[hist-analytic] To On Hei On; Or: Why Analysis *Is* Metaphysical

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sun Feb 15 12:35:51 EST 2009


---- Note that if we are dealing with 'transcategorial' epithets here, it  
does seem like some metaphysical outlook pervades even the driest of  syllogisms!
 
------- And what do you think of Aristotle's 'healthy'. What's healthy in  
the first place? Surely no cows, or grass, or oats. But things (ens) like you  
and me!
 
 
----
 
I'll reply your comments on 'qua' now so that if you have a chance to see  my 
"Re: The Dawn of Analysis" with further qua-qua, as I call it, you'll get an  
exegesis, as it were, into the bargain!


In a message dated 2/15/2009  11:09:09 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, 
baynesrb at yahoo.com writes in "Re:  qua"

>Consider the syllogisms (as I have reconstructed them
>from  Aristotle's description) from Posterior Analytics 1 49a
>
 
Call me naive, but I ignored your "38" thing and I took me _some_ to  
identify the Greek "49a". I finally did it via an online version of the GERMAN  text 
"Analytica priori". It's odd that some online versions (I'm not referring  to 
R. B. Jones's) have the chapter, but not the versicle, as it were!
 
 
>MP Of the good there is knowledge (qua good)
>mP Justice is  good
>C Ergo: Justice is knowledge (qua good)

>MP Of some  particular thing there is knowledge (qua some particular thing)
>mPThe good is some particular thing
>C: Ergo: Of the good there  is knowledge (qua some particular thing).

>Ignore the, apparent,  invalidity of the second syllogism.
>'Qua' sets out a qualification. 
 
Right. It's odd that it _seems_ cognate with 'qua-lity', but recall that  
'quality' from what I understand, is _qualitas_ which is a translation of  
Aristotle's very own _poiotes_. You mention below the 'heta', but if I may, I  think 
it's the _letter_, 'eta', so-called, i.e. the long /e/. But with the  
aspirated accent, hence /he/. Plus, it's, not in the ablative of the Latin, qua,  
since the Greek does not have ablative, so it would be plain 'dative'. I have  
transcribed that as 'hei'. But I'd have to check if the transliteration 'he',  
plainly, is also used. This may be to the fact that the 'i', the iota, becomes  
subscripted, as it were, in Greek, and sometimes it defies  transliteration.
 
(I'm in a rush, too, as someone else has to use my computer today!)

Bayne: 
 
>Aristotle is making a
>proposal concerning where, in the first,  syllogism, to put
>the second occurrence of 'good'. He puts it with the  Major
>term, because if he puts it with the middle, then  the
>predicate of the conclusion will not hold of the minor
>term.  Further, if you put it with the minor term then
>you get pointless  redundancy (good (qua good)). 
 
 
Wow: I'm surprised you were able to decipher his 'coine' (Just joking)! I  
was wondering about the 'pointless redundancy'. A. Baeck (or Back with umlaut if 
 you google him -- he is an American philosopher, despite his name, 
apparently)  calls them 'reduplicative PREPOSITIONS'. In some cases the reduplication 
is  obvious, but I'm not sure when it comes to the genus summum, 'being qua 
being'  (to on hei on). Now here, I would object to the use of 'being'. It's mere 
"ens",  an individual _ens_. I would think, in Latin "ens qua ens". It may be 
redundant,  but a reminder of the type of syllogisms one is bound to meet 
when engaging in  metaphysical discourse! (Grice was right it's the most 
difficult thing in the  world -- Aristotle's Metaphysics -- and he was surprised that 
his seminars at  UC/Berkeley were not totally _vacuous_!). 
 
Bayne: 
 
>So it
>goes with the major. Anscombe claims that  Aristotle
>puts 'qua' with the subject rather than the  predicate,
>and, then, draws the conclusion that there are no things,  A,
>such that they are "A qua B." 
 
-- and if that would be on p. 208, wonder if it's the 'double effect'  paper. 
The list of contents for that volume has the 'double effect' paper  starting 
on p. 207, I think. 
 
Bayne: 
 
>In the first place, Aristotle
>is not making a general claim in  the passage cited for
>believing that 'qua' always goes with the  predicate, only
>that when there are two occurrences of the term, one  as
>modifier that modifier must in the context of a  syllogism
>belong to the Major term. This is misleading.

