[hist-analytic] Deliberation and Grammar

Danny Frederick danny.frederick at tiscali.co.uk
Sun Jul 12 15:00:30 EDT 2009


Hi Steve,

 

I was suggesting that, as grammar involves a conceptual scheme, and as it is
always possible that a given conceptual scheme may be replaced with a better
one, then it is possible for someone to have a thought that he cannot
express in a grammatical sentence of his current language. The only way
forward is for him to extend the current range of grammatical constructions;
and this would naturally be done by means of analogy or metaphor. And
because it can be done in this way, there is some hope that his
interlocutors will understand what he is getting at and follow suit. I
suspect that this is how languages have in fact evolved.

 

The reference to an extensional language was merely to provide a readily
understood example of a syntactically well-defined language type in which
some very ordinary statements cannot be made - at least, not in a way that
reveals their grammatical structure.

 

I did not raise the question of whether intensionality is a necessary
condition of intentionality - at least, not intentionally. But now that you
mention it, I think that it is not, given that intensionality is (I presume)
a feature of language, and some non-language-using animals have (so we
think) intentional states. On the other hand, I doubt that we can attend to
something without classifying it in some way (if only as a thing). But
classification requires concepts, not necessarily language.

 

Cheers.

 

Danny

 

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