[hist-analytic] Bootstrap

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sat Jan 31 15:53:33 EST 2009


In a message dated 1/31/2009 1:01:49 P.M.  Eastern Standard Time, 
baynesrb at yahoo.com writes:
When I tie my shoelaces,  there is on the one  hand the movement of my 
fingers, and on the other, the  movement of the laces. But is it possible to 
separate these events by calling  the first, alone, my action? What makes the 
separation a problem 
--- This  reminded me of Grice's _Bootstrap_, although it's the other end of 
the problem,  I guess.

I would distinguish:

-- move my finger
-- move the  lace

Personally, I would find it otiose to move my finger without moving  the lace 
-- but:

1. Since it's quite a task, one can imagine a child  learning to tie his shoe 
by moving his finger (without actually moving the  lace)
2. Similarly, some singers somplained that Bellini did not write  'songs' for 
the 'human' voice. I take it that the score shows some 'movement of  finger' 
that when meant to accompany the voice is _unnatural_.
3.  Philosophers should be well concerned, as Davidson taught us, that 
co-relations  between 'actions' are a trick -- and I'm not sure S. Baynes means 
'trick' in a  bad way in the header

4. I once read that Prince Charles never had  (literally) to brush his teeth. 
He would have a butler doing that for him, i.e.  put the paste on the brush, 
and all Charles had to do is moving the head. But we  do distinguish, "Who cut 
your hair?" from "I don't like the way you cut your  hair" ('It wasn't me, it 
was the coiffeur; I've just had the (i.e. my) hair  done.

Sorry for changing the header -- feel free to  ignore!

Grice's _bootstrap_ is meant to illustrate the problems perhaps  pointed out 
by D. Frederick: a neurologist's description of the physical even  underlying 
my moving the fingers may be -- at what Grice calls Level L1 -- in  "Method in 
philosophical psychology" -- _irrelevant_ when it comes to my  _explaining_ 
why I moved them (Level 2). There's no sense of introducing a Level  1 that 
will not allow us, later to pull ourselves, yes, by our own  bootstraps?

Cheers,

JL  

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