Tuesday, July 28, 2009

NOTES: The Soul of the Person by Adrian Reimers

The Soul of the Person: A Contemporary Philosophical Psychology
Adrian J. Reimers
(Washington, D.C.: CUA Press, 2006)

p. xvi "…I follow John Paul II in rejecting consciousness as the foundation of the ontological supremacy and distinctiveness of human beings vis-à-vis the natural order. The human being is rational animal. Or, as Peirce, has put it: 'The mind is a sign, developing according to the laws of inference.' 5**"

3 "The thesis of this work is that because the human being is a rational being, the soul is real, that this term soul refers to the spiritual basis of human nature, a basis that can be reduced neither to the material constitution of the body nor to mechanisms governing its behavior."
16 Theo Belmans, physicism, "the temptation to understand by object a perfectly neutral thing, an en soi of the impersonal order, receiving its significance from the pour soi, which is the subject." 32** ; "Spirit has to do with how we represent our lives and experiences to ourselves."
19 If the mind is not something to be improved, but only enhanced for practical utility, then Socrates is indeed a corrupter of the young and Meletus is their true guardian. **41
23 no question of the integration of the soul and body; "Thus, the Aristotelian argument does not of itself constitute an argument that the human soul is immaterial, immortal, or in any other way different from animal souls."
24 "Substance for Aristotle and Aquinas is intrinsically dynamic, for each substance has its specific perfection which it realizes by its proper operations."
25 Aquinas: "no substantial form is susceptible of more or less; but addition of greater perfection constitutes another species." cf.?
29 "Even having accepted materialist presuppositions as definitive, scientists can distinguish between kinds of things on the basis of behavior, and therefore on the basis of final causality."
30 "The phenomenological essence of the experience a human being acts is that it is both mental (conscious) and efficacious." 55**
Cf. Wojtyla, The Acting Person, Dordrecht, Boston, London: D. Riedel, 1979, Part One, chapter Two.
31 "…John Paul II argues that it is only as a responsible bodily being that one can exercise freedom, properly understood."
33 "For Karol Wojtyla, the key metaphysical term is not soul but suppositum, 64** by which he means the metaphysical subject that underlies experience and action."
cf. "Person: Subject and Community", in Person and Community, New York: Peter Lang, 1993)
34 Peirce, Firstness, Secondness, Thirdness, "The Categories in Detail", Collected Papers, §§303–353, 148–180. 1stness as en soi, monad; 2ndness as avec loi, dyad; 3rdness as pour et avec nous, triad
35 Peirce's threefold analysis is a rejection of every form of reductionism
36 the fact that natural laws "admit of general descriptions and their behavior admits of general characterizations means for Peirce that they manifest the operation of mind [whether it be evolutionary or divine, etc.]."
Cf. "A Neglected Argument for the Existence of God", Collected, 6.452–493.
37 David Braine argues that "even perception is interpretive. Likewise, intentions are not mental events somehow added to motions, but are present in and expressed by the acts themselves." ** 84
Cf. Human Person, NDU Press, 1992, p. 140. … "Language is the bodily behavior that manifests intellectuality."
38 "…it remains that something physical is governed by laws of reason."

42 "Because there is that which is outside my control, that which impedes the exercise of my will, I know there is matter. Peirce writes, 'Now mere qualities do not resist. It is matter that resists."
**1 Collected, 1.419.
43 "The characteristic of materiality is obtrusive resistance."
45 "The principle of materiality directs us only to the present, the now in which material things are encountered. The future is not given in that encounter, that interaction. Lacking predictive power, materiality alone does not reveal the nature of a thing."
47 "The sciences investigate the manners of things' existence by investigating their behavior."
48 Peirce: "The reality of things consists in their persistent forcing themselves upon our recognition. If a thing has no such persistence, it is a mere dream. Reality, then, is [obtrusive, dyadic] persistence, is regularity."
5** Collected, 1.175.
49 "Peirce characterizes the laws of science as habits, albeit degenerate ones."
cf. Collected, 6.97, 101.
cf. Also Whitehead, Dialogues, n.7: res different from ens, for ens is from esse, while res expresses quiddity;
cf. De Ver. q. 1, a. 1.
