[hist-analytic] Hume Is Where The Heart Is
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Thu Feb 11 19:03:03 EST 2010
In a message dated 2/11/2010 5:41:18 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
rbj at rbjones.com writes:
present then nor is knowledge (for the thing we might infer because we
think it causes our sensory impressions is not actually a necessary
precondition, and therefore might not be, and therefore cannot be known
---- very good point.
I will explore the logical form behind all this. What does "cause" apply
to. Surely we have to think, if proto-Carnapian at all, in terms of Carnap's
brilliant excavations on the logic of relations in his Abriss, etc. This
branch of logic is not as required today as it was by Russell and Carnap. So
let us propose
"C" to stand for
... causes ...
EXCURSUS on the meaning of 'cause' which R. B. Jones dismisses as Oxonian
and irredeemably Oxonian at that. :):
Carnap is unclear to me in various points as to how we are supposed to deal
with this. We are supposed to get rid of ALL connotations regarding words.
But we sometimes can't. Or Kant I'd be enough of a rationalist to add. --
cfr his early example, 1937, as tr. by Ms. Smeaton, "Pirots karulize
elatically." His whole point is that the ANALYTIC necessity is of things like:
Pirots karulize elatically
A is a pirot
. . A karulizes elatically.
"For all I care," Hospers wrote, "A pirot can be a ten-story building"
(The question then is whether there was a victim as to it karulizing
elatically as it did).
--- So we better use something different than "CAUSE". Grice proposes "Fid"
"Fid" has the proper nonsensical ring to it.
He uses to express any relation
x stands in relation FID to y
-- cited by Chapman, from Grice, "How Pirots Karulize Elatically: Some
we are supposed to be wanting to introduce this into the pirot-talk, as it
were. Into our talk about causes.
--- We are at a _loss_.
Grice plays with the notion of 'consequentia', which may be weaker than
y is a consequence of x (WoW:xix)
The idea is that 'consequentia' is neutral: it can mean CAUSAL in the
proper interpretation as it relates to, I'd think Grice-Carnp-Hume would want to
say -- obbles or objects.
obble o is caused by obble o'
Fid(obble o, obble o')
Here the problem is that 'cause' is best seen as involving events. But
Grice is working with a Carnapian idea of a Predikat-Kalkuel: So we have to
define an event in terms of an obble having this or that property. Fing and
Fang, Grice suggests.
obble o is FING
obble o' is FANG
since we have to deal with variables only, we need to re-define the obble
into a predicate
OBBLE(x) --> FING(x)
the obble o is fing (the pillar box is red -- the bridge
Now we want to have
the bridge collapsed.
Is that a consequens, or a consequentia? It wouldn't matter:
the bridge's collapse was the CAUSE of Jack's death.
But what about the bridge's collapse itself? What caused it?
Here Grice plays with 'reason': "It does not seem an appropriate thing to
say that the reason why the bridge collapsed is that its structure was
basically cellophane." And if we do, we wouldn't like to say that this was a
"Bad" reason. "Bad reason" as applied to the realm of causes, sounds VERY
Harsh. Where this is a serious criterion for Grice (as it was for all his
beloved empiricists, Berkeley here) to reject the claim.
So the collapse of the bridge is a token of an event. What is the structure
in terms of x?
BRIDGEx AND COLLAPSEDx.
i.e. We cannot introduce --> here, which is Hume's point. Hume knew we
can't and we do know we can't. All we can do is state that the bridge
At this point Romano Harre and Mardsen walk in. They want to say that, in
spite of all that Hume convinced a few about, things, obbles, have CAUSAL
powers. It's not just
--- where all we can gather is this 'temporal sequence' alla Mill's methods
We want to say that something CAUSED something else.
This, I gather, was part of Hume's problem. When you have spent a few
studying the idiocies by Aristotle on this (substratum, hypokheimenon, aition
telos, and all the dunsical tr. into the Latina Lingua) you read Hume and
it's exhilaratingly Scots!
So, I think Hume is criticising the Scholastics's use of 'causa'. I
wouldn't think he cared for the scientist's occasional misuse of 'causalist'
talk, because, other than Boyle, etc. there were not that many scientists around
But now, Grice is protesting, "they seem to be ALL OVER THE PLACE!".
"Surely we can't have that!"
J. L. Speranza
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