[hist-analytic] Deliberation and Grammar
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Fri Jul 10 21:17:13 EDT 2009
In a message dated 7/10/2009 8:22:52 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
Baynesr at comcast.net writes:
You can utter sounds some of which resemble morphemes, but you can't
*say* anything. Even the finest mind has nothing to say in uttering
'karulise elatically pirots karlize elatically'. So the quoted sentence
above is false.
I see your point. And it's indeed a good, conservative (Grice referred
himself as 'irreverent dissenting conservative' I think in googlebooks, "Reply
to Richards") use of 'say'.
Cf. dicere in Latin, or 'dire' in French.
It is a good sense of 'say' that sticks to the meaningful. There should be
another word for the meaningless utterance of morpheme-like things. I was
told that 'go' may be such a word.
As when the Valley Girls go, "And then she went, 'oh no', and I go, 'yes',
and we go, 'no'". "go" seems like 'say' = utter.
My obscure comment on "You're the cream in my coffee" was meant as a type
of metaphor (discussed by Grice)
(By uttering "you're the cream in my coffee" I say 'You are the cream in
my coffee' but I mean, 'you are my pride and joy' and thus that's what I
I think Aristotle was possibly right when he limited a grammatically
well-formed expression of a deliberation as 'grammar-constrained'.
The example I used to quote was,
"Ask for the moon"
Can I ask for the moon? "Don't ask for the moon".
Can you intend to fly? Don't intend to fly.
So Aristotle is right in that only the rightly formulated deliberations
should be the serious ones. This is not just a game! Even if Grice called it
There is an interesting paper by Wiggins on this, "Deliberation", which is
indeed the BOULESIS of Aristotle, hence the boulomaic!
--- "Grammar" Bayne knows it all -- and he mentions Chomsky-Halle
features. I sometimes wonder if the playgroupers (within which we may include
Anscombe) were using 'grammar' alla Chomsky.
I do know that Austin was fascinated by Syntactic Structures and they read
it on the Saturday Morning meetings with Grice et al (Hampshire perhaps).
Incidentally, I often wonder if 'well-formed formula' is not a redundancy.
Not that I won't utter a redundancy (:)), but ... It seems that if it's
not well-formed it's NOT a formula.
Grice here refers to 'sentence' as a value-oriented notion. There are no
good or bad sentences. Just sentences. "Sentence" itself includes its own
method of evaulation.
The problem with narrowing down the deliberation to the grammar could be:
poets: can't they deliberate poetically?
Let's deliberate if colourless green ideas HAVE to sleep furiously.
I was recently arguing that indeed colourless green ideas _don't_ sleep
furiously (I.e. the negation of nonsense is TRUE -- and 'colourless green
ideas sleep furiously' -- SEMANTIC nonsense rather than syntactic humbug -- is
If it means drab immature ideas should be latent in the mind of people but
ready to outburst it makes a lot of sense and I apologize!
What I like about Aristole is that he seems to narrow down 'deliberation'
to yourself -- it would be even ill-formed to say, "Let's deliberate if it
rains in Australia" "Let's deliberate if Pinochet should be brought back to
Chile" (that latter does make sense, since surely it's not up to
It always fascinates me that "let's" is so no Romance. We do use the first
person plural optative. "LET US" play in the park sounds rather clumsy
translated word by word. "YOU" let us play?
And I always loved Noel Coward's song negating a 'let's': "Don't let's be
beastly to the Germans!"
Cheers, and Good Night!
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