[hist-analytic] Hot Potatoes

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Thu Nov 5 16:16:31 EST 2009

J. L. 

The problem, here, is with 'heat' not 'hot'. There is a critical difference: 

'hot' is a comparative adjective in the positive degree; 'heat' is a 

simple ajdective. However, unlike most people, I extend the concept 

of common adjectives into he domain of comparatives. This has to 

do with the seldom noticed difference between ordinary adjectives 

and comparatives in the positive degree. Anyone interested might 

want to check out my note: "A Note on Covering Concepts, Comparatives 

and Relative Identity." 


I like your comment though on what I'll call "French Semantics." Let's 

have a standard balloon filled with standard 'hot air'! Call it the 

'the standard bag of hot air in Paris'. 

No offense to the French intended. In fact the reply I'm making to Aune 

and Putnam is build, largely, on that great genius of about everything 

Henri Poincare! The most often "borrowed" from Frenchman by 

English speakers in philosophy ever. 



----- Original Message ----- 
From: Jlsperanza at aol.com 
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk 
Sent: Thursday, November 5, 2009 12:27:57 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern 
Subject: Hot Potatoes 

"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? 


J. L. Speranza 

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