Yes, poor Anscombe _got_ misled, and who knows how many hundreds before  her. 
Note that Aphrodisias has a commentary on the Pr. Ana., and then there's  
commentary on the commentary. As Borges recalled I think, "Byron". "Your  
explication is good, but it would require another explication". 
 
Byrne makes a point that Aristotle is forcing everything into the three  
figures. And it's odd that seeing the Greeks were so derogatory towards the  
'barbaroi', it's all, as you note, in BArbArA.
 
Bayne: 

>Speranza remarks:
>"Steve R. Bayne was allowed onto the  stage, qua stage manager" runs the  
risk
>of a regressus ad  infinitum:"Steve R. Bayne, qua "Steve R. Bayne", 
so-called,...
>But as a  description we might require 'being Steven R. Bayne' rather than
>'Steven  R. Bayne'. If you follow the consequences of this, the picture  
>changes.

Yes, it does change. But we have to agree with Aristotle that some uses of  
'qua' are 'redudant'. Incidentally, in the syllogism you recover, Aristotle has 
 a qualification as being "false and not intelligible". I read that three 
times.  I was reading it alla Meinong: surely I was expecting something false yet 
 intelligible. For if it's not intelligible, how can it be false?

But a lot of this would depend on translation. The 'object of sense' that  
Aristotle says man qua is perishable (now that's coine!) is possible "sentient  
being". I.e. qua sentient being, man is perishable. This is good, but a bit  
atheistic to my mind. For it would entail that God cannot be sentient if he is  
not perishable. And perhaps he is not, for Aristotle, since it's just noesis  
noeseos, a thought that think thoughs. Also 'perishable' reminded of B. 
Aune's  clever discussion of 'dispositional' terms like 'fragile'.
 
"This is a dead parrot. She is no longer perishable. She is  _perished_".
 
--- (I'm starting to use nouns like 'parrot' etc. using the gender those  
words have in the Romance language -- this is my attempt to bring a bit more  
liveliness to the English language. Just joking. But why should a parrot be  
'it'?)
 
Bayne:
 
>Note that 'qua' is identified as 'heta' in Greek. This is far  more
>controversial, but there are Greek scholars around here who would  be
>more worth the time hearing. So I pass it by.

Apparently it's the 'he', with a subscripted iota, 'hei'. This goes for 'to  
on he on', but I have not been able to check the An. Pr. 49a passage to see if 
 he uses the 'hei' thing in 'man qua an object of sense'. 
 
The online Liddell/Scott is very good. I typed Short/Lewis 'qua', and it  
gives Greek transliteration, 'hei', so I did that. The entry for 'hei' is of  
course 'ho', since it's the masculine demonstrative. Oddly, I could not see in  
Liddell/Scott any use of 'hei' as 'qua'! In any case, the change of case is  
puzzling. What puzzles me to is that _AFTER_ the 'hei' you get again to the  
nominative:
 
ens qua ens          to on hei  on  (Met. Z) 
 
anthropos hei zoon     homo qua animal
 
etc. 
 
So it's _not_ a prEposition, but the article, definite or demonstrative,  
used as a particle. Pretty odd, and perhaps not the best Greek form. But  
Anscombe revived it, and we should pay her respects!
 
>Your Searle point is well taken, but possibly there is another  
>distinction at work here, what Chomsky described in _Aspects of  the
>Theory of Syntax_ as the performance/competence distinction. 
 
Odd that you should mention that book. S. Soames, of course, studied under  
Chomsky (professor of philosophy and linguistics -- this is good for 
conjunction  reduction, "Is a professor of philosophy and linguistics, so-called, a 
professor  of philosophy?) and that book has a mistaken reference in the index to 
"A. P.  Grice", without the proper aspiration of the 'h' in "Herbert"!
 
>These
>ambiguities run a fine line between these two, typically.  Or so it seems.

Yes, and I recall discussing with you elsewhere as to your idea that indeed  
there may be ambiguity at the level of the _intention_, 'linguistic' 
intention. 
 
Bayne:

>On so called: consider 'Gargantua was so-called because of his  size'. That 
is
>the sense of 'so-called' intended. As for the screaming  Mimi, what can
>I say. Just kidding, good opera. In fact, La Boheme is my  favorite opera;
>maybe Turandot. Enough of that!

