Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sun Feb 1 17:53:20 EST 2009
In a message dated 1/31/2009 1:01:44 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
rbj at rbjones.com writes in "Re: Quine's "two dogmas"":
Hunting for specific references, I see that he says that in "Two Dogmas
Reconsidered" (p270) (and in Word and Object section 12) Quine accepts
explicitly that "all batchelors are unmarried" is analtyic.
It may do, here, to reconsider Grice/Strawson's two examples (in "In defense
of a dogma" -- Strawson had the courtesy of _never_ reprinting this essay,
although the (c) is indeed Strawson/Grice). Anyway, their two examples involve
descriptions rather than 'terms' proper, and are pretty convoluted. We will
see that they are not interested in the sentences themselves ('theirselves'?
:)) but in the replies they elicit from addressees:
i. My three-year old daughter
is an adult
ii. And she understands Russell's Theory
--- The addressee, as he interrupts the utterer goes:
"My three-year old daughter
is an adult"
"... and she understands Russell's
Theory of Types."
So it boils down, in G/S's picture that the good reply for an analytically
TRUE (now) utterance, now would be as per the subject-header,
"Understandable!", while "Believable!" we can keep for synthetically true (now) utterance. I
fail to see if this is an advancement:
It could be hard to sustain that analytically true sentences we _don't_
believe, but that's just as well.
But back to the unmarried bachelor. I fail to see if I am one.
But I once saw this American film, with a woman I then loved, Jill
Clayborough (she of the Blackwell list of "ill-dressed"). The title, and it was with
Alan Bates, was "An Unmarried Woman". I don't think "Bachelorette" would do.
But a man who is divorced (or has gone through a divorce) may be said to
re-become a 'bachelor'. Of course we shouldn't be concerned with etymologies,
since I would be surprised if that sentence, in Latin, say, makes _sense_
(analytic or other!). It's not a 'bachelor of arts', for example. And we are not
talking of 'civil unions' here, either.
"All bachelors are unmarried"
Since this is, in the Grice/Strawson diagnosis, meant to be analytically
true, the elicitation is, "Understandable!". I.e. it's not something we may come
to _believe_. Why?
The reason may have to do with 'meaning postulates' -- the only bit in
Carnap (nice guy, ultimately), Introduction to Semantics, I guess I still keep at
the Swimming-Pool Library. He uses "M" for Married, "U" for 'unmarried', and
"B" for bachelor. So, we then need the "horseshoe" for entailment. We need a
predicate calculus, and we need something we don't have, a predicate calculus
which is _decidable_. I.e. one that for each utterance or sentence it tells
us, alla Turing, or algorithmically, if it is a theorem or not. So the idea
behind the meaning-postulate is that we, qua designers of the System -- let's
call it System Q, alla Quine, as Grice did --, postulate:
It will be assigned the truth-value "1" for the following material
"If B, U"
for "(x) Bx ) Ux" -- where ")" is the horseshoe
we are postulating, as 'meaning', i.e. as an _interpretation_ of the
relevant fragment of System Q, that the class of married bachelors is _null_, and
more, that it _has_ to be null. The sense of necessity coming from making it a
'theorem', i.e. true under every interpretation.
I don't know about Quine, but I'd analyse 'unmarried' as involving the "~".
This is controversial. A. Zwicky for example, the lingust, thinks that
'isn't' has a different logical form from "is not". And it has been said that "The
king of France is unbald" is pretty believable, too. If we use 'married'
though we could simplify the formula "(x) Bx ) Ux" or provide a more basic
~(Ex)Bx & Mx
--- but I fear that Carnap requires meaning postulates to be of the '(x)'
type. There's a further problem with 'all', as Strawson notes in "Introduction
to logical theory" -- and any account of Quine's reception in England should
pay some detail to his "A Logician's Landscape" for the PQ? --. "All" fails
to provide 'substitutional' quantification in most cases. We need "every",
which apparently does. "Every bachelor is unmarried", or "It is not the case
that there is at least one bachelor who is married".
Now you are speaking sense, I hear Humpty Dumpty say as he pats me on my
bachelor. And I wish philosophers in the twentieth century (but then they
didn't have online access to it -- and I fear mine is not eternal either) could
quote more from the OED (Davidson does in "On saying that"). The OED notes
"The original meaning being uncertain, the sense-development is also
which is a Duhemite good start for the underdogma!
The OED continues:
The "baccalarius" "applied in 8th c. to
rustics male and female
who worked for the colonus or tenant of a mansus.
(See Deloche, Cartulaire de Beaulieu Introd. éclairc. xxii.)
-- But life, some will say, is too short to see the eclairc. xxii -- I trust
As for the 'bacca' bit there are two theories. On one it would be cognate
with 'vaccine' and meaning 'cow-boy' or 'cow-girl'. The OED has it:
"bacca, late L. and Romanic for vacca cow, through *baccalis (cf. ovilis
from ovis sheep), in which case it might be ‘grazing farm,’ and baccalarius one
employed on it."
The other theory has the baccalarius as the holder of the bacculum or stick:
"Littré (without accounting for the sense) suggests Celtic bachall stick (a.
L. baculus)". I've accounted for the sense, 'the holder of the stick', male
The first recorded OED cite is
"Syre ong bacheler..ow art strong & corageus."
R. Glouc. 453, 1297.
As for 'married' the OED is not too promising:
"of uncertain origin."
The OED being 'anglos' they discard Priscian:
"The first element is **probably** [my emphasis. JLS] not, as proposed by
Priscian and many subsequent etymologists, mari-, mas ‘man, male’". Although
it states that "[[mari] may be cognate with a number of words for young men
and women" (in languages other than Latin). As for the history, they attest
Italian 'maritare' (1250). Abd the first attested cite being:
"He lete hure marie to is sone at was is eir."
1325 11000 Virgins (Corpus Cambr.) 14 in C. D'Evelyn & A. J.
Mill S. Eng. Legendary (1956) 443
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