[hist-analytic] Deliberation and Grammar

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sat Jul 11 10:39:04 EDT 2009


For the record, the etym. of 'deliberate' from the OED. It traces it back  
to 'deliber':

Middle English from the French [not  again! :)] délibérer (15th c. in 
Littré), _OR_ directly from  the Latin de-liber-are, to weigh well, consider 
maturely, take counsel,  etc., f. DE- I. 3 + liber-are to balance, weigh, 
 
from "libra" a balance, pair of scales. In 15-16th c. it varied with  
deliver: cf. the ordinary Romanic v from Latin b.] 
 
-----
 
So the 'scaling' thing is part of the _sense_.
 
So it's like an alternative, "p vel q" or "p W q". I would think
 
p  v   q
1  1   1
1  1   0
0  1   1
0  0   0

But really it should be analysable down to 
 
p   v    ~  p
1  1     0  1
0   1   1   0
 
 
But that's a tautology -- so it would take an ass to deliver on that  
(Buridan's -- matter of fact).
 
----
 
So let's revise S. R. Bayne's considerations he kindly shares with  us:
       
>I can only intend to say what grammar permits. 

It's even trickier with 'wanting' or boulemaic.
 
For: I have taken from ROSENSCHEIN and others the idea that 'want' (or any  
boulemaic operator) is a propositional function
 
    W(A, p)
 
A wants that p.
 
But surely Grammar is complex enough NOT to allow those formations.
 
    "I want that you leave"  ---> "I want you to  leave"
    (Bayne knows all this stuff)
 
Then consider the first clause in Grice's analysis of meaning
 
    Utterer meant by uttering x that p
         iff he intended his  addressee to believe that ...
 
here the object of the intention is exactly a doxastic operator
 
      W(A, B(B, p))
 
---
 
Incidentally, it is interesting that even for 'stating' we need to know the 
 grammar before, as Aristotle would say -- and I always loved that passage 
in  Ethica Nich. when he says, "Ethics is for post-graduates only; 
undergraduates  I'm happy if they just speak well -- know the grammar" (or words to 
that  effect).
 
Grice played with 'central speech acts' which he found to be either  
assertions or orders (and questions and quessertions).
 
But he wanted to GENERALISE the account, so that he would use "asterisk  
sub-psi", as a dummy for ANY propositional attitude co-related to this or that 
 central speech act.
 
Beliefs (or Judgings) for INDICATIVES
Willings for IMPERATIVES, etc.
 
In "Intention and Uncertainty" he plays with FUTURE INDICATIVE (the  
prediction, "I will go to London" vs. FUTURE INTENTIONAL ("I shall go to  London")
 
When it comes to FIRST PERSON PLURAL, consider Spanish
 
    bailamos?
    bailemos!

The first is future indicative, "WILL WE DANCE?" or SHALL WE DANCE?
And the answer is: WE SHALL DANCE! (or "Let's)
 
The passage (which is Latin) between the 'a' stem of the indicative  
(bailar) versus the 'e' stem of the subjunctive ('bailEmos').
 
For 'e'-stemmed verbs, the operation is just the reverse and the 'e'-verbs  
change to an 'a'-stem in the subjunctive:
 
     comemos?
     comamos!
 
Shall we eat?  B: Indeed, we shall eat!
 
---- 
 
Bayne:
 
 
>Grammar therefore circumscribes the limits of my linguistic  intentions
>to this degree: I cannot utter ‘x’ with the intention of  saying ‘y’ 
unless ‘y’ 
>is a sentence and ‘x’ may be a set of, say,  Chomsky-Halle features. 

Good point. Philosophers of the Grice generation with OBSESSED with 'say'.  
R. M. Hare has his dissertation for Oxford on Frege on 'dictive' component. 
 'dictor' he used. Later, when publishing his "Language of Morals" he 
coined the  'phrastic' for that aspect of what-is-said.
 
Ditto Austin -- for what is his odd terminology, but an attempt to capture  
the subtleties of 'say': locutio, illocutio (in saying), perlocutio (by 
saying),  the phatic act (what is said qua noise), the phemic act (the phonemic 
 equivalent), the rhetic act (the indirect-speech report).
 
Hare later added the neustic, the tropic and the clistic to the phrastic.  
And indeed the implicatio in Grice (implicatura, etc.) is but another way of 
 restricting what-is-said to the truth-conditions, as it were.
 
