[hist-analytic] Carnap And Grice Play Deontics

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Tue Mar 2 18:40:37 EST 2010


In a message dated 3/2/2010 rbj at rbjones.com writes:

"We can expect difficulties with Carnap if Grice leans toward 
Davidson.  ...You make Grice sound more like a utilitarian than a 
deontologist. (a  deontological utilitarian perhaps)."

Sure. He was there to _calculate_ things. Stalnaker does think Grice was an 
 utilitarian at heart -- a closet utilitarian. By the 1980s, utilitarian 
had  turned, as Grice said "metaphysics" in the 1950) a 'term of abuse'! I 
have  discussed these things with Stalnaker face-to-face when we were both at 
Yale for  a colloquium -- he teaches in Massachusets -- we were referring to 
his  contribution to "The thought of Paul Grice", a symposium  held at the 
A. P.  A. (Eastern Division, in NYC, held by J. F. Bennett as Chair, and the 
comment by  R. Warner on Stalnaker's contribution). 
 
----- I would think Davidson is a pretty good guide to immerse in what  
Carnap said about probability-things. Davidson is more of (or was more of) a  
Carnapian than he was a Gricean, so do not fear! Grice could play the  
calculation game well, because he wanted to _refine_ calculatory (?) analyses.  So 
he'll refine things like "ATC" (all things considered), basis for  
probability-ascriptions, and so on. The issues with morality proper we can  defer. 
But in any case, the idea is to extend at least, for Grice, the  'probably,' 
to the 'desirably'. He wants to play the WHOLE game: not just  theoretical 
rationality, "Probably, it will rain"; but the 'practical  rationality' side 
to the game too, "Desirably, if agent A wills the end, agent A  will will 
the means". What Carnap says about acceptance of 'rational' belief out  of 
rational choce, as based on probability (subjective probability) judgements  
may relate in this area, as I hope it _will_! It should all be fun! You don't  
mind, never! Cheers. J. L. Speranza



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