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
Noel Coward warns us that everybody must do it, fall in love:
probably we'll live to see
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
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
J. L. Speranza
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