Bayne:
 
>But this is not to claim that I cannot have the intention to say what  
>grammar does not allow is impossible, unless there is a grammar  
>to thought. 
 
Indeed. N. Block, who rediscovered Grice for a younger generation -- when  
he quoted Grice's Method in Philosophical Psychology for the masses in his  
"Philosophy of Mind" compilation -- did a similar job for Anscombe's husband 
 when excerpting passages from Geach's brilliant _Mental Acts_.
 
When I read Geach's _Mental Acts_ (in a course in modern philosophy --  
taught by M. Costa) we analysed it vis a vis Ockham (sermo interioris). Just to 
 put Fodor in Context!
 
----
 
Bayne:
 
>That there is would appear to be the prevalent view. 
 
But there are a few category mistakes I find with the prevalent view. E.g.  
Cummins, in Mental Representation and Meaning, for example, has this rather 
 ridiculous view of what the Gricean View of Mental Respresentation Having  
Meaning would be -- the homunculus theory. I replied to his criticisms in  
extenso elsewhere, "Conversation Without Representation" I think I titled  
it!

It would be a regressus ad infinitum if we applied the SAME theory of  
intention-based semantics (as Schiffer calls it) to the mental  representations.
 
And while Anscombe may not have elaborated on the ONTOLOGY of 'intending',  
Grice notably -- and rather too academically for my taste -- does it in 
"Method  in Philosophical Psychology", where he speaks of Ramsification and 
Functionalist  Credos (almost). As Grandy/Warner explain in their intro to 
PGRICE. The view by  Grice is a Turing-machine one: no psychological predicates 
without the behaviour  (sense input or behavioural output) they are called 
upon to explain -- quoting  Wittgenstein as per Anscombe's translation -- so 
that's another connection (he  also quotes direct from Anscombe's 
Wittgenstein when in "Prolegomena" to WOW he  criticises Wittgenstein, "A fork cannot 
look like a fork"):
 
 
                        x     (BLACK BOX)     y
 
    sensory  input           'intend'                  behavioural output
 
 
----
 
Bayne:
 
>But 
>grammatical impossibility stands in relation to linguistic  intentions 
>as possibility of success stands in relation to deliberation  about 
>means for Aristotle. 
 
We should revise this. I always love Aristotle and enjoy close readings of  
his rather obscure (yet I said I always found it clear) prose.
 
>The parallels are not exact, but they are suggestive.
 
I think I get your point ('drift' is vulgar, right?)
 
I think Kenny introduced that into the Gricean literature when he explained 
 it to J. D. Atlas. For Kenny, there is
 
        extrinsic weighed desirability  reasoning
             OF  ENDS -- cfr. Rescher.
 
       and
 
       intrinsic weighed desirability  reasoning
            of MEANS  -- indeed.
 
Back to the 
 
"p v ~p"
 
I would assume that the first DELIBERATION then should be about the  'end'.
Recall that's the "E" in PGRICE (E stands for End).
The 'end' is the 'telos' also, rather circularly, the 'agathon' in  
Aristotle. For we want the good. (as a given) -- hence 'akrasia' and its  problems.
 
Then would come the DELIBERATION about the ends.
And that SHOULD be algorithmic enough.
But we have Kantian monsters saying, "The end justifies the means!"
 
----
 
There's also the CETERIS-PARIBUS.
 
       I want icecream
               I want LOADS of icecream?
      -----
      No, I want only SOME icecream
 
i.e. the premises in the practical syllogism are open-ended and the 'if'  
connectors should be read as 'defeasible'
 
    if p, ceteris paribus, p.
 
Schiffer has tried to make sense of 'ceteris paribus' _laws_ as productive  
for the philosopher, but I'm not sure he extraordinarily succeeded!
 
Again, if you have the time to explore the parallelisms, welcome!
 
FEEL FREE to be very schematic (since we know you are busy otherwise), and  
just meaning to CLARIFY any possible misunderstanding. 
 
I thought 'deliber' was cognate with 'liber' as in 'liber arbitrium' (used  
by W. James) but it's not -- although R. M. Onians (online) would say  yes).
 
The 'weighing' metaphor features large in the Romance language: la pensee  
of the French is indeed the 'weight'. To think (penser, le penseur) is the  
weigher. As when you say, 'pensive' I imagine. That's why "Je pense, donce 
je  exist" does not do for us what the simpler COGITO does!
 
Cheers,
 
J. L. Speranza
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