[hist-analytic] quâ (Prior Analytics 49a11-b2)
baynesrb at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 14 19:21:16 EST 2009
There is some good stuff here. I am going to focus on 'qua'. In particular,
IAristotle at Prior Analytics 49a11-b2. in connection with what I said earlier
about Anscombe (Collected Papers vol. III. p. 208.) along with some of
I will argue that Anscombe has, apparently, misunderstood Aristotle's
views which are restricted to the double occurrence of words in a
syllogism. There is a sort of logical "forcing" of the modifier ('qua') to
the Major premise in all forms of the syllogism he cites. I think they are
all in Barbara. In any case, there is an appeal to reductio, that has no
correlative in arguing for the constructions she discusses. I'm a little
surprised, inasmuch as I seldom make the sort of error that would
be required to misread Anscombe so radically; yet, respecting
scholarship, I cannot dismiss her, so, cavalierly.
This business of 'under a description' - in the way she is using it -
is reminiscent of Quine on belief, but there is a twist that goes
further back. If Davidson's approach to intention is, similarly,
dependent on this consideration we would go some way to
defeating broad claims of a linguistic methodology in this
particular case by appeal to very particular syntactic facts. Anyway,
while I won't be able to comment on everything you say here; it is all
appreciated. So if you have a chance peek at the Prior Analytics
(I:38, 49a11 etc), and I'll get back to "you'ns."
--- On Fri, 2/13/09, Jlsperanza at aol.com <Jlsperanza at aol.com> wrote:
From: Jlsperanza at aol.com <Jlsperanza at aol.com>
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk
Date: Friday, February 13, 2009, 9:46 PM
"qua is possibly one of the most
important words, philosophically"
J. L. S. -- bathroom graffito.
Qua and the subject locus
from the OED
qua: [< classical Latin "qua", 'in so far as', use as
adverb of ablative
singular feminine of "qui", 'who' (see WHO pron.).]
I'm not too happy with the header, but Bayne is considering phrases with
'qua' in subject-positions.
In a message dated 2/13/2009 8:34:50 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
baynesrb at yahoo.com writes in "Anscombe on 'Under the description
>In the mean time here are a couple of thoughts related to
>my work on Anscombe's theory of Action. If Speranza
>is out there, I would appreciate from him any reference he might provide
THIS topic in Grice.
----- And now I'm confused. I hope you mean on "THIS" as per
ambiguity was that the passage was about "THIS" about ~(p & ~p).
So in case
you wanted any reference on "~(p & ~p)" let me know; meanwhile
awaiting your reflections.
---- If the 'this' is on Anscombe, here my running comments:
>I have some criticisms to make of Anscombe on 'under a
>I will begin with how she responds to one objection to her use of
>the expression in _Intention_. However, the text I am referring to
>in this post is "Under a Description" Nous_ as well as
>_Metaphysics_ pp. 208ff. There Anscombe identifies
>'under the description d' with "quâ d". In addition in
>'x under the description d', she says that the subject of the
>sentence is 'x' not, ever, 'x under the description d'.
>If I say, I was allowed on stage under the description of stage
>This is ambiguous; this is the first claim I wish to make.
--- and a good claim it is too. Recall what Searle said about 'pragmatic
ambiguity'! We want to be clear whether this is a distinction in _senses_
think it's not, or in scope, as I think it is. Grice allows to _use_
'ambiguity' ('contextual ambiguity') in "Aristotle on the
multiplicity of being" (final
sections) PPQ 1988. (His example, the ambiguity between 'You cannot apply:
it's a contest for best French poem' -- ambiguous between, 'poem
supplied by a
French citizen' versus 'poem supplied by anyone _in French_).
>if under the description of stage manager means
>being stage manager so-called, that would be one reading
>where I am, merely referred to as such, that is as stage manager.
>I may not be the stage manager. In this case the sentence
>means one thing: I was allowed on stage as the so-called sta[ge]
>manager. But suppose I mean by under the description of stage
>manager, rather quâ 'stage manager'", that would
>else. Then the sentence would mean that I was allowed
>onstage because I was the stage manager.
