[hist-analytic] Tarski, Carnap and Grice on "snow is white": truth-bearers
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Fri Mar 5 13:10:38 EST 2010
In a message dated 3/5/2010 9:29:36 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
rbj at rbjones.com writes:
"Sentence" is problematic because you need more, so
"statement" is better, but then that is also at risk of
being thought an event. One needs a nice term-of-art for a
sentence together with sufficient context to disambiguate the
proposition it expresses.
Exactly. The idea of 'truth-bearer'. I suppose one does a search in
philosophy literature, and 'truth-bearer' HAS to come up as a 'keyword'. I mean,
what is 'truth-bearer' BUT a keyword!? Such a bit of jargon. Of course it's
the most natural English, only convoluted. And a 'bearer' is possibly, in
Canada, a breeder of bears, so one has to be careful.
There must have been a good study of this.
Indeed, 'sentence' is wrong. Tarski never used those. Satz, at most, I
would hope, and we may need to see what Polish (Slavic Language) he used for
that. The Satz is cognate with the "Saw" of Archaic English, and thus cognate
with "Say". Grice was enamoured with "Say". Hare 1945, I think -- his
thesis for Oxford -- could NOT use such Anglo-Saxonism, so he uses DICTIVE
which is very good.
So we may do to revise some of Hare's subatomic particles of logic. I have,
elsewhere, and noted the Gricean connections.
Hare disliked the dictive/dictor distinction -- which he meant to translate
Frege, and opted for Greek roots: the phrastic and the neustic. While
Grice recognises these he is going back to the dictive in Retrospective
Epilogue. "Dic-" has a good Grecian root to it. I would submit, for example, that
when they say, "master dixit", it's not merely that he (the master) _said_
it, but that he _showed_ it, indicated, inDIC-ated, and thus the master
cannot, on risk of logical contradiction on the part of the reporter, have
been wrong. (How can he indicate something if what he indicates is not out
there, somewhere -- the objection may go that he indicates a mistake, though
-- but surely we should be able to disimplicate that, or the master will!).
So I would think it's the phrastic or the dictum that are the
truth-bearers. But there are crucial problems. Grice played with the idea of a 'radix',
too -- as in chemistry -- and exegesis has it, apres Wittgenstein and
Black. But in any case, a radix CANNOT be the bearer of truth, because it's PART
of a propositional complex, not the whole hog. Perhaps going back to
Frege's analysis of the assertion sign should do here. I would think Frege would
have the judgement as truth-bearer.
Grice would allow for both judgings and 'dicta' to be truth-bearers.
His maxims conjoining 'truth': Try to make your contribution one that is
true. Do not say what you believe to be false -- are charmingly vague -- but
you see where he is leading!
Warnock has a nice piece on this, "Bristol Revisited", seeing that that
big moment was when Austin and Strawson discussed these issues -- later taken
up by Grice -- back at the Joint session of the Mind Association and the
Aristotelian Society in that charming town on the Severn.
J. L. Speranza
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