette en "leet speak"

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Answering TheOFloinn some more

The TOF Spot: Summa origines scientiarum: Proœmium, Articulus 1, Articulus 2 
 Against O'Floinn on Relation of 17th C. Scientific Revolution to 13th C. Scholasticism
Articulus 3 
 My comments on Articulus 3 doubleposted under my own
His comments under Articulus 3 answering some of mine 
 My own here. Linked to there.
π is measured over and over again by laying out pebbles along a circle and its diameter, another circle and its diameter and counting the pebbles and doing the division.
a) This is not doing mathematics. b) It is not proving a theorem. c) It is incapable of demonstrating that the value of π is not a ratio of integers. d) What physical experiment do you suggest for proving that a topology on a function space is conjoining and splitting?
one by one:
a) This is not doing mathematics.
It is. This is how π was measured before there were the very modern algorithms that used over and over again do π to forty decimals or beyond.
b) It is not proving a theorem.
What about the theorem that π is a constant?
c) It is incapable of demonstrating that the value of π is not a ratio of integers.
I think that was checked time after time with value after value that failed to conform to the constant.
d) What physical experiment do you suggest for proving that a topology on a function space is conjoining and splitting?
If by "topology on a function space" you mean graph on two or three axes, I propose no physical experiment. Neither do I for each and every consideration in the natural sciences. Some things have to be thought out or figured out (literally as in figures on a paper as well).
Pythagoras owed lots to superstitious motivation, just as astronomers to astrological one.
But we're not talking about an individual's motivations. We're talking about how a cast of thought engenders natural science. Pythagoreanism was in many respects a worship of mathematics, not vice versa.
And astrology is worship of astronomy, not vice versa. Still, the individual motivations of astronomers may be a worship of astronomy prompted by astrology. And if individual motivations are not considered, then there is no case for saying Christianity promoted sciences either, since Grosseteste is an individual, so is Oresme, so is Clavius, so is Riccioli, and so on.

You just shot your argument in the foot. Unless you think collective and statistic motivations are more important than individual ones, which is not a Christian position.
St Robert Bellarmine would have stood with Hovind and not with Lemaître.
And you know this how? Note also that relativity was taught in mathematics, not in physics, until physical proofs were found, such as the orbit of Mercury or the background radiation. This was precisely what Bellarmine was asking for in his letter to Foscarini. That he did not expect empirical evidences to be found doesn't change the nature of his objection to the lack of them.
part by part
And you know this how?
St Robert Bellarmine trusted even King Solomon, because he was the wisest mere man, not to have said somthing which can be disproven. Galileo was the one who said Bible and its exposition by consensus of Church Fathers apply only to Salvation matters, not to Scientific ones. Galileo was the one who said since God gave us reason to figure nature out, he had no need to give any science lessons in the Bible.
Note also that relativity was taught in mathematics, not in physics, until physical proofs were found, such as the orbit of Mercury or the background radiation.
To a Geocentric believing in angelic movers (such as Riccioli) and in a sphere of fixed stars equidistant from a central earth, neither uniform background radiation from all directions nor any orbit of Mercury could prove relativity.
This was precisely what Bellarmine was asking for in his letter to Foscarini.
Can you quote the words, so I can verify the "precisely"?
That he did not expect empirical evidences to be found doesn't change the nature of his objection to the lack of them.
Evidence for Heliocentrism as well as for Evolution is still lacking. St Robert Bellarmine's objection to lack of empirical evidences for Heliocentrism is no different from Hovinds objection to lack of empirical evidence for "miiiiillllions of years".
You are generalising, since it is wrong to say Catholics and Orthodox accept evolution just because some do so.
Unlike the sundry do-it-yourself sects, which set the individual's will against the magisterium (or as the Orthodox call them, the Holy Traditions), the Traditional Churches have official teachings and it does not matter what wackadoodle notions some of their members might entertain. I said that the Catholic and Orthodox churches had no problem with the scientific theory, but only with the metaphysical and social baggage that has been piggybacked onto it.
And I say this contradicts the Confession of the Council of Trent (precisely as it did in St Robert Bellarmine's day), and it matters not a whit what whackadoodle notions some mere possible members such as Schönborn or John Paul II entertain or entertained. For instance about it being enough to object to the metaphysics and social pseudo-ethics but not to the theories.

You mentioned very aptly that the Orthodox Churches - exactly like the Tridentine Council - appeal to Holy Traditions. Obviously these do include literal inerrancy of the Bible. Obviously these do not include Evolution or Heliocentrism or the kind of compromising exegetics that for instance Galileo and Lemaître did.

Traditions does not equal the kind of "living magisterium" that turns away from millennia of tradition.
Wow, Xenophanes a better Christian than Schönborn!
Hard to say. Which one was responsible for the Catechism of the Catholic Church?
Would Schönborn have been behind that doctrinal monstruosity? An extra point in favour for Xenophanes then!
The question was perhaps not so much orbital irregularities as how a balancing between gravitation and inertia could lead to revolution after revolution after revolution of two bodies around common centre of gravity ... and it is not just two bodies either ... without ever getting out of balance and smaller body shooting off at a tangent or falling in to the bigger one. And so far I have not come across Laplace's purely naturalistic solution. I have time after time come across his theory of planets forming from original disc of whirling gas, which is another matter.
There is a good discussion of the transition from Ptolemy to Newton to Laplace to Poincare in the Ekelund book that is referenced. For the straigh skinny on Laplace, try Exposition du système du monde ...
I went to page 194 and found:

La solution rigoureuse de ce problème ... ... in fact a complicating one not the mere basic I was referring to ... ...surpasse les moyens actuels de l'analyse, et nous sommes forcés de recourir aux approximations.

And the work I would have needed was Mécanique céleste. Except I think even empirically he was wrong.

As to Exposition, I had already used it in a refutation of Laplace's argumentation for Heliocentrism in the beginning of Book II.
... The old Catholic Encyclopedia says of Laplace: Laplace was born and died a Catholic. It has been asserted that to Laplace the Creator was an hypothesis. The origin of this assertion lies in the misinterpretation of a passage of the "Système du Monde" (Oeuvres, VI, 1835, p. 480), where it is evident that by "vain hypotheses" Laplace meant the Deus ex machina of Newton and the "perpetual miracle" of Leibniz's Harmony.

Hope this helps.
But a perpetual miracle - or what modern astronomers would call so - was exactly what St Thomas Aquinas and Riccioli believed in. They all believed God was each day providing the force that turned the Heavens around earth and that angels (or God Himself, but the angelic solution has better Biblical support, Riccioli refers to Baruch 3 and Job 38 just as I do) provide the force that move celestial bodies.
Go become a janitor. Or are you too "sophisticated" for that?

This comment is directed at Mr Lundahl.
Is "anonymous" afraid of the debate?

I am not too sophisticated to be a janitor, but too inefficient in scrubbing.

I have also heard from youth in the age to be studying at senior high school "go take a work" or even "sell your butt".

Maybe their teachers do not want them to take notice of any writing coming from me. Maybe because they are even worse than O'Flynn in answering my arguments (atheist teachers in Paris not being the brightest).

Just maybe.

And the fact that you remain anonymous does not make me trust you are either a Christian or an English speaker.
VIII (let's get away from that anonymous back to O'Floinn, shall we)
A tale for another time? Something to look forward to!

