The Grice Club


The Grice Club

The club for all those whose members have no (other) club.

Is Grice the greatest philosopher that ever lived?

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Griceian Anatomy of a Solecism

by JLS

I was reading the NYT the other day -- a sort of 'preview' of "Don Carlo" as it opens tonight at the Met (NY). The writer -- the title of the feature was something like "A new "Don Carlo" the ever-changing opera", and I would need to revise the context. It is p. 25, of Arts and Leisure section, and it reads (Nov. 21) (as written by M. G.:

"No sooner has Carlo made himself known to her then the news break that their fathers have changed their minds."

where "her" = Elisabetta (for the record).


"No sooner has Carlo made himself known to her then the news break that their fathers have changed their minds."

---- Now: consider the 'then'. A 'solecism', so called. It should be 'than'. But, I would claim, and I'll have to be brief as I'm in a sort of hurry, that the Griceian has an answer to the solecism.

I haven't CHECKED or double checked this, but I would claim or think that 'then' and 'than' derive from the same Indo-European root. One root, one meaning. Hence, 'then' and 'than' ARE interchangeably.

One hears people say:

"Mary was more beautiful then Susan".


"Tom was more intelligent then Jerry".


Mutatis mutandis:

"No sooner has Carlo made himself known to her then the news break that their fathers have changed their minds."


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Grice at the opera

"Bing was ... uneasy about the _proximity_ of the New York
City Opera,"

Briggs tells us in his history of the Met,

"whose performances would be taking place only _a few yards_ from
the Metropolitan's. "Suppose someone says,

'I heard a lousy opera at Lincoln Center last night,'

" Bing suggested. 'Maybe it was the _other_ house's opera, _or maybe it was ours. Under the *umbrella* of Lincoln Center, each of the two houses is _bound_ to be deprived of its individual image, and that is the most important asset an opera
house can have."

Briggs, "Requiem for a yellow-brick brewery" (p. 326).

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tyrannosaurus griceanus

To analyse clearly. By courtesy of T. and L. J.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Implicature OK

Metcalf's "OK: America's greatest word". Oxford University Press.

From wiki:

---- the implicature of 'OK':

""Okay" can fulfill functions at many level of discourse."

"At the ideational level it functions as an adjective or adverb (Bangerter and Clark, 2003), it signifies approval, acceptance and confirmation by the speaker (Condon, 1986; Merritt, 1984), and affirmatively responds to a question (Guthrie, 1997; Heisler, 1996)."

From the OED


All correct, all right; satisfactory, good; well, in good health or order. In early use, occas. more intensively: outstanding, excellent. Now freq. in somewhat weakened sense: adequate, acceptable. OK by (someone): fine by (a person), acceptable to (a person). Chiefly predicative.
Fashionable, modish; prestigious, high-class.
Of a person: decent, trustworthy; congenial.
Appropriate, suitable; permissible, allowed. Freq. with for.
Of a person: comfortable, at ease, content, satisfied; reasonable, understanding. Usu. with about, with.
Expressing assent, concession, or approval, esp. with regard to a previous statement or question: yes, all right.
a. Appended as an interrogative to a clause, phrase, etc., in expectation of agreement or approval.
b. Brit. ——rules OK!: asserting the pre-eminence of a specified person or thing.
Introducing an utterance or as a conversational filler, typically without affirmative or concessive force, but rather as a means of drawing attention to what the speaker is about to say: well, so, right.
An indication of approval; an endorsement, authorization. Freq. in to give the OK (to).In early use chiefly with reference to the marking of a document, etc., with the letters ‘OK’.
Satisfactorily, acceptably.
trans. To endorse, esp. by marking with the letters ‘OK’; to approve, agree to, sanction, or pass. Freq. in pa. pple.

"In this function it is frequently discussed as a third turn receipt by a current speaker (Bangerter and Clark, 2003; Guthrie, 1997; Beach, 1993)."

""Okay" has also been described as serving a variety of text-structural functions as a marker of information-state transitions."

"Several studies describe this function of okay, frequently, however, labeling the phenomenon differently (Levin and Gray, 1983; Merritt, 1984; Condon, 1986; Heisler, 1996; Rendle-Short, 2000; Swales and Malczewski, 2001; Bangerter and Clark, 2003)."

"Several studies subdivide this structural type of okay, usually, however, these subdivisions refer to the place where structural okay occurs or to the type of new section it opens up."

""Okay" functions as a pre-closing device (Schegloff and Sacks, 1973; Bangerter and Clark, 2003), it marks a return from a digression (Bangerter and Clark, 2003), functions as a text bracketing device (Rendle-Short, 2000), occurs in introductory or conclusion position (Levin and Gray, 1983), or as an attention getter at the beginning of an interaction (Heisler, 1996)."

