[hist-analytic] Aristotle's Metaphysics: The Izz and the Hazz

Roger Bishop Jones rbj at rbjones.com
Tue May 19 16:31:49 EDT 2009


I am pursuing two lines connected with this thread,
apart from directly responding to JLS, which I
thought I would mention before getting into details.

The first is to play with the formal stuff which
JL "transcribed" from Code to see if I can make
anything work with my proof tool.
This uses a higher order logic, which makes some
things easier than the would be in first order.

Second, I am trying an exposition, for a hypothetical
audience consisting of Carnap, of why a positivist
should take metaphysics a bit more seriously and
what point there might be in looking at Aristotle's
metaphysics.

However, these will take longer than a day, so I
shall try to keep things going.

On Sunday 17 May 2009 19:05:32 Jlsperanza at aol.com wrote:

>>There is resonance with the direction I am heading  with
>>metaphysical positivism, and in some future message I
>>hope to  give an account of where I stand there and what
>>kind of interest in  Aristotle it engenders.
>
>Yes, but remember Hobbes's motto (I learned it via the OED):
>
>       "That's not philosophy, that's  Aristotelity!"
>
>Strictly:
>
>"That study is not properly Philosophy, but Aristotelity."
>          Leviathan (1651) IV  xlvi 370

I am so far from being a scholar that I imagine myself
immune to falling into the trap of studying Aristotle and
losing the point.

>Excellent. In "Reply to Richards", which Grice contributed to PGRICE, there
> is some extense treatment of what Grice calls "extensionalism". I think he
>sees  himself as pilgrim in the path to the holly of hollies, and being
>attacked by  (as I recall counting them) _nine_ betes noires. One is
>Extensionalism. He goes  on to express why it fails.

A trouble with this are is that the terms extensional and
intensional are too heavily overloaded.
I should like to know what "Extensionalism" is so that I
can decide whether to support this bete noire.
I am an extensionalist in this respect, that I believe
that an extensional set theory suffices for abstract
semantics, even for non-extensional languages.
For example, the semantics for modal logics can 
be given using an extensional language.

Whether this has any bearing on Grice's points I have no clue. 

>>It wasn't very clear what milage was made out of IZZing
>>and  HAZZing, since Grice seems here to be providing duplicates
>>for  Aristotle's use of SAID OF and IN, and Code apparently
>>in discussing  Grice declined to use his terms and invented
>>a third pair for the same  purpose.
>
>I see. Beautiful you were able to re-translate the izz back to the 'said
>of' and the hazz to the 'in'. Will think about this. This is an occasional
>reply, seeing that I _have_ to leave the house soon, but would rather send
>this  as it is.

You give me too much credit here, I got that from one of
the reference in your message.

>I counted the things Code notes in his "Aristotle: Essence and
>Accident" (I think the title is) in PGRICE. I counted 31. I once tried to
>formalise them in terms of System G -- This I called System G-HP, which is a
>variant of Myro's System G (for Grice) The HP is not for Herbert-Paul but
>for  hopefully plausible/highly powerful, I forget what). Myro is ironising
>on  Grice's use of System Q in his tribute to Quine. So there are quite a
> few systems -- i.e. predicate calculus with or without identity which we
> can work on  here, and they need not be first-order only. Indeed, most of
> Metaphysics seems  (as Strawson notes) to be about 'substantiation' which
> is licensed by _grammar_:  "Grice's musicality is admirable".

I'm playing with ProofPower HOL which is a polymorphic w-order logic.
Lots of issues arise.

I think you need to completely separate the notion of predication
in Aristotle from the notions of predication in modern logics.
You have to use the latter to give a modern account of the former
but they should not be confused.
Thus, in most treatments "izz" and "hazz" will be predicates
(in some modern sense) though of course they are not predicates
in Aristotle's sense. 

>In this and other uses of the biconditional, I am I think retransliterating
> Code's more harmless, "=df", which I avoid since it implies "=", and I'd
>rather  keep this as extensional as I can.

I haven't grasped what the problem with "=" is.

>Jones:
>>Don't 28 and 29 together deny the premise of 27 (and hence make its
>
>conclusion
>
>>unconditional)?

There is an elementary logical error in this observation of mine,
which should read:

>>Don't 28 and 29 together deny the premise of 27
>>(and hence make it vacuous)?

This "redneck" stuff sounds rather ad hominem!
Not what I would have expected from Grice.

Roger




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