[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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