"Finally "okay" and "alright" are frequently mentioned in their function of backchannel signal (Heisler, 1996; Swales and Malczewski, 2001)."[173]"

"The 1977 Tenerife airport disaster, in which 583 people were killed, was blamed in part on a misunderstranding between pilot and air traffic control over the intended sense of the word "OK". While the controller meant "understood, stand by", the pilot may have interpreted it as "approved, proceed". Standard control terminology excludes "OK" precisely to avoid such ambiguities."



Saturday, October 23, 2010

The logic of collectives

Today's World Wide Words, ed. M. Quinion, reminds us of "The Book of St. Albans", 1486, with the list of collective nouns for birds, including:

murmuration of starlings
unkindness of ravens
tiding of magpies
exaltation of larks

Implicatures of "Carve"

From today's World Wide Words, ed. M. Quinion:

"Under the heading, "Terms of a Carver" (in a 1508 book,The Book of Carving", 1508)appeared a list of the terms for carving *any type* of flesh, fowl or fish. The attentive reader (the master of a big household, not an illiterate servant, presumably) was instructed that one should

break a deer
disfigure a peacock
dismember a heron
lift a swan
unjoint a bittern
unbrace a mallard
thigh a pigeon
splat a pike
scull a tench
culpon a trout.

But never, never

"kills fleas and ticks that infest your yard, and then your pet"

From Quinion's World Wide Words: an online advert for Virbac Yard Spray, Robert Bendesky discovered, lists the following as one of its benefits: "Kills fleas and ticks that infest your yard, and then your pet".

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Gricean Singer

From Krehbiel, "Chapters of Opera":

"The preparation of "Siegfried" for performance led to an encounter between him and Mr. Seidl, in which the unamiable side of his disposition, and the shallowness of his artistic nature were disclosed. At the dress rehearsal, when alone on the stage, he started in to go through his part in dumbshow. Seidl requested him to sing. "It is not necessary; I know my part," was the ungracious reply. "But this is a rehearsal. It is not enough that you know your part or that you know that you know your part. I must know that you know it. Others must sing with you, and they must hear you." He started the orchestra again. Not a sound from the puffed up little tenor in his picturesque bearskin and pretty legs. Seidl rapped for silence, and put down his baton. "Call Mr. Stanton!" he commanded. Mr. Stanton was brought from his office, and Mr. Seidl briefly explained the situation. He would not go on with the rehearsal unless Mr. Alvary sang, and without a rehearsal there would be no first performance of "Siegfried" to-morrow. Mr. Alvary explained that to sing would weary him. "I shall not sing to-day and to-morrow. Choose; I'll sing either to-day or to-morrow." "Sing to-day!" said Stanton curtly, and turned away from the stage. Like a schoolboy Alvary now began to sing with all his might, as if bound to incapacitate himself for the next day. But he would have sacrificed a finger rather than his opportunity on the morrow, and the little misses and susceptible matrons got the hero whom they adored for years afterward."

Sunday, October 17, 2010


From today's World Wide Words, ed. M. Quinion:

"Weird Word: Aposematic. I came across the word in an article about Bristol Zoo, which has
set up an amphibian sanctuary to breed two endangered species. One
of them is the golden mantella frog native to Madagascar, which is
a brilliant golden-orange. The colours are aposematic, referring to
the bright markings or hues exhibited by some living creatures to
warn predators that they are poisonous. (The frog cheats: it isn't
toxic but the colours fool its enemies into thinking it is. Some
writers restrict "aposematic" to such false warnings.)
Though this is common enough in the biological sciences, it's not
often encountered elsewhere. Here's a rare example:
A gigantic bird of prey was descending on him, its
claws outstretched. Its aposematic wings were spread
wide, as wide as the field itself. Looking up in shock,
Hungaman saw how fanciful the wings were, fretted at the
edges, iridescent, bright as a butterfly's wings and as
[Aboard the Beatitude, by Brian W Aldiss, 2002.]
The word is from classical Greek, based on "sema", a sign, which
also appears in "polysemous", the coexistence of many possible
meanings for a word or phrase, and "semantic", relating to meaning
in language or logic. The prefix "apo-" means "away, off, from"."

Griceian application.

Grice wanted to get rid of 'semantic' (technical verbosity he associated with Peirce). Instead, he talked of 'mean'. But 'mean' tends to be 'factive':

"Those black clouds mean rain".

A cloud aposemantic?


Grice was very careful about this. His lectures on Peirce are still unpublished. They belong to the heyday of Oxonian love with the English language, and so they offer a defense for short Anglo-Saxon vernacularisms (like 'mean') rather than '... is an index', "is a non-factively semanticiser of...' and so on, but it's always fair to play! And fun too!

