[hist-analytic] Grice's Informants (Was: Synthetic A Priori)

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Tue Nov 3 15:12:29 EST 2009



S. Bayne quotes from B. Aune:

"But if two determinate colors are conceded to be
distinguishable, it  _follows logically_ that
nothing possesses both of them at the same place  
at the same time." (Empiricist Theory of Knowledge, p.  66)
 
-----
 
A disgression of the Gricean type. When reading S. Chapman's bio of the man 
 (Grice) I was amused by a commentary by Mrs. Grice from the time they were 
 living in that apartment on Woodstock road, not far from St. John's, in  
Oxford.
 
Chapman writes:


"IT is clear that the nature of analytic and synthetic  sentences,
and of our knowledge of them, exercised Grice a good deal  both
at this time and later. [Mrs.] Grice recalls that, during  the 1950s,
he delighted in questioning his children [Karen and  Timothy]'s 
playmates about 
 
    'whether something can  be
     red and green all  over'
 
and enjoyed their subsequent CONFUSION, insisting  that
spots and stripes were NOT allowed. (Mrs. Grice,  personal
communication). As he observes in his  own
notes,
 
    "Nothing can be red and green all  over"
 
is a supposed candidate for a statement that is  both
synthetic and a priori. 
*'The Way of Words', Studies in: 
Notes, offprints and draft material.
H. P. Grice Papers, BANC MSS 90/135c, 
The Bancroft Library, University of  California,
Berkeley).
Grice was presumably amusing himself
by testing this claim out on some genuinely  naive
informants."
 
-- for surely Karen and Timothy were 'in the  know'.
 
(p.54)
 
 
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