[hist-analytic] Philosophical Grounds of Rationality: Intentions, Categories, Ends
baynesrb at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 10 21:10:27 EDT 2009
Much to my regret, I can't comment on a lot of this. I need to get
together all the citations and allusion in Grice to Anscombe. Time
is closing in and I have to copyright the thing and start the index.
I will comment on one thing: Chapman's comment. The more I look
at this the more respect I have for Grice. I was shocked to notice that
his paper "Meaning" is stated to have been published in SOME form
in 1947! According to the contents of WoW. I'd like to read the
original. One thing strikes me about Grice, as far as his historical
significance is concerned. Braithwaite had powerful arguments
suggesting that teleological explanation at best, so to speak,
where it is benign occurs in intentional context. This is in
_Scientific Explanation_, the section on causality.
Consider reading intentions like getting someone to believe that a
speaker intends something might be a sort of causation in the
sense befitting some valid "teleological" explanation. But here is
what is interesting w.r.t. the Grice connection. A lot of philosophers,
e.g., Joel Feinberg, think in terms of two kinds of causal judgments:
productive and explanatory. Now it seems to me that Grice's
integration of causation and intention (compare the issue cause
vs. reason) lends itself to a third category, one which is neither
a matter of production or explanation. This is not as precise as
I should be, since the two categories are meant to apply to
judgments. In other words we have a category of causation,
causing beliefs about intentions which concerns not judgments
but action. I might be reading to much into it, but meaning is
a sort of institutional fact, at least in part. I avoid discussing
internalism etc. because it will lead to an uninteresting dead
end. But meaning as cause (cfi Russell/Ducasse/Davidson is
with intent is a very neat idea, one that for 1947 is somewhat
--- On Fri, 7/10/09, Jlsperanza at aol.com <Jlsperanza at aol.com> wrote:
From: Jlsperanza at aol.com <Jlsperanza at aol.com>
Subject: Philosophical Grounds of Rationality: Intentions, Categories, Ends
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk
Date: Friday, July 10, 2009, 8:25 PM
Grice on Anscombe
Then, yes, we can say that Grice did quote "Anscombe" by name in (1971), p.
8, footnote 1.
So it makes more than little sense to make a few "Gricean points".
Bayne is very right in bringing to some sort of fore the work of Sir Stuart
His "Thought and Action" is a masterpiece -- and he has explored more
issues in his "Freedom of Mind" and other essays --. Hampshire indeed of course
hails from the best of the Oxford tradition. He gathered with Austin,
Berlin, and others in the 'early beginnings of Oxford philosophy' (the meetings
at All Souls College on Thursdays -- Grice would not attend these because,
as S. R. Chapman notes, he was 'born on the wrong side of the tracks'. Of
course he wasn't!). After the Second World War, Hampshire would occasionally
attend the Saturday Mornings -- and indeed Grice lists him as a member of
the 'Play Group' -- but I fear his "Thought and Action" had separated them
from the English 'futilitarians' as Grice called himself and his friends
Grice did cite Anscombe then in the footnote 1 on p. 8 of "Intention and
Uncertainty" (for the record).
Bayne is very correct in noting in Grice -- and the previous generation,
like Ryle -- a focus on 'logical constructions'. This is best seen in
Grice's very early "Personal Identity". He is not going to be concerned with 'the
self' (and cfr. Anscombe on "The First Person!") but on statements
including "I" (or 'this person'). E.g. "This person was hit by a bat" (his mind?
His body? both?)
In her "Grice" (Chapman, Macmillan -- and I'll see if I can paraphrase her
in another post, as I have the book with me right now), Chapman notes that
'intention' was perhaps the Basic Gricean Idea Ever. I recall my joy when
reading Suppes's contribution to PGRICE (ed. Grandy/Warner) when I saw
Suppes taking up some criticism by Biro and calling Grice an 'intentionalist'
rather than a 'behaviourist'!
Now, as for the intention vs. intenSion, Grice notably refers to
'intentions' in WoW, googlebooks, ch. 6, closing section. He has just introduced his
LOOONG definition of 'utterer's meaning' (or rather, as S. Bayne would
prefer, and I too) a 'statement' of the form:
By uttering x, U meant-nn that p iff U intended that there exists
some addressee A, such that
and intends that there is no inference
element such that the Addressee believes that...
This was WJ-40, as L. Horn quotes it, i.e. more than 40 years ago in the
WJames Lectures, so Grice NEEDED to provide a caveat for his extenstionalist
audience (which included Quine):
"Please do not despair over my use of quantifiers in INTENSIONAL
contexts [Quantifying In. JLS]. There's nothing we can do about
it. Meaning is per se an INTENSIONAL Notion. So you love it or
leave it" (Words to that effect, of course).
He (a year or so later) in "Vacuous Names" provides an intensional
treatment of 'propositional attitudes' which he regards as dealing with questions
He uses 'want-1' and 'want-2'. The idea (later rephrased in what he calls
square-bracket device for the assignment of common-ground status) is
:I am looking for (WANT TO MEET, or plain 'want') [that there
exists] an honest man"
I.e. "an honest man" we want.
Surely this is 'ambiguous' not in the 'semantic' sense but the scope
we want that there is a honest man (?)
there is a honest man and we want him.
---- I should get back to this later. Just to reconsider the problems of
INTENSIONAL contexts that obsessed Grice in a good way -- recall also his
attitude towards or against Extensionalism in "Reply to Richards", where
Extensionalism is regarded as a bete-noire, and which I have discussed here with
R. B. Jones in "Criteria of Intensionality". In that post I mentioned J.
O. Urmson, whose essay by that title I find of great help. (Proc. Arist.
Bayne is very correct in identifying Anscombe within the linguistic turn
(as Bergman called it, indeed) -- along with Wittgenstein, Ryle, and Grice.
The focus was 'linguistic' or in terms of 'logical constructions' (in
Grice): they were into the 'logical grammar' of things -- not substances per se.
It was, if you will, and in my view, Empiricism with a Twist. For surely
there has to be progress in philosophy. And, as Grice says, if philosophy
generated no new problems it would be dead! -- What Grice and Anscombe did
was to re-emphasise the linguistic interface, as it were. The mechanisms by
which sensible talk on this or that can be brought to the fore.
In Grice's case, it was his attempt to minimise the 'bombshells' of the
Logical Positivism brought by Ayer after his soujourn in Vienna. They (Grice
and perhaps Anscombe) had no agenda like Ayer had -- and could deal with the
'linguistic idiosyncrasies' of our talk over this and that over a cup of
tea or something. I cherish Warnock's remembering of Grice's uttering, "How
_clever_ language is!" (for, Warnock says, 'language makes the right
distinctions just where we need them' -- from memory in "Saturday Mornings").
And I'm very pleased that Grice's name was "P. Grice" so that the
festchrift could go:
G. grounds of
--- For it's the "I" of GrIce we's [sic] talking here!
I'll try an acronym for Anscombe
Grounds of Existential Meaning: Analysis, Necessity, Sophisms, and Concepts
-- Or, Morality, Beauty and Eudaimonia (?). Sorry, not too inspired
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