[hist-analytic] Tarski, Carnap and Grice on "snow is white"

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Fri Mar 5 01:57:39 EST 2010



In a message dated 3/4/2010 7:42:57 A.M.  Eastern Standard Time, 
rbj at rbjones.com writes:
That sounds very  intemperate.
How about:
"snow" means the same as  "snow"?

----  

I see. And we can also play with
 
"snow is white or it isn't" (L-analytic)
 
or "if snow is white, snow is white (L-analytic)
 
"if snow is white and grass is green, grass is green and snow is white"  
(L-analytic).
 
Indeed, there are various analytic things one can say with something that,  
at the meta-language may be synthetic. Interesting. 
 
One bit where neo-Carnap might like to consider Grice is in the  
specification of 'sentence' ('snow is white') to _utterance_ ('snow is white',  token, 
rather than type). Grice must have inherited this from his pupil  Strawson, 
who couldn't stand a sentence!
 
Grice writes in section on Truth in WoW:iii, p. 56
 
"My sympathies don't lie with Strawson's Ramsey-based redundance-theory of  
truth, but rather with Tarski's theory of correspondence" (he had just 
cited on  the previous page). (or words). He goes on to claim his trust in the 
feasibility  of such a theory:
 
"it is possible to construct a theory
which treats truth as (primarily) a
property, not 'true' but 'factually satisfactory'."
 
I see that point above as merely verbal and not involving any serious  
threat.
 
"Let me ALSO assume that it will be
a CONSEQUENCE [theorem. JLS] of
such a theory that there will be a class
K of utterances (utterances of affirmative
subject-predicate sentences --
 
[  snow is white   JLS ]
 
) such that 
 
 
    Every member of K
 
 
"(1) designates [or refers to. JLS]
some item and indicates [or predicates. JLS]
some CLASS (these verbs to be 
explained within the theory)."
 
and
 
"(2) is factually satisfactory if 
the item belongs to the class."
 
"Let me finally assume that there can be
a method of introducign a form of 
expression, 'it is true that ...' and linking
it with the notion 'factually satisfactory',
a consequence of which will be that to say
'it is true that Smith is happy' will be
equivalent to saying that ANY utterance
of class K which designates Smith and
indicates the class of happy people is 
factually satisfactory (that is, any utterance
which assigns Smith to the class of happy
people is factually satisfactory."
 
Cheers,
 
J. L. Speranza



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