[hist-analytic] Grice, "Disposition and Intention"
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sun Jul 12 11:11:14 EDT 2009
In a message dated 7/12/2009 9:50:48 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
baynesrb at yahoo.com writes:
>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.
The reference is
Chapman, Siobhan (R.). Grice: philosopher and linguist.
Houndsmille, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan 2005
>Also, I'm curious about Chapman
She was born c. 1970, I presume in Liverpool. She has interesting work with
the Nottingham Journal of Linguistics (I believe). Her PhD (I think with
the Department of Linguistics maybe of LIverpool) was on 'Implicature and
ACCENT -- and dialect", but mainly accent -- which I always found fascinating
(the topic) and which I hope she considers in connection with the
"Scouse". (I first learned Scouse via "Letter to Brezhnev" -- with Firth.
Unfortunately Firth does not play a Scouse there, but a Russian, complete with
Russian furrin accent -- but I loved him anyways [sic].
Chapman has done 'popular' work (as I call it, i.e. meant to _educate_) on
philosophy and linguistics. I first heard about her when there was a query
in PHILOS-L for a Dictionary of Ideas or Biographies. It was submitted by
who I think is Chapman's partner, Chris Routledge. Routledge wrote to me re:
my offering to write the entry on Grice, "Thanks but no thanks; Siobhan
will take care about that!". The entry is available online, and very
interesting it is too -- she cares to mention Grice's mother quite a bit: Mabel
The book _Grice_ is pretty interesting, and I did review it elsewhere, etc,
and am thinking of listing all the unpublications she manages to cite --
to compare vis a vis "The unpublications of H. P. Grice" in Grandy/Warner
(vis a vis "The publications of H. P. Grice"). Apaprently the story goes,
"Okay, Paul -- we have this long list of things that you 'unpublished'. How
would we call them?" "Unpublications, surely".
>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.
Remember that he died of enthysema and dropsy (in1988) and he was suffering
quite a bit. The good thing about it is that he did write, under the
circumstances, in 1987, the "Retrospective Epilogue" that he managed to include.
Recall too that the book came out in 1989, while he indeed died in August
1988. For the expert Griceans we can only go back to the original versions,
as you write. -- He did a bit of cutting out. I think that considering it
was his first book, he feared that keeping the things _as originally
published_ would tire the readers. Note also that he was under contract with
Harvard U. P. -- since the (c) of the William James delivered at Harvard _had_
to be published with Harvard University Press. The two other books
published "by" Grice (1991, 2001: Conception of Value and Aspects of Reason) were
published by Clarendon (like the festschrift in 1986).
>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
Indeed. One marginal note to my section here makes a reference to Lewis
and the counterfactuals. And of course serious students of philosophy (of
science) are well aware of the problems with 'fragile' (Breakable). Recall that
Grice was writing in 1949 -- but indeed the problem with dispositional
analysis of 'breakable' and C. I. Lewis on the strict implication should have
been familiar to him.
>To be sure "finkish dispostions"
>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.
Right. BUT ONE THING is of VALUE here, though. That while the 'special
episode' and the behaviourist' account are excluded, there is a good point in
the dispositional analysis in the EXPLICATURE (or explicit expansion) of a
statement of intention
"I intend that p"
-- surely no 'ps' or 'qs' need to be minded here ('mind your ps and qs')
unless we are Georg Von Wright (And I am on Sundays).
Suppose "the door is shut" --- p
p is the state to be brought about.
I intend (that) the door BE shut.
By some strange metamorphosis (or transformations, if you will) this
I INTEND (to) shut the door.
(cfr. with meaning, though, "I intend my addressee to believe that ..." --
the 'other'-intention, as it where, intention that SOMEONE other than
myself brings about this or that -- I'm speaking loosely since it SHOULD be
reduced to MY intention to do this or that, anyway).
So the 'dispositional' account at least helps us understand the logical
form of 'statements of intentions' as INVOLVING an 'action' as Chapman puts
"What he lables the 'dispositional' account, whereby
the relevant concept is seen as
A DISPOSITION TO ACT
in certain ways in certain hypothetical situations."
(Chapman here uses the example, "I like X" which is a bit of a trick).
And in any case reminds me of my discussions of the theory of "Meaning" as
causalist. I recall that in "Meaning" Grice dismisses "mean-to' as a case
of NATURAL-meaning, or of using 'mean' in the 'natural' "sense".
I MEAN *to* shut the door.
Indeed, early exegeses of Grice, "Meaning" would focus that the 'mean' we
are interested here is not the 'mean' ('to be important' -- you mean a lot
to me), or the 'mean' = intend. "To mean to open the door". But surely Grice
saw a continuum here.
Bayne goes on to mention his additions (and thanks for the offer) to
> 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.
Indeed. And congrats.
J. L. Speranza
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