[hist-analytic] Pirate from Penzance

jlsperanza at aol.com jlsperanza at aol.com
Fri Dec 25 01:25:05 EST 2009

In a message dated 12/17/2009 9:58:15 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
Baynesr at comcast.net writes:

First, P. H. Nowell-Smith informed me in correspondence some  years
ago that he was in this group. In fact, a close read of his _Ethics_  
some striking use of language one finds in Austin. I asked him if  these
locutions ( I don't have them at my finger tips) were his or Austin's.  He
was uncommitted but seemed to indicate they were Austin's. Also,  the
expression 'pro-attitude' occurs in Nowell-Smith's _Ethics_ which we  
find in Davidson.
---- What a man, Patrick Horace. I learned from his obit. in the  
Independent that he was, of all places, from Polzeath, Cornwall!
---- Where I also learned that "Nowell-Smith" was concocted by P. H. after  
his father, "Nowell Charles Smith" but universally (as R. Grandy says H. P. 
 Grice was known as Paul) known as "Nowell Smith".
Aren't I moved to read from the obit:
"Patrick became professor of philosophy at Leicester University in 1957,  
accepting the invitation, he said, because he felt overwhelmed by the 
presence  at Oxford of JL Austin, Paul Grice and Peter Strawson (later Sir Peter,  
obituary, February 15), all of whom were "much cleverer" than he was."
Of course they weren't!
And I treasure leads that P. H. gave to me to proceed, such as this PhD by  
Rossi on "Contextual implication" and "conversational implicature". For 
Grice's  "be relevant" MUST be connected to Patrick Horace's 'rule of 
relevance'. And  hey, both had attained firsts in classics in the 1930s.
"None the less, he believed that his reply to Austin's criticisms in the  
latter's celebrated 1956 paper, Ifs and Cans, was a complete answer to them"  
(i.e. to Austin, Grice and Strawson).
"It was typical that Patrick published it in 1960 in what he termed an  
obscure Scandinavian journal, where nobody read it, and did so because they  
asked to publish it."
Indeed,  he had a penchant for obscure publications... I treasure the  
citations of all his checklists of publications.
"Some who did so, and others, disapproved of his informal relations with  
his students. After marrying one of them, his second wife, he moved in 1968 
to  York University, Toronto, where he became emeritus professor in 1985."
"A colleague of Patrick's joked that he was the only man he had ever met  
who felt that he had a positive moral duty to sleep with other men's wives. 
On  hearing this, Patrick, who believed that wives were under no less an 
obligation,  joked back that, as a utilitarian, he believed that he should add 
to the sum of  human happiness - and had striven to do so. He did not always 
succeed, as he  knew very well, but the world is a more solemn place without 
"One summer's day, when Patrick was eight or nine, he went for a walk with  
his mother. They decided to take note of how many different species of wild 
 flowers they saw and counted to more than 100. He belonged to a different 
age  and a different world"
Indeed, quite a gap with D. H. Lawrence. He once asked an Italian, "What is 
 this?" in Italian. The Italian replied, "It's a flower", to Lawrence's 
upset --  he wanted to know what _type_ of flower it was.
"With his first wife, Perilla Southwell, he had three sons and a daughter,  
and with his second, Felicity Ward, he had two daughters. Both marriages 
ended  in divorce."
"This obituary has been revised since Colin Radford's death in 2001"
    Cfr. Speranza, "The Obituarist's Obituary".
What an excellent man, Colin Radford was too. Hin "How can we be moved by  
Anna Karenina" being a masterpiece. Of course it is unethical to be moved by 
a  fictional character!

J. L. Speranza

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