[hist-analytic] Carnap's Bootstrap, Pulled Up By Grice
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sun Feb 28 17:24:56 EST 2010
In a message dated 2/28/2010 4:42:35 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
rbj at rbjones.com writes:
Carnap argued in Meaning and Necessity that an extensional
metalanguage would suffice for the intensional object
languages which he deals with in that book, but I'm not
aware of him having offered a more general argument.
I would suggest we consider, somewhat seriously, the half page Grice
devotes to Bootstrap, in "Reply to Richards" google.books.
He never claimed to have _proved_ it, but surely neo-Grice can do that, 'at
one fell swoop' as he'd say.
The thing is _bound_ to please neo-Carnap (or not entirely displease him!)
When getting tired of people ab-using 'meta-', I took the time to consult
the OED, and R. Hall may have been my benign demon, we find the first use
to go to Lord Russell, which is VERY respectable indeed. He coined the
thing, and he coined the uglier thing, the
My litmus test is: you know a philosopher is serious when he does use
'object-language'. By this Russell may have meant, language _as_ object or
universe of discourse, or domain, of a meta-language (alla Boole, Jevons, etc.),
rather than anything fancier -- i.e. that it is the language of _objects_!
So back to Carnap and Grice.
What "Bootstrap" states is that the meta-language can NEVER be so much
richer than the object-language, because you may not, tomorrow, be able to pull
up by your own bootstraps, and we don't want that.
How this connects with Carnap:
FL-1 Anything goes. Anything-Goism. Intensional isomorphisms,
anything is pretty much tolerated. Surely his was not
MFL-1 i.e the meta-language for FL-1
This HAS to be 'extensional'. None of your fancy
intentional isomorphisms here, or, even 'meaning postulates'
So that is totally consistent with Grice.
What Grice may have found offense in would be:
meta-language: whatever; intentionsional;
intensional isomorphisms, etc.
There are more applied aspects to this.
E.g. Grice's theory of meaning! After all, it is the received (by
Bennett), if wrong, view that we have some sort of historical development or crisis
Meaning and Necessity
. Grice, "Meaning"
(You Know Who
Thinking This Dogmatic)
. . . . . Grice/Strawson
coming to defend
I.e. Bennett sees Grice/Strawson as _needing_ a theory of 'meaning' to be
able to defend the under-dog of the 'meaning' postulate. But Grice had said
'... means ...' is INTENTIONAL. So:
object-language: x means y
metalanguage: A intends B
And 'intend' is NOT extensional!
But this would not be a problem for Grice his qualm is with a
Meta-Language which is UNABLE to be reduced to the Object-Language. And "intentional"
talk _is_ soluble in (more) "intentional" talk.
------ So much for the object-language/meta-language distinction, but more
later, I hope.
J. L. Speranza
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