Monday, November 3, 2014

... to Thomas Woods on the School of Chartres, Mainly

1) ... on Historical Capacity of Understanding, 2) ... Some Notes on Dr Thomas Woods' Debunking of Flat Earth Myth, 3) ... Some Notes on Thomas Woods' Orderly Universe Argument, 4) ... to Thomas Woods on the School of Chartres, Mainly, 5) ... following Thomas E. Woods Jr. from Bacon to Boscovich

Was the Catholic Church the Builder of Civilization?
episode about School of Chartres as founder of Scientific Method.

I 38:00
"and yet you still can't crack through to the general public ..."

Including of course people like:

  • shrinks

  • their personnel

  • social workers

  • left wing Catholic clergy

  • left wing Catholic laity involved in social charities

  • teachers at least of subjects other than history

  • police, military, security experts (the guys who have dubbed Creationism a threat comparable to Jihadism, in some circles).

II 40:34
"they interpreted Wisdom 11:21 to mean just that"

Namely that at least AT SOME LEVEL the universe is mathematical. Not that it is so on basically either "all levels" (Atheistic modern view) or "all levels except the miraculous" (Modern Fundamentalist view). Thank you very much!

III 41:21
"we first use natural reason and only when our natural reason breaks down do we say ..."

I would like that thought in THEIR words, I suspect you misrepresent it. Of course, Dr Woods, you were not the first to do so, if I am correct. BUT, I would not say "miracle" was by St Thomas defined as "when our natural reason breaks down", and I highly doubt they would have said so either. As for "supernatural", if by supernatural we mean direct action of God or angels:

  • St Thomas explains day and night as made, along with passage winds and oceanic streams, by God - primus motor - turning primum mobile west around us.

    Riccioli seems to have disagreed, both as to facticity thereof and as to its suitability as proof of God - he preferred the Ontological proof ("the perfect idea cannot lack the perfection of actual existance").

  • St Thomas explains year and month - and is here followed by Riccioli and tens of known and thousands of unknown thinkers cited by Riccioli - as caused by angel of Sun and angel of Moon causing such a deviation in relation to movement of fixed stars. Whether Riccioli, as St Thomas did, took this to mean they make their movement against the background of God's daily movement of a body contiguous with the medium they move in, or, as I think rather, took this to mean they both go Westward but slower than the angels conducting the bodies up to then usually called fixed stars, he agreed this and not some inherent physical property of the celestial bodies was causing this.

Note that Newton's theory of gravitation was not first in field of physical properties of celestial bodies causing their movement. Riccioli cites Kepler as having envisaged Sun keeping planets in and in movement by some kind of magnetism - a precursor of electric universe theories.

So, would School of Chartres:

  • have rejected the "supernatural" explanations common to Riccioli and St Thomas?

  • or, if not, have accepted them only because "their natural reason broke down"?

I very much think not so. Which is why I ask for the exact words which you paraphrase, Dr Woods!

IV 41:38
"we have the ability to draw cause and effect relationships and conclusions"

Indeed, and sometimes the most obvious conclusion is a supernatural one - like those of Riccioli and St Thomas Aquinas.

V 42:07
"amazing rational beauty"

So, does rational here mean only rational in formal cause, i e in mathematical relationships of what is real?

Or does "rational" also include pointing to rational effecting causes, like God and His angels?

[It certainly does NOT mean "rational" in the sense in which a modern would take it, as absense of the miraculous and supernatural.]

"A Scholar at Chartres"

Can't you remember his name, Dr Woods?

A pity, since this does not leave me the possibility to check out what he thought on the matter.

[If next thing you do, you give the name, I'll have to stop the video again and say I am sorry.]

[[He did not give the name, only of a third one did he give the name Thierry of Chartres.]]

VI 42:33
"Another scholar at Chartres" (can't you remember his name either?) just denied occasionalism.

Fine with me - as far as my conscience is concerned. I am not an occasionalist.

But people who DO take Middle Ages as anti-science also DO take me as an occasionalist.

In other words, yes, I think God has endowed the material sun with a scheme of operations, like heating and lighting up, and I do not think God has caused the Sun and then caused sunbeams only separately only so as to appear to come from the Sun.

However, this is neither de fide, as far as I know, nor a requisite to do science. I think Mersenne was occasionalist, or at least did not reject it out of hand.

Those who DO take me as an occasionalist also DO take rejection-of-occasionalism as meaning God created everything without operating Himself further in it. Which is more than the quote actually says.

VII 42:30
That Sun has for operation sunbeams - light and heat and ultraviolet and infrared - can be checked very easily.

These things disappear every sunset and reappear every sunrise, as far as the daytime intensity of them is concerned. This is also increasing towards midday and decreasing after midday.

However, that Sun has a gravitational operation on planets keeping them in orbit making angels superfluous is NOT as easily checked. Even Sun's and Moon's supposedly gravitational operation on tides is not easy to verify. If tides could be measured by exact measure of water height across ocean's fine, oceanic tides might confirm a very close correlation. But the instruments for measuring tides are concerned mainly with portal tides. These do not show so close a correlation. Nor a total discorrelation - rather a correlation with some artistic licence. This port high tide is three hours after moon passes in zenit above it, that other port it is just two hours, this port the water goes down gently after high tide, that port the water has a secondary lower tidewave ... as if Nereids were observing Moon and Sun, but playing around with it.

VIII 43:33
"you have to explain it mathematically"

This is the modern idea. If Chartres school said universe was "at some level" mathematical, this idea says it is at no level not directly concerned with mathematics. A very different idea.

