[hist-analytic] A Note from Inside the Teapot

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Thu Feb 26 21:54:04 EST 2009


The Fork, the Knife and the Spoon
 
 
In a message dated 2/25/2009 4:01:10 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
baynesrb at yahoo.com writes:
>Is "'a' is a rigid designator" determined by  fact or stipulation? 

Well, ain't stipulations _facts_? :) (pass me the knife -- this fork don't  
cut). 

>Is it "analytic" if true? These are two question, not one. 
 
Well, apparently, as Bruce Aune notes, we need _two_ rigid designators:  
Tully _and_ Cicero. So we'd need _two_ stipulations.
 
>How can we, except by stipulation, confer rigid designation status? 
 
I think a 'necessarist' would say _intuit_ alla Bergson?
 
>If it is an empirical claim that 'Cicero' is a rigid designator, 
>then what is the evidence? If it is not an empirical claim, 
>then how are some necessary truths supported by 
>empirical data? 
 
Well, 'support' can be pretty _weak_. They are _not_  *unsupported* by  
empirical data, either, aren't they?
 
As Brunce Aune notes in his book, it is a pity that empiricists trying to  
responde to the 'epistemic' (versus metaphysical) rationalists' challenge ('the  
necessarists', as I call them) have focused on _necessary_ rather than  
common-or-garden _contingencies_. (If I understood him alright!).
 
I always felt puzzled by the implicatural aspects of the Modal Square of  
Opposition!
 
            nec       -------      not-nec
 
 
 
       not-poss      -----       poss
 
I think this was first noted in the literature by Fogelin -- (a  
'close'-Gricean, there) and Burton-Roberts (Journal of Linguistics). If it's  _necessary_ 
it's _also_ contingent! (It it must, it may).

Bayne:
 
>Oh sure, that Cicero is Tully is not a priori; 
>or so it seems. 
 
B. Aune quotes a good one here: Horwich (I met him, Cheshire-born), On  
"Aprioricity". Must say it sounds Scotian enough. (alla Duns Scotus). 
 
Bayne:
 
>But the only empirical evidence I have is that in 
>this world Cicero is Tully. 
 
Oddly, the word 'world' was unknown to _Romans_! I suppose Barcan or Kripke  
drew it from Leibnitz. _mundus_? (It. mondo)
 
>We have to make some unempirical assumptions about essences, 
>I think, in order to congratulate Kripke on discovering 
>empirically supported necessary statements. 
 
Well, but then _congratulatory_ as Austin would recognise, is a  
value-to-fact direction of fit anyway :). 
 
>I think we are close to being in a circle. 
 
And worse, the circle is _closed_!
 
>We 
>have rigid designation if only if we have essentialism. 
>That is a first impression. 
 
              Don't you hate that tautology (i.e. analytically true), "You 
can only make a  first impression _once_"?
 
 
>This, of course, ties in with David Lewis' program, 
>but we need not go there, just yet.
 
Now yes?
 
>From wiki:
 
---- Lewis was born in Oberlin, Ohio, to John D. Lewis, a Professor of  
Government at Oberlin College, and Ruth Ewart Kellogg Lewis, a distinguished  
medieval historian. The formidable intellect for which he was known later in his  
life was already manifest during his years at Oberlin High School, when he  
attended college lectures in chemistry. He went on to Swarthmore College and  
spent a year at Oxford (1959-1960), where he was tutored by Iris Murdoch and  
attended lectures by Gilbert Ryle, H.P. Grice, ...
 
Oh my god -- he _is_ everywhere!
 
------
 
Anyway, loved to read Aune's foreword to the book he shared with this  list's 
webpage: he acknowledges his 'views on ... [x] are  'strongly indebted' --- 
and who would you think he mentions?
 
The big teachers, the masters!
 
No! His 'one-time' students!
 
This _is_ to congratulate! To drop: I will mention Grice's  acknowledgement 
to Strawson in "Presupposition" (WOW): "to my  friend, Sir Peter, my former 
tutor and colleague". 
 
But there the generation gap was _minimal_, since Strawson was, er, an  
'older student'. Indeed, when Horn met them both he confided, (words to the  
effect): "they both looked so old that one would not say that  one was the teacher 
of th'other".
 
Anyway, the one-time students of Aune's (it's like 'friend of  Aune's' -- the 
logical form of that second possessive for another day)  are
 
Brian Skyrms
and Roger Rosencrantz
 
-- Granted, it's to their _writings_ not to that favourite  of _linguists_ 
(who do record thing), 'pc' -- personal correspondence or  communication. I 
never liked that sort of 'critical apparatus'. Some people go  on to mention when 
the personal communication _was_! 
 
Anyway, Aune mentions some pretty good authors. Quinton, for example. Where  
was he coming from? I asked myself, and said, "JL, you have to focus on the  
playgroup -- never mind externals". "But perhaps Quinto _was_ playgroup". "Yes, 
 but in the matter under consideration you have to focus on G. A.  Paul".
 
Going through the reference list of Aune's book I note and wonder at  some 
wonderfully titled books.
My prize has to go to one that was an early influence on me -- if only via  
review by Dummett in _Truth and other enigmas_:
 
Goodman, 

"The structure of appearance".
 
Poetry at her highest!
 
I have never met a necessarist. Aune writes to the effect that some years  
ago, one _had_ to be an empiricist. Then came Bealer and we know the rest. They  
_have_ made essentialism _respectable_! In this connection, Partee (of 
UMass.)  and her 'Reflections of a formal semanticist' (pdf online) is illuminating. 
She  recalls conversation with Kaplan, "But then, why is it that philosophers 
can't  stand essence". "Quine can't -- but that's a lingering prejudice. When 
Quine was 
_learning_, modal logic _was_ a mess -- it's not so any more" (or as the  NYT 
today read: "anymore" (one word).
 
Cheers,
 
JL
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