I don't read science fiction, but I have enjoyed SO MANY of your blogposts this summer and fall, that I have to try your novels now. Before I get 'river of stars', is their another you would more readily recommend adult convert who doesn't read scifi but really enjoyed your series on the Ptolemy to Relativity series here recent?
People have said nice things about Eifelheim.
There is also a story collection Captive Dreams

The Spiral Arm series is far-future high space opera. It starts with The January Dancer.

The Firestar series is near-future hard SF, some of which future is now technically in the past. It starts with Firestar.

My first novel was In the Country of the Blind updated for a second edition by Tor, in which references to the Soviet Union were past-tensed and mention of "the National Datanet" were changed to "the Internet." What happens to people who regard other people as means rather than as ends in themselves?

The collection The Forest of Time overlaps one story with Captive Dreams
Anonymous (hopefully not the same one)
Captive Dreams is an excellent volume. Many of the stories contain great ideas without becoming "idea stories." They are also quite pro-life without being overly didactic.

Here is a review on the Massachusetts Citizens for Life website:
The Spiral Arm series is far-future high space opera.

Space opera depends on assuming Heliocentric-Acentric views of the cosmos, right?

Now, Round Earth was confirmed by da Gama, but remember that Han Solo is a fiction and your own fiction a prediction that can go wrong.
"Goddidit" was not an acceptable explanation in medieval Christian philosophy.

Sure it was. Maybe not in 'natural' philosophy, but at least the medievals had the wit to admit the possibility of a miracle, if it was the best explanation that fit the evidence.

I know that's not what you meant. Thanks for a fun romp through the desiccated orchards of Jerry Coyne's reasonings.
Even for the technically non-miraculous the Christian (as opposed to Averroist) Philosophy "God did it" (for Creation in the past, neutral as to distinction between natural and miraculous events) or "God does it" (as to causing of daily rotation of the Universe, a prime example of the First Mover) was totally acceptable.

Who said this anyway? "Goddidit" was not an acceptable explanation in medieval Christian philosophy.

If it was our dear TOF, I missed it, I would have contradicted it right away.

I refer to the 219 condemnations by Bishop Tempier in 1276/1277 (latter year if it started in January, former if it did not end till March 25).

I copied out and commented a list from Piché's book, but not his French translations:
a) William of Conches; St. Albertus Magnus; St. Thomas Aquinas; Bishop Nicole Oresme, among others. All of them averred that God was Primary Cause of all existence, but that He had endowed matter with natures capable of secondary causation, and it was the job of natural philosophy to determine these secondary causes. They held it as illegitimate to cite Divine intervention as the explanation of a natural phenomenon. Second Causes are instrumental and depend upon the Primary Cause for their effectiveness. But one set of folks believes that one they have understood the mechanism of the piano, there is no need for the pianist. Another set of folks fears that this is true and therefore finds it highly rational to deny the piano.

b) A closer inspection of the Condemnation of 1277 is called for. The bishop intervened wearing his hat as Rector of the University of Paris in a jurisdictional squabble between the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Theology in that University. It was a hastily put together list and contains many duplications, and was not endorsed by the Pope. However, it did serve to nudge natural philosophy away from Aristotelian deductive necessity and toward a more modern view of empirical induction. Pierre Duhem called it the "birthday of modern science." For example, one article condemned the Aristotelian notion that there cannot be more than one World; another, the notion that there cannot be a vacuum. God's infinite power assures us that He could have created other Worlds and could have created a Vacuum. The question then became, "Well, did He?"
a) Second Causes are instrumental and depend upon the Primary Cause for their effectiveness.

Absolutely. However it is not an infinite distance in order of causation between Primary and secondary.

At some point a secondary cause is indeed directly caused by the primary.

For instance, God is directly himself turning Heaven around Earth each day. The things turned involve for instance the Sun and therefore the Sunshine each day is secondarily caused by that star.

but that He had endowed matter with natures capable of secondary causation

Natures are the four elements and the animals and plants and diverse minerals with diverse virtues.

Not energy as understood by modern physics.

Among secondary causes there are also angelic ones. Matter is not credited with the power to move other than "to its natural place" (up for air and fire, down for earth and water), any other movement is due to either chance or spirit, and this either human (art) or angelic or God Himself.

As to "energy" it is a controversial concept. It translates directly as "potentia" in Latin. And a potentia cannot have a quantity per se. It can of course have a maximal potency - a silver smith's hammer handled by a child will not break a wall of stone. But it cannot have a definite quantity.

Now, impetus is the thing the hammer gathers on its way from where child held it to when it hits wall. It corresponds to kinetic energy. But then it is obviously wrong when modern science says "energy can neither be destroyed nor created" and says kinetic energy was before it became kinetic potential energy of minimally same quantity (some might have been lost). I e the potential of being a potential.

If you study precursors of Newton's two first laws in John Philoponus, you will find that Newton changed the formulation significantly by adding "or uniform motion" as if that were equivalent of rest in one place.

Another set of folks fears that this is true and therefore finds it highly rational to deny the piano.

As a rebuttal of either Geocentrism or Young Earth Creationism, this is a strawmannus maximus. If it refers to anyone else, say who, but YEC and Geocentrics are not disciples of Al Ghazali.

And thank you for saying "piano" and "pianist", because that means - correctly - that God is handling the Universe and its processes all the time. The processes, notably day and night, would not be there except for God continually moving it.

I have nothing against a correct investigation of secondary causes. But it cannot push the First cause further into the background than was traditionally held to be the case, rationally.

Anything a secondary cause can do, the First cause can also do, and therefore at some point the First cause can be the real cause even if a secondary were thinkable and coherent. Lamech was seventh from Adam. It was thinkable that beyond his ancestors five generations back there were instead of just two ancestors sixtyfour. And it was thinkable that behind "those" - the generation of Adam and Eve - there were instead of God, the First Cause, the usual kind of Second cause, i e a generation of 128 people.

Let us Suppose Lamech was Uniformitarian

Projecting Secondary causes backwards the usual way they go will not always lead you to the truth, because there is a First Cause. And there is a finite number of secondary causes between it and the effects we observe right here and now (whichever place we read this at whatever time).

b) It was a hastily put together list

Indeed, I copied a list reorganised in chapters after subject.

and contains many duplications,

No real ones. The 219 or perhaps rather (as in one manuscript) originally 220 condemned theses meander between the subjects. Of some fifty errors on God the original numbers go from thesis one (denial of Trinity, unless that was thesis 2) to very close to the end.

A rearranged list was made. It was called theses condemned in Paris and in England. Meaning they are still forbidden there as well as in the colonies of England and France, unless they were revoked (I'll get back to this in a moment).

and was not endorsed by the Pope.

If that was Duhem's historic conclusion, it was not Piché's more recent one. The Pope actually did encourage Bishop Stephen II Tempier to condemn errors of what one may stile the Averroist and Necessitist / Nihilist / Agnostic type.

However, Stephen III issued a revocation of the condemnations "insofar as they are reputed to condemn any thesis of Thomas Aquinas" ... that revocation was also endorsed by its Pope, and it was in connexion with the canonisation of the Angelic Doctor.

But, the thing is, no real conflict between St Thomas and Bishop Tempier has been detected.

My guess about the thesis 220 is that it was cut off from the original list in order to comply with the new episcopal order 48 years later - whereas the other condemnations remained untouched, since found not to be in conflict with St Thomas.

