[hist-analytic] Who-Don-It

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Fri Feb 13 15:36:20 EST 2009

Again, I'm illustrated by R. B. Jones's 'historical' notes on his webpage  on 
the history of analytic philosophy. He quotes from Grice's "Post-war Oxford  
philosophy" (the Wellesey talk, as I call it), where Grice writes:

"To be looking for a conceptual analysis of a given expression E is to  be in 
a position to apply or withold E in particular cases, but to be looking  for 
a general characterization of the types of cases in which one would apply E  
rather than withold it."
Jones comments: 
"Grice notes that only some concepts are of interest to philosophy, but  
attempts no characterization of those that are*. He also notes that when  engaging 
in conceptual analysis it is his own use which is subject to the  analysis 
[and] Grice himself does not claim that conceptual analysis is the  whole of 
As for *, I'd add that he possibly felt sceptical about any such  
regimentation. Indeed, he would be amused by I think it was Hampshire and Hare  who were 
looking -- at a Saturday morning -- for an 'elucidation' of  "philosophically 
interesting concept", and reached no consensus. 

I was also browsing this and that and found that S. Soames has indeed a  
lengthy chapter on "Grice and the death (as it were, my wording -- JLS) of  
Ordinary Language Philosophy" (in his two-volume, "Philosophical Analysis in the  
Twentieth Century" -- reviewed by P. S. M. Hacker, inter alii --, and which B.  
Weatherson has criticised: 
         "So the murder was at  Emerson Hall!". 

On another internet source, I  read:

>Ordinary-language philosophy is sometimes called 
“Oxford philosophy.” This is because >Ryle, Austin, Strawson and Grice  were 
all Oxford dons. 

-- I'm amused by 'don', and am clumsily playing on  it in the header -- but 
it's of course literally true!
    * don.  1660 SOUTH Serm. 29 July (1843) II. 88 The  raving insolence 
which those spiritual dons from the pulpit were wont to show  [at Oxford]. 1681 
THORESBY Diary (Hunter) I. 109 Sermons..against Arminianism,  whereat many dons 
were offended. 1726 AMHERST Terræ Fil. v. 20 The reverend dons  in Oxford are 
already alarm'd. 1882 BESANT Revolt of Man vii. (1883) 164 The few  left were 
either the reading undergraduates or the dons. 1888 BURGON Lives 12  Gd. Men 
II. x. 242 An introduction to two Oxford dons. 
**************Nothing says I love you like flowers! Find a florist near you 
now. (http://yellowpages.aol.com/search?query=florist&ncid=emlcntusyelp00000002)

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