50 F = Gm1m2/r^2
52 "Science recognizes no surds. … [E]ach physical object has its own teleology, its law, which is to behave according to the laws governing the behavior of its kind."
53 "What we call 'habit' in living things is a nexus of interactions governed by invariant laws."
54 "The individual is a sign of other members of its class."
55 "Behavior is an index of one thing in relation to other things."
e.g., shoe box diagram is a sign of the movie theater by iconic resemblance, for hypothesis-making, whereas an usher pointing to your seat is an index, for analytical, scientific purposes; a map is iconic of the highways, while a road sign "To Erewhon" is an index
56 "If things could not represent other things––could not be signs of them––then we could not know any more than what we have experienced. This does not mean, of course, that things themselves intend meanings, but only that their shared structures and patterns of causal interaction constitute interpretive principles in virtue of which one thing can signify another to the intelligent observer."
58 "The falling rock or orbiting moon, the deflected electron and the devouring black hole behave as they are supposed to. The law of a thing's behavior and existence is written into them."
59 Appetitus and Greek entelechy do not mean desire or appetite as in English. They refer to the natural tendencies of things to behave always or for the most part in the same ways. … quod est optimum… points to an order external to the thing that is so ordered to its own good, based on its form. … "Teleology, properly understood, is an expression and result of a thing's obeying general laws, of its realizing its nature through its characteristic habits."
cf. De Ver. q. 21, a. 6 and ST Ia q. 5, a. 5.
62 The answer to Searle's quandary as to how the world of mindless, physical matter can produce mental action is to say there is no world of mindless, physical matter, but a world populated by rational bodily agents.
Cf. Brains, Minds and Science, p. 13.

65 "…to be spiritual is to be governed by an ideal."
66 "It is in virtue of this orientation to truth and the good that we are spiritual beings."
67 "To value is innate."
cf. Aristotle, Met. I, i, 980a Valuing the truly good as the desire to know. ………
73 "The reason, therefore, that good does not appear in mathematics has not to do with the nature of its objects but is because of its method of studying things, which is '[not] according to their existence but only according to their specific formal character.'"
cf. De Ver. q. 21, a. 2, Obj. 4, ad 4.
Does not then existence add some goodness to something, as in Anselm's aliquid quo nihil maius cogitari possit pace Kant?……
75 "For truth is a property of representations…." … "The representation is never self-validating, but must be understood or interpreted…."
76 "The structure of the idea is not sensible but logical."
cf. also J. Ross, "Immaterial Aspects…"
77 "…the knowledge of these [numerous phenomena] is governed by ideas which order the signs logically as the nature of the real things orders them in relation to each other."
80 Greek word κοσμος means order, and is related to both "cosmos" and "cosmetic", as in ornamentation one beholds order
81 "Beauty is the being grasped as a whole according to a single idea." … "…intuition, by which the intellect grasps a being's essence, and 'combining and dividing,' by which intelligence attributes a predicate to a subject. Strictly speaking, therefore, there is no truth in the first act of understanding."
cf. De Ver. q. 1, a. 1.
82 "In a way, our analysis confirms that beauty is in the eye of the beholder." / in but not by/
84 "Even when Bertrand Russell writes of the world as 'purposeless' and 'void of meaning,'30** he does so to give it an integral significance, a unity. … The human mind, even when it resists the impulse, is impelled to search out the characters that pertain to the whole. To be a rational animal is to be a metaphysical animal.
cf. "A Free Man's Worship", as in Burtt, Met. Found. of Mod. Sci., 1954, p. 23
86 the soul is the idea-using principle of the development which Peirce ascribed to the mind as a sign according to the laws of inference … A man's acts and habits are the means by which he interprets and manipulates the world, and as such are signs; just as a nexus of propositions constitutes an argument, so do one's acts constitute him as a sign.
92 "Belief is the commitment of mind to something as true."
93 "A stated belief that would not under any conceivable circumstances change or affect one's behavior either is not truly believed or is meaningless. To believe that something is true is to prepare oneself to act.