God's infinite power assures us that He could have created other Worlds and could have created a Vacuum. The question then became, "Well, did He?"

Most famous affirmative answer to the first of these (condemned thesis 34) being of course C. S. Lewis' Narnian "other creation."

Which is why I wrote a certain part of this chapter:

Susan's dreams become a book

It is fan fiction and not Neil Gaiman style.

As to the question of vaccum, the answers seems to be no, unless you redefine it.
X (challenging TOF on similar point in end part of his blogpost)
I missed this one:

First of all the medieval Christians likewise rejected the idea of divine intervention to account for the common course of nature,

Depends very much on what they qualify as "intervention".

For instance if God and angels are all the time doing all the movements not simply due to nature (like fire going up or stones going down or wolves after rabbits or after shewolves) or to human decision, which is the Thomist position, even miracles are not properly speaking "interventions". Intervene is said about outside powers getting in where they are usually not.

Let us Suppose Lamech was Uniformitarian

Let us take a look at the Cain line.

1) Adam 2) Cain 3) Enoch 4) Irad 5) Mehujael 6) Methusael 7) Lamech 8) four named children: Iabal, Iubal, Tubal-cain and Naama

He got them from two wives, meaning he was the probably first bigamist. So, he was no Traditionalist.

Let us suppose uniformitarian reasoning was part of his impiety. He had two parents, as everyone except Adam and Eve and Jesus Christ. His two parents were Methusael and his wife. Supposing Methusael did not marry his sister (I have not checked extra-canonic scriptures for information about that, but suppose it was so), Lamech had four grandparents. Mehujael, his wife, and the two parents of Methusael's wife. A generation further back he may have had eight great grandparents. Irad, his wife, the two parents of Mehujael's wife, the four grandparents of Methusael's wife. Fetting back to Enoch, that makes 16. Getting back to Cain, that makes 32, which I think is a fair proportion or even all of the children Adam and Eve are reported in certain extra-canonic writings as having.

1) Adam2) Cain 3) Enoch 4) Irad 5) Mehujael 6) Methusael 7) Lamech
1) Eve2)Cain's wife3) Enoch's wife4) Irad's wife5) Mehujael's wife6) Methusael's wife 
1) Adam2) iii3) iii4) iii 5) Methusael's
father in law
1) Eve2) iv3) iv4) iv 5) Methusael's
mother in law
1) Adam 2) v3) v4) v   
1) Eve 2) vi3) vi 4) vi   
1) Adam 2) vii3) vii4) vii   
1) Eve 2) viii3) viii4) viii   
1) Adam 2) ix3) ix    
1) Eve 2) x3) x    
1) Adam 2) xi3) xi    
1) Eve 2) xii3) xii    
1) Adam 2) xiii3) xiii    
1) Eve 2) xiv3) xiv     
1) Adam 2) xv3) xv    
1) Eve 2) xvi3) xvi    
1) Adam 2) xvii    
1) Eve 2) xviii    
1) Adam 2) xix    
1) Eve 2) xx    
1) Adam 2) xxi    
1) Eve 2) xxii    
1) Adam 2) xxiii    
1) Eve 2) xxiv    
1) Adam 2) xxv    
1) Eve 2) xxvi     
1) Adam 2) xxvii    
1) Eve 2) xxviii    
1) Adam 2) xxix    
1) Eve 2) xxx    
1) Adam 2) Seth    
1) Eve 2) Seth's wife    

Please note that this is just an example, I am not sure he was uniformitarian like this at all, but let us suppose he was, and I do not know if he had 32 different ancestors in the generation after Adam and Eve or even less if they would have included Seth and his wife, but let us suppose or suppose that he supposed so.

If he went on reasoning on that line, he would have concluded that Adam and Eve were only two out of sixtyfour ancestors in their generation. And he would have been wrong.

When I look at reconstructions of Proto-Indo-European I feel somewhat as if they were risking to give Lamech 64 ancestors in one generation. When I look at Merrit and Ruhlen and their constructions of how Proto-Indo-European and Turkish and Greenlandic are supposed to have had a common ancestor, I feel as if Lamech had concluded there was a generation before Adam in which he had 128 ancestors. And why not give Cain greatgrandfather's as well and invent a generation in which Lamech had 256 ancestors, and so on?

It is wrong to say that languages never borrow grammatical features. They may borrow on a material level, as when English borrows "very", or even as when all Germanic languages borrow the Latin ending -arius which is -er in English, or they can borrow on a structural level, as when English and Dutch borrow the "of" construction or "van" contruction from the French "de" construction. Or when Latin and Germanic languages start to borrow the definite article from Greek or Arabic - unless it be from Old English which may have got it from Irish. And any Lingua Franca is bound to give lots of loans in the vocabulary.

It is therefore not necessary that Indo-European languages descend from a unique common ancestor rather than from different ancestral languages borrowing from each other or from some Hittite Empire esperanto.

It is also possible that God at Babel derived languages from proto-languages never spoken. Like Tolkien did for Quenya and Sindarin, deriving them from Proto-Quendian.

There is nothing beyond uniformitarian prejudice to reason against the story of the Tower of Babel, as written, just as if Lamech had denied that all men descend from Adam and Eve he would have been guilty of uniformitarian prejudice. What the text says is that immediately after the dispersion of tingues there were 70 new languages. Not that every language that has come into existance since then must have done so in the same miraculous way. Precisely as the text saying that Adam and Eve lacked human parents does not say every person after them does so too.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
Presentation of the
Blessed Virgin Mary
in the Temple

Sunday, November 17, 2013

René Girard n'a pas raison

La wikipédie sur René Girard (je cite quelques parties du texte):

René Girard est professeur de littérature française aux États-Unis à la fin des années 1950 et cherche une nouvelle façon de parler de littérature. Au-delà de la « singularité » des œuvres, il cherche ce qu’elles ont de commun et s’aperçoit que les personnages créés par les grands écrivains évoluent dans une mécanique de rapports que l’on retrouve d’un auteur à l’autre : « Seuls les grands écrivains réussissent la peinture de ces mécanismes sans la fausser au bénéfice de leur Moi : on tient là un système de rapports qui, paradoxalement ou plutôt pas paradoxalement du tout, varie d'autant moins que les écrivains sont plus grands. » Il existerait donc bien des « lois psychologiques », comme le dit Marcel Proust.

Oh ... encore un de ces savants de la litérature qui trouve que la tâche des romanciers est d'être psychologue.

Il y en a tellement. Ils s'imitent mutuellement.

Je redoute que parmi ses grands écrivains il n'y ait pas les écrivains du Moyen Âge, ni les épopées de l'Antiquité grécoromaine (tragédies, peut-être - il est capable de mal lire Antigone). Je redoute que ne manquent aussi les contes de fée.*

Ces lois, ou cette mécanique, si bien décrites par les romanciers, René Girard en dégage et formule clairement le fondement : le caractère mimétique du désir. Tel est le contenu de son premier livre : Mensonge romantique et Vérité romanesque (1961).

Désir et mimétique sont deux facteurs indépendants. Le non-désir aussi peut être mimétique.

Mais le désir n'est pas mimétique dans sa nature plus que le désir d'imiter n'est borné au désir dans sa nature.

