[hist-analytic] Grice's Shopping List
baynesrb at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 28 13:57:53 EST 2009
Thanks for this, I knew I could count on you! Just a couple of
points. "I shall return" and make a couple of other points, but
my email is backing and...Anyway.
The business of the shopping list occurs in the context of
distinguishes two "knowledges" (the first plural use of
'knowledge' I can recall seeing). Recall that for Anscombe
(and Wittgenstein) knowledge is possible only where there
is a distinction to be drawn between thinking you know and
seeming to know (p. 14). Now in Section 32 part of the
point is to distinguish observable knowledge and knowledge
"in intention." This distinction was necessitated by the
requirement that the relevant "Why?" question distinctive
in its applicability to cases of intention was distinguishable
from other senses, particularly where 'involuntary' entails
an understanding of intention. In these cases we can't
evade the "Why?" question by pleading an involuntary act.
The main point has to do with the relation of mistakes
or the possibility of being mistaken in relation to two
kinds of knowledge, suggesting two kinds of mistakes. These
two kinds are illustrated, respectively, by the detective
and the shopper. Direction of fit, if it pertains, is
alluded to in the relation of following the list as ordered
and making up the list. We can ignore this, momentarily,
although I think it is important in deciding a number of
I notice that the Grice essay you mention is from the
British Academy. The are VERY understanding on copyright,
very good, indeed! If I can get the citation, I'll put it
on hist-analytic at some point in the future.
I'll take a look at what else you've had to say, soon,
--- On Sat, 2/28/09, Jlsperanza at aol.com <Jlsperanza at aol.com> wrote:
From: Jlsperanza at aol.com <Jlsperanza at aol.com>
Subject: Grice's Shopping List
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk
Date: Saturday, February 28, 2009, 8:42 AM
In a message dated 2/27/2009 8:08:18 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
baynesrb at yahoo.com writes in "Re: A note from inside the teapot"
Second, as I move in the direction of completing the Anscombe
book, I'm curious about his ties to Anscombe. If you have any
cases of citations that may be of interest, let me (us) know,
please. Obviously, there is some conceptual connection with
respect to the role of intention in meaning etc. But it hasn't
been explored in the way I think it could be.
---- You have become a true Grice scholar when the anaphoric 'his' you
ceteris paribus, to mean Grice. (No mention of him earlier in Baynes'
I don't have the first page of "Intention and Uncertainty" by
(Clarendon, 1971 -- a separata, or offprint, really from the Proceedings of the
British Academy), but I seem to recall he refers to Anscombe's shopping
would be to:
"Elizabeth Anscombe (1957, 56) considers a mere “shopping list”. ...
plato.stanford.edu/entries/intentionality by P. Jacob.
Yes, a moot point -- I think Grice is introducing the topic vis a vis
'directions of fit', without possibly using that expression (which we
from Austin, "How to talk: some simple ways", although not used in
that Searle will later do.
In the same passage Grice cites Kenny -- his book on intention. I mentioned
that to Kenny once, and we discussed the bit.
I don't think Grice himself goes on to cite Anscombe in other pieces. He
of course familiar with Anscombe's translation of Wittgenstein. In a sort
amusing passage in "Method in philosophical psychology", Grice out of
blues uses quotes to the effect, "No psychological predicates without
behaviour that these predicates are attempting to 'explain'" -- or
that effect. Which would be Anscombe's translation of the Wittgenstein
in Philosophical Investigations.
I would have to revise Anscombe's Oxford years.
"went on to read "Mods & Greats" (a course of study in
history, and philosophy) at St Hugh's College of the University of Oxford,
graduating with a First in 1941."
So this would coincide with Grice, although Grice was older (b. 1913),
Anscombe b. 1919 -- like Urmson, I would think).
St. Hugh's is on St Margaret's Road Oxford OX2 6LE
St. Hugh's would be closer to the Grices' real abode -- a falt on
Road, rather than St. John's proper.
I would think that St. Hugh's was a female-only?
I did some research on the 'greats' and I'm surprised it's
listed as 'mods
and greats'. The Greats is just sland for 'great go' as opposed to
go'. The technical name of the programme would be "Littera
Humaniores". So it
would be exactly the same programme Grice completed. Grice graduated with a
first in 1938.