95 "If belief constitutes a predisposition to a kind of action, then truth is manifest in success." ………
96 n.4 –– "For Peirce, pragmatism offers an ultimate test for meaning, while James makes it a direct test for truth."
cf. W. James, Pragmatism, §90.
97 "Thus Aquinas characterizes Aristotle's definition [of truth] as a formal determination of his own. ¶ To understand is to grasp the essence of a being, and this is the first act of the intellect. The second act is 'composition and division,' that is, in predicating something of a subject." ………
100 three main classes of human habit: 1. perception, 2. work or practical activity, 3. reasoning (or the manipulation of symbols to express meaning)
101 "Human perception is the habit of ordering environmental stimuli into coherent images of things. … The nature of perception, however, does not derive from the simple responses of the organs, but from the purpose they attain."
103 "…sensation is interpreted according to ideas."
104 "…perception is not a matter of imposing order on unformed stimuli; perception is itself ordered. … material … space and time … future existence … general category of things. … The action of the body is the unified collective response of the sensory system; the image is the perceptible object as understood, that is, as represented to oneself."
105 "As a habit of imaging, however, perception is not directly linked to action. Perception mediates between stimulus and response."
108 "The empiricists passed over these [Kantian/categorical] ideas as subjective…. [But:] That these ideas are real is manifest is already in their unifying the perceptual experience. … The motion [of two balls striking], as well as the causality, is an aspect of the perceptual image. [Which is to say that Hume's strictures on causality cut just as much against motion, and what I'll call 'objectivity', as they do against causality.]
109 "Karol Wojtyla notes that efficacy is essential to the human act, by which he means simply that a human act intends to effect change in the world; it is efficient causality at work."
110 B. Franklin, kite, Leyden jar?
112 "The finality of reasoning is truth, just as image is that of perception and success that of work."
113 "Even pure thinking is 'inside the head' is a physical activity that can be observed and measured with appropriate equipment. [M. Posner, "Seeing the Head", Science 262, 29 Oct. 1993] … What makes an activity to be reasoning is that it intends to represent what can or might be is truth."
116 "The mental image is itself not a universal. Indeed, the mental image can play its role in thought only if there is something about it that is universal."
118 "…the word is the essence of the token and that the meaning is the application of the essence."
124 "Searle [characterizes] meaning (or intentionality) as a … mental event caused by the brain. N31 This account of meaning cannot be adequate, because the meaning of a symbol appearing in an argument does not depend on its being a mental event as such, but on its interpretive relationship with other signs…."
Cf. Searle, Minds, Brains and Science, ch. 2
125 "What Hume's principles of association do not account for all is that each idea, each mental event represents and interprets other ideas. In virtue of what does the picture lead our minds to the original? Animals, who have senses comparable to ours (often better), seldom show interest in pictures…."
"The 'Resemblance' of which Hume speaks is not that obvious. The cat owner may marvel at Fluffy T.'s predatory resemblance to the panther, but the gazelles of the Serengeti would not deign to notice the little pet. The operation of the mind depends not on observable laws of interaction, but upon the propensity of human person to interpret what they experience."
127 Peirce's schema for deduction, induction, and abduction:

Premise 1
A is B (minor)
a1 is B (minor)
A is c1 (conc.)
Premise 2
B is C (major)
a1 is C (conc.)
B is c1 (major)
A is C (conc.)
B is C (major)
A is B (minor)

132 "The argument for reality of the soul as something in some respect immaterial comes down ultimately to the fact that human rationality cannot reduce to a physical or mechanical procedure."
"There can be no universal algorithm to decide when the Turing machine is to stop, that is, to recognize that every truthful conclusion has been reached. Neither can it generate an algorithm to instruct itself when to stop.
N43 D. Braine, Human Person, p. 468; R. Penrose, Emperor's, p. 68
135 "Logically considered, the assertion of real existence has the character of a hypothetical conclusion; it proposes some reality whose existence explains or accounts for predicates.