Il y dans la construction de soi toujours un élément de mimétisme. Dans le rejet comme dans le désir comme dans le ni-rejet, ni-desir, comme les facultés (langage par exemple) ou les savoirs. Pas juste dans l'acquisition, mais de l'acquis de l'un dans la propre acquisition d'un autre. Dans le cas que les acquis se transmet aussi en écrit, on est en mimétisme aussi des décédés.

Ça ne veut pas dire que le désir soit plus mimétique que quoi que ce soit d'autre dans l'homme.

Et pourtant, René Girard semble se pencher sur le cas que les désirs de deux personnes - y compris d'une autre personne - les mettent en mimétisme avant de les mettre en rivalité, ou pendant.

Dans chaque rivalité il y a un risque de mimétisme, sans que ça en soit la base, dans la mesure que la rivalité devient une guerre, car dans la guerre il y a forcément mimétisme. Entre Staline et Hitler - ou entre Montgomery et Rommell. Entre Scipion et Hannibal.

Entre Einstein et Georges Lemaître aussi.

Il peut y avoir un refus de mimétisme - conscient refus et donc spécifique pour certains aspects. Un Pied-Noir ne va pas imiter si facilement telle ou telle position qu'il identifie lui-même comme de FNL, et il ne vas normalement pas imiter certains actes grossiers de barbarie que les pieds-noirs décrient chez la guerre de FNL. Mais il va imiter pas mal d'autres aspects de l'Algérien Arabe ou Kabyle sans y penser. Il va être moins lié au confort matériel que les Français restés en France, il va être moins apte à se mettre au combat syndical pour ça même, il est probable que lui, il est associeux comme le Hollandais est religieux par imitation de la société musulmane du Maghreb. Il semble aimer les Tsigans moins que les autres français.**

Un homme traqué par psychiatres (ou se croyant tel) va risquer de devenir (au moins vis-à-vis eux et leurs alliés) un analyste à leur style, même en l'ayant détesté au début.***

Ça se peut, tout et la plupart de ça se peut sans aucun mimétisme entre les désirs à la base. Même rivalité de désir ne dit pas toujours mimétisme du désir.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
Dimanche et
S:te Élisabeth de la Hongrie

* L'article cite en effet Proust, Stendhal et Dostoïevski ... comme lus par René.

** Ceci pourrait en partie expliquer le mauvais accueil qu'ils ont eu en 1962 en arrivant en France. Des gens qui n'aiment pas les mœurs arabes ou musulmans mais qui n'osent pas dire ça à propos les Arabes Musulmans ont osé le montrer vis-à-vis des Chrétiens Français arabisés et islamisés. En occurrence les pieds-noirs. Un père André "prêtre vrai" avait écrit des parties de cette biographie qui cite son journal. Il rencontre sur un bateau Camus ou quelque chose, en état un peu déplorable (noir sous les yeux, ongles en deuil) et réfléchit que par là "la philosophie existentialiste se refute elle-même" ... bon, réflexion assez puritaine, un Juif impie l'aurait pu faire à propos un Capucin ou à propos Isabelle la Catholique avant la chute de Grenade. Mais un Catholique? Pourtant, père André était un Catholique et de la Tradition. De même, les Espagnols, qui ont combattu les Maures pendant des siècles, sont parmi les premiers à demander la dispense de distribuer la Sainte Eucharistie aux fidèles sous une espèce (siècles avant le Concile de Trente) et quand ils partagent une bouteille ils ne la touchent pas avec les lèvres.

*** Tolkien met en relief le risque des combattants pour le bien de vouloir avoir les mêmes moyens que ceux du mal à leur disposition - et comment ça risquerait de devenir un mimétisme vers le mal. C'est un des grands thèmes du Seigneur des Anneaux.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Against O'Floinn on Relation of 17th C. Scientific Revolution to 13th C. Scholasticism

A certain O'Floinn has set his mind to writing a Summa on the Scientific Revolution.

First he misnames it "Summa: Origins of Sciences" when he means "Origin of Revolution in Sciences". Of course, he might think that sciences only became scientific with that revolution, so the false title reflects his ideology. Then he thinks "Summa" and "Origin of Sciences" can simply be juxtaposed in Latin, so instead of naming it "summa de originibus scientiarum" he names it "summa origines scientiarum". So far so bad.

Then he says a few less talented things in the diverse articles (yes, he does make articles in the format of Summa Theologica). Then I object to them in comboxes. Then he objects to my "colonisation" of his comboxes.

I do object to spam in my comboxes. Spam as in publicity for viagra or as in links to dating sites or as in banks offering low security quick credits. I do also object to profanity or disrespect for God, for Our Lord Jesus Christ, for Our Lady, for the Seven Sacraments in my comboxes. But I do not object to someone taking issue with what I say, even in extended detail in the comboxes.

I only state that if someone does so, the content of his comments precisely like mine can be republished under the conditions given for republishing of my blogs. My debate with such a commenter would be part of my essay. If he wants compensation for his writing, then he can turn to the one republishing and ask him for compensation in proportion to his contribution. But I do not - at least I have not so far done so - delete comments because they are many and argue against me. I could do so if the same argument answered was merely restated in other words. But even there I might be generous if a new application of it was brought up. Not so O'Floinn.

Here is what he wrote after deleting my comments on his article 2. And my answer:

I much fear Hans-Georg Lundahl has colonized these comm boxes far beyond propriety's bounds. Comment after comment after comment after... (Pope Michael I? WTH?) Therefore, I have taken the reluctant step of deleting his comments.
Hans-Georg Lundahl
Perhaps easier than to reply to my objections ...

Propriety in the comboxes of my blogs does not include excluding reasoned objections.

A philosopher? A scholastic? Nah, you are a modern.

Let us salvage the comments on Proœmium and Articulus 1 while they are there.

The TOF Spot : Summa origines scientiarum: Proœmium

Me against Schönborn
The Church has not rejected blind faith. It has rejected the theory that blind faith is all we can have. And Schönborn is as useless a Scholastic as he is a Dogmatist.

As a Viennese and a Catholic I am deeply concerned about this Schönborn thing being called Cardinal over there. Since his father was a freemason, he should not have been allowed into the clergy. He was, but he has not really made up for the disadvantage that should have blocked him.

Now, the supposed condemnation of blind faith, where the Church has a condemnation of Fideistic theory of Faith, along with the popularised identification between Creationism and blind faith allows him to condemn Creationism by a sleight of hand. He is deeply dishonest.
Me against an aspect of the Proœmium
The lack of stellar parallax falsified the distance to the stars estimated from their apparent disk sizes, not heliocentrism as such.

Does, possibly, negative parallax falsify Heliocentrism as such?

At least the discovery of so called parallax did not falsify Geocentrism.

Since, with angelic movers for each star and planet, but not for earth, "parallax" can be a proper movement of the star, and therefore neither a sign of Earth's supposed orbit, nor a sufficient trigonometric information for calculating the distance.

Instead of "one known side, two known angles" Geocentrism reduces the movement to one known angle, no known distance.
Me answering two other commenters that I cite first, the second also answered by O'Floinn:
According to John W. Campbell, Islam invented science. (I don't know if that includes psionics or the Dean drive.)
Hans-Georg Lundahl
It can be stated in defense of that, that Western Scholasticism started off as an offshot of Islamic and Byzantine learning.

