[hist-analytic] Vranas

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Mon Mar 1 14:36:49 EST 2010

Good he cites Alchourron. I actually quote him too in my first paper ever!  
(published). He was out there when I was lecturing on conversational  
implicature. My example (in Buenos Aires) was:
Searle: How do you like Buenos Aires?
Davidson: I haven't been robbed yet.
-- I was just being provocative! Alchourron was all the rage, as they say!  
("Surely, if your implicature is that Buenos Aires is not safe enough, you  
should spend some time in Stockholm!" -- where the man had spent more than 
his  share!). I loved Alchourron, and we'd participate in seminars together, 
usually  in logic. He was a born philosopher -- even though the mandate 
from his family  (the land-owing elite) was elsewhere! May he R. I. P. 
---- Good Vranas quotes from DeRooy. He has worked extensively on  
formalising "conversational implicature" as nobody else has!
iii. Vranas quotes specific references on 'disjunctive commands'. I love  
them! My favourite had to be:
-- Post the letter, or burn it!
   Post the letter
  Don't burn it!
--- as discussed by Hare 1967. The first (but let's not spread the word)  
collocation of "conversational implicature" in print! (The OED editor is 
having  Grice 1967 (MS) instead -- and indeed there is now Grice 1964 to add to 
--- I am very pleased Vranas quotes the seldom quoted OXFORD vintage  
pedigree philosopher,
(Univ. of Brum, indeed, but formerly Oxford). (I think his daughter married 
 a famous writer, but why do we hear so little of this genius? Vranas 
quotes from  an early 1952 paper, on "Assertions and Commands").
--- Vranas quotes specific bibliography on 'alethic'. I was surprised to  
learn from the OED that the term was indeed coined by Wright. Not surprised  
about THAT, because he was a genius with words. But, still. The word, Greek 
and  all, had not received, 'aletheia', has NOT given too many other 
derivatives. The  Grecian Gricean, Grice, loved 'alethic' and uses the term often 
enough (in fact,  too often enough) in his "Aspects of Reason". Sadly, he 
opposes it to  'practical', but surely he knows that the best antonym for 
'practical' as per  Anscombe et al, is 'theoretical'. Words!
--- The excellent Oxford connection here (that gave Atlas, etc.) is indeed  
Kenny. His seminal "Practical Inferences" paper which joins with Hare. A. 
J. P.  Kenny, once of Wolfson. I once contacted him, regarding this or that 
topic, and  I must keep his correspondence somewhere. I was amused that we 
were able to have  a look at Grice's ref. to Kenny in "Intention and 
Uncertainty" (Proc. Brit.  Ac.). (And I know Bayne regards Kenny very highly, as he 
Vranas seems to share my (good, ha!) taste for historical, even  
obscure-historical research (Tapper says I'm the obscure historicist -- always  
looking for some 'obscure' historicist connection (In any case, Tapper should  
enlighten us more often!). Vranas cares to quote from very early -- earliest  
stuff --. I mean, who (else) is going back to Hare 1949! Lovely! -- (He 
quotes  too from Gonzalo Rodriguez Pereyra -- I mean, he can combine the old with 
the  new!).
Pity it's Grice for next round!
Grice, H. P. 2001. Aspects of reason. -- for an extended treatment of  
deontic inferences. Vide "precis" of Aspects of Reason, elsewhere.
At the level of specific analysis Vranas deals with, he can cope not only  
with Grice's _established_ theory per se (established to Grice, that is, 
:)),  but with Grice's _exceptions_ in terms of his 'implicature'. Oddly, 
yesterday I  was reading S. Yablo's rather too privileged-accessed opinion when 
he says  (words):

"Grice regretted his invention: the implicature.
  Because he didn't know what to do with it.
  I.e. how to use it NON-opportunistically."
(Yablo has that passing comment at the end of a long discussion on  
fictionalism and figuralism. He is making the good analogy that 'figures'  HAPPEN. 
Implicatures happen. So, while Yablo hypothesises (?) that Grice may  have 
regretted that, "surely he never regretted that 'implicatures' happen!" or  
For Grice, for example, the 'crunch' as he says, with 'deontic' logic (I  
think he exaggerates) 'comes with 'negation''. He immediately provides such 
an  elegant way out of problems of 'prohibitions' in terms of clashes with  
expectations in deontic discourse (alla his treatment of 'truth-value' 
(alleged)  gaps in assertoric discourse) that one does not feel the crunch anymore 
-- and  can move on! Genius!
Anyway, many thanks, S. R. Bayne, for the reference! Truly enjoyable!
J. L. Speranza
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