[hist-analytic] The Play Group: D. F. Pears
jlsperanza at aol.com
jlsperanza at aol.com
Thu Dec 24 23:49:25 EST 2009
This is in memoriam. Pears, who died in July 2009, is a very important
figure, in MY opinion, and others's, in the history of analytic philosophy. The
Guardian obit has him as an "unsung hero", but that's a hateful phrase.
My, give me a sung hero anyday. He cut a handsome figure, and I'm pleased
that the photograph of his smart self graces the common room at Christ Church
He collaborated with Grice in a paper that SHOULD be added should PGRICE
gets a reprint! That's "Metaphysics", 1957 (co-authored Grice/Strawson/Pears)
in Pears, very own, "The nature of metaphysics", 1955 Third programme
lecturers aptly transcribed and published by David Francis (P).
He would go on citing Grice -- and indeed, it was by courtesy of yours
truly that Pears is credited as an early user of "implicature" in the online
OED3 (quoting from his "Ifs and cans" -- a classic). But he'd also refer to
Grice in various publications -- the best included in his Duckworth
"Questions in the philosophy of mind" -- a must for those who look for a coherent
theory of the mind by Oxonian philosophers and fail --. A notable quote
comes from his "Motivated irrationality" when he reports Grice as protesting
the theory of conversational implicature as being "too social to be true"
when seen it applied by, of all people, Davidson, in his account -- failed one
-- of "I shall but I won't" or "I will but I shan't".
Grice in turn would quote Pears pervasively. My favourite of the Pears
quotes by Grice is in "Intention and Uncertainty". Pears had indeed preceded
Grice as Henriette Herz lecturer, so it was only appropriate that Grice would
find a formidable way to end his talk by changing the topic from
historical Prichard to the ever more contemporary Pears "and his work on the
predictability of our decisions".
There are some places that ONE associates with the Play Group: the Lamb and
Flag, the Bird and Baby, St. John's itself, -- and now, we add: the long
peripathetic walks in the Meadows, that Pears knew so well...
A checklist of Pears' publications could only go to show what a genial,
broad-minded interested, interesting philosopher (and more: he
butterfly-collected) he was.
J. L. Speranza
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the hist-analytic