However, behind all three we have the Greeks, and we have them filtered through Catholic-Orthodox and Islamic Monotheism.
j mct
Just one quibble with your analysis, about the 300 years for a legend in modern times while in oral cultures 80 years seems to be the number. Per Galileo, the legend says he proved the earth spins on it's axis and revolves around the sun scientifically, or more correctly empirically. That's obvious hogwash as noted above. This legend must wait a while to get going for the reason that it cannot really get started while there are still scientists running around trying to come up with empirical evidence for the earth spinning on it's axis. This particular myth dates to the late 19th century, or close to 80 years after scientists had stopped looking for the empirical proof the legend says Galileo found, because they'd found it, which could be about as soon as it could get going.

I'd like to add that some of the same sort created the 'Pius XII was a Nazi sympathizer' myth too and that one didn't wait 80 years. If motivated enough, I guess one need wait 80 years.
The actual interval may vary among cultures. The mythologizing of Galileo some three centuries after the fact is independent of whether he was successful. It was the 19th century, celebrating itself, that conjured up the legend. We can actually spot mythmaking in process as regards Roland the paladin of Charlemagne, as we note the entry in the contemporary Annales Regni Francorum, in the within-the-lifetimes Vita Karoli Magni, to Le Chanson de Roland three centuries later.
Hans-Georg Lundahl
close to 80 years after scientists had stopped looking for the empirical proof the legend says Galileo found, because they'd found it,

As noted : they had not.

Now we get to my answers on Articulus 1:

Charles (to article)
In your reply to objection 1, you say that the pre-modern notion of science was "a systematic and analytical study of a subject using evidence, logic and reason". I think this is right in its basic thrust, but leaves out that criterion or "certitude" which is at the core of the Aristotelian notion of science, thus distinguishing scientific demonstration from dialectical demonstration. I wonder if we cannot still say with Aristotle's medieval commentators that science is "cognitio certa per causas" in the precise Aristotelian sense. If so, then much of modern "science" is still in the state of dialectical probability, awaiting the discovery of the proper causes of the observed and mathematically expressed regularities of nature.

Love your blog, Mike Flynn, and I look forward to your future installments on this topic.
TheOFloinn (to Charles)
I would like to think so.
Gyan (to Charles)
But modern science does look for causes. It is not content with "mathematically expressed regularities of nature."

Consider the difference between Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Astronomy is content with establishing the regularities of nature. But Astrophysics wants to know why these regularities exist. The astrophysics was started off by Kepler who first postulated forces between sun and the planets to account for the planetary orbits.

TheOFloinn (to Gyan)
Modern science looks for metrical efficient causes; and of course it raises Theories on top of Facts and Laws. (Or the propter quid for the quia, as the medievals put it.)
Hans-Georg Lundahl (to Gyan)
Astronomy is content with establishing the regularities of nature. But Astrophysics wants to know why these regularities exist.

The problem is that the definition was not "divinatio possibilitatis per causas," but "cognitio certa per causas". And astrophysics is a far cry from cognitio certa.
Hans-Georg Lundahl (to article)
the Scientific Revolution “outshines everything since the rise of Christianity and reduces the Renaissance and Reformation to the rank of mere episodes… within the system of medieval Christendom.”

Indeed, what if the Scientific Revolution in question was the beginning of the Great Apostasy? Just a side issue, you cannot say "summa origines" when you mean "summa de origine" or "summa de originibus", and you could hardly say "scientiarum" if you mean specifically the results of the Scientific Revolution.
List of six features in article which cites Peter Dear:
  • 1.The view of the world as a kind of machine.
  • 2.The distinction between “primary” and “secondary” qualities.
  • 3.The use of deliberate and recordable experimentation.
  • 4.The use of mathematics as a privileged tool for disclosing nature.
  • 5.The pursuit of natural philosophy as a research enterprise.
  • 6.The reconstruction of the social basis of knowledge around a positive evaluation of cooperative research.
Hans-Georg Lundahl
Of the six features I would single out as most Antichristian:

  • 1.The view of the world as a kind of machine.
  • 2.The distinction between “primary” and “secondary” qualities.

If by primary is not meant substance and secondary accidents, but by primary is meant all quantity related things and by secondary all sensorial things. And if by "a kind of machine" you mean "a kind of clockwork which runs itself".
And if by "a kind of machine" you mean "a kind of clockwork which runs itself".

It should be noted that it was the medieval natural philosophers who first compared the universe to a clock -- the clock was, after all, a medieval invention.

Jean Buridan and Nicholas Oresme (14th century) compared the universe to a clock. Even Thomas Aquinas did so. And before that the 13th century monk and astronomer Sacrobosco conceived of the "world machine."

The image of the clockwork universe, or a world machine, was simply an image meant to express a metaphysical view of the universe as a rationally ordered thing, which humans can understand through the use of natural reason.

Like so much else, the Scientific Revolutionaries simply inherited the "machine/clockwork universe" metaphor from their medieval predecessors.
Hans-Georg Lundahl
The Universe is indeed in a way a clock, insofar as it measures time.

But the point is whether it is the kind of clock Immanuel Kant constituted in Königsberg (a living voluntary clock taking his daily walk at regular times) or what is more commonly known as a clockwork.

If I should have been misconstruing St Thomas (so far I am not much read in Buridan or Oresme), do give me the reference, to Summa or to Latin works not translated, quia et hac lingua bene lego textus.

Sacrobosco ... I am not sure he was as orthodox as St Thomas or Nicole Oresme. But it was ages since I just possibly read about him, and I have not read his own texts, so I am not sure.

Buridan (like Bradwardine) was, unless I recall wrong, less orthodox. Pre-calvinist.

Not meaning to depreciate Bradwardine's logarithmic idea or its application for mechanics (which is where he used it, he never went to Napier's lengths in actually defining logarithmic values).
This is the only reference to a clock in the Summa Theologica:

Accordingly, in all things moved by reason, the order of reason which moves them is evident, although the things themselves are without reason: for an arrow through the motion of the archer goes straight towards the target, as though it were endowed with reason to direct its course. The same may be seen in the movements of clocks and all engines put together by the art of man. Now as artificial things are in comparison to human art, so are all natural things in comparison to the Divine art. -- I-II, q. 13, art. 2

Granted, Aquinas is not saying the world is literally like a clock in this passage. What he is saying, though, is that things that lack intelligence themselves, like natural bodies, still seem to act for an end by behaving the same way always or for the most part. These things are, therefore, directed to their ends by the Intelligent Being. This is precisely what Aquinas states in his Fifth Way.

In the above passage, he uses the image of an arrow directed to an end by the archer (like he does in the Fifth Way), but he also uses the second image of a clock, which is directed by the "human art." Natural things, however, are directed by the "Divine art."

The difference between Aquinas' use of the clock metaphor and the way it was used by early modern philosophers is that the latter rejected Aristotelian teleology. For Aquinas, natural things are directed to ends because it's their nature to be so directed, but this nature is ultimately endowed by the Intelligent Being, and therefore directed by that Being. He uses the clock metaphor, like the archer metaphor, to illustrate this.

But for early modern philosophers, there is no conception of the end-directedness-by-nature, or the Aristotelian teleology of Aquinas, and so the clock metaphor is more literal -- the universe became just like a clock, devoid of any inherent purposes or ends.
Hans-Georg Lundahl
Clocks in his day ... not sure they had clockworks.

