[hist-analytic] Lindsay´s Choice

jlsperanza at aol.com jlsperanza at aol.com
Mon Jan 11 09:09:26 EST 2010

Well, there´s Hobson´s Choice -- and I propose Lindsay´s choice. This 
master of Balliol thought it appropriate, as J. Heintz reminds us 
(well, not that but what PPE stands for), to open the PPE in Balliol. 
wiki has a list of PPE graduates which include:

Isaiah Berlin. Born Russia. -- founder of the old play group at Oxford, 
the birth of linguistic philosophy, as they met Tuesday evenings at 
Berlin´s rooms at All Souls.


Michael Dummett, a non-member of the new Play Group. Grice wrote a 
paper that Chapman unburies in her _Grice_. It lists three non-members: 
Dummett, Anscombe, and Murdoch. Dummett has been appreciative, though, 
of Grice, and refers to the concoction of the implicature in a number 
of places. Indeed Grice credits Dummett in WoW iv.


Susan Haack. She cites Grice in her Philosophy of Logics, and I 
actually focused one of my seminars on this textbook. She offers of 
course Grice as the classic proponent of a defender of classical logic, 
with his conversational manoeuver to account for any divergence between 
the logical formal devices and their vulgar counterparts as 
"implicatural"¨. She later became more "deviant", logically speaking.


Odd that they fail to mention Strawson, that wiki article does.

So, by the time Grice got to Oxford, the option of the PPE was there, 
but he would never opt for it, having come as a "Scholarship" boy fresh 
 from Clifton, headboy, too, and with special recommendations in PPE´s 
enemy, the Greats -- as opposed to PPE itself, known as Mods, or Modern 

The wiki under PPE mentions some criticism by some conservative 
quarters on the institution of the PPE (originally intended for would 
be civil servants who would not require a knowledge of Greek 
philosophy) as the cause of the decline of the study of the classics at 

Chapman pours scorn slightly on this when she refers to Grice as still 
dreaming of Oxford as the "Oxonian dialectic" versus the former 
"Athenian dialectic", with a continuity direct from the Greek 
philosophers to the members of the Play Group. (It could be argued that 
back in Athens, the studium generale of philosophy was more alla PPE 
than Lit. Hum. -- for Greek was NOT an Ancient Language for the Ancient 
Greeks, and they were so sophistically political that they hurt).

I would think that other than Strawson, all other members of Austin´s 
Play Group were Lit. Hum. J J Thomson perhaps not, though.

Apparently, you don´t need to specify it. Grice would be "MA Lit Hum 
Oxon 1938", while Strawson would be "MA PPE Oxon 1943" or some such.



J. L. Speranza
    for the Grice Circle.

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