Lecture 41

Economic is the conservation of scare goods

Aesthetic, is beautiful harmony

Jural, Dooyeweerd uses the word retribution, he means a harmonising of a multiplicty of interests. The Roman jurists summarised it as ‘To render to each his own’.

Ethical: The ethical aspect means the loving faithfulness of man to man.
Vollenhoven, said that good and evil belongs to the pre-modal heart and has to do with the heart relation to the word of God; ie good is the obedient submission to the word of God, evil is a rebellion against the word of God in one’s life. Most modern philosophers presume that ethics has to do with good and evil. Three basic distinctions: good and evil, the root religious direction of life; ‘This and that’, the distinction between one and another, individuality; the ‘Thus so’ difference , modal differentiation.

The ethical is not a matter of good and evil, but fidelity to one’s fellow man. It is not the same as jural.

Pistic: why do we have to have a pistic function, faith is a noun? Heart is the point in which all function activity is religiously concentrated, so why a pistical modality? Acts ch 16: 11 ff: ‘The Lord opened her heart to respond’ and then a response on her part.
I am made to hear the word of God – God changes the heart and then I behave in a different way.
Everything changes because of faith.

Going to read from a couple of books.C S Lewis The Abolition of Man.

I doubt whether we are sufficiently attentive to the importance of elementary text books. That is why I have chosen as the starting-point for these lectures a little book on English intended for ‘boys and girls in the upper forms of schools’. I do not think the authors of this book (there were two of them) intended any harm, and I owe them, or their publisher, good language for sending me a complimentary copy. At the same time I shall have nothing good to say of them. Here is a pretty predicament. I do not want to pillory two modest practising schoolmasters who were doing the best they knew:
but I cannot be silent about what I think the actual tendency of their work. I therefore propose to conceal their names. I shall refer to these gentlemen as Gaius and Titius and to their book as The Green Book. But I promise you there is such a book and I have it on my shelves.In their second chapter Gaius and Titius quote the well-known story of Coleridge at the waterfall. You remember that there were two tourists present: that one called it ‘sublime’ and the other ‘pretty’; and that Coleridge mentally endorsed the first judgement and rejected the second with disgust. Gaius and Titius comment as follows: ‘When the man said This is sublime, he appeared to be making a remark about the waterfall… Actually … he was not making a remark about the waterfall, but a remark about his own feelings. What he was saying was really I have feelings associated in my mind with the word “Sublime”, or shortly, I have sublime feelings’ Here are a good many deep questions settled in a pretty summary fashion. But the authors are not yet finished. They add: ‘This confusion is continually present in language as we use it. We appear to be saying something very important about something: and actually we are only saying something about our own feelings.

Before considering the issues really raised by this momentous little paragraph (designed, you will remember, for ‘the upper forms of schools’) we must eliminate one mere confusion into which Gaius and Titius have fallen. Even on their own views on any conceivable view, the man who says This is sublime cannot mean I have sublime feelings. Even if it were granted that such qualities as sublimity were simply and solely projected into things from our own emotions, yet the emotions which prompt the projection are the correlatives, and therefore almost the opposites, of the qualities projected. The feelings which make a man call an object sublime are not sublime feelings but feelings of veneration. If This is sublime is to be reduced at all to a statement about the speaker’s feelings, the proper translation would be I have humble feelings. If the view held by Gaius and Titius were consistently applied it would lead to obvious absurdities. It would force them to maintain that You are contemptible means I have contemptible feelings’, in fact that Your feelings are contemptible means My feelings are contemptible. But we need not delay over this which is the very pons asinorum of our subject. It would be unjust to Gaius and Titius themselves to emphasize what was doubtless a mere inadvertence.

The schoolboy who reads this passage in The Green Book will believe two propositions: firstly, that all sentences containing a predicate of value are statements about the emotional state of the speaker, and secondly, that all such statements are unimportant. It is true that Gaius and Titius have said neither of these things in so many words. They have treated only one particular predicate of value (sublime) as a word descriptive of the speaker’s emotions. The pupils are left to do for themselves the work of extending the same treatment to all predicates of value: and no slightest obstacle to such extension is placed in their way. The authors may or may not desire the extension: they may never have given the question five minutes’ serious thought in their lives. I am not concerned with what they desired but with the effect their book will certainly have on the schoolboy’s mind. In the same way, they have not said that judgements of value are unimportant. Their words are that we ‘appear to be saying something very important’ when in reality we are ‘only saying something about our own feelings’. No schoolboy will be able to resist the suggestion brought to bear upon him by that word only. I do not mean, of course, that he will make any conscious inference from what he reads to a general philosophical theory that all values are subjective and trivial. The very power of Gaius and Titius depends on the fact that they are dealing with a boy: a boy who thinks he is ‘doing’ his ‘English prep’ and has no notion that ethics, theology, and politics are all at stake. It is not a theory they put into his mind, but an assumption, which ten years hence, its origin forgotten and its presence unconscious, will condition him to take one side in a controversy which he has never recognized as a controversy at all. The authors themselves, I suspect, hardly know what they are doing to the boy, and he cannot know what is being done to him.

Until quite modern times all teachers and even all men believed the universe to be such that certain emotional reactions on our part could be either congruous or incongruous to it—believed, in fact, that objects did not merely receive, but could merit, our approval or disapproval, our reverence or our contempt. The reason why Coleridge agreed with the tourist who called the cataract sublime and disagreed with the one who called it pretty was of course that he believed inanimate nature to be such that certain responses could be more ‘just’ or ‘ordinate’ or ‘appropriate’ to it than others. And he believed (correctly) that the tourists thought the same. The man who called the cataract sublime was not intending simply to describe his own emotions about it: he was also claiming that the object was one which merited those emotions. But for this claim there would be nothing to agree or disagree about. To disagree with This is pretty if those words simply described the lady’s feelings, would be absurd: if she had said I feel sick Coleridge would hardly have replied No; I feel quite well.

Another book:Basil Willey The Seventeenth Century Background Ch 5 ‘The philosophical quest for Truth: Descates’

We are beginning to see that the 17th century discovered two main kinds of certainty one objective or external one subjective or internal … . These two orders of certainty, objective and subjective, correspond to Descartes division of reality into extension [matter] and thought [mind]. It is now relevant to consider some prolems that arise … . The philosophic quest for truth in the 17th century was concerned with epistemological problems: can I know anything of reality? and if so how and what? … Sense data, as well as authoritative teaching, were found to be misleading.

Galileo was the heir of the atomists of the ancient world.

Our senses however have other qualities such as temperature and sound these are the secondary qualities [why secondary? ]

A man is as a scientist interested in a particular field, say mechanics, what he is interested in he describes as primary categories; the things such as taste colour are called secondary qualities. Idea taken over, we distinguish primary and secondary qualities. The scientist structures creation from the standpoint of special sciences, taken over by the philosophers and that becomes the way of viewing God’s creation.

In medieval times, they distinguished properties and qualities.

If something is heavy we feel it. It doesn’t go around feeling – it doesn’t have a psychical subject function.
What traditional philosophy has called qualities we would call psychical object functions.

Locke is a modern subjectivist, qualities have gone. Aristotle was an objectivist, they assumed that the mind was in contact with real things.

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: By Runner, Lectures

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: