[hist-analytic] Not Cricket

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Mon Jan 18 10:23:48 EST 2010

Just a very quick observation. 

I can say, 

x is flatter than y 

although x is not flat. Similarly, I can say 

x is rounder than y. 

But there is a difference. Being rounder entails a *degree* of roundness; 

being flat does not suggest with the same force a degree of flatness. 

This is probably owing to the fact that degree of flatness is 

privation of degree of roundness. So there is this asymmetry between 

round and flat. 

Similarly, I can say 

x is more just than y. 

x must have some degree of justice. There are other terms that differ because they 

are not in the comparative degree but are positive. So, e.g., I may say 

x is hotter than y 

meaning that x is not, necessarily, hot. But here I wouldn't want to say that 

x must possess some degree of hotness. So 'just' is not like 'hot'. It is not 

a comparative in the positive degree. What does this mean? I means that 

inasmuch as 'hot' requires a standard over and above the measure of 

temperature, so too, 'just' does NOT require a standard over and above 

any other magnitude. Notice 'warm'. 

I can say 

x is warmer than y 

meaning x's warmth is greater than y's even though it is not warm. But here 

x is not necessarily warm. But is this like 'just'? Further, if 

x is hotter than y 

is intended to mean 

x is hot and the hotness of x is greater than y 

then both x and y must be hot. But if 

x is more just than y 

do I ever say this with the intention of meaning that x is just and the 

justice of x is greater than that of y, so both are just? What does this 

all suggest? Well, perhaps, that 'just' unlike 'hot' is never grammatically 

a comparative in the positive degree. Is, justice, then comparative? 

We say, 

He received some just compensation 


There was some justice in this. 

We do not say there was some heat where possessing heat implies 

(materially) being hot. In this respect 'heat' is not like 'just'; for we do not say 

there is some justice in this but it is not just. We say 

there is some heat here 

without meaning there is hotness. The logic of all this will once clarified 

have consequences for whether justice requires a standard, a standard 

of justice. I don't believe it does, but I might change my mind. Also, justice 

is not a privation of injustice; this figures in. 



----- Original Message ----- 
From: jlsperanza at aol.com 
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk 
Sent: Sunday, January 17, 2010 12:42:30 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific 
Subject: Re: Not Cricket 

In a message dated 1/17/2010 10:25:48 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,   
Baynesr at comcast.net writes: 
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 
be incontinent with respect to eating, but  there is nothing comparable 
respect to murdering. So the idea, at  least, has been around. 
Very good point. I loved your discussion to 'scholia', as I think scholars   
call it, of Aristotle. -- The apparatus criticum, as I think they also call 
So to apply it to 'fair', or 'just' -- you'd indeed be opting for 
        "rounded" (or variable) 
The flat/rounded distinction is Grice (Aspects of Reason, online, lecture i 
 or ii). 
   "more or less fair" 
   "less or more fair" 
    "more or less just" 
    "less or more just" 
It seems all quartette makes sense. So it does not seem 'flat'. Alas, for I 
 like my philosophical concepts made flat by analysis (just joking). 
O. T. O. H. 
      "more or less unfair" 
      "less or more unfair" 
       "more or less unjust" 
       "less or more unjust" 
also make sense. Indeed, people can flout all this. 
   "He is quite dead" 
   "He is rather dead" 
--- It seems that 'quite' is emphatic. For you cannot say, 
       "He is very dead" 
You should actually, because 'very', as R. Hall will know, is short for 
        "He is, verily, dead." 
makes a lot of sense. 
There may be other tests -- and it becomes tricky if you focus as perhaps   
Grice wanted on 'just' as adverb, "just-acting". For the very idea of adverb 
 becomes logical problematic 
            The  judge acted unfairly 
            The  judge acted. 
-- the reference to these paradoxes in Luke, -- online site -- of the   
unfair or unjust judge. 
More later, I hope. 
J. L. 
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