Saturday, November 3, 2018

For St. Anselm

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 11:00 PM

"… at his home in San Anselmo . . . ."

See also Anselm in this journal, as well as the Devil's Night post Ojos.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Quantum Times from Saint Anselm

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:42 PM

"This month also includes the debut of page numbers!!!"

— Ian T. Durham, Saint Anselm College, July 2006

See as well a July 2006 discussion of page numbers here .

Friday, April 7, 2017

Personal Identity

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:40 PM

From "The Most Notorious Section Phrases," by Sophie G. Garrett
in The Harvard Crimson  on April 5, 2017 —

This passage reminds me of (insert impressive philosophy
that was not in the reading).

This student is just being a show off. We get that they are smart
and well read. Congrats, but please don’t make the rest of the us
look bad in comparison. It should be enough to do the assigned
reading without making connections to Hume’s theory of the self.

Hume on personal identity (the "self")

For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception. When my perceptions are removed for any time, as by sound sleep, so long am I insensible of myself, and may truly be said not to exist. And were all my perceptions removed by death, and could I neither think, nor feel, nor see, nor love, nor hate, after the dissolution of my body, I should be entirely annihilated, nor do I conceive what is further requisite to make me a perfect nonentity.
. . . .

I may venture to affirm of the rest of mankind, that they are nothing but a bundle or collection of different perceptions, which succeed each other with an inconceivable rapidity, and are in a perpetual flux and movement. Our eyes cannot turn in their sockets without varying our perceptions. Our thought is still more variable than our sight; and all our other senses and faculties contribute to this change: nor is there any single power of the soul, which remains unalterably the same, perhaps for one moment. The mind is a kind of theatre, where several perceptions successively make their appearance; pass, repass, glide away, and mingle in an infinite variety of postures and situations. There is properly no simplicity in it at one time, nor identity in different, whatever natural propension we may have to imagine that simplicity and identity. The comparison of the theatre must not mislead us. They are the successive perceptions only, that constitute the mind; nor have we the most distant notion of the place where these scenes are represented, or of the materials of which it is composed.

Related material —
Imago Dei  in this journal.

The Ring of the Diamond Theorem

Backstory —
The previous post
and The Crimson Abyss.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday March 10, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 PM

Women’s History Month continues…

Raiders of the Lost


The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060310-Stone.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

In honor of the upcoming program
on Women and Mathematics
at the Institute for Advanced Study
and of Sharon Stone’s 2005 lecture
at Harvard’s Memorial Church,

here are links to reviews of
two Sharon Stone classics:

“King Solomon’s Mines” (1985),
said to be inspired by the
1981 box-office success
“Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and

“Diabolique” (1996), starring
Stone as
a teacher of mathematics
at St. Anselm’s School for Boys.

For related material on St. Anselm
and mathematics at Princeton, see
Modal Theology and the
April 2006 AMS Notices
on Kurt Gödel.

See also yesterday’s entry
Log24, Jan. 1-15, 2006.

Today’s birthdays:
Sharon Stone and
Gregory La Cava.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Tuesday August 23, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

High Concept*

“Concept (scholastics’ verbum mentis)–
 theological analogy of Son’s procession
 as Verbum Patris, 111-12″
 — index to Joyce and Aquinas,
 by William T. Noon, S.J.,
Yale University Press 1957,
 second printing 1963, page 162

“So did God cause the big bang? Overcome by metaphysical lassitude, I finally reach over to my bookshelf for The Devil’s Bible. Turning to Genesis I read: ‘In the beginning there was nothing. And God said, ‘Let there be light!’ And there was still nothing, but now you could see it.'”

— Jim Holt, Big-Bang Theology, Slate‘s “High Concept” department

Related material:

Nothing Ventured,
The God-Shaped Hole, and
Is Nothing Sacred?

 * See also John O’Callaghan, Thomistic Realism and the Linguistic Turn: Toward a More Perfect Form of Existence, (University of Notre Dame Press, 2003) and Joshua P. Hochschild, “Does Mental Language Imply Mental Representationalism? The Case of Aquinas’s Verbum Mentis,” Proceedings of the Society for Medieval Logic and Metaphysics, Volume 4, 2004 (pdf), pp. 12-17.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Thursday February 17, 2005

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 PM
Modal Theology

"We symbolize logical necessity
with the box (box.gif (75 bytes))
and logical possibility
with the diamond (diamond.gif (82 bytes))."

