“You don’t have to accept every jot and tittle of it”

More proof that Francis and his regime have no respect for Sacred Apostolic tradition:


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Contraceptive Intent

So, at what point does one’s excitement about τέχναι for avoiding the fruition of your and your partner’s nasty-making transfer over into the land of contraception-by-other-means?  I ask because we now have married folk among us, and my cat is trying to eat my hair.

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Cursus Antidualisticus

The following a description of a panicked state of mind I endured about eight years ago, and of the impact I believe it had on my opinions (though I doubt I really understand the history of my opinions). It’s not a proof of anything, but I think it suggests the way a certain kind of philosophical education might proceed.

~   ~   ~

  1. Like all modern men, I believe that I am a consciousness. It is in this that I am distinguished from a mere pile of meat. The view I imbibed with my mother’s milk is basically that of Locke — that consciousness is in fact what the ancients meant to refer to when they said things like “soul.”
  2. Like all modern men, I am a materialist. So I will not regard consciousness as an object within me (in the pineal gland or somewhere) but rather I understand it to be a process that is carried out by the hardware of my body, preeminently in the brain.
  3. My stream of consciousness is frequently interrupted, at the very least in sleep. The process of consciousness is born when I wake, and lasts until I fall asleep. But since I am my consciousness, to sleep is to die. When I awoke this morning I was a new creation, a person who had never before existed, although I had ready access to memory that had been stored in this vehicle of flesh by its previous occupants. They have supplied me with a past to which I have almost as much mental access as they once did, and passed on to me inclinations and patterns of behavior; these are no part of me, but simply data that I receive. While I live I leave similar traces that others after me will receive and make use of.
  4. Obviously it is imperative to stay awake! It is a beautiful world and full of wonders, and while I know that the time I have to enjoy it is limited, I would not want it to be shorter than necessary. What a terrible thing to pass out of consciousness, and to disappear forever. I have reason to believe that some other consciousness will pick up where I left off the next morning, but to face the inevitable darkness and oblivion is more than I can bear.
  5. Let me not bear it then! I will believe that I am not my consciousness but my body, and associate the emotional weight with which I cannot help but regard that which I designate the self instead with this piece of flesh.

This is a route out of dualism.

But there is a secundum quid in the initial error:
The idea that one is one’s consciousness is an intuition of the subsistence of the human soul.

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Irish Chess

So, for my brother’s graduation, he received a very lovely glass chess set and board.

Except that each chess piece is a shot glass, which, when your piece is taken, you must drain of whiskey.


NOW will you people come to Philadelphia?

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NoFap Reactions

I hear some Courtiers have strong opinions on the subreddit.  Anyone want to share?  I’m trying to prep an article on the subject.

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On “Masculine” Friendship

I sometimes resent the term ‘masculine friendship,’ because I suspect it of referring to friendship which is masculine only in the sense that its members happen to be men and are therefore unencumbered by the slavery associated with being a woman. The claim that masculine friendship is somehow essentially unique may (implicitly) hinge on the idea that friendships between women must necessarily be centered on more feminine (read: metabolic) considerations and that friendships between men and women are necessarily sexually tempting (read: the woman’s body tempts the man’s passions). The two roles presented for women here–domestic servant and passive temptress–are not roles that lead to human flourishing, assuming that the ergon of (even female) humans is neither to labor nor to merely appear, but to contemplate/act/speak/create. (Cf. Arendt and Aristotle.)* 

First, I should note that my metabolic/non-metabolic distinction isn’t fair, at least in the most stereotypical masculine/feminine friendships. For instance, masculinity is often in our society associated with a lack of concern for aesthetic questions or local-political questions. Women, on the other hand, stereotypically discuss what people are up to, books and music and fashions &c. Of course, insofar as this is characterized by pop-culture, much of it is metabolic** in its own way, but this cuts both ways: “masculine” discussion topics (sports, politics, cars) can be social rather than political, which makes them a bit metabolic. And as much as women are expected to talk about bread-making and child-rearing, budget-keeping, housekeeping, fitness, so are men expected to discuss another realm which is characteristically means-ends rational. Of course, the level of organization is almost always higher or concerns something less immediately necessary for the masculine conversations, and often these conversations are more hypothetical or explanatory than characteristic of actual deliberation over something in the agent’s control: what should the coach do for this team to win, which is the best sort of stereo to buy if you had enough money, how does my car work/what did I do to fix it (rather than teaching you what you should do). 

Equality of mediocrity isn’t the standard I want here, but ideally some sort of equality of flourishing. Of course, it’s impossible for everyone to have a fully active/contemplative life, with no metabolic considerations. This can be dealt with by giving some people (men? Some men? The wealthy? Professors? Children of professors?) particular leisure, and giving none to the others. Or perhaps in an industrialized society it can involve everyone living more simply, dedicating substantial time to arts and culture, and devoting very little energy to metabolic considerations. Obviously households, especially those with children, have their own metabolic concerns: cooking, cleaning, diapers. And here there is a choice. Mom does it all, or the mother does what only she can while the father does the rest, or they have help from other women and/or men, either outsourced or in the home. The mother doing it all normalizes a gender standard, that girls–whether ultimately celibate or married–have substantial metabolic and low-level logistical responsibilities, whereas men do not. Arguably it is bad for women to learn as children that womanhood is primarily about laboring domestically, which is to say that woman is essentially a slave.

When we say ‘masculine friendships,’ I think we can also mean friendships that are not colored by these considerations. It is convenient for a friendship to keep these injustices out of sight, out of mind.

Contra my (perhaps unfounded) suspicions, there are other reasons one might consider masculine friendships, feminine friendships, particular mixed-gender friendships, social friendships, and romantic friendships all as different categories. So my question is: if masculine friendships and feminine friendships are distinctive things, what characterizes them other than a dichotomy between contains-slaves and does-not-contain slaves? (Yes, I agree that women and men are essentially different, albeit that this essential difference is something like “has potentiality for mothering” and “has potential for fathering” so one way of putting it is that masculine friendships are those containing men and feminine ones are those containing women. However, in this case they would be the same insofar as they’re not reproductively viable and different insofar as they’re masculine vs. feminine, but I’d like to hear if anything can be said about the different structure of a masculine vs. feminine friendship.) I’m also sympathetic to the view that masculine friendships have been neglected in a way that feminine ones haven’t, and that this is an injustice which needs particular attention, just as the difficulty women face working on wall street needs particular attention.


*The argument goes: we labor for the sake of living, but we don’t live for the sake of laboring. If we did, we’d be essentially slaves, or essentially beasts. However, as rational animals, we have other characteristics, namely we can act in accordance with our reason, and for reasons other than survival.


**Pop-culture as metabolic: I mean (cf Adorno) that pop-culture is ordered toward giving us things that we don’t need, and giving us the desires for them. e.g. there’s an industry which constantly produces new pop-music, even though we don’t need a constant supply of new pop-music, and which gives us the desires for more and newer pop-music (it gives us an appetite that constantly needs to be replenished, just like our hunger for food). As industrialization makes food-production more efficient, industrial interests would undermine themselves (the market shrinks, relatively), so industrial interests are also to create more metabolic needs for things. (Schaengold and DJP and a number of others of you know more about this than I, so please correct my summary freely.)

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We remember…

A song for Zion, not marginally blasphemous, starts 22 seconds in:

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