[hist-analytic] Carnap and Grice and Absolutism
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Thu Feb 25 19:48:20 EST 2010
In a message dated 2/25/2010 6:23:12 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
rbj at rbjones.com writes:
I think there is probably an interesting discussion to be
had on extensionalism. Starting with "what is it?" in
Grice's mind (or his words).
Sure, and I'll defer comments on your brilliant post for later, I hope.
I think there's some stuff on Extensionalism in hist-anal files already.
Grice starts his discussion with things like
A: Why is that pillar box called 'red'?
Because it is red.
B: Why is that man called "Paul Grice"?
Because he is Paul Grice.
--- but I'll have to revise. (especially the first; the second I'm pretty
sure about). He wants to say that the answers may run along different
Then he proposes things like:
daughters of a Pope an English queen
I think is the example.
The idea being: "none" -- null set.
For this he proposes ways out, in terms of 'relations'. It should be all in
google.books, "Reply To Richards", PGRICE. And it's then from his earlier
1984 or so, "Prejudices and predilections, which becomes the life and
opinions of Paul Grice" by Paul Grice.
I loved your "absolute". For indeed we do have Absolutism!
--- This reminds me of Gr91: Conception of Value, that is. This is indeed
Gr82, the Paul Carus Lectures. In the first or second lecture he tracks
Mackie and proposes some interesting dichotomies which I have elaborated on in
posts to Analytic or when the thing was with Vanegas.
absolute vs. relative
monism vs. pluralism (dualism as pluralism)
objective vs. relative
--- etc. so one may need to be careful.
As for a stricter def. of Extensionalism, this SHOULD NOT Be a problem for
Carnap, since he was indeed famous for defending intensional contexts. His
method of intensional isomorphism has been, I think, thus called, too,
defended by Levinson _contra_ Grice. I will be brief, but the idea is that (I
will work on predicate calculus, but if you add quantified formulae, the
effect may be the same)
p v -q
p --> q
are truth-functionally equivalent. So, in a way, in terms of 'what-is-said'
(favoured use), one can think of a Gricean arguing that (especially is we
are, as you are, into strict deductive systems) a person who is committed
to the former will need, as it stands to reason, committed to the latter.
The thing of course gets more complicated when we do use the vernacular NL,
'if', e.g. which some claim NOT to be truth-functional and Grice suspects it
is NOT truth-functional for tenses other than those of the indicative
(title of his WoW:iv, "INDICATIVE" conditionals).
But the _form_ of each is different. So it would be as if
He said that p v -q
He said that if p, q
would report different things. Etc
So, I have seen something like a pro-Carnapian into 'intensional
isomorphisms' claiming that such a 'liberal' approach to 'what-is-said' is
Grice uses 'intension' on occasion, as in WoW:v, last paragraph, vis a vis
quantifying in, so he wasn't TROUBLED with a metaphilosophical or
methodological account that quantifies-in, even if what he wants is an
extensionalist, truth-functional approach of what is meant (at the level of what is
said). This is starting to sound obscure.
I like to quote Urmson, "Criteria of intensionality" on this front, too. To
show that Griceans or philosophers of his ilk would not have been troubled
at all by intensionalism.
In terms of Extensionalism-qua-Minimalism, the past-middle age (less
permissive) Grice of the betes noires would like to find the entity that
Extensionalism rejects that philosophers have used in explanations.
The very thing seems to be "meaning" no less!
The anti-Extensionalist is saying that meaning DOES NOT reduce to
'extension': "daughter of a Pope and a queen of England" does not have the same
meaning as "climbers of 24,000,000 ft mounts on hands and knees" (his other
example). Hence the appeal to something more basic, a pellet, I think he calls
it, a reference to 'relations', etc.
Since I agree with you that most of the most recalcitrant terms in modal
logic (Kripke's System S, eg?) can be given 'extensionalist' semantics in
terms of metalogic quantification over 'states of affairs' or 'worlds', I
can't see what's the big deal of this bete noire, or rather, what the big deal
is with the opponents (or those who get scared or challenged) by this demon
(or perilous place) on the way to the City of the Eternal Truth, as we may
say. (quoting Grice, no doubt).
So, here, the anti-bete-noirism should NOT be addressed to Carnap. I would
think that extensionalism did not feature large with vintage logical
positivism either. Aren't the early analysis of 'scentific' terms like 'fragile',
in terms of counter-factual dispositions (funk) meant as 'intensional',
too? So perhaps we have a case of a strawman. Perhaps Alonzo Church? Wouldn't
know. Can't be defenders of Hintikka's logic of epistemic attitudes, etc.
Casimir Lewy? I don't know, really.
I enjoyed your opinion that Carnap would have joined in a game of
'deontics'. Oddly, few of the betes noires allow for this fact vs. value
distinction. And Grice honoured Hume well enough to have a whole metaphysical routine
named after him (Humean Projection, in Reply To Richards) and had
furthered discussed Hume with Haugeland. So the exegesis of Grice may need a few
points here, etc.
J. L. Speranza
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