Grice, Studies in the Way of Words.
Grice, "Meaning", in WoW
Grice, "Meaning Revisited", in WoW.
Grice, "Lectures on Peirce, Theory of Signs". Oxford. Bancroft Grice Collection, Bancroft Library, UC/Berkeley. Dated 1946.
Hart, H. L. A. Review of Holloway, "Words and Signs" -- review of Holloway, Language and Intelligence, Philosophical Quarterly, 1952 -- crediting Grice's distinctions.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The tree's good roots

Perhaps we can expand on that example cited in Foot's obit. She claims that the logical form of:

--- The tree has good roots.


--- He performs good deeds

share a 'logical' form. I should revise the strict wording. But it may do to compare Grice and Foot on "good". Good.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Grice on Foot

née Philippa Ruth Bosanquet, in Durhamshire, England, 1920. † 2010.

Grice -- Conception of Value -- discussion of her views in ethics.

From amazon:
Natural Goodness by Philippa Foot (Paperback - Dec 4, 2003)
Virtues and Vices: And Other Essays in Moral Philosophy by Philippa Foot (Paperback - Feb 6, 2003)
Theories of Ethics (Oxford Readings in Philosophy) by Philippa Foot (Paperback - Nov 4, 1976)
Moral Dilemmas: and other topics in moral philosophy by Philippa Foot (Paperback - Mar 27, 2003)
Moral relativism (Lindley lecture, University of Kansas) by Philippa Foot (Unknown Binding - 1979)

Worth discussing.
R. I. P.


Example to discuss from her obituaries:

i. That tree has good roots.
ii. That tree has bad roots.

iii. That person, a good person, performs good deeds.


Grice discusses Foot at large in his "Conception of Value" -- the 'moral army': an army of volunteers or draftees? Grice was especially interested in Foot's idea of morality as a 'system of hypothetical imperatives'. Grice sided more with Hare, and G. J. Warnock, than with Foot's colleague Mary Warnock and others, but it's all worth discussing.

Grice would know of Foot from her long days at Somerville. She would also visit UC/Berkeley -- so more occasion for chit chat.

Admirable lady.

R. I. P.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Grice at the Opera

J is right that Wagner´s idea of "opera" is _Wagnerian_. Oddly, Grice´s favourite piece of music EVER was Mahler´s "Song of the Earth", which IS Wagnerian. He only dismissed "Meistersinger of Nuremberga" as for children. I´m sure there is a lot of Tolkeinianism in "Das Rheingold". The role of Wotan was played on Monday night at the Met by formidable Welsh baritone, B. Terfel -- who is an institution ... in Wales.

People objected to too many visual trickeries, but the Met is aiming at big shows now. The thing was televised for free at Times Square and the Lincoln Center Plaza. Meg Ryan was in attendance but she left before the intermission.

--- Oddly, there was NO intermission, which makes it a trick to capture the exact moment when she left. Anjelica Houston was also in attendance, and she came out humming some of the tunes.

Next week, they are showing Donizetti´s "Don Pasquale". "A different sort of animal," the director of the Metropolitan Opera, J. Gelb, said.

Grice and Wagner

We are discussing Wagner in connection with Grice. As J notes, Wagner was a pretty intelligent man. Perhaps he lacked the ability to create a memorable tune (like "I´m forever blowing bubbles"). Wagner is perhaps overrated. Unlike Grice.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"booed at his curtain call"

From the review of "Das Rheingold", Metropolitan Opera, New York:
Martin Bernheimer, Financial Times, Sept. 28 2010;

"Lepage, who was booed at his curtain call, doesn’t really tell the story
of Rheingold."

But then, he was booed by 25 at most. The capacity of the Met is bigger than that. Is there an implicature here?

To analyse:

i. Lepage, who was booed at his curtain call, doesn't realy tell the story of Rheingold. +> but he may tell another story.

ii. Lepage was booed at his curtain call.

iii. (Be as informative as is required):
Lepage was booed at his curtain call by 25 people.



Florence Foster Jenkins

--- By Speranza
----- for the Grice Club

Someone brought this to my attention about yesterday´s opening gala at the Met. You see, this Canadian (we love him), LePage, of "Cirque du Soleil" fame, staged Wagner´s "Das Rheingold". The Financial Times review in London read:

"Mr. Lepage, who was booed at his curtain call, .... "

As it has been pointed to me, he was booed by 25 people at most -- while a few others (the rest -- check the Met´s seating capacity) applauded and cheered.

--- We seem to have a case here of an implicature. But not quite. It resembles, talking musically, but not quite, Grice´s example:

"She produced a series of sounds that corresponded pretty closely to the score of "Home Sweet Home". Not quite, but you get the point.

