Tuesday, 13 March 2012

From Lonergan's 'Verbum'

"For Aquinas, the second procession grounding real relations is not the procession of the act of love from the will, nor the procession of something else from the act of love within the will, but the procession in the will of the act of love from the inner word in the intellect." (VB CWL 2:109)

Actus imperfecti: movement.
Actus perfecti: act. E.g. sensation, understanding, willing. The 'operatio sensus iam facti in actu per suam speciem.' (CWL 2:114-116)

"The Latin term species translates Aristotle's term eidos and shares it ambiguity. It may mean a form, and then it includes neither common nor individual matter; and it may mean a universal, and then it includes common but not individual matter." (CWL 2:133)

Operatio and actio sometimes mean simply act or being in act, and sometimes mean the exercise of efficient causality. but the precision of trinitarian theory led Aquinas to distinguish exactly between these two meanings w.r.t. the operation or action of intellect: "when that operation is meant in the sense of act, it is termed intelligere; but when by operation is meant that one act is grounding another, it is termed dicere." (CWL 2:136)

"Again, meeting the objection that the divine essence cannot be the object of created knowledge because the judged is to the judge as passive, he answered that on the contrary the sensible and intelligible objects are to sense and intellect as agent inasmuch as sentire and intelligere are a pati quoddam." (CWL 2:142)

And something to be explored further:
"and incidentally, we may ask whether this neglect of natural potency has not some bearing on unsatisfactory conceptions of obediential potency." (CWL 2:149)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The relationality of humans, world and language

In his chapter on Heidegger Arthos has the following rather dense sentence:
The relationality of humans, world, and language is saturated with the frailty and possibility of human finitude, and so constructed out of a generative-destructive dynamic the continual loop [the Moebius strip] does not have, simultaneously withdrawing into abysms and accreting by revelation. (Arthos, The Inner Word 208)
When I alight from the bus and face the fields and the hills of home in the green distance, the 'relationality of humans, world, and language' comes alive to me. Those green hills are not just green hills. They are the interpenetration of humans, world and language. They mean something to me. To this I who is part of a We, a family, a people, a culture, a history.

And this relationality is penetrated by human finitude: "the frailty and possibility of human finitude." It is constructed out of a generative-destructive dynamic that the simple eternity or endlessness of the Moebius loop cannot represent.

Heidegger here has in mind the withdrawal and manifestation of Being. But I am thinking not so much of this dialectic, but of the other, the dialectic of joy and sorrow, much of which cannot be Said when the Time is not Ripe.  

Thinking and time

Sometimes I find myself thinking: if only I had the time, I would be able to do more, think more, write more. Like I did this morning: for some reason, I thought of taking Arthos' The Inner Word to my room, and relaxing with it there. It did work: allowing the mind to enter more fully, more slowly, into the matter. So perhaps: if I had more time, more leisure, I might have...

But then no: if I did not have any work, any commitments, to structure my time, I would probably waste my time. Thinking does not happen in a vacuum. It happens in the midst of a world, my world.

But didn't Heidegger have leisure, all the leisure in the world, to think, to write? Those long stays in the little hut in the Black Forest, those long walks along impossibly beautiful and solitary mountain paths.... How wonderful, I find myself thinking.

But then no: even the solitary Heidegger was actually thinking within the constraints of his situation. His impossibly constricted situation. His situation in which he had made his faux pas, his irretrievable step, which had then cast its shadow upon the rest of his life. It was within those very real constraints, his situation, his thrownness, that he was thinking.

There is no thinking in the abstract. 

Monday, 5 March 2012

Heidegger and the inner word

Sean J. McGrath. "Heidegger and Duns Scotus on truth and language." The Review of Metaphysics (Dec. 2003). See http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb3545/is_2_57/ai_n29056570/pg_5/?tag=content;col1