N45 C. Peirce, "Pragmatism and Abduction", 5.181. The ability to assert the truth requires more than the bare mechanisms of material interaction. By asserting truth one joins to his naturally conditioned experience the general conception of the intellect and unified these in existential affirmation, one not compelled by strict deductive necessity."
136–137 "The human person can govern the development of his own habits according to ideas and beliefs about what is true.
N48 Peirce, "Ideals of Conduct," 1.602.
146 "Because ideas are not static images but principles of the living intelligence, truth is itself a principle of intelligent life."
148 "There are no surds in human experience. Although there may well be that which one cannot express adequately, no human experience or act is in principle incapable of expression. In other words, there is nothing unknowable within the range of of human experience."
148–149 "What makes perception and physical activity (work), as well as mental activity, rational is that they are governed by ideas. An idea brings diverse signs or representations into unity."
151 "Success of failure in work point to truth and falsity in the mind."
153 "…the distinctive characteristic of human behavior is that the human being transcends habit through rational self-governance, that the human being differs from animals and other living things n that he rationally forms his actions and habits." [Doing best does not come naturally.]
156 "Among animals, we see a balance and order among the appetites such that the animal's survival is fostered in a way consonant with the continuation of the species. … Each of these organ systems has its own teleology, in virtue of which the human person experiences a 'vector of aspiration,' n4 an inclination toward the sort of activity associated with that system. … The disposition of the body constitutes a disposition toward valuing certain things and kinds of activities as goods. To pursue.
N5" K. Wojtyla, Love and Resp., p. 46; ST Ia, IIae, q. 63, a. 1
160 "One can will anything conceivable. This is the basis for the freedom of the will."
161 "…cannot easily want something else, because the person is formed by his values. Values structure habits."
sense ––> significance ––> ideals ––> aspiration ––> habit [the last three being the grounds for freedom]
161 "…there can be no question of a nonphysical cause of bodily motion."
162 "In a sense, the human person has an open-ended essence; what he is* is not fully determined [and thus differs from a strictly material thing, which fully is what it does]."
165 "To serve a tennis ball is a single act. … Each of these [the swing's] sub-acts has its own purpose or end."
166 "We may say that every act is at least a nascent habit."
168 "…three fundamental kinds of human habit: (1) perception or habits of imaging the world; (2) habits of work or effective interaction with the world; (3) reasoning or habits of representing the world according to its general characters.
N 16 Peirce, "Phenomenology," 5, esp. 5.470ff. …"Every mental act … is bodily and every bodily act is … also an act of mind. An act of thinking is a bodily act intended to represent something as true to someone {if only oneself) and not necessarily to rearrange the world. … The human appetite is rational because human desire is not limited to what is sensibly perceived."
169 "The mind's universal judgment is about things to be done cannot be applied to a particular act except through the mediation of some intermediate power which perceives the singular. In this way there is framed a kind of syllogism whose major premise is the singular, a perception of the particular reason. The conclusion is the choice of the singular work." De Ver. q. 10, a ?.
170 "The practical syllogism is the dynamic of habitual action, not a theoretical superstructure. n21"
Fulvio Di Blasi, "Practical syllogism…", Nova et Vetera 2, no. 1 (2004): 21–42.
Cf. The bottom of these notes.
172 Conscientia means "the application of knowledge to something."
Cf. De Ver. q. 17, a. 1. And conscience as moral consciousness. !!!
173 "According to St. Thomas, consciousness and self-consciousness are something derivative, a kind of fruit of the rational nature that subsists in the person, a nature crystallized in the unitary rational and free being, and not as something subsistent in themselves. … The person acts consciously because the person is rational."
K. Wojtlya, The Acting Person, p. 33
174 "Consciousness is the application or invocation of a habit in a concrete situation."
175 "Consciousness arises from cognitive change of the terms in the practical syllogism."
179 "By a dynamic analogous to inductive reasoning, the agent is trained to perceive something new within the perceptual field (such as the topspin on the tennis ball or the telltale knock in the engine)."
180 formula for habit: 'When Z obtains, a occurs.' "First, the state of affairs Z must contain within it not only the objective lay of the land about the animal, but also the animal's perception of its needs and what in the environment will meet those needs."
