[hist-analytic] Grice, "Disposition and Intention"
baynesrb at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 12 09:50:36 EDT 2009
What is the info on Chapman. I'd like to include reference to the
quote you made to the effect that Anscombe's intention was
the best Gricean idea yet. That would be interesting. Also,
I'm curious about Chapman.
I think Grice did a pretty terrible job in editing WoW. He
"cleaned it up." Too much missing; too much edited out;
not enough included. Don't get me wrong it is worth having
and reading but it has limitations.
On dispositions: I think this card has been played too
often. I think the issue of dispositions because it goes
back to the need to add operational definitions to
extensional accounts of scientific explanation etc and
because of its link to the verificationist position has an
unchallenged respectability. To be sure "finkish dipsostions"
do raise interesting questions about the semantics of
counterfactuals in relation to these "theory terms" but
I think concentrating on them as a way of either formulating
or solving problems is far overdone.
By the way, if you'd like to write up a ten page pdf on
Grice's work and career etc. I'd be pleased to put it on
HIst-Analytic when I make my next addition. I've already
made the selection, a book. I think people will be surprised.
It's one of H. H. Price's works. Price was superb; never agreed
with him on much but he was a terrific philosopher.
--- On Sat, 7/11/09, Jlsperanza at aol.com <Jlsperanza at aol.com> wrote:
From: Jlsperanza at aol.com <Jlsperanza at aol.com>
Subject: Grice, "Disposition and Intention"
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk
Date: Saturday, July 11, 2009, 1:41 PM
Among the many unpublications by H. P. Grice that S. R. Chapman has
unburied for posterity is this "Disposition and Intention" which is discussed in
her biography of the man, and some excerpts of which I transcribe vis a vis
our continuing interest in the history of analytic philosophy (-- inspired
by S. R. Bayne's enthusiasm in the area and his seminal work on Anscombe).
"Grice circulated "Disposition and Intentions" among his colleagues just a
few years after he had written 'Meaning'"
That would be 1950.
I note that it has to be at least after Ryle 1949.
And I added a marginal note, J. C. D'Alession, "Intentions and
Dispositions" Crititica. The Argentine philosopher J. C. D'Alessio was a student of
Pears at All Souls and we would discuss Grice together.
""Disposition and Intention" has survived only in manuscript".
He writes that "his purpose is to consider the best analysis of
'PSYCHOLOGICAL CONCEPTS'. He considers the 'dispositional' account, and the
alternative, to consider 'intention' statements as describing "SPECIAL EPISODES".
"Grice is dismissive of a third possibility: behaviourism" -- as 'silly'
(a word I came to overused, too, :) -- it means etymologically, 'blissful').
Grice argues that the dispositional account runs into difficulties
specially with "I intend."
But surely it is not appropriate, Chapman notes, to switch to the 'special
The 'how do you know' is trick.
"People," Chapman writes, "are not expected to be judging intention from
In Grice's METAPHOR:
"I am not in the audience, not even in
the front row of the stalls. I am on
(cited by Chapman, p. 67).
-- brilliant, I'd expect you'd agree!
For (3), Grice singles Ryle for criticism.
"Grice argues that the difference between speech and other forms of
behavioiur is much greater than Ryle allows."
"A man does not need to wait," Chapman notes, "to observe HIMSELF heading
for the plate of fruit on the table before is in a position to KNOW that he
"Grice suggested solution to the failure ... of a, b, and c -- rests on
If so and so were the case
I would behave in such and such a way
"cannot be understood as a statement of hypothetical fact," Chapman
writes, but "as a statement of hypothetical intention"
but cfr. Dummett on 'hypothetical promises.'
"just as long as the behaviour in question can be seen as VOLUNTARY."
"It is not possible to say, "I am not sure whether I intend..." in the way
it IS possible to doubt other psychological states." (Chapman notes).
Grice's own positive theory in that paper relies on Stout and the ideas
i. of FREEDOM FROM DOUBT that the intended action will take place as NOT
dependent on any empirical evidence.
Grice's "second observation is that the utterer must be prepared to take
"the necessary steps", Chapman writes, "to bring about the fulfillment of
Grice has "JUSTIFIED the inclusion of psychological concepts in analyses;
they do not need to be 'translated' away into behavioral tendencies or
--- although I'd nitpick about EMPIRICAL meaning 'inner experience'?
"Second, he has established the concept of intention as PRIMARY".
And no, I've checked in the index to Chapman's _Grice_ and there's no
I have made a few marginal notes to my Chapman. INCORRIGIBILITY,
privileged access, are notions that Grice will come back to in "Method in
philosophical psychology", and while 'intend' may figure as PRIMARY, I would think he
ends up analysing it in terms of willing/judging and these two concepts
themselves if not behaviouristically at least "functionalistically".
* Philosophers can be _wicked_. Chapman notes that the manuscript copy of
"Disposition and Intention" contains, in a different hand, very wicked
comments, which I won't transcribe (right now) but which Chapman suggest that
could have been enough of a reason not for Grice to consider this or that.
He could be sensitive.
* Philosophers and 'absurdity'. Chapman quotes from the last passage in
"Disposition and Intention" which may relate to Bayne's comments on
'absurdity' and grammar.
Chapman writes: "Having established that a doubt over one's own intention
is something of an ABSURDITY, he offers a characteristically tantalsing
'we hope that this may help to explain
the ABSURDITY of analogous expressions
mentioning some OTHER psychological
concepts, though I wouldn't for a moment
claim that it will help to explain ALL such
(cited by Chapman, p. 69)
For, indeed, 'what a piece of work is a pirot"!
J. L. Speranza
**************A Good Credit Score is 700 or Above. See yours in just 2 easy
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