[hist-analytic] Hot Potatoes

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Thu Nov 5 12:27:57 EST 2009


"The potato was hot"
 
In a message dated 11/5/2009 11:58:36 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
Baynesr at comcast.net writes:

Not sure. Has anyone got a reference
on this? Or an easy solution? Or a  denial that there is an issue here? 
---
 
----
 
Oddly, I did learn the predicate, 'hot', in phrases like
 
    "the potato was hot".
 
So, aged 10 -- the right age for informants regading synthetic a priori,  
necessary/contingent -- Grice tells us -- there was no 'meaning postulate' 
that  linked 'hot' with 'molecular movement'.
 
With Grice, I would 'analyse' "hot" as a 'sensing' predicate, -- object of  
WHAT sense? Touch, no doubt -- although objects can _look_ hot -- what they 
 cannot really is 'sound hot' or 'smell hot', I would assume). Taste hot, 
too.  Touch and taste.
 
Now, the physiology of the relevant organ of that particular sense (taste  
and touch) will tell us that there IS a link with 'molecular motion'. I.e. 
in  normal circumstances, it is molecularly mobile things that we perceive as 
'hot'. 
 
I'm surprised that the French, who are so systematic, haven't come out with 
 a unit of heat, deposited in some cool museum in Paris. The 'calorie' is  
possibly the closest we can get. But is this measured along the number of  
molecules that are moved, and at what speed?
 
Etc.
 
J. L. Speranza
 
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