Ash Tree Systems

Against Method Paul Feyerabend

The first step in our criticism of customary concepts and customary reactions is to step outside the circle and either to invent a new conceptual system, for example, a new theory, that clashes with the most carefully established observational results and confounds the most plausible theoretical principles, or imports such a system from the outside science, from religion, from mythology, from the ideas of incompetents, or the ramblings of madmen.

The Embodied Mind Varela, Thompson, Rosch

A computation is fundamentally semantic or representational—we cannot make sense of the idea of computation without adverting to the semantic relations among the symbolic expressions.

The Soul of the World Roger Scruton

The overreaching intentionality of our interpersonal attitudes is not an unalterable given; it can be educated, turned in new directions, disciplined through virtues, and corrupted through vice.

Aristotle's Revenge Edward Feser

An efficient cause is what brings something into being or alters it in some way. This is to be distinguished from a final cause, which is the end, goal, or outcome toward which something is directed or points. For example, an acorn "points to" or is "directed toward" becoming an oak. That an efficient cause A reliably produces a particular effect or range of effects B, rather than C, or D, or no effect at all, is intelligible only if generating B is the final cause of A. Final causality is also known as "teleology" (from the Greek *telos* or "end").

After Virtue Alasdair MacIntyre

Within [Aristotle's] teleological scheme there is a fundamental contrast between man-as-he-happens-to-be and man-as-he-could-be-if-he-realized-his-essential nature. Ethics is the science which is to enable men to understand how they make the transition from the former state to the latter. Ethics therefore in this view presupposes some account of potentiality and act, some account of the essence of man as a rational animal and above all some account of the human telos.

The Treatise on Divine Nature Thomas Aquinas

Something can be brought from potentiality to actuality only through some being in actuality. [...] Therefore it is necessary to arrive at some first mover that is not put in motion by anything, and this all understand to be God.

On Resistance to Evil by Force Ivan Alexandrovich Ilyin

The mysterious process of the flowering of good and the transfiguration of evil is carried out, of course, by love, not by coercion, and to resist evil follows out of love, from love and through love.

Human, Forever James Poulos

We who do not wish to be the slaves of the digital swarm just because we can’t be its masters must safeguard our identities, which world-dominant machines threaten most, through our memory, not our imagination. Our memories are properties of our inescapably incarnate (physical) and ensouled (living) beings; our sustained and transmitted memories of who we are and who we came from preserve us against the temptation of the disenchanted to impart to digital technology a magical and divine character, whether out of a pantopian or an apocalyptic sense of humanity’s fated obsolescence.