[hist-analytic] Criteria of Intensionality
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Wed May 27 12:38:42 EDT 2009
J. O. Urmson -- and someone should COLLECT his manifestly GENIAL papers --
has this "Criteria of intensionality" as a Proceedings of Aristotelian
Society. And I have considered some uses of 'intension' by Grice. Here, in a
sort of reply to R. B. Jones's request for clarification as to what Grice
meant by "Extensionalism" as being one of the (nine, I think) 'betes noires'
of MINIMALISM, is what Grice displays in "Life and Opinions" -- available
Grice says he'll select "Extensionalism" -- "a position imbued with the
spirit of Nominalism and dear both to those who feel that (b) is no more
informative an answer to the question (a) than would be (d) as an answer to
a: Why is a pillar box called 'red'?
b: Because it is red.
c: And why is that person called 'Paul Grice'?
d: Because he is Paul Grice.
The picture of Extensionalism Grice presents is: "a world of PARTICULARS
as a domain
stocked with tiny pellets ... distinguish[ed] by the clubs to which they
belong". "The potential consequences of the possession of in fact
UNEXEMPLIFIED features [or properties] would be ... the same."
One may want to "relieve a certain VACUOUS predicate ... by exploiting the
NON-VACUOUSNESS of other predicates which are constituents in the
definition of the original vacuous predicate." Grice exemplifies with two vacuous
1 -- " ... is married to a daughter of an English queen and a pope"
2 -- " ... is a climber on hands and knees of a 29,000 foot mountain."
By appealing to different "relations" to the 'primitive' predicates, one
can claim is such _distinct_ relations, rather than the empty set which each
vacuous predicate is made equivalent to. His objection to this move has to
do with what he feels an adhocness in defining the relations as involving
-- the relevant passage is available as google books --. (p. 70).
A second way out to the alleged problem involves 'trivial' versus
'non-trivial' explanations: "the explanatory opportunities for vacuous predicates
depend on their embodiment in a system". His caveat here is purely
"I conjecture, but cannot demonstrate, that the only way to secure such a
system would be to confer SPECIAL ONTOLOGICAL privilege upon the ENTITIES
of PHYSICAL SCIENCE..." -- But that's Eddington "non-visible" 'table'. Grice
"It looks AS IF states of affairs in the ... scientific world need, for
credibility, support from the vulgar world of ORDINARY OBSERVATION..." --
Eddington's _visible_ 'table'.
And this, he feels would be an 'embellisment' in need of some
Urmson's essay takes a different approach to intensions, from what I
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