[hist-analytic] Potching and Cotching
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Wed Jul 15 18:47:55 EDT 2009
Stevenson, that Grice (1948) quotes uses the scare quotes when he says
a high temperature 'means' fever
"a reduced temperature 'means' convalescence"
(Stevenson, p. 38)
This is a 'scare quote' use because only _analogically_ (going a rung
lower in the evolutionary ladder, to use Grice's metaphor) can we say a reduced
temperature 'means'. Mind, Grice would not even ascribe 'mean' to Nim
Evolutionary biologists _may_ but a philosopher is a philosopher is a
philosopher, and there's no way Ariskant got it right on _that_ front!
'Meaning' [sans double scare quotes]is a mark of rationality.
Grice here quotes Wittgenstein (tr. Anscombe) on 'intend' and 'expect'. As
Danny Frederick recently note: an animal may intend (display an intention)
-- but an 'intenSion'?
Grice would not use 'intenSion' openly _there_ but more guardedly as an
"M-intention" i.e. a meaning-constitutive intention:
There is some caution here to avoid threat of circularity. Grice writes in
his "Life and Opinions" (which he previously had labelled, "Prejudices and
Predilections. Which become life and opinions"):
"I think I _would_ have good prospects
of winning the day [about intensions]
but unfortunately a victory on this
front would not be enough. For, in a
succession of increasingly elaborate
moves designed to thwart a sequence
of Schifferian counterexamples I have been
LED to RESTRICT the
intentions which are to CONSTITUTE
utterrer's meaning to M-intentions; and
whatever might be the case in general
with regard to intending, M-intending
TOO SOPHISTICATED A STATE
to be found in a language-destitute creature.
So the unavoidable rearguard actions seem to
have undermined the raison-d'etre of the campain."
(Grice, p. 85 in Grandy/Warner, PRIGRCE)
But could a pirot think something izzes something else?
This note mainly to accommodate (my weekly verb) R. B. Jones's delightful
'colourful'. In his pdf on Izzing and Hazzing etc he mentions Grice's
For the record let's be reminded once more that this is Grice's little
homage to Locke-Russell-Carnap.
I haven't been able to check the Russell source.
But in Essay Locke speaks of Prince Maurice's Parrot, "a very intelligent,
rational parrot" -- but hardly "a very intelligent rational man"
Grice liked that: 'parrot' and 'man' were for Grice (and for that matter,
for me) _functional_ terms with a vengeance. A 'man' is a compound of
physical and mental properties. It's not JUST spatio-temporal continuity Or
merely mental properties. A parrot with the mental, but none of the physical
properties, of a man we would NEVER call a man. Why?
Russell and Canap, independently from Locke arrived at the conclusion that
Pirots karuluze elatically.
Grice, as cited by Chapman, _Grice_:
H. P. Grice, 'Lecture 1', 'Lectures on Language and Reality'
H. P. Grice Papers, BANC MSS 90/135c, The Bancroft
Library, University of California, Berkeley.
was always intersted in 'artificial' languages. Here is a sample of what,
as Chapman amusingly puts it, Grice's audience is 'treated to' [this is a
transcription from a tape]
(and we'll relate it to izzing and hazzing presently):
"A pirot can be said to potch of some obble
x as fang or feng; also to cotch of x, or
some obble o, as fang or feng; or to
cotch of one obble o and another obble o'
as being fid to one another."
The code (note the [Alan] "Code" -- although this is a good one: to think
that Alan Code is the code for the hazzing and the izzing of Grice. -- call
it, "Code for Grice" -- Grice De-Coded.
"A pirot, [as a good Kantian], inhabit a world of obbles.
To potch is something like to perceive and
to cotch something like to think. Feng and fang are
possible descriptions, much like our adjectives [and]
fid is a possible relation between obbles."
So this may explain why Grice chose
as the logical form of izzing (and H(x, y) as the logical form of hazzing).
For he is interested -- with a view to a teleological, pirotological,
why would a pirot need the
'concept' of 'izz'?
why would a pirot need not
just to potch that o izz o'.
But also on occasion
to cotch it?
Let's be reminded that sense-data won't do for Grice: 'we ingest, digest,
ex-gest obbles -- not sense data'. Similarly we _see_ them. Obbles nourish
(and also threaten the continued operancy or survival) of pirots -- flows
of impressions don't.
So, regardless of what Kant said of 'existence' NOT being a property,
izzing _is_ a 'relation' -- is a form of fidding really
the pirot potch of one obble
and of another obble o'
as being fid to one another.
But does this work?
I don't think so.
I wouldn't think that "an apple" is in relation to another object called
"a fruit" and yet we do say I(x, y) -- in Jones's terminology, "An apple izz
One pirot Grice calls a squarrell who goggles nuts.
Perhaps 'apple izz fruit' is something otiose to say.
But consider a note that Grice wrote in a sick bag, Chapman tells, on his
way back from Oxford,
"read chimp. literature"
--- Now consider the biggest sentence that Nim Chimpsky ever produced:
Give orange me give eat orange me eat orange give me eat orange give me
--- Long as it is, it is not as colourful as the some of the OTHER that
Apple me eat
Banana Nim eat
Banana me eat
Drink me Nim
Eat Nim eat
Eat Nim me
Eat me Nim
Eat me eat
Finish hug Nim
Give me eat
Grape eat Nim
Hug me Nim
Me Nim eat
Me more eat
More eat Nim
Nut Nim nut
Play me Nim
Tickle me Nim
Tickle me eat
Yogurt Nim eat
Banana Nim banana Nim
Banana eat me Nim
Banana me Nim me
Banana me eat banana
Drink Nim drink Nim
Drink eat drink eat
Drink eat me Nim
Eat Nim eat Nim
Eat drink eat drink
Eat grape eat Nim
Eat me Nim drink
Grape eat Nim eat
Grape eat me Nim
Me Nim eat me
Me eat drink more
Me eat me eat
Me gum me gum
Nim eat Nim eat
Play me Nim play
Tickle me Nim play
Banana eat me Nim
Grape eat me Nim
surely EAT refers to "EDIBLE"
And so we can find that Nim (lab pirots ARE lazy) finding it successful to
I (banana, edible)
I (grape, edible)
i.e. a banana izz edible and grape izz edible (actually I think hazz
edible sounds 'less harsh' to use Berkeley/Locke/Grice's idiom).
Oddly, I read in _Science_
"Suzanne Chevalier-Skolnikov descrbed to the conference
an occasion on which she watched gorilla Koko persistently
MISPERFORM an action demanded on her. Finally her
teacher, Penny Patterson, signed to her in exasperation,
'Bad gorilla'. To which Koko responded with the signs
for 'Funny gorilla,' and laughed."
[This cites actually comes from this essay -- ! --
in _Science_, "A horse says neigh"
which lead me to Katz, but not the colleague of the author of LOT2:
Sexual Harassment in the Horse Community
I have been working with the horse community in the area of sexual
harassment. Our feeling is that when a horse says 'Nay,' it's exactly what they
While Grice seldom seems to have used 'cognition' -- Chapman quotes a list
where he lists 'cognition' along 'breath (why?)', ingestion, digestion,
excretion, repair, reproduction' as 'mandatory functions -- he _was_ obsessed
(in the right philosophical sense of the term) with 'potching', or
Suppose we 'design' a pirot to look like ("Some remarks about the senses",
O O i
o o ii
It would not do to say that this pirot looks like a have one pair of eyes
too many, for if the pirot talks and tells and shows that when he potches
of an oggle as feng with i and when he potches of an oggle as feng with ii
there is 'a world of [experiential] difference' -- we won't.
J. L. Speranza
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