[hist-analytic] The Annals of Analysis
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Thu Jan 29 08:52:31 EST 2009
In a message dated 1/29/2009 4:26:08 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
rbj at rbjones.com writes:
I doubt this "analysis" of Leibniz's usage in this case..
This was a big topic for Leibniz because of his ideas on the lingua
characteristica and calculus ratiocinator, which are only very remotely
connected with his work on the differential and integral calculus.
(of course the topics are both about "calculi" and the calculus ratiocinator
would have to encompass the other calculi since it was expected to be
I think It is fairly clear from his writings that the kind of analysis which
Leibniz had in mind here was logical rather than infinitesimal or
---- I stand corrected. I have read quite a bit on this 'characteristica
universalis'. For some reason, I always was interested in its developments in
England (rather than Scotland, say) and centred around the "Royal Academy":
Wilkins on top. (J. L. Borges was fascinated by this). I was able to read some
of the reprints in the so-called "Scolar Press", based in Marston, Yorkshire
-- fascimiles of the originals. And, to say the least, I was disappointed. At
least the English authors on 'characteristica universalis' were:
-- too much into 'phonetics' to my taste. They were interested in how things
-- too arbitrary, and scholastic. I mean, hardly 'experimental' philosophy.
They would start with very general, 'eschatological' even (in Grice's sense,
"Philosophical Eschatology" in his WOW], usually Aristotelian. So, say, the
would have a term for 'res cogitans' versus 'res extensa', and so on. Their
idea of 'necessity', or 'analytic', perhaps derived from Aristotle's
considerations on essence and specific difference. Thus, 'homo' would be 'retranslated'
into this characteristica as 'rationalis animal', or something. I think W.
C. Kneale develops quite at some length Leibniz's views on the topic (in his
"Growth of Logic" lectures at Oxford, later published as "Development of
Logic"). The Oxford scene was never too wedded, for better or worse, to Leibniz. I
seem to recall that G. H. R. Parkinson (editor of "Meaning" for the Oxford
Readings in Philosophy, super-edited by Warnock) has something on Leibniz.
More vernacularly, I recall when one of my teachers -- way back down under --
was celebrated (Ezequiel de Olaso, his name) for having made popular Leibniz's
philosophical writings to the wider population of ... Buenos Aires!
work by Oxford philosophers such as
> J.L.Austin and G.Ryle."
I suspect that when I wrote this that I had not even heard of (or least
properly registered) Grice, who I would now be inclined to rank higher than
Austin or Ryle (Wittgenstein is incomparable).
Indeed he is. But we should analyse the logic of such statements! In
"Prolegomena", Grice uses a similar example, "Heidegger is incomparable". This was
possibly a joke, but the result is that Heidegger did make it to the name
index of that prestigious publication!
As a joke:
-- Wittgenstein cannot be compared
-- Wittgenstein _has_ been compared, but all comparisons (so far) has been
----- Well, I doubt Grice would rank himself (or hisself, as I prefer) than
Austin. The man (Grice) _needed_ a sense of tradition. I know because I felt
precisely the same in my environs -- and thus _looked_ for Rabossi as my
'mentor'. It's surprising, to some, not to me, that in his "Valedictory" (i.e.
Retrospective Epilogue) but notably in his "The Life and Times of Paul Grice"
(actually 'Life and Opinions', now in "Reply to Richards', in Warner/Grandy,
Philosophical Grounds of Rationality: Intentions, Categories, Ends --
Clarendon Press -- the title acronym for P.G.R.I.C.E. -- the man expands so
delightfully or charmingly, shall I say, on J. L. Austin. Austin died of cancer when ,
... well, when he died of cancer. Grice and Austin were never _personal_
friends; but those "Saturday Mornings" could not have been _without_ Austin. As
G. E. L. Owens notes in his obit. of Ryle, the mornings were further
organised by Grice after Austin's demise, but it wasn't really the same, and by 1967
Grice was gone for good to the California S. F. Bay.
