[hist-analytic] Eddington's Two Tables

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Tue Jul 14 16:36:00 EDT 2009

In a post some time ago, S. R. Bayne  wrote

>I thought I would  
>"share with you" (".od" I hate  the expression)
>two items I've added to  Hist-Analytic. [...]  
>The other is Eddington's statement on 
>"Two Tables."  it can  be had   at:


I've been keeping to find (without success) the ref. by Grice to these  
things (Eddington's tables) and trying and intending (to find them).

I  now see it was an UNPUBLISHED note yet again cited by Chapman, p. 177 of 
her  book.

And Eddington is credited in the name index. 

Chapman  writes:

"In [Grice's] notes from around this time [1988], Grice  compares
the vulgar and the learned with reference to what he [I add  marginally, in 
my book: and millions more. JLS] calls 'Eddington's table' and  'the vulgar 
table'. Grice's
reference here is to Arthur Eddington's The  nature of the physical
world, first published in 1928. Eddington begins his  book, originally
delivered as a series of lectures, with the assertion that  as he sat
down to write he was confronted with not ONE table but TWO.  There
is the ordinary, familiar table: 'a commonplace object of  that
environment which I call the world'. There is also a scientific table,  an
object of which he has become aware only comparatively  recently.
Whereas the ordinary table is SUBSTANTIAL,"

--- cfr. D.  Frederick on hypercategorials

"the scientific table is mostly empitness,  rushing about
with great speed; but their combined bulk amounts to  less
than a billionth of the bulk of the table itself.' [end-note].  Eddington
argues that the two different descriptions of the table are  
discreet and serve distinct purposes. Although they might 
ultimately be  said to describe the same object, the scientist
must keep the two  descriptions separate, in effect ignoring
the 'ordinary table' and  concentrating only on the 
'scientific table'".

--- so far so good:  elementary stuff, but recall the book is meant for 
undergraduates in both lings.  and philo.

Now, tersely, Chapman adds:

"Grice's brief notes  suggest that he is happy
to accept both the vulgar and the 
learned  description of the table. There is,
he notes, 'no conflict ... Scientific  purposes and
everday purposes are _distinct_'[emphasis Grice's.  JLS]"


Grice, "Notes on 'vulgar' and  learned'" -- H. P. Grice Papers,
BANC MSS 90/135c, The Bancroft Library,  University of California,  

cited  by Chapman, p. 178

Nothing earth-shattering, but, as  they say, for the record (of the annals 
of analysis, as it  were).


J. L.  S.           

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