[hist-analytic] Grice´s Highway Code

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Sat Jan 9 19:31:02 EST 2010



JL 


"forget who the editor for the Oxford Readings in Philosophy´s 
volume for Political Philosophy" 

That would be Sir Anthony Quinton. Isn't he librarian, or was, at Bodelian? 
In any case, this is a perticularly good anthology. I read a number of essays 
a long while ago, but I'm going to be returning to this. Carritt's "Liberty 
and Equality" will be among the first on my list, since it's implications 
for Rawls (the second principle qualifies the first as equality may
qualify liberty) is crucial. Also, the essays by Benn on "Sovereignty" etc.   

I'll attempt to soothe your concern over essentialism with an account 
of Lewis's take on the difference between conventions and the social 
contract. He's really very intersting. If there have been good criticisms, 
someone let me know on or offlist. Also, Grice is defensible on "code." 

I'll try getting back; but right now I'm taking a closer look at reciprocity; 
oddly (?) it seems rooted in Biblical texts, at least insofar as it has 
influenced the west. The nature of reciprocity is, of course, clear in Kant. 
Alan Donagan supplies a basis I think for making a connection. 

Regards 

Steve 






--- On Sat, 1/9/10, jlsperanza at aol.com <jlsperanza at aol.com> wrote: 



From: jlsperanza at aol.com <jlsperanza at aol.com> 
Subject: Grice´s Highway Code 
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk 
Date: Saturday, January 9, 2010, 5:33 PM 




-----Original Message----- 
From: steve bayne < baynesrb at yahoo.com > 
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk 
Sent: Sat, Jan 9, 2010 3:45 pm 
Subject: Re: The arbitrariness of convention: revisited 
JL, 
Yes, you are absolutely right. I was unclear on what you meant 
exactly but your point is well taken. 
It may be a non-arbitrary decision whether to have traffic 
rules, or conventions, but it is arbitrary as to _which_ 
conventions to adopt. This is the fundamental difference 
between convention for Lewis and contract. In social contract 
there are no alternatives; that is, there is only the state of 
nature or the social contract, unlike the case of traffic laws. 
Take a look at Lewis _Convention_ p. 96 for the point your 
raise. 
  
--- 

Thanks for the reference. A note on my Deutero-Esperanto, too. I title this Grice´s Highway Code, since I´m taking very seriously your ref., which I missed on first reading your post, to the traffic rules, and my fishing. 

If a native of this land where the fishing poles _have_ to be ´red´ tells us that there is a ¨reason¨ for it, I think we would feel uncomfortable to find this ´conventional´ then. It wouldn´t be arbitrary enough. 

Grice considers, funnily, himself laying in his bathtub and composing a new Highway Code -- in Deutero-Esperanto, I would imagine. This in WoW, lecture 6 -- I think ALL of Grice´s output originated as lecture. Odd that, but a nice colloquial ring to all he writes --. 

He is considering ´procedures´ and finds it otiose to refer to actual (vs. potential) regularities. So he has himself inventing the new highway code (cfr. Bayne´s ref. to traffic rules above) as involving a procedure or set of procedures that a would-be agent would abide by. I found that very funny always. 

I learned to drive, and got my license, too, while in the USA. I THINK the driving instructor told me that ´red´ -- we spent so much time together that he became a Gricean of sorts -- is not ARBITRARILY the sign for ´stop´-It naturally means, to echo Grice, ´danger´. I´m less sure about yellow. In fact, L. J. Kramer, who lives in NY, told me that originally yellow was not even there. 

I think what you say is very true. I don´t know about the times of Hobbes -- horse-driven carriages I assume -- and before that, the state of nature -- but once you have automobiles, some rules or agreed-on ´code´or what you may call it, seems, pace the Italians -- hey I´m one! -- sort of necessary! 

I recall discussing this, oddly, with T. Wharton -- he credits me in his "Pragmatics and Non-Verbal Communication¨, fresh from CUP -- and his offense at the word ´code´. But there was Grice calling his thing a ¨new Highway Code¨. So perhaps ´code´ is a good word, after all, for this kind of agreed-on procedures. 

Of course a highway code is not _moral_ so we may assume that it may include a rule (so-called) that applies only to the monarch, the sovereign individual, or an ambulance. 

When we get to contracts that matter, I´m not sure about your ´no choice´ about the ´state of nature´. There seems to be an essentialism involved, if I understood your exegesis aright, that man is a ´social´ animal (zoon politikon of Aristotle). So that a man who does not engage in some kind of ´political´involvement is not yet human enough. But Guariglia, my teacher in ethics, always got irritated by Aristotle on slavery on this -- and he even has some nasty things to say about illegal Greeks, living in Athens! 

But in any case, one would need to consider the Robinson-Crusoe scenarios familar with philosophers. The man who does not renew his ´social contract´ and finds that it´s thanks God it´s Friday! 

Are there good philosophical essays on Robinson-Crusoe. I think DeFoe was a genius that invented him! (I mean, other than private-language arguments I´ve seen). 

