[hist-analytic] I Don't Know Why (I Just Do)
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Fri May 29 18:52:57 EDT 2009
Aitiology -- Revisited.
Further to R. B. Jones's consideration of Aristotle -- and the idea of a
proof tool, I wonder about -- we know Ryle on knowing how and knowing that --
'knowing why' It seems Aristotle is exaggerating things a bit when he says
in Metaphysics 983a: -- cfr.
epei de phaneron
it is clear
hoti tôn ex archês aitiôn dei labein
that it is required to obtain knowledge OFF causes
epistêmên tote gar eidenai phamen hekaston
because it is when we think we understand
hotan tên prôtên aitian oiômetha gnôrizein
its primary cause that we CLAIM to know each particular thing
ta d' aitia legetai tetrachôs
Now, 'cause' is said fourfoldly
hôn mian men aitian phamen
Of this we hold that one such way is
einai tên ousian
kai to ti ên einai anagetai
and the essential nature of the thing
gar to dia ti eis ton logon eschaton
because the "why" of a each thing goes towards the word
aition de kai archê to dia ti prôton de TO DIA TI
and the why which is first is a cause and principle)."
But is this so? Suppose I say:
"I love you."
You ask, 'Why do you say so?' -- And I, echoing Tony Bennett, go:
All day long you're asking me
_What_ I 'see' in you.
All day long I'm answering
But what good does it do? (None).
I have *nothing* to explain.
-- cfr. Brody, "Aristotle and scientific explanation"
Brit. Journal Phil. Sc.
cfr. Dirk Bogaarde, "Never explain, never
I *just* love you (love you) and I'll tell you once again
I don't know why I love you like I do.
I don't know why -- I just do.
I don't know why you thrill me like you do.
I don't know _why_ -- you *just* do
You never *seem* to want my romancing
The only time you hold me is when we're dancing
I don't know why I love you like I do
I don't know why, I just do
Possible answers (Gricean included). I'll ignore the counterfactual: "I
should NOT be loving you -- since you reject my other-than-kinetic romancing
Bennett is _not_ saying
(i) I don't know why I love you.
but the Aristotelian answer to a specific 'why' question -- cfr. Why did
Jenny Wren kill Cock Robin _like she did_?
(ii) I don't know why I love you LIKE I DO.
i.e. +> (implicating)
(iii) Tony Bennett is unaware of the reason for
his abnormal (say) intensity of the feeling he experiences
towards his addressee.
But the title of the song (as per the header) is then confusing -- and
ambiguously so in a good _way_ in leaving the _object_ of knowledge unstated.
Reply to First Caveat:
It may be argued that, by transformation, we can 'simplify' (ii) into (i),
thus having (iii) yield (iv):
(iv) Tony Bennett is unaware of the reason (_simpliciter_)
why he feels any feeling at all towards his addressee.
In any way, the cheek which he displays is enough to have The Stagirite
turning in his one.
Second Caveat: Gettier
It may be argued that unless you can answer 'why' you are not entitled to
say "know" ('knowing why' as * _factive_)
Apply to Tony Bennett (using "~" as external negation only).
(* For the analysis of 'reason why' as (sometimes) factive I owe to H. P.
Grice in First Lecture of _Aspects of Reason_)
J. L. Speranza
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