[hist-analytic] I Shall, But I Won´t

jlsperanza at aol.com jlsperanza at aol.com
Sat Jan 2 09:58:39 EST 2010

I was marvelled to learn that Bayne included in his fascinating papers 
found online in his fascinating site a publication by B. Aune, a rev. 
version of his essay in _Theory and Decision_, vol. 20 -- where he 
refers amongst many other interesting things to what I call, I have to 
call it somehow, the Pears quadruple:

  I shall but I won´t
  I will but I shan´t
  I shan´t but I will
  I won´t but I shall
   etc. -- Call it a duplex if you think the latter two and the former 
two are identical in truth-conditions, as I think they are.

Aune refers to ´stilted´ English. I don´t use ´stilted´. I mean I do 
use stiled English, all the time -- call it ¨my mother´s influence¨ -- 
and my nanny´s, who was always reprimanding me unless I ´went´, ¨Shall 
I?" (or on occasions, ¨Shall we dance?¨ or shorter, ¨Shall we?".

Aune prefers "I will" as an expression of intention in his standard 
formulation, which is very fine, for as Grice says, "If you can´t put 
it in symbols, it´s not worth saying" (obit of Strawson, The Times).

Oh, I forgot to say I like stilted cheese, if that helps.

Anyway, Aune refers to Follett. Follett wrote on "American English" to 
which Aune refers for the shall/will distinction, as discussed by 
Grice, Intention and Uncertainty ("not all English speakers are as 
careful as they should be; I know I´m not", or words to that 
perlocutionary effect), the wiki entry for ´future tense´ and Pears, I 
hope, in Predicting and Deciding.

This is a rushed note, since I have to take care of the Swimming Pool 
Library, but will come back to this. I recommend all listers to have a 
good look at Aune´s fascinating paper then. Till then,


J. L. Speranza
 for the Grice Club, etc.

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