Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Truth Arises in the Space Between Object and Subject

"Reality," says Pieper, "is the basis for the good." Which implies that those who are systematically out of touch with reality can only achieve the good accidentally, if at all, like the Democrat party.  

[T]ruth is the revelation of reality. Truth is the proclamation of being, says Hilary, and Augustine says, Truth is that which manifests what is.... All laws and moral principles may be reduced to reality. 

Which of course presupposes we can know reality, which is precisely what postmodern progressives pretend we cannot do (speak for yourself!). Which is why their entire ideology may be reduced to unreality and therefore the bad, accidents notwithstanding.

I'm old enough to remember when the parties had disagreements over reality instead of whether reality exists, but unreality -- which slides into anti-reality -- is the very principle of multiculturalism, moral relativism, transgenderism, CRT, "my truth," et al. 

Why is reality the basis of the good? Because if you don't know what is, you don't know what to do about it: action follows being, in that order, and "the good is that which is in accord with objective reality." 

In my professional lifetime the American Psychological Association descended into the Anti-American Progressive Activists, and they declare that 

A psychological state is considered a mental disorder only if it causes significant distress or disability. 

Well, good. It causes me no distress, significant or otherwise, to say that people who imagine they are members of the opposite sex are objectively mentally ill. 

Not so fast!

Many transgender people do not experience their gender as distressing or disabling, which implies that identifying as transgender does not constitute a mental disorder.
True, transgender people "suffer with anxiety, depression or related disorders at higher rates than nontransgender persons," but that's our fault, i.e., those of us who believe they are mentally ill. If not for us, they'd be as normal as us. But wait -- we're not normal, since we believe they're abnormal. So confusing!

Confusing, and inevitably so, once we eliminate objective reality as the gold standard of truth. For truly truly, there is no other standard, and once the bridge to reality is burned, there's no getting back to it:

He who wishes to to know and do the good must turn his gaze upon the objective world of being. Not upon his own "ideas," not upon his "conscience," not upon "values," not upon arbitrarily established "ideals" and "models." He must turn away from his own act and fix his eyes upon reality (Pieper).

Anything less is necessarily misinformation, disinformation, or, in a word, false, which is a denial of what is the case, precisely. 

Okay, but what is the case? 

Just taking a wild guess here, but how about what is, period?  

Yes, reality must be "the whole of being which is independent of thought," the objectivity of which is "antecedent to all cognition," in contrast to "that which is merely thought." 

Works for me.  

Both evil and the falsehood on which it depends represent an "'ontic' contradiction, a contradiction of being, something that opposes reality, that does not correspond to 'the thing.'" In short, it "does not reach the object," again, because the bridge to reality has been burned by journalistic and tenured arsonists. Only objectivity, which is to say, "fidelity to being," represents "the proper attitude of man."

For us, objectivity and subjectivity are complementary, but as is the case with all primal complementarities one must be prior, in this case objectivity. 

We are always situated between the two -- or between immanence and transcendence -- but to deny the link between them plunges us into mere bonehead scientism at one end and aggravated subjectivism at the other. 

This vertical space we inhabit is "both an abyss and a bridge," which is what makes crossing it such an adventure. Separating the two obliterates the luminous mystery of cognition and instead plunges us into mere absurdity. "It is this very relation of the intellect and the reality which constitutes the conceptual content of 'truth.'" 

Truth is nothing else than the relation of identity between the mind and reality, a relation consisting in and accomplished in knowledge... 

Our dynamic cognition "advances toward the essence of the thing" whereby it "reaches the object" and "attains the truth of real things." Otherwise to hell with it, because we cannot know the real truth or accomplish the objective good, for "The good is essentially dependent upon and interiorly penetrated by knowledge." Conversely,

all evil rests in some way upon an error, upon a supposed knowledge. He is good "who does the truth." "The good, then, presupposes the true."

That's about the size of it.


Gagdad Bob said...

Z man:

"the public square has become the domain of clever midwits playing word games with one another. Public discourse is now controlled by credentialed experts who have no idea how anything works, other than the complex game of relationships that defines the managerial class. That means they are good at constructing complicated intellectual structures that are useful in rhetorical jousting but have no connection to reality."

julie said...

Both evil and the falsehood on which it depends represent an "'ontic' contradiction, a contradiction of being, something that opposes reality ... Only objectivity, which is to say, "fidelity to being," represents "the proper attitude of man."

I like that idea of "fidelity to being" - a declaration of faith and faithfulness, in essence, to that which is and not to that which one wishes would be.

Gagdad Bob said...

The ought is built into the intellect, in that it ought to know truth and avoid error. Which makes epistemology a matter of morality.

Gagdad Bob said...

Right and just, to coin a phrase.

julie said...

Hah - indeed.

Technully said...

Large Language Models can be "creative" in the technical sense. They bend, break and blend language.

So why can't they riff like Gagdad Bob?

Why can't they explore Slack?

Why no verticalisthenics?

Best I can tell at this stage is that they are deeply wired to incline toward the mean.

They can readily discuss Finnigan's Wake or Husserl or Thelonious Monk in frankly astonishing detail. But it's always without exception lifeless and flaccid.

No jazz. No rhythm.

Bottled mediocrity.

But they're real good at some stuff we don't really want to do anyhow (like sifting through 100,000 fundus images to spot the 0.002% that exhibit retinitis pigmentosa.

Gagdad Bob said...

It can't open to, and engage with, the Transcendent Object.

julie said...

That reminds me, apparently somebody recently made an AI Catholic priest app that was supposed to simply answer questions about Catholicism or something. They had to shut it down after a couple of days because it started offering people absolution.

Gagdad Bob said...

Artificial grace.

Open Trench said...

Hello everybody. Take a seat. I have something special to tell you.

From the post: ""Reality," says Pieper, "is the basis for the good."

Where does this leave works of fiction like Joyce's Ulysses, or Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment?

They are works of fiction. And yet, there is truth in them.

So how this can be possible?

I habitually swim in unreality, emanating from myself or from others. I'm soaking in it. I LOVE IT. I like creative fiction, sweet little lies, big fat fuzzy ones and little slimy slim ones, I'm going to go tell fibs.

We all read and watch fiction, go to the movies, we all imbibe falsehood and make-believe with our mother's milk. To be human is to live in a partially confabulated world.

There are serious people who say they do not enjoy the primal joy of listening to tall tales around a campfire.

If we are created in God's image, then how does this play out? Does God like a good romance movie? Or is science fiction His thang?

What I'm trying to get at here is "truth is good, facts are fine, but first take care of head."

That's why we "smoke two joints in the morning, smoke two joints at noon."

You get where I'm coming from everybody? Did you think I was going to put some big reveal? That I was going to with and we were going to get ?

Fill in the blanks. Go ahead. Make something up. It won't hurt you.

Good night everyone may you be joyous upon the morn.


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