[hist-analytic] Steve's and Roger's recent interchange
Baynesr at comcast.net
Baynesr at comcast.net
Thu Jul 30 12:28:02 EDT 2009
I think some of the difficulty is that Carnap isn't being cited. As you know there is a lot of disagreement over what Hume meant, and Hume is about the clearest philosopher to write in English, otherwise Hobbes, maybe. Anyway, I have a reply to your probing commentary, but it occurs to me that a lot of potential misunderstanding could be avoided if you did one thing in particular: Cite a passage from Carnap, a sentence, one that you take to be a "distinctly philosophical" sentence of this, particular, analytical philosopher. If you do that I think some misunderstandings can be avoided.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce Aune" <aune at philos.umass.edu>
To: "steve bayne" <baynesrb at yahoo.com>
Cc: hist-analytic at simplelists.com
Sent: Thursday, July 30, 2009 3:51:31 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: Re: Steve's and Roger's recent interchange
It seems that Steve didn't take the time to read what I said with any
care. Let me go through it one more time.
1. The claim that prompted my remarks was one RBJ made, ""Carnap was
surely quite clear that the propositions of analytic philosophy are
analytic." This was a claim about Carnap, not philosophers generally.
2. I said, Steve disputed this claim, citing a remark by
Wittgenstein, but I added that "Roger’s claim is very plausible if it
rephrased in a way that he would probably accept."
3. Why did I say it should be rephrased? Because, as I put it, [the
phrase] “The propositions of analytic philosophy,” as Roger meant it,
surely does not apply to every proposition a philosopher qua
philosopher has asserted." Why not? Because, as I said, "Heidegger’s
“Nothing noths” (or whatever it was) is a case in point. Carnap
clearly held that many such claims (or “propositions”) are
meaningless. The propositions Roger no doubt had in mind were true
propositions of a distinctly philosophical kind."
4. Why do the philosophical in question have to be true? Because
(according to 1 above) Carnap (according to RBJ) said they were
analytic. Analytic propositions are neither false nor meaningless.
Thus, we are talking abut propositions that Carnap would consider
5. Given 4, Steve, to dispute RBJ's claim ON A PLAUSIBLE READING
should cite propositions that are (a) distinctively philosophical and
6. Why "distinctly philosophical? Because (as I said) "In the course
of expounding their philosophical ideas, philosophers make many
empirical claims, but these claims are normally incidental to their
official philosophical pronouncements." And Carnap's claim [according
to 1] was not about incidental claims that are not analytic.
7. Steve said he gave counter-examples of the requisite kind. Did
he? He cited examples of things various philosophers have said, but
he didn't show that they were true. Why is this important? Read
sentence 4 again.
8. In his last contribution to the discussion, Steve said: "What I
mean is that what began as a claim about whether any philosopher can
assert a proposition of analytic philosophy which is not analytic
became the question whether *Carnap* ever asserted a proposition of
analytical philosophy which was not analytic." This is an erroneous
account of the claim I began with. (See 1 above.)
9. It is also an erroneous claim about what the suppose initial claim
became. Why erroneous? Because the issue in question never concerned
the status of the propositions Carnap asserted; they concerned (a) the
true propositions of (b) a distinctly philosophical kind that (c)
Carnap would (according to 1) consider philosophical and analytic.
10. Given 1-9 here, the following claim by Steve seriously
MISREPRESENTS what I was claiming: "It is one thing to restrict the
propositions an analytical philosopher can meaningfully assert [I
never did this]; it is another to say that if Carnap would not make
such an assertion then neither can another analytical philosophy. [I
never said this] Notice another slight emendation of the original
issue. There is a move from things like "legitimate objects" to the
insistence on the satisfaction of a truth condition, as if no sentence
of analytical philosophy whether Carnap's or some other's can be false
or, alernatively, untrue." [I never assumed or implied this.]
11. I think on-line discussions are a good thing, but when we take
part in them, we should be careful not to misrepresent what other
disussants are saying.
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