[hist-analytic] "He is a _post_-analytic"

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sat Feb 7 13:41:30 EST 2009

-- he said, in French, using 'post-analytic'  substantively. 

Are post-analytic philosophers said to be so with a  straight face?
Does it mean ... -- er, what?
I once was so unamused by  post-Griceans versus neo-Griceans that I coined 
the term, 'paleo-Gricean', well,  to extend the relevant polemic to, hey, Grice 
hissself [sic]

In a message  dated 2/7/2009 1:22:17 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, 
mdoctorow at ca.rr.com writes in  "Re: Mathematics and Lakatos's Research Programme 
In  mathematical probability-statistics, for example, whether you prefer to 
divide  or to subtract numbers will literally respectively separate you into 
almost  physically fighting schools (conditional probability versus  [...]  
[p]robable [c]ausation/[i]nfluence.


Interesting, and I'll  make it a shortie here!

I see your programme has not degenerated at all,  and indeed, was reading 
your amusing (in the good sense of 'amusing') discovery  upon your son 
discovering that your theories had been minimized. 

When  reading Malthus, I found it obtuse that he said that food grows 
arithmetically  while people grow geometrically. But I thought he was proved to be 
_right_. It  was an _empirical_ finding. (That's why a philosopher would defend 
controlled  birth -- in an attempt to arithmetize populations, as it were; for 
I'm sure it's  more difficult to geometrize food?).

In any case, I love probability  theory. Know next to zero about it. Some has 
to do with Jackson and Lewis  (philosophers -- and one Mc) about 
'conditional' or horseshoe operations  (whether what Grice found as the divergence between 
the horseshoe and the 'if'  vernacular was a matter of something that people 
who use 'if' conventionally  implicate or conversationally implicate -- all 
jargon, but I recall D. S. M.  Edgington -- my tutora here -- was pleased to 
follow my little tidbit on  this).

But of course mathematical probability-statistics, I hope, can  also be a 
_formal_ (i.e. non empirical) science, as much as logic is. And I'm  curious how 
what I call 

The Geometrical School (who like to  'divide')


The Arithmetical School (who like to  'substract')

(as I call _you_)

could avoid physical fight --  between the lightweights and the heavyweights, 
shall I say -- not fair! --.  

If it's all _formal_, i.e. non-empirical, it would be a matter of  "Charming 
by Convention" (I avoid Poincare's 'True by Convention' for this  _extends_ 
truth in my opinion). I.e. a matter of _stipulative_ definitions that  you 
either follow or don't. 

It's all pretty wicked, and I wish you good  luck in showing the degeneracy 
of the other paradigm!

Come to think of  it, I've heard _hundreds_ saying that "Analytic Philosophy" 
has degenerated  beyond repair (and some will speak of 'post-analytic'). The 
fact that this is  hist-analytic saves us to lose too much face about it -- 
even when you can call  me a reactionary irreverent conservative when I say I 
don't think the paradigm  has degenerated _so_.

Grice saved us, in a way, by saying that Philosophy  has "Longitudinal Unity" 
(never mind "latitudinal") so that what Socrates said  is still valid ('plus 
or minus one change of idiom or other', he  added).


J. L.  

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