[hist-analytic] Reciprocity: Rousseau vs. Rawls: Re: Hobbesian
jlsperanza at aol.com
jlsperanza at aol.com
Mon Jan 11 22:16:03 EST 2010
From: Baynesr at comcast.net
To: hist-analytic <hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk>
Sent: Mon, Jan 11, 2010 9:13 pm
Subject: Reciprocity: Rousseau vs. Rawls: Re: Hobbesian
Now back to the philosophy. What does this
What this entails is that a social contract based on pity as Rousseau
describes it is not suffient to entail reciprocity among those covered
by the "contract." Moreover, pity is not a political virtue; it is a
virtue. However, for Rawls a political conception of justice entails
reciprocity: whence the clash between Rousseau and Rawls on reciprocity.
Some excellent thoughts in that post, Steve. Congrats. I will get back
to the formal aspects as time goes by, as they say. I´m glad you took
the "amorous" thing seriously, and I enjoyed your epistemic (I would
prefer, "doxastic", since they seem to imply ´doxa´ or belief, rather
than episteme proper) considerations.
I am still thinking about these issues, and I´m glad you found my
thinking energetic. I was wondering about the somewhat odious use, by
philosophers, of "objectivity" and the fact that they think that
"inter-subjectivity" is all one may aim at. (I´m thinking of social
philosophers of sorts). It would seem that this "inter-", in the
inter-subjectivity refers back to my idea of "two´s company", i.e. that
MUTUAL reciprocity is indeed dyadic, as it were. But when you speak of
the Golden Rule, etc, I would not think that moralists or political
philosophers who discussed issues of Hobbesian state of nature did
consider, as you say, and I agree with you, this "inter-subjectivity"
and went directly to some "collective" ´sense´ of the "social", rather
than intersubjective, contract.
My thoughts of a Gricean nature have changed slightly after reading
Chapman´s bio, which appeared only in 2006. She was able to uncover the
original "Logic and Conversation" lectures that Grice kept in Berkeley,
although they were handwritten (and tenuously so, if that´s the word)
by Grice while in Oxford and lecturing on this -- as University
Lecturer for the whole uni of Oxford -- back in 1966.
In these 1966, "Logic and Conversation", predating by a year his
official William James Lectures with the same title of 1967, Grice is
not yet clear about the Maxims of Conversation and the Four
Conversational Categories, which he draws from Kant.
Instead, he seems to have been more charmingly confused. There were
´desiderata´, Chapman claims, and notable mentions of a Principle of
Benevolence, versus a Principle of Self-Love. I will get back with the
good quotes on this, since in any case, Self-Love has such a Hobbesian
ring to it, that I find irrepressibly charming.
(Recall that Grice was tutoring Strawson in his P. P. E. programme,
Philosophy, Politics and Economics, back in the early 40s, so he,
Grice, would be aware of much of the political philosophy expected from
someone engaged in the provision of such a programme).
When I was studying "Philosophical Anthropology" -- there is such a
thing, as taught by my mentor Mainetti, he edited his own views on what
he called ¨Homo infirmus¨, and we studied Hobbes´s
homo hominis lupus
quite a bit, so one cannot be wrong about the self-love thing.
I also enjoyed your thoughts about survival, as it were, where the
individuals are merely struggling for continued operancy, as Grice
calls it. (A non-operant one being a dead one).
I will revise your thoughts about reciprocity, as they involve the
"erotic" relationship -- is "mutual" necessarily involving, two? I
would think so -- cfr. Smith, Mutual Knowledge, Academic Press,
containing Grice, Meaning Revisited. I have written quite a bit about
this after a seminar I had to endure on a topic. In some postmodern
quarters it´s all about reciprocal intersubjectivity of the mutual gaze
of erotic desire, and some such big words.
Again, I would assume that when you speak of Bill and Mary KNOWING this
or that, you would be happy with a weaker "assuming" or "believing"
this or that, but you may require the factivity of ´know´ for your
subsequent analyses. I will have to check that.
In any case, wouldn´t a good contract involve more than reciprocal
actions? It seems that few of our social actions are ´reciprocal´ in
the strict ´sense´-- i.e. only sense -- of the term.
I love the word "altruism", but one has to remember that "alter" is the
other, and the alter ego is for Aristotle the friend. One friend too
many, would be Aristotle´s word for a man who alleges to have more than
ONE friend. Odd that. Apparently Judith Baker was fascinated by this,
and Grice, WoW, credits her in his Eschatology essay, on her exegesis
of alter ego in Aristotle.
Of course, the otherness of alterity can be extended to a plurarity of
others, but for some reason, the postmoderns prefer to stick to The
Other, rather than the others. Odd that.
I will reconsider your views on obligation, and I enjoyed your
mentioning of OWING something. Indeed, I was fascinated to discover,
some time ago, that "OUGHT", that Hare worshipped so, is indeed the
mere past form preterite of OWE. So, owing seems to be the kernel
notion that should be sufficient for what we are considering here.
I enjoy your criticism of Rawls. I don´t know much about his
motivations for his "Justice". I am NOT familiar with the Harvard scene
and how Rawls fit. I recall that his polemic with Nozick seems to have
been a good one, and for some reason, I found Nozick fun to read the
Rousseau was possibly confused. Indeed, pity seems to be a good one.
And again, I don´t think he cared to distinguish between various levels
of contracting or pacting -- social, political, or what have you --
even moral, or legal.
Grice on types of priority may be of use here. When Rawls speaks of
political, I read, "legalistic", and when he opposes it to "moral" I
think of Grice on "legal" versus "moral". Grice allows that while the
legal ought may be epistemically prior to the moral ought, this should
not entail that it is also ontologically prior. There are types of
priority. Rawls´s concerns with metaphysical excrescences, as Grice
would put it, seems to be a feature of much of the American pragmatist
scene to which Rawls may have belonged. Even in Oxford, Grice would
love to recall, "metaphysics" was a term of disrespect -- and D. F.
Pears had to gather a few Oxonians to prove otherwise to the audience
of the Third Programme (¨The nature of metaphysics", 1957, containing
Grice on metaphysics).
But metaphysics is of course what you make of it. And I cannot read any
of Rawls (his emblematic veil of ignorance, for example) without trying
to go further than his "Methodological" restrictions and well into
The difference between Rousseau and Hobbes, too, seems to be one of
analytic minds. The French tradition seems to have been less interested
in sufficient-necessary conditional analysis of concepts. (Is there a
French analytic philosophical tradition, one wonders?). And let´s
recall in any case that Rousseau was a Swiss rather than French.
Oddly, the Romans cannot think of Hobbes, homo hominis lupus. They love
a lupus, or rather a lupa, as the founder of their civilisation is
called. Some say, though, that lupa is in Old Roman a euphemism for
´prostitute´ for that is the woman who nurtured Romulus and Remus back
in the day (of Aeneas). Lupi (wolves) can show a lot of pity, too -- in
spite of Hobbes!
The Judaeo-Christian basis of Hobbes is obvious in his choice of
"Leviathan" as title? I forget. I wish that book had been more
influential where I come from than good ole Rousseau, I say!
J. L. Speranza
for the Grice Circle, etc.
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