I undestand (via reading Chapman's book on Grice) that in the first two or
three years of the programme they did not have any philosophy _at all_. It was
'classics' by which they meant literature, then -- Homer, who knows,
who knows, Plato I _Hope_). The ancient history was Thucydides, and
Herodotos, I would think. And then philosophy, and here is where the
'mod' comes in
(for "modern") in that they had a sprinkling of Locke, Hume, Kant --
standard Plato and Aristotle. The readings -- mandatory -- were Ethica
Nichomachea. I sometimes read their syllabus and wonder. "Having gone
those classics for years -- it's unimaginable that _I_ would show _any_
in same in later years -- e.g. practical syllogism --," but there you
Another rpoint of contact:
"I always hated phenomenalism and felt trapped by it. I couldn't see
out of it but I didn't believe it."
the wiki has Anscombe saying. In this, like Grice -- but while Anscombe was
reading Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus as an undergraduate, who knows what
Grice was reading. (Certainly not the Tractatus, seriously). I would think he
was concerned seriously with phenomenalism as only the philosophers of his
generation could -- witness essays by Isaiah Berlin in the 1930s, actually just
one. And then Ayer's _empiricism_ loose free. The fashionable thing in
seems not to have been to focus too much neither on the logical nor the
positivistic sides to 'logical positivism' -- by which I would mean the
'verificationist'. It was really a reconsideration of what was to be a
empiricist, or how to challenge the charge of phenomenalism if at all.
Oddly, when I read in a rush the sentence above, I read it as "I COULD
my way out of it, but I didn't believe in it" (i.e. the way). That
been more interesting!
I would say Grice never felt too trapped by it -- he had perhaps a bigger
common sense! -- but he loved the logical exercise of turning
verbs (like 'seems a yellow packet") and noumenalist verbs
("definitely _is_ a
yellow packet). As you see, that great 'doubt or denial'
mention of the yellow packet is Anscombe's:
"I would spend time, in cafés, for example, staring at
objects saying to myself: "I see a packet. But what
do I really see? How can I say that I see here anything
more than a yellow expanse?"
"After her fellowship at Cambridge ended, she was awarded a research
fellowship at Somerville College, Oxford"
--- this would link with the 'school' that gave us some anti-Griceans
Mrs. Julie Jack, and pro-Griceans like Anita Avramides. I've been to the
(from the outside -- it's a female-only one) and can well feel that they
have a sisterhood in there!
"Anscombe remained at Somerville College from 1946 to 1970."
So this would be the hey-day of linguistic philosophy. I would not think she
would mix with the playgroup. Grice was responsible for the playgroup from
1960 to 1967, and then he was gone to UC/Berkeley.
They would have common acquaintances. Grice's pubs for example where
and Lamb" (on the sunny side of St. Giles) and "Eagle and the
Baby" (across the
street). This was the haunt of C. S. Lewis. I read from wiki:
"In 1948 Anscombe presented a paper at a meeting of Oxford's Socratic
in which she disputed C. S. Lewis's argument that naturalism was
His loss was so humiliating that he abandoned theological argument and
turned entirely to children's literature."
Anscombe disagrees. Did meet with Lewis later on, and, she states,
Dr. Havard (who had Lewis and me to dinner a few weeks later) nor Professor
Jack Bennet remembered any such feelings on Lewis's part." And in any
Lewis did rewrite the thing in _Miracles_ to meet Anscombe's objections.
Reading from wiki:
"The aim of Intention (1957) was to make plain the character of human
and will. Anscombe approaches the matter through the concept of intention,
which, as she famously notes, has three modes of appearance in our
She is X'ing intentionally --- intentional action
She is X'ing with the intention of doing Y
or ...She is X'ing in order to Y "intention with which"
or further intention in acting
She intends to Y
or... She has expressed the intention to do Y
"expression of intention for the future"
(what is expressed is what Davidson later called a pure intending)"
I am reminded of Grice's mention of Hart in "Prolegomena" (WOW,
1989 -- Stud
ies in the Way of Words). The reference is to 'unpublished' Hart, but
deals with the abuse sometimes felt on the adverb 'intentionally' --
Grice links with Austin's "no aberration without modification"
that Roger Bishop
Jones discuss in his web-pages.
