Aristotle, in giving an account of substance, says that it is what is neither said of nor present in another thing as subject, where “present in” means “cannot exist apart from the said subject”, as opposed to meaning “present in as a part is in a whole”; for example, like a foot or a cell is present in the body.

Why we say that a corpse is not a man, except equivocally

A corpse is not a man for two reasons: to be living is essential to man, for he is by definition an animal; and because for man “to exist” and “to live” are the same- to talk about an existent man is the same as to talk of a living one, and vice versa.

Distinctions in the word “physical”

A shape, marble and a statue are all physical, but in different ways. A vocal sound and its pronunciation are physical too, but also in different ways. We might also see the word pronounced as physical, but this does not mean we are saying that the sound of the word, the meaning of the word, and “what a word is” are all physical in the same way.

Note that I would sharply distinguish physical from “material”, even though one is always with the other, and vice versa. Material means “that out of which something can be made” or “that from which something comes to be, remaining in it”.

The truth must be living, “living” here is meant as opposed to mere art, or something forced together by our judgment. There is a source within what is true keeping it one. Falsehoods can be put together, and they can be put together even very solidly, but just as any work of art by its own nature will on its own tend to corruption, so too each falsehood corrupts and fades. The Parthenon or Colliseum we look at each has faded splendor, but the roses we look at look the same as the ones Virgil wrote on.

We cannot doubt the principle of contradiction, for as soon as we do, we destroy the very opposition between doubt and certainty.

-If one takes this as an intrinsic limitation on thought, very well.

-This principle constitutes a certainty that is completely absolute, non-hypothetical. This makes it a first arke, for it proceeds from no other.

-Attempts to qualify the principle of contradiction, or to limit it, or even to deny it outright all constitute failures at transcendence, for they all constitute failures to rise above the merely apparent and accidental.

When Socrates in his great piety stood before the jury at Athens and told them that he would prefer the commands of the God before the opinions of men; when Plato in his great chastity showed that the just life is intrinsically most desireable; when Aristotle who ordered all his works to the knowledge of God divided being into act and potency, and proceeded from them to show the nature of the first arke of all nature; when St. Thomas, saint that he was, showed that all being proceeds from a source that was completely simple and one in essence and existence; they showed that the first principles of nature are shown not to those who interrogate nature as though she were some criminal on the dock, but to those who love and praise nature and teach that all should live their lives according to her virtue and goodness.

-Again, if some scientific claim were to truly to make us unhappy, it would be false: science itself only exists as a human act, and all human acts are for the sake of happiness. Happiness is prior in causality to scientific truth- for science to cause unhappiness impossible.

-Said another way, it is impossible to find that human life is purposeless or without meaning. There is already purpose and meaning before we start looking.

- Science is intrinsically limited, because it is a human activity. It is not free to contradict the last end of man.

- A devotee of metrical science boasts “Nothing has been found outside of the laws of physics”. Really? A breathtakingly obvious fallacy. There are no fish in the ocean smaller than the net- holes, either. Good grief, as if the subject matter of physics were being itself! Only being has nothing outside of itself.

-As one of my old teachers pointed out about Kant, it gets a little tiresome to read page after page of non- empirical arguments for the impossiblity of transcending the empirical.

-Again, if some scientific claim were to truly to make us unhappy, it would be false: science itself only exists as a human act, and all human acts are for the sake of happiness. Happiness is prior in causality to scientific truth- for science to cause unhappiness impossible.

-Said another way, it is impossible to find that human life is purposeless or without meaning. There is already purpose and meaning before we start looking.

- Science is intrinsically limited, because it is a human activity. It is not free to contradict the last end of man.

- A devotee of metrical science boasts “Nothing has been found outside of the laws of physics”. Really? A breathtakingly obvious fallacy. There are no fish in the ocean smaller than the net- holes, either. Good grief, as if the subject matter of physics were being itself! Only being has nothing outside of itself.

-As one of my old teachers pointed out about Kant, it gets a little tiresome to read page after page of non- empirical arguments for the impossiblity of transcending the empirical.

Materialism and motion.

Matter can’t move itself. This involves any materialist in the need to account for what motion is. But motion is unintelligible without terms: i.e. without determination. But this “determination” will involve us in something new: what Aristotle calls “form” and “that for the sake of which”, which are two meanings of “term”.

Pleasure and knowledge. UPDATED

Say pleasure is the greatest good, what then? Look at pleasure, what is it? An act or functioning of a knowing power, like a sense organ. Pleasure is an aspect of knowledge. To call it the greatest good, then, is to call some aspect of knowledge the greatest good. The praise of pleasure, then, becomes a certain praise of knowledge.

(But to say this is to give us a measure of the goodness of pleasures: the better ones are the ones that either make things known in a better way, or make better things known.)

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