Yes, and a stage manager is so-called because he manages the stage. So, if  
we are into reducing quas, we do deal with a reduplicated proposition. What  
looks like _one_ proposition, is actually two. You are right about Noun Phrases, 
 but it may be worth considering the 'qua' construction as a relative  clause:
 
     Steven Bayne
                       qua stage manager
                               fired
                                   the (so-called) tenor, J. L. Speranza
 
   Steven Bayne <who is the stage manager>
                       fired Speranza
 
While "who is the stage manager" is a clause within the scope of the NP,  
even in appositional style:
 
       Steven Bayne, the stage manager, fired  Speranza
 
it _does_ seem to involve a _predication_. But Aristotle _must_ have his  
figures three and tidy! and his three things, two premises and one conclusion! I  
cannot object, without him -- no dawn of analysis!
 
The dawn of analysis, re. Is really a commentary on further 'qua', as I  say. 
Have a look when you have the time (<----- this is an Austin  'biscuit' 
conditional). 

Bayne: 
 
 
"I've been unable to access Grice "Actions and Events." This might
prove  very important. Nor can I locate Sellars on volitions, later
in his career.  So I pass, once again. Your point on Grice and Donnellan is
worth pursuing.  Let me do so, albeit, briefly. 
"I sat the AA meeting qua the man with the  martini in his hand."
Now here the description 'the man with the martini in  his hand' can
be either descriptive or referential. If the AA folks don't  know it's 
a martini etc, then it is probably referential not descriptive. I  may
have a reputation for defiance and nonconformity, so I want them to  
be shocked, but if it just water then the sentence is descriptive  and
false. Gosh! Maybe it's the other way around. No. The important  thing
is the distinction works. I think Donnellan's distinction,  notwithstanding
Kripke's remarks on the topic, is very close to the  distinction between
rigid designators and non-rigid designators. I think this  is consistent
with your point on Grice."
 
Yes, on top of this, to start a new fashion (never caught up) Grice uses  
'identificatory' versus 'non-identificatory'. I believe D. E. Over (of  
Sunderland Poly, on the North Sea) has a good essay on that in "Mind and  Language" or 
"Linguistics and Philosophy". 
 
There's also:
 
 
Qua participant in the AA meeting, I was bored.
Qua audience, I found the AA meeting boring.
Qua participant, I found the AA meeting a delight.
Qua AA meeting, I found the AA meeting parochial.
Qua martini, I found your martini wishy-washy.
Qua lecture, I found Soames's lecture not too long.
Qua innovative, I found Avramides's lecture not a re-hash at all!
Qua _room_ the place where the AA meeting plenary took place was  _dirty_.
Qua trend-setter, Grice was not at his best.
Qua meeting, the AA meeting was a misnomer!

Etc. 
 
 
 
Bayne:
 
>I want to stay away from guise-theory (Castenada). Partly, because  I
>am a bit skeptical, although it is very appealing. Brief point: in  an
>unsubmitted paper I argue a relation between what Castenada says  about
>"The logic of He" (is that the title?) and quasi-indicators. There  is
>is an interesting connection between 'he' and anaphora, vis a  vis
>quasi-indicators, so I want to leave this alone just now. I've had  no
>time to edit my old paper, never released to the masses, but it has  so
>many damned superscripts that I'll let it sit. It's actually based  on
>Evans and Donkey Sentences. More later, perhaps.

Yes. Perhaps maybe on donkey and goat-stag. That would make an interesting  
one.
 
I thought 'hei' (not 'he') could be anaphoric. Liddell Scott mentions that  
Aristotle uses "Socrates" when he wants to talk about Socrates, but he uses "ho 
 Socrates" (Italian, "Il Socrate") when he wants to refer to Plato's _book_.  
Reminiscent of Russell,
 
        "the author of _Waverley_ lived  on a hill"
 
        "the creator of Waverley lived  on a hill"
 
        "the creator of Harry Potter  liveS on a hill". 
 
etc.
 
I tend to find personal pronouns pretty redundant, most of the case. What I  
am charmed with is the vocative use of the first person plural possessive, 
very  North of England thing:  "Our Doris, thee shouldn't spend so long at the  
marketplace!". 
 
Cheers,
 
JL

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