[hist-analytic] The History of Analytic Philosophy -- of History

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Mon Jun 15 13:28:11 EDT 2009


Fascinating to have Dray's book available for us in hist-analytic.  
Congratulations to Dray and Bayne.
 
-----
 
>From the list to PHILOS-L and PHILOSOP-L I see the content of the book,  
chapter by chapter:
 
In a message dated 6/14/2009 12:23:14 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
baynesrb at YAHOO.COM writes:
Laws and Explanation in History
_http://www.hist-analytic.org/Dray1.pdf_ 
(http://www.hist-analytic.org/Dray1.pdf) 
The  Covering Law Model
The Doctrine of Implicit Law
Explaining and  Prediction
Causal Laws and Causal Analysis
The Rationale of  Actions
Explaining Why and Explaining How

----
 
I'm fascinated by Dray's CV -- which I see in his site: MA and DPhil  Oxon!
 
---
 
I'm also cutting and pasting the biblio he cites in his page for easy  
reference here:
 
History as Re-enactment: Collingwood's Philosophy of History, Clarendon  
Press. 
Philosophy of History, Englewood Cliffs 
On History and Philosophers of History. Brill. 
Perspectives on History. Routledge 
"Broadening the Historian's Subject-Matter in the Principles of History",  
in Collingwood Studies, vol. 4 
"Causes, individuals and Ideas in Christopher Hill's Interpretation of the  
English Revolution" in Court, Country, and Culture: Essays on Early Modern  
British History. University of Rochester Press, 
"Historicity, Historicism, and Self-Making", in Fackenheim. University of  
Rochester Press, "Von Wright on Explanation in History", in The Philosophy 
of G.  H. Von Wright (ed.  P.A. Schilpp and L. E. Hahn), La Salle, III.--
 
-----
 
As S. Bayne notes in his letter to PHILOS-L and PHILOSOP-L 'philosophy of  
history' CAN'T be any longer neglected!
 
I was happy to have a good tutor in the area: Daniel Brauer. We did a good  
work on various things. He was a Hintikkian, from what I recall, since he  
tortured us with "Explanation and Understanding". I find Hintikka's prose  
flowing in the vernacular (Finnish) but not so much in other lingo's (sic). 
 
Brauer has a PhD from Germany and was aggressive with the Brits. We did  
Gibbons, "Decline and Fall" -- I recall I used the J. L. Borges's edition --  
just to prove how confused Gibbons was about the causes -- and so it is nice 
to  see that Dray has considered the "English Revolution", too. I love 
Sellars and  Yeatman, on things or people being good or bad as 'causes' of this 
or  that.
 
Brauer eventually heard me talk of Danto -- but I don't think he was  
impressed. 
 
We didn't pay much attention to the law-covering thing, but some to  
"Cleopatra's Nose" and the impredictability of history. 
 
On top of that, I think Brauer was 'eschatological' at heart, so we did a  
bit of St. Augustine! 
 
As an Argentine, I also had to endure a course on "History of Philosophical 
 Ideas in Argentina". Fortunately, there is only one: "Revolution!". So I 
did  (under Oscar Moran) a study of the Causes and Consequences of the 
Argentine  Revolution.

I grasped that the cause was a man (dutily poisoned afterwards) called  
"Mariano Moreno". He had the cheek to translate Rousseau's "Social Contract"  
into the vernacular, and publish it too!
 
-----
 
I see the latter chapters of Dray's book sound like Winch -- the very idea  
of a social science. Historians sometimes forget that!
 
 Laws and Explanation in History
_http://www.hist-analytic.org/Dray1.pdf_ 
(http://www.hist-analytic.org/Dray1.pdf) 
The  Covering Law Model

--- what  R. B. Jones would call "Barbara". Just joking.
            I could  never understand this model. But then I never
             understood why this raven needs to be black
            because  every raven is black. I like the word
             'nomological' but don't use it _every day_.
 
 
The Doctrine of Implicit Law

---  This is good -- how emplicit. This reminds me of
             Grice:
 
              (Jack has broken his crown)
              Jill: "You'll survive, Jack. You are an Englishman;
                      therefore you'll be brave."
 
               Apparently Jill is reassuring Jack on account of an
               implicit premise, which Grice fails to make explicit
               -- in "Aspects of Reason". "With implicit things,
               which some call 'subterranean' it's very difficult
               to see what people mean."
 
 
Explaining and Prediction

This is so good. Wasn't there this book,
                "Historical Impredictability". So I guess where
                 Dray is going to!
 
                Hintikka would say that 'predict' applies to
                'statitive' (?) illocutionary forces:
 
                   "I will go to London"  is a prediction.
 
                "I shall go to London" is not -- it's a
                 future-intentional, not future indicative.
 
                Or the other way round, I forget. Depends
                if it's first person or second person.
                I suppose in history it should be the
                third person:
 
                The Canadian Prime Minister shall do it.
               The  Canadian Prime Minister will do it.
 
                For all I know, what is safe to say is that
                as things are, the Canadian Prime
                minister (the current one) will die.
               The  rest is a nebulosa of intentional agencies
                that escapes me.
 
                This is different from saying, ex post facto, 
                 which is the only thing Brauer allowed, that
                 we cannot explain (for we _can_) the
                 actions of the Prime Minister, in terms of
                 his intentions, you know.
 
Causal Laws and Causal Analysis

This is good. Sellars and Yeatman use
                 'cause' a lot.
                  "The cause of the war with the Zulus:
                  the Zulus.
                  The Consequence: the extermination
                   of the Zulus.:
 
 
The Rationale of Actions

This  is good. At one stage of my
                 philosophical I grew so otiose that I 
                 introduced, alla Grice, izz and hazz,
                  the word,
 
                  reassssson versus reason
 
                  or reaZon versus reaSon
 
                 Reason is any old reason. But
                 a reaZon is a reason which has been
                 'effectual' (as opposed to ineffectual).
 
                  My reaZon for going to Ascot
                  is to be seen, not to see (the horses).
 
                  When we appeal to a reason
                  which is not a reaZon we call it
                  (or rather Anna Freud called it)
                  'rationalization', which is just 
                   'reaZon' sounding German.
 
                 "Rationale"  sounds like
                  'rationalisation'.
 
 
Explaining Why and Explaining How

This is  excellent as it relates to that song,
             "I  don't know why I love you like I do.
                      (I just do)"
 
             It  seems to me that 'explaining-that'
              can be redundant.
 
               "He explained to me that the house
                was rat-infested"  (to use Strawson's
                example contra Grice).
 
        i     He  explained to me why the house
               was rat-infested (the previous owner
               as hardly hygienic, there's a sewer
               next to it, and the cat died)
 
             He  explained to me how the house
              was cat-infested.
 
              i.e. alla von Wright:
 
               he explained to me how it came to
               pass that the house, due to the
              _reasons_  and causes mentioned in (i)
               became rat-infested.
 
------ I was reading the other day Grice on
 
         "the bridge collapsed  -- because it was made of cellophane".
 
He says something terrifically funny, I find: "Surely to say that the fact  
that it was made of cellophane was a _bad_ reason why the bridge collapsed 
is  _terrible_."

Cheers,
 
JL Speranza (Mr, etc. etc, Esq., etc. etc.)
       Bordighera, Imperia (etc. etc. etc.  etc.)
 
 
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