[hist-analytic] Analyticity and Oratio Obliqua
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Thu Feb 3 13:24:39 EST 2011
In a message dated 2/1/2011 9:55:10 A.M., rbj at rbjones.com writes:
My favourite example of something close enough to
analyticity to make that notion meaningful even for natural
language is indirect reported speech.
If I say something, and you subsequently report that I said
that ..., then you are offering a statement which is not
required to be exactly what I said, but must mean the same,
and if your report is accurate then the claim that tne two
have the same meaning will be analytically true.
We are considering Strawson's approach to analyticity and spending some
time in his joint, "Defense of a dogma".
We are considering Grice/Strawson's two examples (cited from WoW, pp.
AF (analytically false): "My neighbour's three-year-old child is an adult."
SF (synthetically false): "My neighbour's three-year old child understands
Russell's Theory of Types."
I would proceed to examine the appraisal by G/S of (AF) types, and then
provide for an exploration in reported speech. Hoping it helps:
"We might take ... the logical impossibility
of a child of three's being an adult and the
NATURAL impossibility of a child of three's
understanding Russell's Theory of Types."
For (SF), "if the child WERE then produced, and did ... expound [Russell's]
Theory [of Types] correctly, answer questions on it, criticise it, and so
on, one would in the end be forced to acknowledge that the claim [formerly
SF] was literally true."
For (AF) [if U means what he says], "we shall be inclined to say that we
just don't UNDERSTAND what [U] is saying, and to suspect that he doesn't know
the MEANING of some of the words he is using. For UNLESS he is prepared to
admit that he is using words in ... an unusual sense, we shall say, not
that we don't BELIEVE him, but that his words have NO sense [emphasis G/S]."
"And whatever kind of creature is ultimately produced for our inspection,
it will NOT lead us to say that what Y said was literally true, but at most
to say that we now SEE what he meant."
(I disagree at that point, but perhaps I'm more open-minded. JLS).
I would think I agree on the whole with Jones's report of the thing in
"Bootstrap", but I would not know if the Maxim of Quality,
"Say what you believe to be true"
is in operation. We assume that Y (Y is the utterer of the AF thing, X is
the utterer of the SF thing), like X, are earnestly trying to 'mean what
----- As for oratio obliqua. Perhaps other examples would be in order but I
Grice: My neighbour said that his neighbour's three-year old is an adult.
Strawson: But that's your son!
---- OK, so that won't work. Let's try something different:
Grice: Patrick [Nowell-Smith, of course] said that his neighbour's
three-year0old child was an adult.
Again, won't work, because no philosopher would report that.
Grice: My grocer said that his neighbour's three-year-old is an adult.
Strawson: And that his pears are violet.
In that case, the oratio obliqua uses the same Donald-Davidsonian approach
to indirect speech ("Saying THAT" -- disquotational).
I prefer THAT type of 'oratio obliqua'. It does not seem to be fair to
replace the original oratio in a way that it still yields an AF sentence.
Although an entailment may work:
"My grocer said that his neighbour's three-year-old child is NOT a child".
"My grocer said that his neighbour's three-year-old child, who is not an
adult, is an adult".
------ But there may be complications, or for a change, not!
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