182 "Symbolically the agent recreates a model of his body and the things around it in order to modify his use of his body. What this symbolic model shares in common with the body and its 'effect' on behavior, is not physical. We note further than this understanding is no directly induced by the environment, whose direct message is 'success' or 'failure.'
184 "Therefore in an ideal way the agent takes into himself the forms or natures of the state of affairs he is addressing, to conform himself to things as they are."
186 end of electron as motion between gravitational and magnetic, not as particular point in space
187 "The very fact that the person must choose, that his future behavior cannot be determined by the habits on which he had hitherto relied, yields for him the awareness of freedom, the consciousness of freedom, the consciousness of himself as a free agent."
"For Wojtyla freedom is founded not on indeterminacy but on self-determination.
N43" Acting Person, p. 117.
192 "The suppositum humanum must somehow manifest itself as a human self: metaphysical subjectivity must manifest itself as personal subjectivity. This must is the strongest argument for the metaphysical conception of human nature."
n49 Acting Person, 225.
193 "The truly great mystery of human intelligence is not the descent from the general to the specific, but the ascent from the specific to the general."
194 "…the inference, the growth in knowledge and understanding, results not directly from the impact of the environment upon the human subject, but upon the construction of an ideal representation to explain the particular experience one has had."
196 "Truth, a nonphysical relationship, is desirable and valued. … if truth is a value, a good, then our lives are governed not only by material considerations. In at least one respect the human person desires a spiritual good. … The good of truth constitutes a serious challenge to the materialist notion that good can be reduced to…the effect of material interactions."
197 "…truth is a condition of the human intellect, not of the body."
200 "Every animal can be taken as a sign of the world around it. … the human person is a sign of the world in which he lives, not only in virtue of the indications his behavior yields about his environment, but more specifically in virtue of his representations of the world. … the physical act alone cannot determine what one believes to be real."
201 "…a sign develops not deductively but inductively and hypothetically."
204 "…the power to know and to choose that makes one conscious, and not consciousness that makes possible reason and choice."
206 "The problem with the traditional dilemma of impenetrable minds is that it appears to assume that autism is the norm." !!!
207 "…the falsity of of the radical privacy of consciousness is evident from the creation and enjoyment of art."
210 the original, Edenic meaning of Adam's solitude is characterized precisely by subjectivity"
Theology of the Body, Boston: Pauline, 1997), p. 41
214 the elements of the biblical narrative are "always at the root of every human experience."
n73 Theology of the Body p. 51; naked shame not as lasciviousness but as vulnerability to being rejected, wounded
217 Each person "represents an interpretation of the world according to the truth as understood, and therefore represents an interpretation of the lives of others in the world."
218 "One is born a human being but becomes someone, the person he is.
N 78, Wojtyla, Acting Person, 98ff. … If persona identity is rooted in one's consciousness, then once consciousness is lost––even in sleep––what becomes of personal identity?"
221 "The self is what has chosen to form itself by the hypothesis represented in concrete acts."
222 "because it is oriented tot he future, the self is real but not fully determined. The structure of the self is rational, indeed … syllogistic, and it 'engine' is the good known and desired. This entails that the human self––the human person––cannot be reduced to a material entity whose behavior is (in principle at least) explicable by physical laws. Rather the human being is also spiritual…."
228 Freedom is "neither a special kind of feeling (as Hume holds) nor a simple independence from physical laws (as Kant suggests). Rather, freedom is rooted in the capacity for self-determination, n7 in the the human person's ability to form his own habits according to values he has recognized and adopted for himself." .
Wojtyla, Person and Community, 190, 193; Acting Person, Part III, chap. 4, esp 115ff.
"To transform oneself requires not the action of the mental upon the physical, but the transformation of the physical according to the idea of the mental."
formal aspiration variably determines our somatic potency
234 "…the existence of a causally determinative manifold of factors producing the same response in all subjects simply has not been established."
235 "…is human behavior is truly determined, then I should (in principle, at least) be able to predict what I shall do at some future point, irrespective of any decision-making activity I may in the meantime."
