Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sat Jun 13 13:47:06 EDT 2009
A brief comment, I hope, on a few lines -- having now seen the updated pdf
-- excellent! -- by R. B. Jones. These are his lines in his "Re:
Davidson's Hume", but I'm taking the liberty of appending them to the thread on
R. B. Jones writes in his reply to S. Bayne on "Davidson's Hume":
>Having just read Strawson I think he would say, and I would agree,
>that e having a unique cause is presupposed here and that the
>sentence has the status of being true whenever it has a truth
>value, but in many possible worlds lacking one.
>Though one might very reasonably insist that in those cases it
For the record, three things:
* Strawson did use 'imply' in "On Referring" (predating Introductin to
Logical Theory by four years?). This I find fascinating, because he later did
introduce 'presuppose' which links nicely with the 'continental'
philosophical tradition -- I can think of Collingwood on 'presupposition' and the
whole idea of 'suppositio' in mediaeval logic. When Grice coined 'implicate'
he was obviously having 'imply' in mind; and when in "Presupposition and
Conversational Implicature" he is thinking of 're-coining' Strawson's
'presuppose' as 'implicate' it's like the full circle.
* ASYMMETRY of the 'alleged' gap. Part I. Strawson puzzled everyone, "The
king of France is bald" _and_ "The king of France is not bald" (oddly he
uses 'wise') are _neither true nor false_. They lack a truth-value. They
diplay a truth-value gap (I tend to think the coinage of that phrase is
Quine's?). But there is some asymmetry here, Grice feels, that Strawson ignores:
"The king of France is bald" _is_ *false* if there is
no king of France.
This is, Grice does (and I would) claim -- drawing on G. E. Moore's own
coinage of 'entailment' -- because 'The king of France is bald' _entails_
there is a king of France -- Russellian expansion -- three prong analysis.
* ASYMMETRY of the 'alleged' gap. Part II. What about the other claim by
Strawson, "The king of France is not bald" is neither true nor false when
there is no king of France? Grice claims the picture is perfectly opposite:
"The king of France is not bald" _is *true* if there
is no king of France.
(I wonder what Strawson _was_ thinking). This is because it's a mere
matter of 'cancellable' implicature (or presupposition). Surely it's wittily
cancellable, "The king of France is not bald; there is no such thing". Grice
plays with "contextual" cancellation even, "The Loyalty Examiner won't be exa
mining you" -- his example in WOW, op. cit.
---- This and R. B. Jones's document. I will have another look at the
document, which pleases me bunches -- I can _see_ Jones's enjoyment in building
I would think that on account of that asymmetry of 'negation' one would
re-consider the five odd syllogisms Strawson thinks 'valid' but only on
account of the existential fallacy.
In my previous I provided some formalism for the treatment of '~', and I
would wonder if there is an effect on what syllogisms are valid (regardless
or not regardless) vis a vis this 'asymmetry'. It seems to me that those
involving "~" (E and O, in Aristotle) would be valid regardless, and only A
and I -- affirmative -- would ask for the deployment of the
Negation is fascinating. I don't know what exactly Grice, Aristotle, or
Kripke, or Wittgenstein meant by that. I would think that nature does abhor a
vacuum. Imagine if all we knew about the world (the totality of state of
affairs, Wittgenstein says) were:
A big fat noth!
Grice's subscript device and square-bracket device are realistic along
Aristotelian lines. As R. B. Jones notes, it would be _otiose_ (or odd) to
display a detailed taxonomy of things (and define them, too -- picky as the
Stagirite is on that front) to add, "But all this may be vacuous".)
So, while ~Fa does not display its _phylogenesis_, Grice notes that:
1. If Fa is introduced at one stage of the conversation
2. And ~Fa at a later stage, one may want to say that [Fa] _is_
This 'phylogenesis' is best shown in the subscript device. If the ordinal
attached to "F" is _greater_ than that attached to "~", there is _no_ way
to avoid the existential fallacy:
~-3 F-2 a-1
--- shows that the order is, first posit "a" (hence the ordinal 1), then
F, hence the ordinal 2, and then ~, hence ordinarl 3. In that formula, ~
would _not_ have maximal scope.
What fascinates me is that ~ differs from &, v, and --> in various
respects. It's an operator on a _phrastic_ direct:
V the king of France is bald
(Grice uses this symbolism in "Aspects of Reason". The "radix" of "The
King of France is bald"). Should it include the ~? Is ~ part of the phrastic
or part of the neustic?
V the king of France is not bald
V ~ (The King of France is bald)
--- I can make sense of that, but, how do we distinguish it from
~ V The king of France is bald
--- Grice is well aware, and this is his wording, that 'the crunch comes
with negation' -- but he adds that a conversational-implicature approach to
the trickiest and darkest problems of value gaps and presuppositions will
In a way, the truth-functionality of ~ is at the core of this. But unlike
the operators which are dyadic (and connect, &, v and -->) "~" does _not_
connect. So what kind of a functor is it? It's a monadic functor that
_inverts_ the truth-value of the 'atom'.
Gazdar notes that there are at least three other monadic functors like
p ~p Rp Cp Tp
1 0 1 0 1
0 1 1 0 0
Gazdar -- in his PhD for Reading -- notes that only "~" gives a
conversational contribution. "Tp" maintains the truth-value of the atom, Rp yields
true regardless, and Cp yields false regardless.
The issue of 'vacuity' I find fascinating. I am with R. B. Jones that
'vacuous' and 'empty' should be distinguished. In various and many ways -- and
perhaps this would be a good reminder that Carnap perhaps over-reacted to
Heidegger's dictum, "Nothing noths"!
J. L. Speranza
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