[hist-analytic] Quine on Experience and Consciousness

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sat Oct 9 17:42:33 EDT 2010


In a message dated 10/9/2010, S. R. Bayne writes:  
 
"Now ask yourself: "Is knowledge of my own dispositions scientific  
knowledge? Is knowledge of my dispositions knowledge for you a possibility? If  so, 
is your knowledge of my dispositions scientific but mine not?" I can't  
address these questions in one email. So let me just make one point: There is a 
 difference between experience and consciousness, but it cannot be captured 
 behaviorally. Nor is self-knowledge scientific, but it is  possible.""

---- Given what Grice says about the "Devil of Scientism" --  e.g. as cited 
by Grandy in Stanford, entry, for Grice -- I would avoid the word  
'scientific' here! I wonder if 'evidential', or a play or variant on  'evidential' 
may do? Grice considers this in his attack of the 'sceptic' in his  important 
"Intention and Uncertainty" (Proceedings British Academy, 1971 --  worth a 
reprint). 

These are all complex issues for analysis, and I  welcome Bayne's 
distinguishing them. Grice loved to play with subscripts at one  time. He would write 
of:

A judges that p
A judges-2 that p
A  judges-3 that p, 
...

where 

"A judges-2 that p" is equivalent  to ""A judges that p" and "A judges that 
A judges that p". He would also  strongly advise to use a GENERAL operator 
("... accepts...") to cover both  'judgings' and 'willings'. This is in his 
attempt to elucidate privileged access  and incorrigibility. Fortunately, 
Baker did reprint Grice's influential "Method  in philosophical psychology" in 
Grice's posthumous "Conception of Value". But  while Grice's approach is 
illuminating and inspiring, I can see that there's  always room for 
refinement? He criticised Davidson's account of the 'self' in  various places. 
Davidson recognised the force of Grice's criticisms in  "Intending" --, and there 
are other considerations in the seldom cited article  by Grice, "Actions and 
Events" (Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 1986). 
 
Of course the locus classicus for Grice on 'self' is his 'Personal  
Identity' that Bayne has commented on in his hist-analytic website. Parry (incl.  
his contribution to Grandy/Warner, PGRICE) has attempted a formalisation of 
some  of the 'deictic' aspects of Grice's approach to "I", which are worth a 
look. 
 
In her bio of Grice, Chapman argues that Grice started as an 'empiricist'  
and only later moved to become an 'intentionalist'. I agree. Her evidence is 
 drawn from some of Grice's earliest essays dating from Oxford in the late 
1930s  -- and where Grice's views are or can be compared to those of the 
early Ayer, or  I. Berlin, even. 

A fascinating subject. Thanks to Bayne for bringing it  up.

Speranza




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