As S. R. Chapman notes in her book on "Grice" (Macmillan Palgrave), Grice
was mainly concerned with the development of his own self; and the meeting of
J. L. Austin just fell at the right place. If we summarise Grice's career we
-- Grice as 'witness' of the 'first' play group, as I call it.
This was the Thursday evenings playgroup organised by I. Berlin.
Attendees were Austin, Hampshire, ... -- but not Grice
Chapman writes, "He had been born on the wrong side of
The result is that pre-'Phoney' War, Grice was just a
'post-verificationist'; his essays at the time attempt to provide 'logical' constructions (for
notions like "I" or personal identity) in part in terms of experiential content,
while not being necessarily samples of _reductionist_ analysis. (In his
"Valedictory Essay" he distinguishes, almost pedantically, between an analysis
being 'reductive' -- but not eliminationist, and 'reductionist' -- all the way).
-- Grice during the Phoney War.
Was was in Intelligence at Admiralty.
(His "Meaning" gets published by Mind in 1941)
-- 'post-war Oxford philosophy'
Grice was possibly the master here. For reasons of publicity, it was indeed
Austin that got all the press. But this period saw the presentation, within
Oxford, of Grice's "Meaning" (1948), and other papers, notably for
the Oxford Philosophical Society.
-- The 'published' canon. With 'Meaning' published in 1957, a flurry of
responses appear (but the big wave came ten years later). 1956 had
seen his "Defense of a dogma" that (with Strawson) was usually
listed in analytic-philosophy compilations on an 'ordinary-language'
reply to Quine.
-- The oral Grice. In 1961 he provided his Cambridge lecture on The
Causal Theory of Perception (Arist. Soc.) that got published in
the proceedings, and was pretty well cited -- notably in terms of
his early theory of 'implication'. Butler managed to publish his
"Remarks about the senses" (1965) in a Blackwell volume on
_Analytic Philosophy_ --
-- And then came the Grand William James -- which made Grice
a sort of grand name and philosopher's philosopher. His 1967
ms was only partially published in the coming decades: ii in
Davidson/Harman 1975, iii in Cole. His 1970 conference on
'Presupposition' in Cole 1981.
As a student of Grice it had been an adventure for me. All the different
publications I had access highlighted one aspect of his productions, and it took
me longer to find the underlying general picture. The more I studied him, I
saw the consistency: and was delighted, for example, to discover that 1971
"Intention and Uncertainty" British Academy Lecture where he expands on his
other love: action theory. His later publications for PPQ, 1988, saw him at a
stage where he knew his health was precarious. But he left things pretty well
organised for executors to have see the light things like "Conception of
Value" and "Aspects of Reason". Unfortunately, as things are in consumer-oriented
society, a book by a dead philosopher does not really sell as hot cakes.
Mind, I'm not sure one by a living one does, unless you sell your full frontals
to the New York Times Sunday magazine, as S. Pinker has! (and that means I'm
_not_ buying his book!).
The qualification, 'analytic philosophy' as applied to Grice is perhaps
restrictive but good. The blurb for _WOW_, written by Putnam, does use the
sobriquet. In England, he would just be considered a philosopher, and notably his
obit. in Times saw him just as well as a 'cricketer' -- and a good amateur
(i.e. gentleman) one at that!
Few studies in the history of analytic philosophy have made justice to Grice
in the proper historical context (and I'm basically interested in his Oxford
years, only). One would have expected so much from P. M. S. Hacker in his
long history of 20th century philosophy. But the man _is_ wedded to "Witters".
What slightly pains me is that Hacker (with Baker) were the successors of
Grice's post at St. John's ("the feast of reason" -- Pope).
R. B. Jones continues:
>This is a curious footnote since in retrospect the paragraph it is attached
>does contain a reasonable description of a kind of logical analysis, not
>however one that Russell actually employed, except perhaps in Principia.
