[hist-analytic] Not Cricket

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Sun Jan 17 09:10:40 EST 2010

"Your reference to "a priori evils" is very good -- alla Nussbaum, I assume." 

The idea has been around. It goes back to commentary on Aristotle, where 

there are things for which there is no excess or defect. For example, I may 

be incontinent with respect to eating, but there is nothing comparable with 

respect to murdering. So the idea, at least, has been around. Lot's of things 

may be "a priori"; even sensations, as I recall, for Kant (Second Critique). 

You mention the following case: 

"equal, even, well-balanced, 
ἅρμα δίκαιον evengoing chariot, X.Cyr.2.2.26" 

I've sometimes wondered about the relation of 'aqua' to 'equal'. I imagine 

a calm morning; I look at the water; it is level ('equal') now 'aqua' may have 

been "calm water." Just a thought. 

Thanks for all this. Right now I must make the social contrract philosophers 

familiar rooms. This is nothing that can be done overnight but it must be done. 

I've looked at some of the usual commentaries, Sabine is very good, e.g., but 

for now its gotta be just a matter of slogging through stuff I read when I was 

young while in a hurry to get on with how 'the' fits in with 'the cat is on the mat'. 

Rawls avoids replying to Hare. Hare was harsh, but Rawls appears silent 

with respect to a number of his critics. Rawls is a very good philosopher. 

Unfortunately, much of what he wrote amounts to being an "advertisement" 

for his position. Still, I think he's the best political philosopher since Mill. 



----- Original Message ----- 
From: jlsperanza at aol.com 
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk 
Sent: Saturday, January 16, 2010 1:24:34 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific 
Subject: Re: Not Cricket 

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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