[hist-analytic] "A Pretty Good Guide To Logical Form"
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sun Feb 8 19:29:29 EST 2009
"By virtue of grammar". "By virtue of its form -- and form only"?
-- Open the door. It's I, Tom!
-- He's not Tom. He's the master!
-- How do you know?
-- Tom would never say, "It's I" --
How virtuous is the 'homo grammaticus'? -- or the abuses of 'the logical
grammar of ...' in the annals of analytic philosophy (with a wink to C. W. K.
Mundle, "A Critique of Linguistic Philosophy" -- Excellent book by this
"Nein!" (Was: Frege)
I enjoyed B. Aune's reply to S. R. Bayne. ("But not all statements ar of
the 'All Bs are B' form", etc.)
It motivated to re-read Frege! Anyway, two little points:
* 'in virtue of', etc. It may amuse philosophers that this is all, of
course, 'out of Africa', almost, and due to the equivocation in the Greek concept
of 'arete'. Arete meant 'excellence' (as in The Age of Excellence). Cicero was
not a noble, but a vulgus; and so, wiki tells us, he wanted to say that men
were virtuous 'by virtue of 'virtue''! The phrase stuck, and as M. McDonnell
notes in his "Roman manliness" (p 103) -- google books --,
"The phrases 'by virtue of' and 'en vertu de'
are both traceable to the effect of a cultic
use of Greek 'arete' on Roman 'virtus' "
* As for Frege; again from wiki: "Frege argues that without ever having any
intuition toward any of the numbers in the following equation [*] we
nevertheless can assert it as [analytischlig] true".
Frege's example being:
" 135664 + 37863 = 173527"
The "Nein!" in the header comes from his typically German emphatic answer to
"Could Kant be right that this is synthetic?" And I am amused that, if M.
Gardner ("Annotated Alice") is right and Humpty Dumpty is Lewis Carroll's
caricature of the Oxford philo-sophico-philo-logicus fella, then I'd say that,
like to Humpty, to verify whether Frege is _right_ would take me a few!
* By virtue of grammar? Now back to
"All Bs are B"
and B. Aune's commentary ("Frege in his Foundations of Arithmetic tried to
improve on Kant’s definition of an analytic truth; he tried to bring it up to
date in a way we are all familiar with" -- and again: "But not all statements
are of the “All Bs are B” form. What about them?"). I was recently reading
(and discussing in CHORA-L) J. K. Jerome's Three men in a bummel. He is
discussing German overuses of 'ought' (This is not what I want, but what I ought
to want). Ditto, I can imagine Frege saying:
-- But not all statements are of the "All Bs are B" form.
-- Well, they *should*!
If we use 'horseshoe' to formalise the above, indeed it seems like we can
'verify' it holds for 'all truth-conditions' (I'm speaking vaguely) for _any_
(x) Fx ) Fx
where ')' stands for ')'. So, it wouldn't be so much 'by virtue of its
meaning -- _and meaning only_" [This closure to appease S. R. Bayne?] but, as
Bayne also suggests, 'by virtue of its _logical_ form"? And here it is where
Analytic Philosophy got interesting, I found. When it started to speak, albeit
vaguely, but with some degree of impertinence, of 'the logical grammar of...':
"You just can't say "The pillar box is red".
'Red' does not apply to 'material-objects'
but to 'sense-datum'"
"The logic of colour-words", "The logical grammar of ..." this and that. And
as a pro-Oxonian, I would even go with Russell that grammar is a "pretty
good guide" _to_ logical form (where grammar means ordinary-language, nicely
fitting what Russell had as 'stone-age metaphysics"! Let Eddington play with
quanta! -- Cheers, -- JL.
J. L. S.
Author of "And now to bed", etc. *
* Why did J. L. Austin ever feel the _need_ to *translate* Frege?! He's
so transparent! (Just joking).
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