[hist-analytic] Tarski, Carnap and Grice on "snow is white": designate and indicate

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Fri Mar 5 13:19:54 EST 2010

We are considering Grice's analysis of 'true' in terms of two  conditions:
In a message dated 3/5/2010 9:29:36 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
rbj at rbjones.com quotes (me quoting from) Grice

'it is true that Smith is happy' will be
> equivalent to saying  that ANY utterance
> of class K which designates Smith and
>  indicates the class of happy people is
> factually satisfactory (that is,  any utterance
> which assigns Smith to the class of happy
> people  is factually satisfactory.""
and writes:

"That sounds OK to me."
Good. So we see that we are sort of 'bi-secting' the '... is true' onto two 
 more approachable notions:
-- the "designate"
-- the "indicate"
---- This seems a viable way. This, while meant for subject-predicate  
things, should be adapted for proper quantificational formulae. In which case we 
 need to think (as many have thought, and Grice does in "Vacuous Names") 
-- 'designate'
-- 'indicate'
as it applies to things like
A E I O propositions in predicate-calculus dress.
And this will entail a choice as to the interpretation of the quantifiers.  
Since he is being an extensionalist in the quote above -- notably in the  
'indicate' as "set-theoretical" inclusion or membership, we may start with 
the  so-called 'substitutional' (i.e. truth-valued) account to quantifiers. 
Grice WoW:v -- what I have elsewhere referred to as his "Shaggy Dog Story"  
proposes to analyse in some more detail what is involved in
--- and more relevantly, in the "Definite Description" bit in "Vacuous  
Names" which has been reprinted in MIT, Definite Descriptions, he goes on to  
provide extensionalist treatments (as it were) of Donnellan's  
referential/attribute distinction. Grice prefers 'identificatory' versus  
'non-identificatory'. This has to do, as R. B. Jones say, with a clear view of  what the 
context is offering us. Grice feels he needs to appeal to what he calls  a 
'dossier'. When designating and indicating, the 'propositional complex' gets  
"expanded" in terms of what the user of the 'formula' can be held committed 
to.  Etc.
J. L. Speranza

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