[hist-analytic] Whither Analytic Philosophy?

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Tue Feb 2 17:32:03 EST 2010

"If you bring Speranza to a party he´ll bring Grice along". 

He is said to eat Grice Crispies, eats them at gricy spoons, 

and says "WOW!" more than any other living philosopher; 

moreover he is alleged to have been a a frequent guest 

on "The Grice is Right" or was that "The Grice is always 

Right"?  And he killed him a gricely bear when he was only 


Is the grice ever going to melt? What is the grice/earnings 

ratio for Grice toy manufacturers? So many questions for 

JL to consider. 



----- Original Message ----- 
From: jlsperanza at aol.com 
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk 
Sent: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 9:44:21 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific 
Subject: Re: Whither Analytic Philosophy? 

R. B. Jones: 

"Though I soon forgot about my first idea last year, I did actually 
something, which is in: 
http://www.rbjones.com/rbjpub/www/papers/p008.pdf where there is a 
section on 
Carnap and Grice (the date on the front is incorrect, I haven't touched 
since 2 June)." 


"If you bring Speranza to a party he´ll bring Grice along". 

Or as Mirembe Nantongo elsewhere said elsewhere -- "worse, he´ll come 
dressed as a Conversational Implicature" (it´s a fancy dress party, you 

I enjoyed your epithet for Grice, "metaphysically relaxed". 
"metaphysically non-anal retentive", as  I prefer. I once was googling 
for analytic philosophy and came across the blog of one philosopher who 
defines his-self as "in the anal-retentive tradition of analytic 
philosophy". Ah well. Not your Grice. 

In notes and tapes Chapman transcribed for posterity, Grice is heard as 
saying -- awing their students, as I prefer, i.e. eliciting "aws!" from 
them, "Not long ago, ´metaphysics´ was a term of abuse in Oxford." 

Not anymore, I suspect (When I stayed at the Randolph, with a view to 
St. John´s) I was flabbergasted to overhear conversations at Memorial 
of Martyrs, and they were NOT telling each other to "Carnap off", 

You write: "Grice thought of (his-self) as a kind of ordinary language 
philosopher", which you scare quote. Elsewhere I posted something: 

   "Extra-Ordinary Language!" 

for one has to consider Grice´s inverted snobbery here. 

But I think that compared to _Bradley_   (I always have Bradley on the 
tip of my tongue. Nobody has read him, so nobody can gladiatorally 
refute me) Grice´s English IS pretty ordinary (I´m still trying to 
locate the LATIN for this. Reading Cicero in the Loebs I came across a 
reference to "extraordinary language" but forget to remember what inapt 
Latin expression he used for his lovely English one). 

I´ll continue then: 

This is ALL very serious. 

For Grice, the use of metaphysical is VERY appropriate here. 

He is honouring Russell, "grammar" a "pretty" "good guide to a logical 
form", where you cannot disconnect pretty and good. 

The correct is "prettily GOOD guide". 

It´s not like 

   i. My niece Sue is pretty and good. 

But more like 

   ii. Sue is pretty good (at whatever she does) 

Grice was slightly infuriated by Russell´s cavalierism. Surely, when 
Russell spoke of "stone-age metaphysics", he could, and SHOULD, have 
spoken of a "stone-age PHYSICS". 

For Carnap and Co, to cut a long story short: 

         physics =df metaphysics. 

And right they were, too! 

Aristotle was confused, but more so his disciples. There he left a 
couple of notes meant for digestion by his students. VERY obscure. 

"And what shall we call _these___" , axed (sic) Theophrastos. 

"Well," Jenny replied, "They were next to "ta phusika biblia", so let´s 
call them..." 

"Ta meta ta phusika biblia, you said?" 

And the rest is legend. 


There are important points in Carnap that allow for a Gricean tolerant 
exegesis. Carnap´s emphasis on "decisions" regarding one´s conceptual 
frameworks, etc. Why be a scientist, e.g. rather than a poet alla 

These decisions are "transcategorial" in nature. They are 
eschatoalogical. For Grice saw that there are TWO branches of 
metaphysics or theoria-theoria, as he also called it: 


proper. By which he meat both 

    ontologia generalis 

-- pretty much along Jones´s excellent remarks on izzing and hazzing. 


    ontologia specialis 

by which the Greeks -- Grecians and Griceans -- understood: 




But there is a less trodden path in metaphysics too: eschatology, which 
deals NOT with the general or special theory of categories, but with 
our decisions to adopt this or that categorial scheme. 

I don´t like Strawson a lot. I CANNOT read Strawson without reading 
Grice between the lines. Grice spoiled Strawson for me. But recently 
re-reading Chapman´s "Grice" -- and she is no philosopher, so some of 
the idioms do not ring bells fo her -- I find reiterative mentions or 
references to Grice´s use of 


I cannot think "revisionary" without thinking of my "Robbing Peter to 
Pay Paul". For Strawson did the honest thing an honest chap could back 
in 1959, when he published his "essay in descriptive metaphysics". He 
could only LAUGH at revisionary philosophy. 

But the last laugh is of course on the man who could do it! 

   J. L. Speranza 
      for the griceclub.blogspot. 

          Ref. Schiffer: ¨That man with that uproaring laughter, 
              holding the martini is Grice¨ ¨And why is he called 
              Grice?¨ ¨Because he is Grice¨. 
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