236 n. 19 : "The rejection of freedom is based on disregarding the reality of 'I act' (or 'A man acts') and considering only 'what happens in a man.' From the perspective of 'I act' it is impossible to predict scientifically what I will do, because I am the dynamism of my act."
237 "I call this kind of reductionism [i.e, atomic foundationalism, as it were] irrational, because it divides physical reality into two radically different kinds of being: those for which an account is possible and those which simply are what they are. In Peirce's terms, this amounts to 'blocking the road to inquiry,' decreeing that a certain question cannot be answered…. No known thing ever actually counts as foundational."
244 "Only the symbol––not the icon or the index––can state that this is how things stand in truth." Therefore, its relationship with the object necessarily transcends the physical relationships of resemblance and causality."
246 While truth is indexed by success (cf. p. 196), pace W. James, the useful is not simply the good and the good not simply the useful, since a value must be assigned to the usefulness, and thus goodness, of any action. "Pragmatism falls short because it presumes––without argument––that the standards of truth and good must be empirical."
248 "The premises do not physically cause the conclusions of argument."
cf. C.S. Lewis, Miracles, "grounds" vs. "reasons"
249 "That human behavior is always rational does not mean that human beings always behave according to the beliefs and arguments that they express verbally; it means that their behavior can be so represented and that it is in accord with beliefs and values."
250 "By intellectually grasping the essences of things according to its ideas, the reasoning human being ideally conforms himself according to the nature of that thing."
251 "The idea is the form or basis of one's habitual behavior."
252 The idea of God, like every idea, "is a principle of unity by which a variety of experiences can be drawn into unity. (Indeed, the Christian conception of God as Creator and End of all tings draws everything into unity.)"
253 "Ideas are not physical principles but they are principles of physical things, specifically of the operation of the thinking human being. The idea forming the human intelligence is never separated from matter, not even if it is the idea of something immaterial, such as an angel or God. The idea is that by which physical things are meaningfully related, by which one thing represents or interprets another."
258 De Veritate 1, 1, resp.: "illud autem quod primo intellectus concipit quasi notissimum et in quo omnes conceptiones resolvit est ens."
259–261 "transcendental predicates": res ["The physical encounter itself gives us no grounds to say that the cause of the interaction or resistance is a something, that is an enduring entity with an essence."]; one ["The human intellect is ordered to things as integral wholes, to find unity in virtue of which a common predicate can be applied."]; aliquid; "…manifest the inherent realism of the human intellect."
262 "The idea of a thing is that by which one can determine its corresponding appropriate goods and evils."
"For Aquinas the evidence that things act for an end is evidenced by their acting always or for the most part in the same way. But the operation of a thing comes from its form. Therefore the form of a thing is the foundation of its goodness. n 47" … "If a thing is good because it is ordered to something as its perfection or fulfillment, then to determine the good of a thing is to go a long way toward understanding it…."
n.47 ST Ia q. 5, a. 5; De Ver q. 21, a. 6
265 "The very generality of the transcendental predicates, however, indicates the breadth of the human intellect."
267 "Of the three fundamental forms of reasoning, hypothesis is that which has no physical counterpart. Hypothesis has the character of a leap, an intellectual connection of what was previously unconnected."
268 "The human intellect so surpasses the physical order that i can know that order and even conceive of a different one." … "…the logic of hypothesis (in Peirce's terms) defies mechanical reproduction."
271 "Every action that a human being performs is physical, but the habits by which human actions are regulated are themselves governed by an immaterial principle according to the laws of reason. … [The principles of the human body, of its nature,] are not given to it as they are to other material things. The human being forms his own principles of action according to rational criteria. The soul is therefore not simply a principle of behavior, but rather a principle of principles of behavior."
272 "…the soul without its body cannot be conscious. … The soul is not an object of consciousness, nor is consciousness an immediate manifestation of the soul."
280 "…nature is present to us as a language representing the Mind of its Author. We relate personally to our world and in doing so … we relate to the mind that nature represents."
282 "One is formed by what one knows and loves."
283 "If the material is that in virtue of which the human subject interacts with the environment, the spiritual is that in virtue of which the human relates to reality under its aspects of good and true."

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