[hist-analytic] Glory

jlsperanza at aol.com jlsperanza at aol.com
Thu Dec 24 20:42:28 EST 2009


I would like to drop a few points about the nature of 'proof-theory' of the 
 type that R. B. Jones seems to be defending on this and other fora. 
Indeed, my  main point is a query (to Jones or his 'ilk'!). 
 
I have been examining the apparent different conceptions of 'arguing',  
'inferring', 'reasoning' and the like held by Grice and Toulmin. Toulmin, never 
 a formalist, could care less (shall we say?) but for Grice the 'slate' 
diagrams,  so called -- where each step of an inference is made explicit -- 
held some  appeal for him.
 
(see his refs. to the 'tidiness of modernist logic' in his Valedictory  
Essay in WoW and his commentary on a 'topologist' he knew who would often 
'skip'  a step in his 'proofs' -- in Reply to Richards).
 
As tutors in logic may know, one Has to be somewhat tolerant when a student 
 will skip a step in a proof. A proof, I take here, to be the 'arguitum' of 
 Toulmin, i.e. the argument-qua-product, rather than 
argumentation-qua-process  that most American endorsers of his book seem to have fallen in love 
with.
 
Noel Coward warns us that everybody must do it, fall in love:
 
     teenagers squeazed 
         into jeans 
           do it.
     probably we'll live to see
         machines
            do  it.
     let's do it, let's fall in love.
 
---- So how does proof-theory actually accounts for 'skips' in the  
reasoning? Shouldn't students (at least ONCE) be held responsible IF they SKIP,  
non-machine-wise, one step in the chain?
 
I am amused by the talk on argument, etc. For Grice, part of the implicatum 
 is indeed arguitum. The implicatum (of an implicature) is the result of a  
'working-out' scheme  by which the utterer intends the addressee will INFER 
 (if not deductively, but more like abductively) the implicatum. Yet, Grice 
was a  strict adherent, on days, of the 'tidiness' of 'formal valid 
inferences'. 

Toulmin, on the other hand, is more difficult to grasp.
 
Ah, incidentally, the title is a reference to Humpty Dumpty. After  
displaying a sort of quasi-deductive argument in arithmetics
 
            365 - 1  = 364
 
he exclaims, "There's glory for you".

For, as I have argued elsewhere*, it may be thus that Oxford philosophy  
dons see this sometimes undefinable attribute. (* in Jabberwocky, "Humpty  
Dumpty's "Impenetrability").
 
Cheers,
 
J. L. Speranza
 
 
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