[hist-analytic] "Red and Green All Over" (Was: Synthetic A Priori, Grice's Informants
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Wed Nov 4 08:36:22 EST 2009
I think Chapman misses the point, slightly when she writes, as per below,
"amusing himself". True, philosophy ceases to be philosophy when you take
'the fun' out of it; but it seems Grice was into the same campaign as Aune!
(And I was delighted that Schwartz repr. Grice, "Causal Theory of
Perception" in one of his collections, on "Sensing" -- what a beautiful verb).
Sure there's the pun that Grice should have known, what is black and white
and red all over? "Not the Daily Telegraph, precisely -- I cannot go
through the classifieds".
Now, 'green and yellow', which is I think Aune's example, strikes me as
slightly different from Grice's "red and green". For there's nothing in COMMON
between 'red' and 'green', while, strictly, green IS yellow and blue. It
strikes me that a case can be made that via implicature, if you see 'green'
you are seeing blue AND yellow. But my knowledge of physics is nil.
I would disgress as well into the role of physical theory, etc. Grice, for
example, was open-minded when it comes to the role that physics would play
in a 'philosophical' theory of perception of the causal type that Grice
defended (and Bayne has made charmingly publicly available via the
Aristotelian Society version in his site). In Section III, Grice expands on the
philosopher needing to _draw a blank_, I think his wording is, as to how the
philosophical approach HAS to give room for a physical theory of perception
that is somehow consistent with it.
J. L. Speranza
S. Bayne quotes from B. Aune:"But if two determinate colors are conceded to
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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