>One can imagine circumstances where, even though I was not
>the stage manager, I was allowed on stage only because I
>was the so-called stage manager. It gets a bit clearer
>if we take authority instead of manager,
----- Sorry about this, but it may get _clearer_ if you choose another
example. I was having in mind what you say about Miss Anscombe on 'the
the sentence, and there the subject (logically speaking) is _them_, who are
going to do some 'deeming' as Grice calls it, as to whether you are
manager, or not!
>so that our sentence becomes: I was allowed on stage because
> I was the so-called staging authority, as opposed to
>I was allowed on stage quâ staging authority.
---- I don't think I'd follow you regarding the so-called. This
'so-called' is hardly well used in English! In Italian it's even
worse. Recall Pu
ccini's aria in La Boheme:
"Mi chiamano Mimi" I am Mimi, so-called. By _who_!?
I never read "Scenes de la vie en boheme" to check who she really
>In addition, one cannot construct cases where I am on stage qua stage
manager but I am not the stage manager.
Grice uses this in "Actions and Events" (PPQ, 1988 -- which I do not
hand). What I recall, frivolously, is that he uses the circumflex over the
thus becomes "quâ"!
>It may not even be the case that I am a so-called
>stage manager; no one may have ever understood me
>to be the stage manager.
Right. In "Vacuous Names" Grice plays a bit on Donnellan's
functors. If we remember them (a) vs. (b):
Grice is sceptical about the distinction, but he wants to keep a
distinction. And he uses a 'technology' here as it were. The use of
small print capitals
would mean 'referential'. The use of a description in quotes would mean
'attributive'. Thus we distinguish: (a') vs. (b'):
I was allowed quâ STAGE MANAGER.
I was allowed quâ 'stage manager'.
One would want to say that if we use the scare quotes, one _is_ paying
special attention to the words as used in the 'descriptor' -- "I
was referred to
as the 'stage manager'. If one uses the small capital print ("I
quâ STAGE MANAGER") one is using the descriptor not attributively, but
referentially, even rigidly so; and one is displaying a commitment to the
(or 'dossier' as Grice prefers) being _true_ of the descriptum. (Part
section was reprinted in _Definite Descriptions_ (MIT)).
>It may have been the case that my being let on stage qua stage manager
>implies that I was also called the stage manager, but to draw
>the conclusion that the cases were the same, and that there is
>no ambiguity, it would have to be added that one might in the very
>same sense be both the stage manager and the so-called stage manager.
>The reader will not experience the contrast unless the contrast between
>being a stage manager and being a so-called stage manager or even
>a stage manager so-called belongs among one's linguistic intuitions
>(or part of one's idiolect, etc). So it would appear that there is a
>difference between two possible readings of under a description.
Very good approach to a veritable ambiguity!
Regarding a second point, Bayne writes about the 'subject' position:
>But now the important question: In the sense in which
> under a description does *not* mean qua is
>x under the description d a subject term? If in
Bob under the description stage manager' V-ed.
>we have it that under the description stage manager can be
the so-called stage manager then in
Bob as the so-called stage manager fired Ruddy.
>the subject is not Bob but Bob as the so-called
I see your point. Perhaps Anscombe is wanting to say that 'under a
description' is a mere _guise_ (alla Castaneda), i.e. under the guise,
manager'. This would presuppose the variable 'x' to be able to be
_without any guise whatsoever_ (hence, precisely, the use of 'x').
Where in symbols
we would have something like:
(Ex) SMx & F(x, b)
i.e. There is an x such that x has the guise 'stage manager' and x did
Ruddy. Now someone may ask, under what description did Ruddy get fired,
that's what I want to know! ---- More tomorrow, after a good night sleep!
Historically, it may do to relate Anscombe's considerations about
positions with the mediaeval views of her husband! I tried and tried to
understand Geach's _Reference and Generality_ -- and I tried I tried to
Grice's 'disciple', Strawson's _Subject and predicate in logic
and in both cases, failed!
These issues of referentiality, attributiveness, and qua-ness pervade the
subject 'locus' but extend beyond it. I am reminded of Strawson on
and presupposition failure in:
"the exhibition was visited by the so-called King of France".
