[hist-analytic] Now Available: Elizabeth Anscombe's INTENTION!

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Mon May 31 09:23:30 EDT 2010


The distinction I was drawing is not, I don't believe anyway, a distinction 
between physical and nonphysical quantities. I can use degrees in figuring 
out physical, spatial, relations in real time; such as how far an airplane 
will travel if it is a certain bearing and velocity. The issue concerns 
how we introduce units of quantity, not whether the quantities are physical or not. 
No matter which rotation we are talking about we get the same values, 
e.g. for the trigonometric functions. But if we pick a different stick 
we get a different "meaning" of 'one meter'. 'One degree' is not 
dependent on any particular circle; but 'one meter' depends on one particular 
stick. That is the critical asymmetry. Now I don't discuss this in the 
book; but I do take Kripke to task for what I believe is an equivocation 
that leads to the erroneous belief that there is a contingent a priori 
in any non-Kantian sense. I point out on this matter that Kripke is 
anticipated by Reichenbach, among other things. 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Roger Bishop Jones" <rbj at rbjones.com> 
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.com 
Sent: Monday, May 31, 2010 1:30:37 AM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central 
Subject: Re: Now Available: Elizabeth Anscombe's INTENTION! 

On Friday 28 May 2010 12:28, Baynesr at comcast.net wrote: 

> Compare using a meter stick as supplying a standard unit 

> measure and the idea of rotation in defining a degree as 

> 1/360th of a rotation. Note that 'one rotation' is a 

> constant; something that doesn't depend on any 

> particular circle, whereas a meter stick is a 

> particular. 

The difference may be explained by dimensional analysis in which all physical quantities are assigned a dimension which is some combination of mass , length , time , electric charge , and temperature , (denoted M , L , T , Q , and Θ , respectively) 

(from the wikipedia). 

Length is one of these primitive dimensions of physical quantity, but I think the degree is a dimensionless pure ratio, i.e. not a physical quantity at all, closely related to pi (there are 2pi radians in a circle). 

> This asymmetry is part of what is behind 

> some of my discussion of the contingent a priori etc. 

Is this in the Anscombe book, or elsewhere? 

As you know I regard the contingent a priori as one of Speranza's beloved vacuous concepts, in default of pathological interpretations of the terms involved. 

I would be happy to spice up hist-analytic with a debate on the matter! 

Roger Jones 

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