Clepsydras, sandclocks, sun dials, wax taper clocks were all known, but I think clockworks were a bit later.

Anyway, the tertium comparationis was being arranged by intelligence, not working it out mechanically without intelligence acting all along. As when a clockwork is wound up and the clock left to lie running as the drawer up [=winder up] (and maker) both are absent.


Actually Ioannes de Sacrobosco did not conceive of the world as "machina mundi". He is quoting the words of a not yet Christian Denis of the Areopagus:

ECLIPSE DURING THE PASSION MIRACULOUS. -- From the aforesaid it is also evident that, when the sun was eclipsed during the Passion and the same Passion occurred at full moon, that eclipse was not natural -- nay, it was miraculous and contrary to nature, since a solar eclipse ought to occur at new moon or thereabouts. On which account Dionysius the Areopagite is reported to have said during the same Passion, "Either the God of nature suffers, or the mechanism of the universe is dissolved."


While Denis of the Areopagus was yet a Pagan and saw the miraculous non-shining of the sun (it could not be an eclipse since it was close to or on full moon) on Good Friday, he may very well have been thinking sometimes in terms of "machina mundi", but the comparison is not by the converted saint, nor by the man who quoted his words from before the conversion.

And Denis in giving the two alternatives "God of nature suffering" and "machina mundi being dissolved" neatly showed his intimate knowledge of both Stoic Pantheism and Epicurean Mechanicism - and refuted both. To Stoics the God of nature cannot suffer. To Epicureans the mechanism of the world cannot be dissolved.

Not something any faker of his biography would likely have been able to do before Lorenzo Valla. At least in the Middle Ages.

This is therefore an argument for both the biography of "Pseudo"-Dionysus being genuine and therefore also for Good Friday Dark Sun witnessed outside Jerusalem.

But very much not for Sacrobosco predating Newton in seing nature as a kind of clockwork.
But very much not for Sacrobosco predating Newton in seing nature as a kind of clockwork.

I didn't say Sacrobosco said the universe was a "clockwork." I said he spoke of the "world machine," which he does:

"The machine of the universe is divided into two, the ethereal and the elementary region."
Hans-Georg Lundahl
I suppose he would have called a bike, had he seen one, a machine.
Hans-Georg Lundahl (to article)
Those involved in the 17th century Scientific Revolution were purposefully engaged in overturning previous Aristotelian paradigms. Descartes’ Principles of Philosophy is perhaps the Storming of the Bastille. Yet, even if the Revolutionaries were correct in their self-assessment, revolutions always have deeper origins.

I believe those guys were largely in error.

And since they were in error, how can Christian truth be the cause of their error?

Occasion, yes. Just as Catholic truth was occasion of Protestant errors.

Islam emphasized God’s power and autonomy over his rationality and rejected secondary causality as directly contrary to Holy Qur’an. According to the Jewish philosopher, Maimonides, Islamic theologians (mutakalimun) compared natural laws to the daily riding habits of the caliph – subject to change on a whim.

"[T]he thing which exists (in nature) with certain constant and permanent forms, dimensions, and properties only follows the direction of habit … on this foundation their whole fabric is constructed" [Guide to the Perplexed].

Islamic theologians asserted that

"when a man moves a pen, it is not the man who moves it; for the motion occurring in the pen is an accident created by God in the pen. Similarly the motion of the hand, which we think of as moving the pen, is an accident created by God in the moving hand. Only God has instituted the habit that the motion of the hand is concomitant with the motion of the pen, without the hand exercising in any respect an influence on, or being causative in regard to, the motion of the pen."

"Habits" are not natural laws. Ibn Rushd attacked this world-view, but in the end was stripped of all offices and forced to flee al-Andalus.

There was one philosophical school in 17th C. West which entirely concurred. It was called Occasionalism.

There are hints of an occasionalist viewpoint here and there in Descartes's own writings, but these can mostly be explained away under alternative interpretations. However, many of his later followers quite explicitly committed themselves to an occasionalist position. In one form or another, the doctrine can be found in the writings of: Johannes Clauberg, Claude Clerselier, Gerauld de Cordemoy, Arnold Geulincx, Louis de La Forge, François Lamy, and (most notably), Nicolas Malebranche.

From wiki: Occasionalism

It also discussed in how far Occasionalism is a real obstacle to examining the laws of nature:

To posit an independent causality outside of God's knowledge and action is to deprive Him of true agency, and diminish his attribute of power. In his famous example, when fire and cotton are placed in contact, the cotton is burned not because of the heat of the fire, but through God's direct intervention, a claim which he defended using logic. In the 12th century, this theory was defended and further strengthened by the Islamic theologian Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, using his expertise in the natural sciences of astronomy, cosmology and physics.

Because God is usually seen as rational, rather than arbitrary, his behaviour in normally causing events in the same sequence (i.e., what appears to us to be efficient causation) can be understood as a natural outworking of that principle of reason, which we then describe as the laws of nature. Properly speaking, however, these are not laws of nature but laws by which God chooses to govern his own behaviour (his autonomy, in the strict sense) — in other words, his rational will. This is not, however, an essential element of an occasionalist account, and occasionalism can include positions where God's behaviour (and thus that of the world) is viewed as ultimately inscrutable, thus maintaining God's essential transcendence. On this understanding, apparent anomalies such as miracles are not really such: they are simply God behaving in a way that appears unusual to us. Given his transcendent freedom, he is not bound even by his own nature. Miracles, as breaks in the rational structure of the universe, can occur, since God's relationship with the world is not mediated by rational principles.

However, the kind of occasionalism denying fire burns cotton by its heat, though it may have occurred to Chesterton, is not the Thomistic view. Fire does burn cotton because of its heat, but God and angels are agencies superior to the heat of fire and thus capable of preventing the occurrence.

Now, it was motivated in a way exactly mirroring Calvinistic concern about God's majesty versus efficacy of free will:

To posit an independent causality outside of God's knowledge and action is to deprive Him of true agency, and diminish his attribute of power.

Wrong. Fire has heat for causality capable of for instance burning cotton, and always has this in and of itself. But this is because that is how God created fire. This does not mean that God is deprived of true agency. God is always capable of inhibiting the burning of fire and of heat and did so on at least two occasions: the three young men in the furnace and the Beloved Disciple in boiling oil, after which he was exiled to Patmos.

But more than that, nothing ever in all the world occurrs without God either directly wanting it to occurr or at least permitting that it occurrs.

That said, some of the so called laws may indeed be habits of God or of angels. St Augustine when discussing the concept of one moment creation in his Twelve Books says that no way anything ever occurrs contrary to how God decided it to be in that one moment. BUT the capacities are both those God takes care of in natural occurrences and in all miracles that do happen, and the innate capcacities that God decided in that one moment of creation are not necessarily exactly the same that scientists deduct from observation of regularities.

This is contrary to the enormous errors of Ibn Rushd, according to which God simply does not care one way or the other.

St Thomas Aquinas fought Ibn Rushd (or Averroes, as we call him), Ibn Bajja (a man as close as an Islamic Aquinas as we can get, Avempace in Latin) also fought Ibn Rushd.

Modern physics owe one concept at least to these two men independently refuting Averroes.

"God cannot move all the universe sideways" had that man said. "Because in that case it would leave behind a void, and that is impossible".

