[hist-analytic] recent history of analytic philo
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Thu Mar 19 09:17:52 EDT 2009
In a message dated 3/19/2009 7:07:30 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
mvp1 at igc.org writes:
Thanks for the link. Nice colourful cover -- alla Andy Warhol. I could
1 2 3
Frege ? Quine
4 5 6
? Witters Russell
---- Anyway, the CUP link possibly has the credits for backcover.
I browsed the sections, and enjoyed particularly the title of one:
"Fog over channel: continent cut off!"
I noticed that "Paul H. Grice" [sic] is cited twice only: pp. 14, 54.
The author seems to have taken with some degree of seriousness the different
'meta-philosophical' approaches to the topic. Not just a history, but a
metaphilosophy as it were. One section for example goes,
"Is analytic philosophy conservative?"
I would think so, but then Grice self-labels "dissident" reactionary or some
such on the second page of his "Life and Opinions" -- so one has to be
careful with generalisations. The actual phrase is "irreverent, conservative,
(a) irreverent -- is a trademark of his genius. You have it or you
don't. It's the conviviality
and the idea that philosophy has to be fun. "Laughter with
philosophy is not laughter
(b) conservative -- this he applies to his brand of 'rationalism' at a
time when Empiricism
was starting, to use that hateful expression, to rear its beautiful
head --. Grice has
described it as a 'bete noire' and now he is fighting with Kant.
Recall that his "Logic
and Conversation" goes, "I am enough of a rationalist to..." --
That's 1967. Today, the
dissenting thing to say is "I am enough of an empiricist"!
(c) dissenting -- This is the label he valued most. In fact, (a) and (b)
are expanded only
in a footnote. Grice's footnotes can be fun.
The odd thing about this is that it's Herbert to blame. Glock cites
this man as
Grice, Paul H.
but it was in fact, as the (c) for _WOW_ goes:
Grice, Herbert Paul
Herbert was Grice's father -- and Grice was the eldest son. It was
traditional to christen
the eldest boy after the fater (Grice's brother is Derek -- and that
He would never use either "Herbert" or "Paul" was the custom was in
always H. P. Grice. In America they started to have him, "H. Paul
Finally, he got so tired (or came to love it) that he dropped the H.
But it was Herbert Grice Sr that made a dissident of little Paul:
"the tendency towards dissent may have [...] derived from ...
(a fine musician and a gentle person -- they enjoyed the trios with Grice
Sr. violin, Derek cello and Grice Jr. piano -- they played Bach -- Derek became
a professional cellist in Hampshire -- and Grice Jr. mesmerised the
graduation-party at Clifton with his recital of Ravel).
"I witnessed almost daily the spectacle of his
nonconformism coming under attack from ... a
resident aunt who was a Catholic convert."
-- Apparently the book is well documented. As a German author that I think
he is, I was amused that when corresponding with the German philosopher Andreas
Kemmerling -- _the_ German Grice -- I found that he was actually teaching
"Analytische Philosopie". It amused me that the Germans being so reverential
that they have 'analytic' in the title of the course they give! So much for
fog over the channel.
There are good sections on Germanophilia, or Germanophony, rather -- and
I cannot say I know more than Oxford philosophy -- there is a section on
Anglican-Austrian axis or some sort, which must refer to Weismann.
Oxford is an animal in itself, or as I prefer, an island totally surrounded
by land. The main phases of analytic philosophy in Oxford cannot be properly
discussed in a book that aims at discussing Wittgenstein and Quine, too. E.g.
what was the connection between analytic philosophy of the Grice generation
and the realist school of Cook Wilson. Grice cites _Statement and Inference_,
Or, how much scorn was poured on Sir Freddie with his new Gollancz volume,
Language Truth, and Logic? Yes, 'analytic philosophy' but too much of a good
thing to be properly digested in Oxford.
Is the Austin vs. Ryle polemic more of a social thing than anything else? I
think so. Austin would not allow in his playgroup anyone his senior.
The public and the private in Oxford philosophy: how much is just unwritten
(agrapha dogmata). How much was displayed at meetings of the Oxford Society.
How much was the movement a real movement? How much was it the establishment
outside Oxford. What percentage of 'truly Oxford philosphers' did publish in
the 'establishment' journals like Aristotelian Society, or worse, Journal of
Philosphy and Philosophical Review. How much of Oxford analysis was published
in the conservative Philosophy of the Royal Society of Philosophy?
Another thing to consider is the _teaching_ of analytic philosphy, while it
was cooked. What kind of examination committees were implemented? Who decided
issues of policy regarding curriculum? At this level, it does seem analytic
philosophy was pretty influential, but I still cannot think that it would
_make_ *me* (say, a Parmenidian) into one!
J. L. Speranza
**************Great Deals on Dell 15" Laptops - Starting at $479
More information about the hist-analytic