[hist-analytic] Aune, Kripke, and my delay
Baynesr at comcast.net
Baynesr at comcast.net
Tue Nov 24 11:59:36 EST 2009
A word of explanation for my delay in posting on Bruce's views
on the "two color problem." One is technical related to the issue;
the second concerns recent thoughts I've had on contingent
a priori in Kripke.
First, both Bruce and Putnam do not consider certain modal
arguments that are pertinent to this issue. Theirs is a one
world treatment and, I think, this is a problem since what we
are discussing here is the necessity or analyticity of the
impossibility of a thing being two colors all over.
I have several pages on the problem, most of which are not
related to this issue; but the issue of analyticity figures in
Kripke's treatment of the contingent a priori. A brief word
is in order.
Kripke use of the meter stick case is CENTRAL to his treatment
of rigid designation as well as the contingent a priori. He does
not discuss two things, although he mentions them in passing.
First, he notes that one of his motives is to distinguish meaning
and fixing reference; second he is reluctant to discuss analyticity
as if the issue is unrelated to what we might want to call
However, I think the entire issue of the contingent a priori is
in a sense a radical sublimation of the issue of the nature of
the relation of analyticity to the a priori. The positivists tended
to identify the class of a priori propositions and the class of
analytic propositions. Thus when issues like the two color
problem surface there is no consideration of the the possibility
of a synthetic a priori. The reluctance is so powerful that the
preference is to distinguish completely the matter of contingency
and synthetic-ness. This is a complex matter I need to think out
a bit. I have arrived, tentatively, at one conclusion.
Whereas most critics of the contingent a priori (Donnellan,
Plantiga, G. Evans) have located the problem elsewhere I
think the problem with Kripke's approach if, indeed, there is
one has to do with his avoidance of the issue of analyticity and
in concert with his discussion of the meter stick are reluctance
to discuss the scientific aspect of fixing measures. He thinks, or
seems to think, that the issue is merely the place of operationalism
and that his semantics can be worked around this, but I think not.
I think this and the issue of analyticity persist. At bottom, a
criticism of his position, if I am right, revolves around the issue
of de re vs. de dicto modality.
I should have something on the Aune position (and Putnam) in a
few days. I could post incrementally but that would invite
replies I could not respond to, under the circumstances, in a
timely fashion. So I'll complete the thing before posting so we
can move on the Aune very rich discussion of analyticity and
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