[hist-analytic] BRUCE AUNE'S Philosophical Autobiography
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Wed May 11 20:22:34 EDT 2011
Next thing would be to get a ground floor of Corpus Christi so we can
LOCATE the Saturday mornings. I'll see if I can find a good ground plan to
locate those glorious, sunny, Saturday mornings. I loved Aune's analysis of the
"Ah, to be in England now that April's there".
And indeed, would say Aune's environs were the BEST Oxon offers (where
"Oxon" stands for "Oxfordshire"): just across Blenheim no less! (Incidentally,
as we consider Beardsley's alleged intentional fallacy, it is interesting
to consider the implicature (if I may not be pedantic) as to what Browing is
_exaggerating_ about with that 'avowal'. I'll have to read more about the
"logical grammar" and complexity of avowals, and stuff. It was also great
to have Aune's wife's clever riposte to Strawson's cliche (along the lines)
"I suppose you must have visited all Oxford colleges by now."
---- "We haven't. But we did see one in Cambridge. And, as Bruce says:
'You've seen one English college, you've seen them all."
being Sir (as he then wasn't) Peter's courteous curt nod. (Contrast Aune's
document for the exact wording).
----- Perhaps it was good of Aune to have stayed, during his Oxford stay,
at Woodstock, rather than Corpus can it can _get_ COLD, I am told. Grice
himself lived on Banbury Road. Which reminds me of THE PLACE where Grice also
used to philosophise. The PUBS!
There are two of them. Having known them, I think, "Lamb and flag" exceeds
by far the other one which Grice would frequent, and which is today a bit
on the too touristy side (due to the Lewis and Tolkien association): "Bird
and Baby". First, you don't even need to CROSS St. Giles's, as you ramble
from from St. John's, and its nice French windows get all the glorious sun,
and you get a nice view of St. Giles. But Richardson -- the late George
Richardson, this Glasgow economist who wrote this obit for Grice for "St.
John's College Records" -- a St. John's philosophy tutor shared that with me
-- goes on to expand on how one could have TRUSTED to find "Godot" in
"either the Flag and Lamb or the Bird and Baby" as he was waited on by his
'tutees'. (Bird and Baby is officially, "The Eagle and the Child").
Talking of avowals, I have found a few references to "Complexity of
Avowals" online. It was reviewed by well-known Wittgensteinian J. M. Shorter (of
Oxford, but originally Australia) in 1968 -- I mean his review of the Black
volume. And he focuses indeed on Aune's schematisations on
p ent q
i.e. p logically implying q -- and further things of Griceian interest.
There are also some good quotes (online, by other authors citing
Aune-in-Black) which refer to first person vs. third person. One reference interested
is surely NOT in the first person. So either one disallows it as an avowal
or rather, as I prefer, opt for 'the complexity of avowals' as Aune has
it. I actually posted a post elsehwere to that effect. I entitled it,
Does it hurt?
-- for surely we never are sure what 'it' is. Yet we manage to "keep the
conversation going" as it Griceanly were. That same online reference to "it
hurts" makes another one to Witters's famous dentist and how he dealt with
stuff. Reading on Aune, Complexity of Avowals, I was reminded of a line in
Grice 1991 (actually his APA presidential address for 1975), "Method in
philosophical psychology" to the effect that we need 'pirots' (as he calls
them) to have BOTH
----- privileged acess
At the time, a sort of American phase of "formalism", he is merely into
providing 'remarks' of a formal nature as to how to proceed. With "B" to stand
for 'believe' it seems easy enough:
-- Agent A believes that p. Then:
And so on ad infinitum. (Grice I think goes on to simplify that by using a
subscript, with "A believes-2 that p" meaning not just that he believes it
but that he believes that he believes it." What's more interesting is that
Grice is providing a 'rationale' of an evolutionary sort for why Witters
(and Wisdom?) were perhaps right along those lines. I also notice that, if
Grice contributed to the early enough 1962 Butler collection (R. J. Butler,
of Oxford, later of Reading), "Analytic Philosophy", that collection
contains some references to avowals by Gaskill, etc. So, I cannot see how Grice
COULD *NOT* have been interested by having Aune at the Dons' Club so
engagingly engaging others.
A vintage trend. Revising the Grice chronology, I notice that his third
publication ever or so (or 'unpublication', rather, in this delightful idiom
he shared with Grandy/Warner) is on scepticism and common sense ("Common
sense and scepticism' , which Grice 1989 dates it as 1946. (The book Aune
quotes from, regarding the Hardy reference to 'triviality' in reasoning. On p.
148 of WoW we find Grice's reference to Malcolm, "Certainty and Empirical
Statements", and in the next essay -- "Moore and philosopher's paradoxes'
-- again to Malcom now on "Moore on Ordinary language". He typically does
not provide dates but I could doublecheck. But as we moved closer to Aune's
territory, there's this fascinating pasage (among many) in what turned out
to be a 'locus classicus' apparently, although I'm not sure of what
("Martian" examples for one). Thus, in "Some remarks about the senses" Grice
indeed provides a few alternate 'criteria' seriously enough. He makes the
occasional reference to 'pain' (a non-cognitive avowal, to use an online
reference to Aune's paper), but goes on to propose ONE purely introspective
criterion for the things that matter. Grice is referring to specific 'criteria'
for distinguishing the (five, Urmson later will have them in his British
Academy lecture -- no wonder the Oxonians turned out conservative at this
point) senses, and proposes:
"It might be suggested that two senses, for example,
like seeing and smelling, are to be distinguished by
the *special introspectible character* of the _experience_
of seeing and smelling. That is, disregarding the differences
between the characteristics we learn about by
sight and smell, we are ENTITLED [as per a self-avowal, as
it were] that seeing is itself different _in character_
Grice goes on to complicate the picture, which ends up by talking of
'primarily visual' and so on. I think it ends up with subscripts. Thus, 'big-i',
'big-ii'. Both refer to the 'bulk', but 'big-i' may be what you claim you
SEE as 'big'. While 'big-ii' may be what you claim you TOUCH, say, as 'big'.
In the context of the online references to Aune's "Complexity of
Avowals" -- as it relates perhaps to Gaskill -- and this should motivate R. B.
Jones -- we have the 'phantom' of Ayer out there somewhere. Ayer was, in
the words of Grice in his own memoir ("Prejudices and predilections, which
become the life and opinions of Paul Grice") the 'enfant terrible' of Oxford
philosophy (back in the day), and the point about avowals was then that
they were either irrefutable, or unverifiable, yet meaningful. "Complexity",
indeed, is the right word! I was fascinated to re-learn or re-read about
the details. The Dons' Club at Corpus and all that. Which brings us back to
that plan for the ground floor, somehow. But later...
J. L. Speranza
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