And indeed it's _Principia_ that people like Grice honoured as being the
'modernist' credo. One is not sure what _Principia_ they did read. My guess is
that Grice, for one, did with Strawson's _formalisations_ of the modernist
credo in "Introduction to Logical Theory", only to attach his
>Probably my writing of this footnote was connected with my writing a page
>on "Varieties of Philosophical Analysis"
>(now linked to from the footnote)
>which happened later tha[t] year.
>However, looking at this analysis of analysis I see that there is omitted
>it what I now believe to be "the method" which Russell himself thought
>crucial and passed to Carnap, viz the idea that one should systematically
>eliminate ontological excess by logical construction.
>(This I am not impressed by, being motivated primarily by Occam's razor, to
>which I am a conscientious objector.
>I think I must be the most radical (or only?) anti-nominalist who denies
>a Platonist, though I suppose Carnap was as bad).
>I don't think I had at that time read Hylton on Russell, from which one
>*ought* perhaps to, come away with a clear idea of what kind of analysis
>Russell advocated (though I don't think I did).
---- Well, the idea of 'logical construction' was indeed Cantab. and much
the fashion in Cambridge and Oxford. In his "Concepts and Categories", by the
very Oxonian Russia-born I. Berlin, there's this logical-construction of
'material-object' in terms of 'phenomenalist' experience which I think set the
Oxford trend. Grice's "Personal Identity" (Mind 1941) makes extensive use of the
idea of 'logical construction' -- relying on Cambridge author Broad. As it
transpires, Grice provides a 'logical construction' he calls it, of thinks
like "his" in "The cricket ball hit Jone's head" (his head). "His" in this case
is 'physical' -- hit his cranium and brain. In other cases, it's mixed, "The
concert hit Jones's sensibilities" -- his 'sensibilities'. Possibly 'mind'
and 'soul' are involved here. Grice wants to reduce all to 'mnemonic' states
(Perry repr. this as late as 1975 with a good intro). I recall a sort of funny
passage in Grice's 1941. He comes up with a LOOONG analysis of "I" in terms
of 'mnemonic states" and comments: "Some will say this is too long a logical
construction to be true -- how can a simple analysandum as "I" get such a
mouthful of an analysandum". He immediately notes, "But this is too stupid an
objection to merit my time"!
When it comes to parsimony, Grice was a case. He indeed made sort of famous
his "Modified Occam Razor" (although Vendler, I believe had done similar
things earlier on) -- but this alludes to reduction of 'sense' proliferation, as
In his "presidential inauguration" (for the APA Pacific Division), "Method
in philosophical psychology", now repr. in Conception of Value, Clarendon, he
introduces what he calls 'ontological Marxism':
they work; therefore, they exist
-- for any given entity. Rather classicist, he compares those entities as
the 'servants' about to do the house work. If they are efficient, let them be!
In this context, he has grown sceptical, perhaps, of 'post-verificationist'
'logical constructions' and, in the case of 'theoretical' concepts like
'belief' he does not feel the same urgency he may have felt before to _eliminate_
them -- but rather 'ramsify' them, as he says.
S. R. Chapman has it just right in a passage that reminded me of P. Suppes's
contribution to the PGRICE. While Chomsky and Searle did see the 'middle'
Grice as a sort of 'analytic behaviourist' alla Ryle (with all the clauses
introducing intensional contexts, like 'believes that desires that believes...')
it's best to regard Grice as an 'intentionalist'. Suppes is being jocular,
but Chapman is not. Having studied in part the phenomenological continental
tradition of, say Husserl, Brentano, and others, even Merleau Ponty, I see the
connection. Grice, like perhaps Hampshire (in Thought and Action), wants to
defend the 'irreducibility' and richness of _experience_. It is evident in
Grice's prose which is notably, 'first-person', as he elaborates on what he fells
when he says that, say, he shall do this _or_ that! (He was saddened that
the 'shall' idiom was losing adherents across the pond).
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