Both Aquinas and Avempace answered that in that case space void of matter would exist as the remaining spatial coordinates of where the universe had been.

Note that "space" and "void" as a modern concept of pure coordinates was in their answer only the logic solution to a miracle that had been depicted as logically impossible.

Now, the way modern scientists and even more science historians make such a fuzz about Averroes is to me a token, that the modern scientific worldview is Averroism revived in the West.

Despite the efforts of both St Thomas Aquinas and Bishop Tempier to stifle it - the philosopher by arguing, the bishop by condemning.

So, I reject the second of three "obstacles to science arising" as an obstacle of true science:

2.Belief in the absolutely autonomy of God. When even the act of handwriting is ascribed to God’s direct intervention, "laws of nature" can be no more than "habits of God," and the reasons for them cannot be comprehended. Therefore, the search for scientific laws would be in vain.

As to the first, here it is:

1.Belief in a multitude of self-willed gods. No dependable laws of nature are possible if sundry gods might intervene in the world to contrary purposes. Venus overrules Mars or Poseidon countermands Hera. When inanimate objects – stars, trees, rivers – are creatures capable of aims, emotions, and desires, the search for scientific laws would be in vain. As Brian Stock writes, "[the Roman’s] daily experience led him to believe that nature’s forces could be imitated, even placated; he was less sure they could be understood" (Stock, 1978).

I agree in part. If Helios can hand over his chariot to his son Phaeton (and a god capable morally of havin sex and getting a son have it in the first place), nature is run by a multitude of self willed gods and science is impossible.

But if Helios usually dutifully follows a rule telling him to shine on good and on bad, but asked permission not to shine over Calvary and got it, the "gods of nature" follow a supreme command and science is possible.

Actually, the Aristotelian view of astronomy or astrophysics, shared by St Thomas Aquinas and Sacrobosco, makes the Sun weaker than God in a way Ancient Paganism did not. In Homer Helios is actively getting from East to West each day. In Aristotle and Aquinas he is enjoying the ride that Heaven - moved by God - provides from East to West each day, all the while actively moving his star slowly the opposite way, from West to East, one circle per year. In Homer he is cousin of Zeus. In Aristotle/Aquinas he is clearly subordinate in quite another way to the First Mover of Heaven.

It is ironic that Aquinas reviving Aristotle's argument identifying God as first mover should have been considered cofounder of Deism.

On the contrary, in Aquinas even if we take just the Natural Philosophy, God is never leaving the world alone a second, He is the Mover of Day and Night.

It is when the World begins to look like a clockwork able to go on on its own that Deism sets in. And the one who changed "first mover" to watchmaker who could leave the clockwork going and it would go on was Newton. I e the Scientific Revolution.

But let us take issue only where I find modern science objectionable as an ideology. Is the universe a clockwork that runs itself? It may obviously in some sense be a clock in so far as it measures time.

But the machina mundi that Sacrobosco and St Thomas envisaged was not selfrunning. Confer my remark about a bike.

If you want to make a model of the universe as seen by the men of the 13th C. make a merry-go-round. In the middle you have a pillar representing immobile earth. At the outer rim you have a bike on which God (a priest might represent him) bikes along, running it all from east to west around the immobile earth. Between them you have seven "orbits," pre-set tracks, in which Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn (that children can model, imagine them crying "I want to be the Sun today"!) go in slowly pedalled cars from west to east. Nothing in that machina is running itself, it is all run by either God or by spirits he created.

Newton, never actually refuting this, forgets this and his admirers forget it after him. It is an image which (excepting geometric details about orbit-tracks, notably elliptic instead of circular and Moon and Sun the only ones directly around earth, the others around Sun) has not been refuted. Its philosophical and metaphysical basis has never suffered a reasoned defeat. It has first been forgotten and then - in our time when recalled - ridiculed.

Now, O'Floinn is more or less implying it is incompatible with science, because he wants physical objects to move each other with autonomous causality. If God is "pedalling" all the universe daily, the causality is obviously not autonomous.

He is in articulus 2 on clearly dangerous ground as far as doctrine is concerned. Here is the first condition for science in the modern sense:

First and most basic, the normative belief in the culture must be that physical bodies must be capable of acting one upon the other from powers which they themselves possess. This doctrine of secondary causation infected the West from the teaching of Augustine of Hippo and others during the Autumn of Late Antiquity. ... By the eleventh century this had become the default belief across Western Europe.

... Nature is nothing but the plan of some art, namely a divine one, put into things themselves, by which those things move towards a concrete end: as if the man who builds up a ship could give to the pieces of wood that they could move by themselves to produce the form of the ship.
-- Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Physics II.8, lecture 14, no. 268

Is there any single part of Physics II.8 which makes it impossible for nature to mean what it usually did in the Middle Ages? Biology in the sublunar biosphere. Obviously "pieces of wood get together to form a ship" in every pregnancy.

In the Corpus Thomisticum site, Book II of Physics, chapter 8 does not have 14 lectures. But if I get to beginning of book two I find

Dicit ergo primo quod inter omnia entia, quaedam esse dicimus a natura; quaedam vero ab aliis causis, puta ab arte vel a casu. Dicimus autem esse a natura quaelibet animalia, et partes ipsorum, sicut carnem et ossa, et etiam plantas et corpora simplicia, scilicet elementa, quae non resolvuntur in aliqua corpora priora, ut sunt terra, ignis, aer et aqua: haec enim et omnia similia a natura dicuntur esse.
scroll down to [71673] In Physic., lib. 2 l. 1 n. 2

Note that stars are not among the things that are of nature. Fire, earth, air and water are, they also have their innate tendency of movement either straight up (air, fire) towards the periphery of the universe or straight down (water, earth) towards its centre, earth. No innate tendency to perfect circles or ellipses. And the stars that do such things are not just nature, but moved by spirits. But mainly speaking, nature or physis, which is the subject of physics, means biology.

Let us look where the quote from St Albert is from (see my emphasis):

In studying nature we have not to inquire how God the Creator may, as He freely wills, use His creatures to work miracles and thereby show forth His power; we have rather to inquire what Nature with its immanent causes can naturally bring to pass.
-- St. Albertus Magnus, De vegetabilibus et plantis

We are getting down to earth in a sense close to St Augustine, right? No stellar objects, not even rain and lightning are intended. Just plain vegetable growth. After the plan in the genome.

But if by "physical bodies" O'Floinn means dead matter and if acting one upon the other he means getting the movement rolling merely by the innate properties of material (non-living and non-spiritual) causality, I fear O'Floinn is wrong, and it suffices to read the argument from the First Mover with its parallel in Summa Contra Gentes once again. The real founder of Deism - a non-Averroist system in many ways parallel to Averroism - was not Aquinas but Newton. And it is fairer to associate Newton than Aquinas with "the Scientific Revolution".

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
St Amantius of Rennes

Monday, November 11, 2013

C'est surtout St Martin, mais il y a aussi ...

Bx Vincent Eugène Bossilkov, évêque et martyr († 1952)

À Sofia en Bulgarie, l’an 1952, la passion du bienheureux Vincent-Eugène Bossilkov, évêque de Nicopoli, passioniste et martyr. Il refusa, sous le régime soviétique, de se séparer de la communion avec l’Église romaine, fut incarcéré et cruellement maltraité, enfin condamné à mort sous prétexte de trahison et fusillé. Avec lui furent fusillés aussi les bienheureux Pierre Vitchev, Paul Djidjov et Joseph Chichkov, prêtres, augustins de l’Assomption, faussement accusés de trahison, torturés, humiliés et condamnés à mort dans une parodie de procès.