I forget who the editor for the Oxford Readings in Philosophy´s volume for Political Philosophy is. But what a great subject that is, and what a long, even Oxonian, philosophical tradition, about it! Sometimes I wish Grice would have been more involved in that, rather than his cursory ref. to Oxonian ´pinko politics´! (or his reference to Wilson and Heath in WoW, iv -- vide Chapman for Grice´s updating the names of the candidates for prime-ministers, _Grice_, Macmillan, for this). 

Cheers, 

J. L. Speranza 
   for the Grice Club 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: jlsperanza at aol.com 
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk 
Sent: Saturday, January 9, 2010 5:33:33 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern 
Subject: Grice´s Highway Code 



-----Original Message----- 
From: steve bayne <baynesrb at yahoo.com> 
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk 
Sent: Sat, Jan 9, 2010 3:45 pm 
Subject: Re: The arbitrariness of convention: revisited 
JL, 
Yes, you are absolutely right. I was unclear on what you meant 
exactly but your point is well taken. 
It may be a non-arbitrary decision whether to have traffic 
rules, or conventions, but it is arbitrary as to _which_ 
conventions to adopt. This is the fundamental difference 
between convention for Lewis and contract. In social contract 
there are no alternatives; that is, there is only the state of 
nature or the social contract, unlike the case of traffic laws. 
Take a look at Lewis _Convention_ p. 96 for the point your 
raise. 
  
--- 

Thanks for the reference. A note on my Deutero-Esperanto, too. I title 
this Grice´s Highway Code, since I´m taking very seriously your ref., 
which I missed on first reading your post, to the traffic rules, and my 
fishing. 

If a native of this land where the fishing poles _have_ to be ´red´ 
tells us that there is a ¨reason¨ for it, I think we would feel 
uncomfortable to find this ´conventional´ then. It wouldn´t be 
arbitrary enough. 

Grice considers, funnily, himself laying in his bathtub and composing a 
new Highway Code -- in Deutero-Esperanto, I would imagine. This in WoW, 
lecture 6 -- I think ALL of Grice´s output originated as lecture. Odd 
that, but a nice colloquial ring to all he writes --. 

He is considering ´procedures´ and finds it otiose to refer to actual 
(vs. potential) regularities. So he has himself inventing the new 
highway code (cfr. Bayne´s ref. to traffic rules above) as involving a 
procedure or set of procedures that a would-be agent would abide by. I 
found that very funny always. 

I learned to drive, and got my license, too, while in the USA. I THINK 
the driving instructor told me that ´red´ -- we spent so much time 
together that he became a Gricean of sorts -- is not ARBITRARILY the 
sign for ´stop´-It naturally means, to echo Grice, ´danger´. I´m less 
sure about yellow. In fact, L. J. Kramer, who lives in NY, told me that 
originally yellow was not even there. 

I think what you say is very true. I don´t know about the times of 
Hobbes -- horse-driven carriages I assume -- and before that, the state 
of nature -- but once you have automobiles, some rules or agreed-on 
´code´or what you may call it, seems, pace the Italians -- hey I´m one! 
-- sort of necessary! 

I recall discussing this, oddly, with T. Wharton -- he credits me in 
his "Pragmatics and Non-Verbal Communication¨, fresh from CUP -- and 
his offense at the word ´code´. But there was Grice calling his thing a 
¨new Highway Code¨. So perhaps ´code´ is a good word, after all, for 
this kind of agreed-on procedures. 

Of course a highway code is not _moral_ so we may assume that it may 
include a rule (so-called) that applies only to the monarch, the 
sovereign individual, or an ambulance. 

When we get to contracts that matter, I´m not sure about your ´no 
choice´ about the ´state of nature´. There seems to be an essentialism 
involved, if I understood your exegesis aright, that man is a ´social´ 
animal (zoon politikon of Aristotle). So that a man who does not engage 
in some kind of ´political´involvement is not yet human enough. But 
Guariglia, my teacher in ethics, always got irritated by Aristotle on 
slavery on this -- and he even has some nasty things to say about 
illegal Greeks, living in Athens! 

But in any case, one would need to consider the Robinson-Crusoe 
scenarios familar with philosophers. The man who does not renew his 
´social contract´ and finds that it´s thanks God it´s Friday! 

Are there good philosophical essays on Robinson-Crusoe. I think DeFoe 
was a genius that invented him! (I mean, other than private-language 
arguments I´ve seen). 

I forget who the editor for the Oxford Readings in Philosophy´s volume 
for Political Philosophy is. But what a great subject that is, and what 
a long, even Oxonian, philosophical tradition, about it! Sometimes I 
wish Grice would have been more involved in that, rather than his 
cursory ref. to Oxonian ´pinko politics´! (or his reference to Wilson 
and Heath in WoW, iv -- vide Chapman for Grice´s updating the names of 
the candidates for prime-ministers, _Grice_, Macmillan, for this). 

Cheers, 

J. L. Speranza 
    for the Grice Club 




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