[hist-analytic] Reciprocity: Rousseau vs. Locke
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Mon Jan 25 14:34:27 EST 2010
In a message dated 1/25/2010 1:14:20 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
Baynesr at comcast.net writes:
/Locke divide with respect to
reciprocity. If anyone knows of a literature detailing
the difference please let me know.
R. Hall KNOWS _all_ the literature concerning Locke. He is, after all, the
editor of one of the most charming philosophical journals ever invented,
founded, and published in England: The Locke Newsletter. I brought up reading
I think Locke is THE liberalist _par excellence_.
My paper published for "Jabberwocky" was mainly about Lewis Carroll -- but
also about John Locke. Hey, after all both were "Students" of Christ
My paper uses "liberalism" but in a jocular vein. You see, Jonathan
Bennett (the genius born in New Zealand) has his commentary on Locke. But he also
was a Gricean at weekends. He has this essay on Grice for the "Foundations
of Language" journal, which he called
Drawing on Bennett, I called Locke-Carroll-Grice views meaning-LIBERALISM.
For Bennett, meaning nominalism amounts to the mere belief that the meaning
of a TOKEN is prior to the meaning of a TYPE.
Meaning LIBERALISM, on the other hand, opposes itself to a monster created
by A. G. N. Flew (a tutee of Grice, as it happens): "meaning ANARCHISM", on
the one hand -- Flew's reference to Humpty Dumpty as a meaning-anarchist
in a footnote to his Language and Logic series. On the other hand, meaning
LIBERALISM contrasts with Meaning-SOCIALISM.
I never met a meaning-socialist, unless I count a philosopher or two whom I
met who referred to 'language' or the 'dictionary' as an institution.
So LIBERALISM stands as the mesotes or golden means between these two
(the realm of reciprocity)
I was fascinated to trace the LIBERAL roots of Locke on meaning.
His liberal views on contract, social contract (or pact, as he prefers),
his views on tolerance, his defence of private property, are all well known,
if difficult to analyse in detail. But his views of meaning. Why are they
Well, there's the notion of freedom. Unless you use 'freedom', you are not
a real liberal. And Locke does. There is this passage in Essay Concerning
Human(e) Understanding (the fascimile of the original read "Humane", not
"Human" -- this always amused me) where he claims that
"every speaker has the FREEDOM to make
his words stand for any ideas he pleases"
This is the ad-placitum of the mediaevalists, but with a twist.
So far so good.
But Bennett in his _Locke_ book, goes on to provide a further Gricean, or
paleo-Gricean link. This freedom is somewhat limited by the reciprocity that
the speaker (or utterer) creates with his addressee. There is some
primitive conception of the role that the belief on the part of the addressee that
the utterer will be held to entertain this or that idea that prevails.
It's not surprising then that Alston, in his "Philosophy of Language"
cares to cite Grice (and this is 1962 or 1964) in a footnote to his chapter on
Locke. "A modern version of the ideationist view of language is found in
On the other hand, Rousseau, as Bayne knows, is ALL about pity,
benevolence, and ... more pity!
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