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In a previous post titled Lex Armaticus Defined (see here), your humble blogger set out a straight forward proposition, namely that those entities which abide by the natural law that God created to govern His creation, i.e. the et Invisibilium, will be those who/that will continue to exist as part of the visible world, i.e. the Visibilium Omnium. And naturally, those that do not adhere to the et Invisibilium, will eventually be consigned to what Leon Trotsky called the “trash-heap of history”.
On the basis of the above defined Lex Armaticus, we posited that our Faith, which comes from two sources, i.e. divine Revelation and known through “natural light of human reason from the things that are made”, is a continuous process of reconciliation of reason with revelation, of science with faith and of philosophy with theology, SUBJECT TO: that source of our Faith that comes from divine Revelation. This continuous process set out above goes by the name of ORGANIC GROWTH.
The rest: trash-heap of history. Eventually!
This is our jump off point today.
That which is written above allows us to put into a proper context, the contents of a post that I read yesterday at the blog Mahound’s Paradise. In the post titled Everyone Knows that 20th Century French Philosophy has Utterly No Value Whatsoever Except as a Scheme to Pick Up Chicks, So Why is Pope Francis So Into It? (see here), a question is posed. And your humble blogger will attempt to answer it below.
In the post, the author writes the following:
20th century Analytical Philosophy (mainly English) was about applying logical techniques to analyze words or concepts in order to clarify their meanings.
20th century Continental Philosophy (largely French but also German) was about talking or writing pretentious bull in order to pick up chicks.
I agree wholeheartedly with the above two statements.
Furthermore, let’s examine why the statement “20th Century French Philosophy has Utterly No Value Whatsoever” is an OBJECTIVELY TRUE statement. What I would like to do is drill down into the latter category since I don’t think the description quite accurately captures the totality of this Francophile “chick magnet”.
One of the subsets of the above termed Francophile “chick magnet” that arose in the early 20th century was the Structuralist movement. And it would be fair to say, that it arose for no other reason than to “muddy the water” with respect to the objective meaning of words and their common usage. Your humble blogger did a post about just this titled Meaningless Words (see here). If you recall, in that post we wrote that Structuralism was seen as a “reaction to ’modernist’ alienation and despair”. The cause of the “alienation and despair” was described as follows:
“ …the reason for this (structuralism’s) development was due to a small problem that the Modernist’s encountered, i.e. a dictionary. To be more precise, the problem was the FACT that there is an objective meaning of words and their usage. The manner in which Structural linguistics got around the problem of the dictionary i.e. the objective meaning of words and their usage is through the novel theory that words were only symbols (signs) and the meaning was much less important than the underlying “structure” that those words represent. Hence the designation “structuralism”.
However, a small design flaw in Structuralism theory quickly consigned it to the trash-heap of history. Here is how we described this small design flaw:
The bad news however, was that this movement itself soon faded into obscurity due to a small design flaw, i.e. the inherent logical fallacy of contradictory conditions. In other words, Structuralism implicitly breached the rule of non self-contradiction. The specific problem was this: in order to use Structuralism, i.e. a theory that states that words DO NOT have an objective meaning, one needs to use words that DO have a objective meaning.
Which led to:
This realization led to the next big linguistic movement, i.e. Deconstructionism, which partially rectified this obvious logical flaw with Structuralism. Deconstructionism in turn states that the meaning of words is ambiguous.
Which brings us to the main practitioner of Deconstructionism, pictured in our photo at the top of this post, one Monsieur Jacque Derrida. And as it just so happens, in the comment box, St. Corbinian’s Bear wondered why the “philosophical giant” Jacque Derrida was not mentioned in Francis’ list of 20th century French “philosophers” given in the La Vie interview. Hint, the oversight was not unintentional. But more about that later in the post. But I digress… And since 20th century French post-modernist “philosophy” would not be 20th century French post-modernists “philosophy” without Derrida, I decided to mention him here just to fill in this big gaping hole in Francis’ list.
So here’s the skinny. According to Derrida:
“language as a system of signs and words only has meaning because of the contrast between these signs”.
Can you say Hegelian dialectic? But I digress…
“words have meaning only because of contrast-effects with other words...no word can acquire meaning in the way in which philosophers from Aristotle to Bertrand Russell have hoped it might—by being the unmediated expression of something non-linguistic (e.g., an emotion, a sense-datum, a physical object, an idea, a Platonic Form)”
However, if we look up the definition of “word”, we find the following:
“a unit of language, consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation, that functions as a principal carrier of meaning.”
But Derrida contends that:
“As a consequence meaning is never present, but rather is deferred to other signs”
Which leaves Derrida and Deconstructionism with their very own “dictionary problem” just as was the case with the Structuralists. Yet, through introducing “ambiguity” into the Deconstructionist paradigm, Derrida has been able to increase the shelf-life of this “philosophical” movement. Yet, the trash-heap of history is beckoning.
Which brings us to the notion of the introduction of “ambiguity” into an existing “philosophical” construct. Who in the Catholic world comes to mind when we say the word “ambiguity”?
Let’s ponder this for a minute while I go on with this post.
From where we Catholics sit, we have no issues with either ambiguity or the “dreaded” dictionary. We understand that “words” are “representations” of things and processes that we can observe, i.e. representations of the Visibilium Omnium, et Invisibilium. The reason why “words” exist is to facilitate our knowledge obtained through “natural light of human reason from the things that are made”. Therefore, we can posit with a very high degree of certainty that “words” cannot be separated from their meaning since if they were, there would be no basis for their existence. To put it another way, they would have Utterly No Value Whatsoever. And when something is deemed to have Utterly No Value Whatsoever, we are speaking trash-heap of history.
Which brings us back to the question, who comes to mind in the Catholic world when one says the word “ambiguity”.
The obvious answer is: Francis.
And why is he introducing ambiguity into the Catholic doctrine almost on a daily basis?
The answer becomes quite simple. What he is trying to do is introduce the Hegelian dialectic into Catholic theology. To be more precise, what he is doing is taking the Universal Magisterium and using it as his thesis. He then takes the wild and crazy sh*t that was promulgated in the Vatican II docs or the stuff that his alter ego the “god of surprises” makes up, as the antithesis. And through the use of a Deconstructionist form of “ambiguity”, Francis is trying to come up with an acceptable synthesis.
Or to put it another way, what Francis is in fact doing is trying to DECONSTRUCT the Universal Magisterium.
And whoever drew up the Francis List, must have been cognizant of this fact, hence the “strategic” absence of Monsieur Jacque Derrida from Francis’ List. Team Francis for obvious reasons doesn’t want to draw attention to this fact. Wouldn’t want big red flags to start popping up inside the Sacred Vatican Walls and beyond, now would we?
Someone could even get the idea that it’s high time to DECONSTRUCT the Francis pontificate.
And consign it to the…..
You get the drift.