[hist-analytic] Carnap and Grice on "logical"

Roger Bishop Jones rbj at rbjones.com
Wed Mar 10 05:59:42 EST 2010

On Monday 08 Mar 2010 00:43, Jlsperanza at aol.com wrote:
> In a message dated 3/7/2010 4:50:54 P.M. Eastern 
>  Standard Time, rbj at rbjones.com writes:
> did intend firstly to opine that  Carnap's change was a
> purely verbal concession and did not reflect his 
>  agreement with Quine and Tarski on the use of the term
>  "Logical".
> ---- Point very well, indeed gladly, taken. I wonder if
>  you can provide the Tarski ref. This Polish scholar
>  (logician?) did interact profusely with Carnap,  but
>  less so (even at the cross-citational level) with
>  Tarski.


Well the most revealing reference for Tarski is his paper

"On the concept of logical consequence"

Which is in "Logic, Semantics, Metamathamatics"

What amazes me about this paper is:

(a) that it is conspicuously inconsistent
(b) that none of the comments I have read about it 
(including an entire book on this topic by Echtemendy) seem 
to notice this.

It is conspicuously inconsistent because it begins with an 
example intended to show that accepted formalisations of 
logical consequence are too narrow, and this is in fact an 
example of mathematical induction.  Of this he says that it 
is "intuitively it seems quite certain" that the conclusion 
follows "in the usual sense" from the conclusions.
But by the time he gets to the end of the paper he has 
decided that some kind of division between logical and non-
logical concepts is necessary (which would presumably not 
include arithmetic concepts as logical?).

However, he also then comments that this division is 
relevant to the concept of analytic as well.

This paper, in my opinion, shows Tarski to be in a complete 
muddle on this matter.

>  By Quine I take we  mean "Two dogmas" and
>  Quine's contribution (the cheek! :() to Schlipp.

Well, the position Quine takes from two dogmas is 
destructive of the notion of logical truth just as much as 
of analyticity.  I havn't read his paper in the Schilpp 
volume, but I think I probably will have to do that before 

So I think to see Quine as taking a similar position as 
Tarski on analyticity and logical truth you have to look to 
the earlier stuff, and I don't know a good reference.
In fact, it wasn't particularly conspicuous to me until I 
read the Quine/Carnap correspondence.

Up until mid century Quine was still uncertain how broad a 
concept of logical truth to embrace, and still seemed to 
entertain the possibility that it might encompass set theory 
(and hence mathematics).

Later, the place one would expect him to be most definite is 
in "Philosophy of Logic", but in that volume he completely 
ducks the issue.

The truth I suspect is that Quine knows that his devastating 
attack on the very core of Carnap's philosophy has destroyed 
the only good way to make a non-arbitrary delineation of the 
scope of logic,  He cannot offer an alternative because there 
isn't one.

>  Perhaps
>   we can expand on Carnap on reply to Quine therein. Are
>  we meaning the very early  1930s thing by Tarski on his
>  failed attempt at formalisation of natural  languages?
>  -- in which case perhaps we do need a specific
>  meaning-thingy (what  to use instead of 'postulate') to
>  specify the Carnap(ian), neo-Carnapian (and  perhaps
>  Gricean, neo-Gricean) use of 'logic', and 'logicAL'?

I do intend Part I of my HOT philosophy to include a full 
critique of "Two Dogmas" at the least.
I don't know that Carnap will be a lot of help.
There are two layers of dismissal before you begin to look 
at technical details.
The first is to argue that Quine's thesis is incoherent.
(what is it that Quine is claiming to be illusory?)
The second is to observe that there is no case to answer 
(this is what Grice and Strawson did).
Either one of these is entirely sufficient.
However, to drive a stake through the heart one must go 
through in detail and expose the very many places where the 
detailed arguments are fallacious.


More information about the hist-analytic mailing list