[hist-analytic] Carnap and Grice: the taming of the true: designate and indicate

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Fri Mar 12 04:06:07 EST 2010


In a message dated 3/10/2010 8:50:18 A.M. rbj at rbjones.com writes:
"I  haven't yet grasped here why we have two different words and what their 
 significance is. How is this better than saying that both the subject and  
predicate "denote" (or some other word) and that the thing denoted by the  
subject has or is or is in the thing denoted by the predicate?".
 
Yes, I would not think Grice would object to that: designate and indicate.  
"Denote". I think he is having in mind Strawson's insistence (obsessive 
almost)  with 'refer', and perhaps he (Grice) is finding he has to be careful 
avoid  'avoiding' the notion or any cognate to it.
 
More than a fragment of English, Grice is concerned with something I saw  
developed really by Schiffer in a paper he let me have on "referential  
expressions" for Erknentnis. A heavy read, but a delight, and just vintage  
Schiffer before the apostasy. What Grice is into is an 'intenTional' account,  
rather than the alternative "intenSional" one, for 'designate' and 'indicate'. 
I  will provide the quotes for
 
"This dog is shaggy" as excerpted from WoW:vi -- the last but one lecture  
-- and the say the simple-looking verbs, 'designate' and 'indicate' which he 
had  presented in WoW:iii get expanded in terms of fully intentional 
notions. The  thing provoked Chomsky enough to call Grice a behaviourist, which he 
is  not.
 
Grice writes:
 
He will restrict this -- stage 6 of his project to "definite  descriptor"  
(the dog) and "adjectival phrase" (is shaggy) -- hence the  shaggy-dog story 
familiar with variete and music-hall.
 
"We need to be able to apply some such 
notion of a PREDICATION", indicate, "of
beta (adjectival) on alpha (nominal)"
 
We may then reach a stage where we 
have "two species" of co-relation: R-co-relation,
where "R" for REFER, and D-co-relation (for 
DENOTATE)."
 
"We want to be able to speak of some
particular [thing] as an R-correlate
[or D-correlate with D as Designate in
the previous version] of alpha, and of
"each member of some class" as being  a
D-correlate (or I-correlate, in the previous
version) of beta." (WoW:130).
 
He then needs to provide 'intentional' procedures: that will co-relate  
belief, say, with assertion.
 
There is a P1 which corresponds to the R-correlate, or D-correlate in the  
previous version. This he just formulates as an imperative:

"To utter s if U means the S to be P." (adapted).
 
The second, P2, focuses on the I-correlate:
 
"To utter a psi-cross-correlated (cfr. P1 and P1' predication of beta on  
alpha)" and here again he produces conditions which are do not claim to be  
necessary and sufficient jointly, to the effect that U intends psi-cross a  
particular R-correlate of alpha to be one of a particular set of D- or  
I-correlates of beta"
 
(WoW: 131).
 
At this point he wants to extend BEYOND Tarksi's merely disquotational  
T-scheme:
 
'The dog is shaggy' is true iff the dog is shaggy.
 
Rather he wants to say, "Jones' dog" (his example, p. 131), called Fido, is 
 shaggy iff the thing is hairy coated.
 
So he needs equivalence, in intentional contexts for 'the dog' to mean  
'THAT dog that Jones owns' and which explicates (in Carnap's vernacular almost) 
 the meaning of 'shaggy' -- a particularly ambiguous looking expression in  
English -- but think of this as predicates F -- G.
 
He may be onto something like a meaning-postulate.
 
Pirots will be pirots.
A bachelor is an unmarried male
Blacks are the ravens.
But not all swans are white.
 
----
 
And, for all x, if x is shaggy, x is hairy-coated. That is what  
'postulates' or presents, the meaning, to him who fails to know it, what  'shaggy' 
means. It means what it means because some UTTERER is intending some  type of 
D- or I-corelation onto a beta-type -- in a particular interpretation of  his 
'calculus' or 'system'.
 
Thus Grice applies basic procedures to create 'resultant' ones:
 
-- "to utter "p", a PREDICATION of beta on alpha ... if U intends to  
express a particular R- or D-correlate of alpha to be one of a particular set of  
D- or I-correlates of beta".
 
---- This is something that at the time Grice possibly thought as shedding  
some light onto what people like Chomsky were never getting it right beyond 
the  surface syntax of things. He is after all, lecturing at Cambridge, 
Mass., which  was pretty much Chomsky-territory, along the Charles.
 
----
 
Also, 
 
He calls "Jones's dog", unimaginatively, Fido, and proceeds with
 
RP3 -- resultant procedure 3:
 
"to utter ... a predication of 'shaggy' on 'Fido'" if U intends to express  
the belief that Jones's dog is "ONE OF THE SET OF" hairy-coated things" -- 
he  adds, as if this simplification would help those who are already 
starting to  have a headache and need that coffee break at that point, with charm: 
"(i.e. is  hairy-coated)".
 
----
 
The procedure is meant to go from particularised ascriptions to 'token'  
expressions: what 'shaggy' means in the utterer's idiolect say:
 
"U has the procedure of uttering a psi-cross-corelated predication of  
'shaggy' on alpha if ... [he is expressing the belief re the psi-cross "a  
particular R-correlate of alpha to be one of the set of hairy-coated  things."
 
--- Here he displays his interest in something like intensional isomorphism 
 when in footnote to p. 133 he notes the caveat that reads as a very fine  
distinction indeed:

"To the definiens, then, we should add, within the  scope of the initial 
quantifer, the following clause: '& U's purpose in  effecting that (Ax) 
(......) is that (ER') (Az) (R' shaggy' x iff x [belongs] to  y" --, where he uses 
the set-theoretical sign for 'belongs'.
 
He refers to 'ostending' here (p. 134) which may relate to the early Carnap 
 idea of explicit or implicit definitions. An act of ostension makes  
explicit what is implicit. We are providing a definition of what a  correlation 
is: under what circumstances we hold the 'shaggy' = df.  'hairy-coated'?
 
He goes into problems:
 
does 'shaggy' mean, simpliciter, as it does, 'hairy-coated'? But  then this 
intentional programme seems to yield, rather, and we do not want that,  
that 'shaggy' means, "in U's view unmistakably hairy-coated", so we need a  
tweak there (p. 135). So he opts for "non-explicit" correlations.
 
He concludes with a nod to what he will later have as the PERE, or  
principle of economy of rational effort (in "Reply to Richards"):
 
rule -- IMPLICIT (meaning postulate, say) -- subterranean?

""in some  sense", "implicitly" we DO accept thse rules"" (p. 136). His 
PERE makes sense of  that in terms of potential explicitation of what we are 
_deemed_ to follow or  accept implicitly. No subterranean, thanks! (This was 
later the  polemic of, say, Gricean M. K. Davies in the pages of Mind on 
'tacit'  knowledge of a language and what the thing is supposed NOT to mean!).
 
Cheers,
 
J. L. Speranza




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