[hist-analytic] Not Cricket

jlsperanza at aol.com jlsperanza at aol.com
Sat Jan 16 16:24:34 EST 2010

Thanks, Steve.

I don´t know what was happening with me when I was writing my previous. 
I never meant to check your position vis a vis cricket. And while I 
loved your "not tea bag", I keep the previous header, for the sake of 


Your point is very apt, and my contrived, or recherche, as someone 
would say, scenario where ´fair´ (Greek ´dikaios´, I think) means, as 
you say, ´not commendable´ is hard to find, if not impossible as you 
believe it is.

But ain´t this essentialism? This would by my _second_ cri de coeur. 
"Opaque context!", as Grice jokes.

For if you say that there is, as Grice would call it, an 
appropriateness-condition (very first page of WoW, I´m currently 
discussing this with D. Sperber on the relevance list, sort of) for the 
use of ´fair´ (or Greek ´dikaios´) which is somehow tied with what he 
calls "popular application", or plain "meaning", then it would be like 
you give the _meaning_ as a datum or given. My mentor in ethics -- but 
I evolved! -- Osvaldo N. Guariglia, would OFTEN, to my irritation, 
argue like that! ""kill" already presupposes it´s a bad thing", or 
"murderer" -- I would follow him _there_, and one would. But why? I 
don´t think it´s, as you suggest, a philological reason (although you 
use the expression for another point -- that there is no linguistic 
evidence the term, ´fair´, or ´just´ was ever used neutrally or 

So I´ll keep thinking about things and report back. It should also do, 
when speaking of "analogy" to consider primary applications of "fair" 
or "just". I think, with perhaps Grice, I would go for "just-acting" or 
"fair-acting" -- hence the analogy with cricket -- as primary. ¨Just¨ 
tea bag? (Just joking).

Your reference to "a priori evils" is very good -- alla Nussbaum, I 
assume. But again, here there WOULD be a distinction. It seems to me 
that talk of "ill-will" (rather than ill-willed behavior) seems 
conceptually prior.


J. L. Speranza

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