Strawson seems to have had the 'intuition' that the unique existence of
king of France' is not topical, and thus not crucial in the _understanding_
of the utterance. I never shared _that_ intuition! It seems pretty ad-hoc!
Surely there must be more to subject and predicate than choice of ordering!
At school we loved to do parsing, and I was good at that. The qua clauses
were used, sometimes, 'appositiones'. And knowing a bit of Greek
became _very_ tricky when we had 'predicative' phrases that could work
well as part of the subject or the predicate:
"Achilles saw them unarmed"
object: them. Unarmed? qua in the object position?
Turn that into the passive and you don't know what to do with the
They were seen, by Achilles, unarmed.
Achilles, unarmed, marched towards the wall of Troy.
Variants on Bayne's choice:
"I was allowed onto the stage -- qua stage manager".
There seems to be some intuition behind Anscombe's remark or
in that it's the 'bare' referent who is either allowed or
isn't. It seems
that to allow (to be repetitive) 'qua stage manager' to be in the
or position is taking all the ontological weight (in Quine's parlance,
out of the claim being made.
The extra problem, and Anscombe was aware of this, is the "first
bare personal pronouns even. If one follows J. Perry following Grice (1941),
on Personal Identity, it seems we _need_ to introduce *some* guise to
'I' and 'she'! Personally,
"Steve R. Bayne was allowed onto the stage, qua stage manager" runs
of a regressus ad infinitum:
"Steve R. Bayne, qua "Steve R. Bayne", so-called, was allowed
stage, but this happened not because "Steve R. Bayne" = "Steve
R. Bayne" but
because, rather, whoever did the allowing attributed to _him_ the property,
the stage manager'.
It seems to me that if we allow for symbols for "S" (subject) and
(predicate), then what we seem to be having is:
(I) S1-qua-S2 is P1.
But this may be a mere rewrite of the 'conjunction':
S1 is P1 (where S2 above becomes P1)
S1 is P2 (where P1 in (I) becomes 'P2' because there's a new
introduced in the rewrite)) (*)
And before the bed-qua-bed, the OED cites for 'qua'!
1647 N. WARD Simple Cobler Aggawam 56
"Every man was as good a man as your Selfe, qua man.
1649 A. ASCHAM Bounds Publique Obed. 21
"The Apostle commands Wives to submit to their Husbands,
surely quà Husbands,
not quà men."
---- good example that. I'm sure the Apostle would never command Wives to
submit to bachelors -- 'unmarried males' -- like _that_!
1776 Claim Roy Rada Churn 17/1
A body corporate,
cannot make an affidavit.
1847 M. F. TUPPER in W. C. Armstrong Compl. Prose Wks. (1851) 490
The man, quà man..
was nearer to his Creator,
than the woman; who, quà woman,
proceeded out of man.
--- Problem there is that woman qua woman is wife-man, i.e. qua woman she is
1867 J. A. FROUDE Spinoza in Short Stud. (ed. 2) 232
Because things modally distinguished do not
differ from one another there cannot be more than one substance of the same
--- Which may be Anscombe's point: to contradict Froude!
Note the co-substantiality, almost, between talk of 'subject' (Greek,
hupokheimenon) and 'substance'.
1885 Manch. Examiner 4 Apr. 4/6
Their censures are not directed
the Church quà Church,
but against the Church quâ Establishment.
--- This is also interesting, and Soames would like it, alla Kripke. For any
"a", feel free to allow the postulate, "a qua a = a qua a".
By focusing on
'church' qua 'establishment' are we promoting an
'essential' attribution, a
'proper' attribution, or a mere 'accidental' one? I think the
1965 G. GRANT Lament for Nation (1991) ii. 21
This failure to recognize the rights of French Canadians, qua community,
was inconsistent with the roots of Canadian nationalism.
--- This is intersting in that there is no strict 'grammatical' number
agreement, "French canadians" is plural, 'community' is
singular! So you see 'qua'
can be not just be otiose, but 'lousy'!
1993 Guardian 21 Aug. (Weekend Suppl.) 6/2
Philip Larkin was unquestionably..better loved, qua poet, than John
Betjeman, who was loved also for his charm.
---- I disagree! I don't think Philip Larkin was loved but by Barbara
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