[hist-analytic] Carnap And Grice Play Deontics

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Mon Mar 1 14:05:50 EST 2010


In a message dated 3/1/2010 1:19:39   rbj at rbjones.com writes:
"I confess that this is highly speculative. I am  extrapolating his methods 
into application areas he did 
not  entertain."

Thanks, and thanks to S. R. Bayne, too, for the ref. to the  work on Hare 
by Vranas. --.

I enjoyed R. B. Jones's discussion of the  Logical versus what he calls "M" 
for moral 'rules' in a game of 'deontics'. I  would restrict the "M" for 
'meaning'! Seeing that both Carnap and Grice use the  "m" for meaning, too 
(Carnap's "meaning-postulates", Grice's "M-Intentions").  

A few further points:  

i. I was looking online at various documents, and, I may have shared this  
with CarnapCorner.blogspot, but there was this pdf.doc by (I think) this  
contributor to recent work on Carnap, regarding the idea that "science" is  
usually _not_ a primitive, or 'datum' in Carnap. It is _usually_ understood  
that, e.g., the criteria (however practical) in deciding whether to choose 
this  or that language _are_ such that 'science' is _meant_, but this author 
was  pointing to the explicit lack, as it were, of such 'tag' in Carnap's 
discourse.  Will see if I can retrieve it.
 
ii. I am currently discussing Grice's taking up of this marvelous work by  
Carnap on "Ramsey sentence". And it may deal, as I hope it does, with R. B.  
Jones's point about the "M-rules", as Jones calls them -- but where it 
merely  stipulates, say, the operator "P" -- it is permissible that... -- or "O" 
-- it  is obligatory that... -Suppose "He who wills the end wills the 
means". Suppose  we see it as somewhat "deontic". If A finds it obligatory to 
pursue end, A finds  it obligatory to implement means. Surely caeteris paribus. 
But the point I was  making has to do with this rule of "Empirical 
Psychology", Grice has it -- I  forget the name of the 'law', but he says "is is (or 
was) a law of Empirical  Psychology". You gotta love a man who writes of 
laws as being or having-been!  Anyway, the point concerns the 'analyticity' 
(alleged) of this or that  'generalisation', call it empirical -- or 
observational (perhaps better).   Ramsey and Carnap and Grice seem to be saying that 
for ANY  'observational-language', say, it may be held that any 
'generalisation' yields  --. Hence the need of Carnap to narrow the desiderata of Ramsey 
sentences to  deal with 'hypothetical' cases.  So, the choice of "He who 
wills the end,  wills the means" _as_ 'analytic' will be part (and parcel) of 
what the _speaker_  of the language is establishing. And so: even in the 
realm _other_ than  'assertoric' logic as it were, it would not easy to 
distinguish between those  claims we dub 'analytic' from those we don't. I'm 
speaking VERY vaguely! (Bear  with me, till I can clarify, or as Carnap would have 
it, self-explicate!)
 
iii. Carnap does explicitly argue, I would think, that Morals (or what  
would stand as such) would _be_ a branch of "Empirical Psychology" (phrase as 
we  see, used by Grice), so the topic may have broader consequences. Consider 
 Hintikka's doxastic claims
    (Bel(A, p) & Bel(A, p-->q)) ---caet.par.--->  B(A, q)
Grice wants to say this belongs to "rational" psychology, rather than  
"empirical" psychology, but there may be connections. Carnap did work  
extensively on the 'pragmatics' as he called it, of 'belief and  assertion'.
 
iv. Grice discusses at length Davidson's playing with "ATC" -- all things  
considered and caeteris-paribus generalisations which _are_ contingent and  
synthetic, but also with some which we 'entrench' as 'analytic'. Since 
Carnap  did work so extensively on probability, I'm sure Grice would look for 
THAT work.  Anything of importance that Grice wants to say about 'desirability' 
(which for  him yields 'morality') he is careful enough to find an analogue 
in terms of  'probability'. In fact this amused me once, because Levinson, 
in his textbook of  pragmatics ("Pragmatics", Cambridge University Press -- 
and Levinson has  discussed Carnap extensively vis a vis Carnap/Bar-Hillel 
along with Atlas)  quotes Grice 1973 as being, "Probability, Defeasibility 
and mood operators"  where it is actually, the mimeo goes, as cited by 
Grice/Baker in  Vermazen/Hintikka, "Probability, _Desirability_ and mood operators."
 
Etc. 
Cheers,
 
J. L. Speranza



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