Keith Allen Korcz,
(Log24.net, 1/25/05)

And what do we           
   symbolize by  The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/Modal-diamondbox.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. ?

On the Lapis Philosophorum,
the Philosophers' Stone –

"'What is this Stone?' Chloe asked….
'…It is told that, when the Merciful One
made the worlds, first of all He created
that Stone and gave it to the Divine One
whom the Jews call Shekinah,
and as she gazed upon it
the universes arose and had being.'"
Many Dimensions,
by Charles Williams, 1931
(Eerdmans paperback,
April 1979, pp. 43-44)

"The lapis was thought of as a unity
and therefore often stands for
the prima materia in general."
Aion, by C. G. Jung, 1951
(Princeton paperback,
1979, p. 236)

"Its discoverer was of the opinion that
he had produced the equivalent of
the primordial protomatter
which exploded into the Universe."
The Stars My Destination,
by Alfred Bester, 1956
(Vintage hardcover,
July 1996, p. 216)

"The possibilia that exist,
and out of which
the Universe arose,
are located in
     a necessary being…."

Michael Sudduth,
Notes on
God, Chance, and Necessity
by Keith Ward,
Regius Professor of Divinity
at Christ Church College, Oxford
(the home of Lewis Carroll)

See also
The Diamond Archetype.

For more on modal theology, see

Kurt Gödel's Ontological Argument

 The Ontological Argument
 from Anselm to Gödel.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Thursday March 13, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:44 PM


From The New Yorker, issue of March 17, 2003, Clive James on Aldous Huxley:

The Perennial Philosophy, his 1945 book compounding all the positive thoughts of West and East into a tutti-frutti of moral uplift, was the equivalent, in its day, of It Takes a Village: there was nothing in it to object to, and that, of course, was the objection.”

For a cultural artifact that is less questionably perennial, see Huxley’s story “Young Archimedes.”

Plato, Pythagoras, and
the diamond figure

Plato’s Diamond in the Meno
Plato as a precursor of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “immortal diamond.” An illustration shows the ur-diamond figure.

Plato’s Diamond Revisited
Ivars Peterson’s Nov. 27, 2000 column “Square of the Hypotenuse” which discusses the diamond figure as used by Pythagoras (perhaps) and Plato. Other references to the use of Plato’s diamond in the proof of the Pythagorean theorem:


“… and he proceeded to prove the theorem of Pythagoras — not in Euclid’s way, but by the simpler and more satisfying method which was, in all probability, employed by Pythagoras himself….
‘You see,’ he said, ‘it seemed to me so beautiful….’
I nodded. ‘Yes, it’s very beautiful,’ I said — ‘it’s very beautiful indeed.'”
— Aldous Huxley, “Young Archimedes,” in Collected Short Stories, Harper, 1957, pp. 246 – 247


Sir Thomas L. Heath, in his commentary on Euclid I.47, asks how Pythagoreans discovered the Pythagorean theorem and the irrationality of the diagonal of a unit square. His answer? Plato’s diamond.
(See Heath, Sir Thomas Little (1861-1940),
The thirteen books of Euclid’s Elements translated from the text of Heiberg with introduction and commentary. Three volumes. University Press, Cambridge, 1908. Second edition: University Press, Cambridge, 1925. Reprint: Dover Publications, New York, 1956.

Other sites on the alleged
“diamond” proof of Pythagoras

Colorful diagrams at Cut-the-Knot

Illustrated legend of the diamond proof

Babylonian version of the diamond proof

For further details of Huxley’s story, see

The Practice of Mathematics,

Part I, by Robert P. Langlands, from a lecture series at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

From the New Yorker Contributors page for St. Patrick’s Day, 2003:

Clive James (Books, p. 143) has a new collection, As of This Writing: The Essential Essays, 1968-2002, which will be published in June.”

See also my entry “The Boys from Uruguay” and the later entry “Lichtung!” on the Deutsche Schule Montevideo in Uruguay.

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