Or if I am wrong about this difference of ideas, cite, Dr Woods, the exact text saying what you just said - implying for instance that one is not properly understanding movement of Sun in invoking action of an angel, unless one were - as one is not! - able to give an exact mathematical formula for how mind affects matter.

I would be surprised if you could give such a text with such a far reaching implication from the Chartres School.

IX 43:58
"when with a single equation he" [Isaac Newton] "was able to account for all the movement in the universe"

Except he wasn't. Details have bee creeping up where the Newtonian explanation does not account for them and where predictions from Newtonian equation/s have been contradicted by facts observed until you have General and Special Relativity, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Black Holes and what not else dragged in to account for movement in the Universe.

Plus, as CSL pointed out in Miracles - the laws are not causing the movements as efficient movers, they are only causing formal qualities of the movements. They do not specify at all what is moving movements to start with. Only how one movement dovetails into another.

X 44:33
You will have to cite lots more than the two cites just quoted, Dr Woods, if I shall take Isaac Newton as even scientifically/philosophically a faithful disciples of the School of Chartres (theologically we agree he wasn't - he was both Arian and Antipapist, that is not the issue).

XI 45:23
"in the ancient world it was taken for granted that a body at rest tends to stay at rest" - St Thomas Aquinas based prima via / proof of Contra Gentes on this, Newton disagrees, and you want me to believe School of Chartres was on the side of Isaac Newton against St Thomas?

XII 46:10
"it was taken for granted there must be different rules governing motion in outer space" ... actually angels moving planets does not involve that.

ANY-where motion needs a mover. Excepting the natural movement of:

  • living bodies, such as animals moving toward food or places or rest

  • inanimate bodies, such as air and fire tending upward and water and earth tending downward.

Whether Newton's theory of gravity works so well, surface of Moon could be a "local down" for Armstrong or not, this does not mean that if Moon needs an angel moving it that would be a great exception to Newton's laws. ON THE CONTRARY, it is only in outer space, where it cannot be totally observed, that the Newtonian theory of movement is observed in purity at all. Here on Earth it is constantly apparently contradicted. The contradictions are accounted for, but that is not like us observing Newton's theory directly down on Earth, where we can observe things. A stone thrown will not continue to move indefinitely, etc.

XIII 46:18
The reason why St Thomas felt he could confidently reject stars having souls (which was to the mind of that time's public a very different thing from stars being moved by angels) was that he empirically found a difference, namely eternal unchangingness of stars.

BUT the reason why he considered they needed movers is precisly because he did NOT think the rules of movement were fundamentally different.

If I let go of a pen and it falls to the ground, we both agree it needs no mover, while falling. If on the other hand the pen writes circles on a paper, we agree it does not do so just out of its own propensity, it needs a mover. This mover writing circles or even letters is usually a man, using fingers. In the Mene Tekel Upharsin episode, it was probably some angel writing. However, either case the rule saying a complex movement which is producing a beautiful or otherwise meaningful sign is not just happening like a pen falling to the ground. When so many Medievals and Early Moderns said stars needed angelic movers, if they had no souls, this was not because they thought the rules of movement were different up/out there.

On the contrary, those saying in essence the rules are different (for instance by absence of friction etc) are those arguing for the explanation that two opposite forces up there (centrifugal force of inertia and centripetal force of gravity) work like a force opposed to an object down here: centrifugal force of inertia and centripetal object of a string, centrifugal force of inertia and centripetal object of a tub in which the motor bikes go, etc. It is the Medieval idea, not the modern one, that makes the rules of precisely motion same up there and down here.

XIV 46:41
Thank you for mentioning Thierry of Chartres by name!

[Unlike two other Chartres Scholars cited above! Unless one of them was he anonymously, of course.]

XV 47:13
Thanks for mentioning that Thierry of Chartres said the stuff up there was the same kind as the stuff down here!

This in no ways means that he considered that stuff which down here needs divine, human or between them angelic movers for any but the simplest movements somehow could rotate without any movers up there.

Saying "he could not quite account for" totally misses the point.

St Thomas accounted for movement Westward on a daily basis up there by saying God is moving it. He accounted for movement Eastward (sometimes with retrogrades westward) on a longer than daily periodic basis up there by saying angels are moving them. You have cited nothing implying Thierry of Chartres would have disagreed.

And saying this is "not totally being able to account for" is missing the point. In its theory this explanation is as complete as a detailed mathematical model within the Newtonian theory. And single celestial bodies being precisely moved by angels was the main theory. Riccioli does lots of namedropping. This theory in its adherent quite outnumbers God moving each star singly, quite outnumbers each star being a living being with a soul, quite outnumbers natural non-living, unconscious processes moving each celestial body. All these other theories have adherents, but angels moving each celestial body has the main body of adherents. And Riccioli adds the question cannot be decided like one can decide question here on earth. St Thomas gives a reason why (though not applying this reason to this question) : because celestial bodies are not studied at close hand.

XVI 48:11
CSL most definitely had heard of the Chartres School.

He cites their poetry (or the poetry of one of them, I cannot for my part recall which, Thierry or someone else) as a very vivid imagery on work of sixth day - in a way implying that the six days were taken quite literally. His interest was in poetry - in the passage where he cited the passage on creation of the lynx. Or would that be the School of St Victor?

XVII 48:38
How do we get this information to the general public?

I am doing my part, and I am probably being hampered in part by you, Dr Woods and in part by Sungenis and RickDeLano too, because of your exaggeration of modernity and your obfuscation of say creationism or angelic-moverism of the medievals.


Has been sent to Tom Woods via our FB accounts, now.

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