[hist-analytic] Hume's Fork

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sun Feb 22 19:10:26 EST 2009


Not really comments worth commenting! but for the sake of history of  
analytic philosophy -- and now to see the Oscars! -- Cheers, JLS.
 
or Furca Humii
 
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Apparently it was Ayers who termed it thus: 
 
 
>I think this is the basis for what Ayers 
>termed Hume's fork
philosophicalneuron.blogspot.com/2008/10/humes-fork-revisited.html
 
This is good as I like Ayers -- very Oxon, right?
That would be
 
Michael R. Ayers. born 1935. one of the "Professors of Philosophy", plain  -- 
i.e. not a Waynflete. 
Studied St. John's so I expect he had Grice as tutor. Oops. no, this is  "St. 
John's Cantab"! Sorry about that.
Fellow of Wadham, tutor of Colin McGinn (Born Newcastle -- see "Memoirs of  a 
philosopher" and also this for McGinn's uncharitable view of a man he never  
_knew_: Grice). Also tutor of Child who has written on Grice for Aristotelian  
Society (vis a vis "Intention and uncertainty"). 
 
The wiki:
 
>Michael Ayers's research focuses are in the history of philosophy 
 
So "Hume's Fork" to be taken seriously. 
 
While OED does not recognise "Hume's fork" -- it does use 'fork' to mean  
'dilemma':
 
1670 HOBBES Behemoth (1840) 214 
 
"Declining the force of true reason by verbal forks..distinctions that  
signify nothing."
 
But we trust Hume's was a _real_ (to use Austin's trouser-word), almost,  
'un. 



Congratulations on the rewrite of those two links. It will take some time  
for me to process them. But thanks for sharing and inviting criticism. 
 
I've copied and pasted the symbols Bishop uses and then pressed, 'plain  
text' and so they disappeared -- but we know what they mean. I say that because  
it may be good to have equivalents for those symbols in plain-text, too.
 
Below the result of the pasting. 
 
In a message dated 2/22/2009 12:28:27 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
rbj at rbjones.com writes:
>The Fundamental Triple-Dichotomy
>an  overblown name for what may first have appeared as "Hume's Fork"

Indeed from wiki:

>Hume's fork is often stated in such a way that statements are  divided up 
into two types:
>Statements about ideas - these are analytic, necessary statements that  are 
knowable a priori. 
>Statements about the world - these are synthetic,  contingent, and knowable 
a posteriori. 

--- no hit in the OED for the expression Hume's Fork, though, so far. but  
_mailto:oed3 at oup.co.uk_ (mailto:oed3 at oup.co.uk) 
 
which is about time, since the wiki article mentions:
 
Blackburn, S. W.  
 
          'Hume's Fork.' 
 
Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. OUP 1996. 
 
--- Similar thing happened with 'implicature'. It was included in Oxford  
Dictionary of Linguistics but only recently made it to the OED -- which is  
perhaps just as well. I'm surprised the OED does not mention Yogi Berra's Fork,  
either. :(
 
Bunnin N. and J. Yu 
 
          'Hume's Fork.' 
 
Blackwell's Dictionary of Western Philosophy. Blackwells, 2004. 
 
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special symbols
 
forallx:   A.P   asserts the formua P (which may  contain free occurrences of 
the variable x) for all value of x in A
existsx:  A.P   asserts the formua P (which may contain free occurrences of 
the  variable x) for some value of x in A
notP     the logical  negation of P
membera  B or 
a:Ba         is a member the set  B
function space A  B the set whose members are the functions with  domain A 
and co-domain B
cartesian product A X B the set whose members  are all the ordered pairs of 
which the first element is a member of A and the  second a member of B

A descriptive language is a 6-tuple consisting of:  
A set of sentences S. 
A set of contexts C. 
A set of possible worlds  W. 
A set of proposions P. 
A semantic map m  (SC)P. 
A  propositional evaluation map v  (PW){T,F,U}. 
 
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