[hist-analytic] Analytic-Philosophy 'Seminars' That Made (20th Century) History

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sat Feb 21 08:24:03 EST 2009


Where the seeds were planted and grown, as it were. 
 
I'm not familiar as to how you would title what you do. I'm sure this below  
is _not_ a seminar. I think it was advertised by Grice (and Strawson) as the  
'summer school' which looks very fine if you _are_ in Irvine. But I'll drop it 
 as the contribution:
 
     1971. Summer school -- Formal Semantics.
               Key note speakers [don't you hate that soubriquet? It's so 
derogatory to the  others! And who's key is _so subjective_]
                   Grice
                  Strawson
 
outcome of the seminar: seminar-paper (almost),
                  Grice, Lectures on Logic and Reality.
 
 
--- In "Reply to Richards", Grice recalls this was the most formal he would  
ever get. I believe Strawson credits the seminar in the preface to "Subject 
and  predicate in logic and linguistics". 
 
---
 
Weeding glasses at the Seminar.
Analytic Philosophy: The Seminar and the Seminal
 
 
seminario, Italian: a piece of ground where seeds ar planted
 
cfr. ginnasio
 
--- both seminario (in the newish academic use) and ginnasio are of course  
Austro-German borrowings, almost)
 
1959 Times Lit. Suppl. 29 May 322/4 The seminar-paper tends to provide..a  
fence-sitting indecision.
 
In a message dated 2/21/2009 7:22:44 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
baynesrb at yahoo.com writes:

>Let me tell you a little story ... related to me by 
>the late  Cal Rollins, a student of Wittgenstein's. Rollins was
>assigned

--- That was a charming story. I too must check now with photos of Broad.  
The glasses bit is very _distracting_ (for his sensa I mean -- in Argentina  
people wearing glasses not only do not get passes but are derogatorily called  
"quatrocci", Italian for four-eyed. I'm glad he 
 
      "to have peered over his glasses"
 
to make the comment. Indeed, there is like something about 'other minds'  
that glasses block -- I'm using block in Dennett's sense:
 
block, n. (1) (shortened from mental block) A sort of organic stoprule or  
safety valve that prevents people from going crazy when they consider thought  
experiments exploiting combinatorial explosion. "It's a good thing I had a 
block  just then! I was getting a trifle dizzy when he started going on about 
storing  all the possible descriptions of the universe in a book made out of tiny  
galaxies pretending they're electrons." n. (2) A small but obdurate obstacle  
preventing the smooth operation of a mechanism, a spanner in the works. 
Hence,  mental block, an objection to functionalism obsessively maintained in the 
face  of all manner of refutations, blandishments and appeals to common cause.
 
 
----
 
Anyway, these would have been _reading_ glasses then. I once bought a pair  
of those. Actually I bought them, I recall, at a plant 'nursery', and I bought  
them because I liked the little silk bag they came with. It read, 'weedin'  
glasses', which I thought was appropriate for the task I had set them for. My  
friends smarted me out. 
 
----
 
 
Anyway, I found this about Rollins which I'd generalise to any teaching  
method for analytic philosophy. Personally, I would have start the P. I.  
backwards. What I _love_ about P. I. is that it _is_ in German. I would totally  skip 
the English. My German is good enough, and Wittgenstein's German is not  like 
Goethe's. 
 
What amazes me today is that philosophy students are not required to speak  
the lingo's! Never mind first-order lingo -- for this is really the ABC of  
philosophy:
 
hempel, adj. (only in the idiom hempel-minded) Said of one who insists on  
recasting the problem in the first order logic. 
                           Dennett.
 
I mean German, and French and Descartes, and, well Spanish for Unamuno if  
you Must -- You shouldn't -- or Greek and Latin. There's ALWAYS a good  
translation, for surely we are not going to trust what the student can grasp out  of 
Gavagai. But it keeps an open mind (I'm using this phrase seeing that Clark  
has just distributed a note on a colloquium on Open Minds with PHILOS-L) on the  
fact that philosophy is written in the many tongues of men (to use the 
Biblical  phrase and title of J. R. Firth's book).
 
---- And I _love_ bilingual editions like the "P. I.". 
 
Anyway, here is the Rollins related bit:
 
"I had often thought back on his seminar on (the later) Wittgenstein as the  
ideal learning experience. His simple method was to take us through the  
Philosophical Investigations in the first half of the semester ... and then  start 
all over again! This was one of the very few times in my life when I have  
been able to indulge the desire one feels after finishing any great book: Oh, if  
only I had the time to read that over again right now! Having been "primed" 
by  the first run-through, you are really ready to appreciate it the second 
time:  You know what to look for, you have many questions in mind, you are alert 
to  many clues, etc."
 
--- I title this a 'seminar' because it's a word sometimes abused in  
academia. And I'm not sure if this by Dennett has a sexual innuendo about  it
 
brodbeck, n. A female expert in a predominantly male field, especially one  
who can carry the extra load involved.
 
Cheers,
 
J. L. (male, etc.)
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