--- I am also reminded of an essay that I have discussed with Baynes
elsehwere, Lombard/Stine, "Grice's Intentions". This is a
minutiae account of the
'intentional idiom' in Grice -- as it connects with the standard
think we have to wait for Grice 1971 ("Intention and Uncertainty") to
clearer, more serious account of Grice on intention -- much discussed in
literature of action-theory emanating from UC/Berkeley -- Bratman, etc.
In Grice, in the early "Meaning", the action seems to be always the
of x. So he is interested in that sort of intention that underlies the
uttering of something (uttering taken broadly to mean any sort of
-- even to mention Vendler).
He does say that the phrase "mean to" -- which would relate to
with which" -- is _natural_ and outside his present account.
Oddly, Grice -- perhaps as if feeling some of the criticisms of Vendler to
the progressive aspect, ungrammatical, as applied to things like 'mean'
has been meaning that the cat is on the mat for the last half an hour"),
produces his analysandum in the past:
"utterer U meant that p by x" iff
Naturally, the analysans then becomes also in the past, iff
U intended ...
Now, the natural collocation for Grice, since he is into
scenarios, is to have the 'that'-clause collapsed as it were in a
U intends A to believe ...
---- which I take a transformation of
U intends that A believe that ...
where A is addressee.
Perhaps closer to Anscombe's subtle distinctions comes from those who
to associate Austin's work on perlocution/illocution with Grice's
'pragmatics'. So following Austin, one would say that
_BY_ uttering x, U meant that p.
that's 'meanng' proper.
It's not so much
_in_ uttering x.
The emphasis on the 'by' led some to think that Grice was a
'consequentialist' (word apparently coined by Anscombe!) and that he is
(or 'action' or intention in terms of the mediate, rather than
consequences. Austin does make a point that it's the 'by' versus
that mark the distinction between perlocution and illocution, respectively.
"To do Y" or "because I want to do Y" would be typical
answers to this sort
of "why?"; though they are not the only ones, they are crucial to the
constitution of the phenomenon as a typical phenomenon of human life (sections
This I would relate more to Grice's meticulous account of 'reasons for
actions' and psychological attitudes in _Aspects of Reason_. "reasons
'reasons why', etc. I have written extensively elsewhere and Harman and
good online reviews of Grice's book. Grice is not so much concerned with
'intentional action' itself, but with 'why' questions related
to the holding of a
propositional attitude. So, not so much with "Why did you do that?"
would someone _conclude_ that? What is the reason to draw the conclusion q out
of the premise p, and so forth. He is perhaps seeing the phenomenon more
generally, since he spends a few pages on explaining to us why the bridge
Then, yes, there is the 'shopping list' example cited by Grice in 1971.
must have found Anscombe's phrasing of the phenomenon appealing:
"If the agent fails to buy what is listed,
we do not say that the list is untrue or incorrect;
we say that the mistake is in the action, not the belief."
This "we would not say", etc. combines with PDA -- paradigm cases
Then there would be connections on "I" -- Grice's Personal
1941) and I read from wiki:
"Her paper "The First Person" follows up remarks by
Wittgenstein, coming to the now-notorious conclusion
that the first-person pronoun, "I", does not refer to anything (not,
to the speaker)."
The early Grice would of couse -- but then _EVERYBODY_ would -- disagree, as
he proffers an analysis of "I" in terms of 'logical
construction': a series
of mnemonic states. I don't totally buy that picture, and would think Grice
may have come to realise the importance of spatio-temoral continuity too (he
dedicated one semester or two to Wiggins on Sameness and Substance -- and he
cherished Strawson too much to ignore Strawson's conception of persons and
parsons). Here it's Perry who'd done the most serous work on this, in
(ed. Grandy/Warner, Oxford Clarenon: Philosophical Grounds of Rationality:
Intentions, Categories, Ends) and also by previously editing Grice's
Identity" in his 1976 influential collection (for University of California
Finally, Grice does use, like Anscombe, 'transubstantial', but I think
is being more general, and using it not just for the wine --> blood,
---> body, but for any eschatological cross-epitheting, as I think he calls
I _think_ Grice uses 'shopping list' in _another_ unrelated context,
is precisely describing what eschatology should do for us. I'm retaining
as a header, for it connects with the starting point of our discussion of
the Anscombe-Grice interface.
J. L. Speranza
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