[hist-analytic] Roxbee and all the Coxes

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Thu Jul 16 18:17:11 EDT 2009

Somerset and all the Maughams do  it
let's  do it -- let's fall in love. Coward apres Porter

In a message dated  7/16/2009 2:21:08 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, 
rh1 at york.ac.uk  writes:

The Cox you mention was I think a Fellow of Lincoln; I met  him once. Not 
friend and contemporary Roxbee Cox (B.Phil, 1956, like  me).
All the best,


Oh -- is that so!?

I actually keep  correspondence with J. Roxbee Cox and we never talked 
about that! J. Roxbee Cox  sent me a nice letter from Lancaster, and I was too 
polite to ask of his  associations with Gilbert Ryle -- I'm glad I didn't!

James Roxbee Cox is  a _genius_: I read his two papers on perception; I 
especially enjoyed the  contribution to the Lancaster symposium on Perception 
which I think Warnock  attended. Later still, I did get hold of Warnock's 
book, Language and Morality,  where further Griceana can be unburied.

Yesterday, browsing again  Chapman's book -- (I was asking myself, why do I 
rather read this book 5 more  time than get a novel by _Julia_ Grice? Is 
there something wrong with me or with  (Julia) Grice?). Anyway, Chapman uses 
the word 'retrospective', 'retrospective',  'retrospective'.

Apprently the idea of a, er, retrospective Warnock/Grice  was in the works. 
And among the Griceana filling those 14 cardboard boxes there  is a 
transcript of some _very_ recent Gricean thoughts (by Grice) as _spoken_ to  Warner 
and transcribed by Warner -- or maybe it just reads, "Dictated to  Warner". 
Grice had a lot of confidence on Warner. If someone were dictating to  
_me_, I cannot think what would come out!

Anyway, alas Warnock died in  the 1990s after a cruel (if that's the word) 
fight with throat cancer -- M.  Warnock recollects his last days, online.

I find the Warnock/Grice  'retrospective' a JEWEL -- and anyone seriously 
interested in that should go to  Roxbee Cox. Austin's _Sense and Sensibilia_ 
is also a must, and G. A. Paul. I  recall that once I wrote a letter to G. 
A. Paul. I got a letter back from the  College,

"Dear Mr.  Speranza

Sorry to inform you that G. A.  Paul
died  45 years ago.

Or something.

--- I mean, I possibly KNEW  he was dead, but no harm trying! I mean, I 
never read the obit. of the man, and  Grice _loved_ him.

That would finish the 'philosophy of perception'  thing, I hope: 
Roxbee-Cox, Warnock, Austin, Grice, Paul -- and perhaps Snowdon.  I recall mentioning 
Snowdon in some correspondence with S. Clark, and he wrote  back, "Snowdon 
is _no_ relation to Armstrong who is a 'new' peer, anyway, just  because he 
was married to Maggie".

Anyway, ...

--- I actually held  correspondence with Hampshire, and he told  me:

"NO! Grice never attended  the All Souls meetings"

I kept dreaming he _might_. But he confirmed all  the other names, -- but 
they escape me now. I must have that letter from  Stanford that he sent 
somewhere (I hope).

In any case, reading the  Owens's obit of Ryle the mention of the Ryle 
group interested, and as you say,  there was this Cox (who HAS to be Lincoln -- 
I'm so no familiar with Lincoln!).  

I think someone should sponsor a chair (in Helsinki of course) called,  
"The Play Group". E.g. David Mitchell (Worcester Coll.) author of a _Logic_. 
Who  was he? I have his book and it's lovely, but we don't find a lot about 
him  anymore. Or one "Chalmers" (I think) author of another book on  Logic.

Then there's Oscar P. Wood -- he did write to me from his house in  
Hertfordshire explicating me the connection with the Grice quote in "Some  remarks 
about the senses". Since Wood compiled the book on Ryle (and I was  
fascinated by his "Linguistic Rules" in the Arist. Soc.) I was interested. He  
sounded as if he was _younger_ (or too young) to belong to the Ryle  group.

Mabbott was a case. (A good one). Grice was _aware_ that Mabbott  had 
mentioned him in "Oxford Memories" -- which I got hold of. In two pages,  Mabbott 
finishes the Strawson/Grice thing -- specifying how Mabbott also  'tutored' 
Strawson for a while (I think). And Mabbott _is_ listed, I think, by  Owens 
as a member of the Ryle Group.

-- In any case, I would think that  Ryle was never so organised as Austin, 
in his way, was -- and later Grice when  he took the lead of the 'playgroup' 
down to 1967. The playgroup starting meeting  in different colleges, and 
Warnock mentions that they felt at best when at St.  John's -- looking like a 
meeting of executives in an important business board. I  have been to St. 
John's, but I think I missed that room! There are new  extensions now to the 
College, and must say that in any case my taste is for  small, damp rooms 
that you can have an excuse to get out from and run for the  "Lamb and Flag".

Incidentally, D. Frederick was saying: Strawson, the  "Oxford-educated 
man". What does he want?! I mean, people HAVE to be educated  _somewhere_. In 
any case, it was the talk of the town (if not of the gown) that  Strawson was 
PPE not LitHum and that he, -- God forgive it! :) -- he had had a  'second'!

In any case I never saw anyone loving a student as much as  Grice loved 
Strawson! (Chapman recalls Grice recalling how Lady Ann (Martin)  Strawon would 
sometimes get slightly irritated that Grice would phone Strawson  so late 
at night!) 

J. L. Speranza  

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