Partagé par une amie sur FB./HGL

Friday, November 8, 2013

Decreta Constantini et Theodosii in Sacris Litteris

[Daniel 3:96] A me ergo positum est hoc decretum: ut omnis populus, tribus, et lingua, quaecumque locuta fuerit blasphemiam contra Deum Sidrach, Misach, et Abdenago, dispereat, et domus ejus vastetur: neque enim est alius Deus, qui possit ita salvare.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

"Ancyrae, in Galatia, passio sanctorum Melasippi, Antonii et Carinae, sub Juliano Apostata."

À Ankara, en Galatie, la passion des saints Mélasippe, Antoine et Carine, sous Julien l'Apostat.

Il y a un auteur cité aujourd'hui par Defendente Génolini - suffisamment stupide pour être Anatole France ou Voltaire - qui vient d'écrire un pseudo-bon-mot sur Sainte Carine. Je cite d'après direct matin:

Personnage légendaire, victime de tourments imaginés par un conteur aux penchants plutôts sadiques.

Peut-être comptait-il sur le fait que la jurisprudence romaine dit "nulla poena sine lege". Mais les Césars Payens ou encore Julien l'Apostat, ce n'est pas encore la jurisprudence romaine connue. Ce n'est pas encore Ulpien et les Empéreurs Justin et Justinien.

Qu'on regarde un plaidoyer tôtif de Cicéron. In Verrem. Il s'indignait parce que les victimes de ce pilleur étaient hommes libres dans Lilybée, une cité certes provinciale mais quand même en bonne entente avec Rome. Il est à craindre que les bourreaux des Chrétiens étaient moins pudiques envers le temple du Saint-Esprit que Verres envers les temples des divinités païennes de Lilybée. Il est à craindre que ces bourreaux considéraient les Chrétiens moins importants. Et que sous Julien, ils s'adonnaient encore une fois à leurs penchants en liberté et impunité.

Corrigeons le bon mot: Personnages devenus légandaires, victimes de tourments que leur avaient imaginés des bourreaux aux penchants plutôt sadiques.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
BU Nanterre
Sts Mélasippe, Antoine
et Carine

PS, évidemment que je fais confiance à des ménologues grecs qui ont servi pour le Martyrologe Romain./HGL

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pasteur et l'école

Pasteur inventait la pasteurisation (du vin) à partir des années 1850 et déposait son brevet en 1861. Ce n'est qu'après qu'elle devient obligatoire.

Pasteur et la Pasteurisation
Classe de cm2A, École Just Hyasine, Cayenne.

Peut-on être d'accord que les choses étaient bonnes entre 1861 et 1920? Pire avant puisqu'on ne pouvait pas protéger le vin de devenir vinaigre, pire après parce qu'il y a des difficultés à acheter du lait non pasteurisé d'un fermier voisin ou à travers un petit voyage de voiture ... si en France c'est en 1920 que la pasteurisation devient obligatoire, aux États-Unis il y a peut-être encore des différences entre les États. Mais dans certains le lait non pasteurisé est traité comme une marchandise frelatée.

Bon, il y a une parallèle avec l'école. On a eu l'école à Rome, depuis au moins St Augustin elle enseigne les sept arts (grammaire, rhétorique, logique, arithmétique, musique, géométrie et astronomie), mais tout ceci était libre. En Allemagne l'école publique ne deviant pas obligatoire qu'avec Hitler, en 1938. Et les déboires de Jules Ferry en France se trouvaient déjà avant, heureusement que certains aspects ont été renversés ici. Mais encore il y a moins liberté pour parents et élèves qu'aux temps avant.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
BU de Nanterre
St Charles Borromée

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Let us bury the equation "Indo-European = Japhetic"

I am a creationist, but the sons of Noah were three, and the languages immediately after Babel were more like 70.

Indo-European can have been a construct God used as never humanly spoken original to mould several of the languages (unless he let demons do that giving them such power over men as punishment for assisting at the building project). It can be a series of traits that came together in language after language as they borrowed from each other. Or it can have been - less likely if you ask me - a language which diversified very much as it spread from people to people.

It was not by any stretch the original language of every Japhetic nation after the Tower of Babel.

Just as Semitic languages were also spoken by descendants of Ham (like Asshur or Canaan). Just as Hamitic languages were thus not spoken by all descendants of Ham, but by Mizraim and by the ancestor of the Berbers. Philistines probably spoke Mycenean Greek (Dagon = Potei Daon = Poseidon). And I just mentioned the loads of Hamite peoples who spoke "Semitic" languages. Add Ethiopian speakers of Geez to them.

Why this is important to note is because I was just reading about Semitic peoples in a book that Hovind recommended. Here is the source and the two quotes:

After the Flood
by Bill Cooper

5. Lud: The early descendants of Lud, the Ludim, were known to both the Assyrians and Babylonians as the Ludu. Josephus tells us that their land was later known as Lydia (a direct Greek derivation of the name Lud) which lay in western Asia Minor. (Josephus rendered the name Laud.) The Lydians were famed in the old world for the skill of their archers. They spoke an Indo-European (Japhetic) language, examples of which are to be found on certain Egyptian monuments. The land of Lydia was finally conquered by Cyrus, king of Persia, in the year 546 BC (see Map 4.) (Refs: 1DB 3:178-9. NBD 755.JA P1:28)

9. Gether: His descendants (known to Josephus as Gather) settled to the south of Damascus. Josephus identifies them as the latter-day Bactrians, famous amongst other 101 things for a breed of camel. Whether this identification is correct or not cannot now be determined. It should, however, be noted that Bactria was populated by Aryan, or Japhetic, tribes in late Assyrian times, whereas the children of Gether were, of course, Semites (see Map 4.) (Refs: 1DB 2:387.JA P 1:28)

So, Bactrians speaking "Aryan" cannot be "Semites" like Gether? Well, Lydians are also descendants of Sem, and look at them:

Wikipedia : Lydia : 3. Language

The Lydian language was an Indo-European language in the Anatolian language family, related to Luwian and Hittite. It used many prefixes and grammatical particles.[5] Lydian finally became extinct during the 1st century BC.

OK, Lydians are still descendants of Lud even if they speak Anatolian Indo-European, but Bactrians are maybe not descendants of Gether if they speak Aryan Indo-European? What if Indo-Europeans were never same thing as Japhetites in the first place? What if part of the Indo-European peoples (such as Bactrians, a k a Afghans of some kind, and such as Lydians) descend from Sem?

As we talk about Lydians, it may seem the Phrygians and thus the Trojans and part of origin of the Romans descend from Lydians, and therefore from Lud.

Will be returning to the reading of Bill Cooper now, he is not bad just because he has naive conceptions on 19th C. linguistics.* Or rather outdated conceptions from 19th C.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Georges Pompidou Library
of Paris, Beaubourg
Sunday in Octave of All Hallows

*The site on which I found his book online is Zionist though. Here are the Catholic Haydock comments to the four chapters of Ezechiel they comment on: Ezechiel 36, Ezechiel 37, Ezechiel 38, Ezechiel 39.