Incidentally, this is the area of musical reviews. Florence Foster Jenkins, if you´ve heard her, was famous for getting a few reviews in the New York press -- she would perform at Carnegie Hall and other venues -- The Plaza, as I recall having read -- is said to have been given some "back-handed" reviews, or rather, reviews which were, on the surface of it, positive, but not quite. Favourable in a back-handed way, as it is.


Anyway, it´s always nice to recall Florence, though!

If you comment, feel free to focus on the FT exact quote, as per above, or beyond. I may provide further context, and a more "relevant" title but you get the gist.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Gricean-maxim based guide to good style


"The Marlin Chronicle, the student newspaper of Virginia Wesleyan
College, had a story on 17 September about a snake that fell from
the ceiling of an office. Cathal Woods says that the paper wrote of
the person who saw it: "When she checked to see what had fallen,
she dismissed the snake as a prank, thinking it was one of the
other workers.""

Analysis of

"When Mary checked to see what had fallen,
she dismissed the snake as a prank. Plus, she thought
it was one of the other workers"

Implicature: she was allegedly working -- but made a break to analyse the case.

"Texas Man accused of shooting deputies in custody"

Quinion: "It would be all too easy to get the wrong idea from a headline on
the Buffalo News website over a story dated 18 September."

Griceian trends in English

Quinion on 'lo and behold' -- NOT vis a vis, Grice,

"Do not be more informative than is required"


"the evidence suggests that it was sometime in the
eighteenth century - people began to put the two words ['lo' and 'behold'] together to make a humorously reinforced form that might be translated as "look
and see"."

"At first this was regarded as too colloquial to be used
in respectable publications, which is why our earliest examples are
from personal letters."

"Thus, there's a letter of 1808
in the published correspondence of Lady Lyttelton, much later to
become lady of the bedchamber to Queen Victoria and governess to
her children."

Lady Lyttleton wrote:

"Lo and behold! M. Deshayes himself appeared".

This is earlier by half a century, though:

"Here was I sat down, full of Love and Respect to write
my dearest Friends a dutiful and loving letter,

when lo, and behold!

I was made happy by the receipt of yours.

[In a letter by Miss N-- to the actor and playwright
Thomas Hull, dated 22 July 1766. It was included in
Select letters Between the Late Duchess of Somerset, Lady
Luxborough, Mr Whistler, ... and Others, which Hull
edited and published in two volumes in 1778.]

"By the 1820s, it had become common."

"It's still so, though we can
only utter it self-consciously as a linguistic relic."

"We can use it
to refer to some notionally surprising event that isn't really so
surprising because it has been predicted."

-- Reanaysis of the original

1766 letter from Miss N.:

"Here was I sat down,
full of Love and Respect to write
my dearest Friends a dutiful and loving letter,
when lo, and behold!
I was made happy by the receipt of yours."

She has the courtesy to add an Oxford comma, though, "lo, and behold".


Quinion on 'ooglification', which was coined "about 30 years ago by Roger Wescott, who was then Professor of Linguistics at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.
It appeared in a little article in the linguistic magazine Verbatim
under the title Ooglification in American English Slang. He claimed
to have derived the word as an expansion of the American slang term
"oogly", which he said meant "extremely attractive" and "extremely
unattractive". So far as I am aware, it has never aspired to the
former sense, being a modified form of "ugly", thus being a example
of the process he describes."

"Wescott listed a number of slang terms from the past century
that share this quality. Most of his examples are either uncommon
or defunct. "Divine" has appeared as "divoon", "Scandinavian" is
known as "Scandinoovian" (sometimes as "Scandihoovian"), and at one
time "cigaroot" was a well known variation on "cigarette.""

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Grice's "In defense of a dogma" and his antidistestablishmentarianism (revisited)


"There is a core dogma (--then that's the case with any religion, isn't it)".

Yes -- the bad joke was Quine's. He said: Empiricism (as if it were a religion) -- had, if not 39 articles, -- at least two dogmas. Grice surely rallied to the defense of the underdogma. And won (the day from here to eternity -- amen).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Grice's Antidisestablishmentarianism

Thanks to R. B. Jones for his commentary on Grice and the 39 Articles of 1581. As Jones notes, these predate the 1870 date but do postdate wicked earlier statement (1075, A.D.) to the effect that

"i. the Roman church has never erred
ii. nor will it err to all eternity".

"this sounds more like the target of the 39 articles [of 1571] and this doctrine really is contradicted by the articles"

Jones adds:

"though it's not specifically a doctrine of Papal infallibility."

Indeed. It's just what one Pope (and admittedly wicked) just said -- and presumably out of the blue.

Jones adds:

"one needs some further explanation of what constitutes an act or pronouncement of the church to know whether or when a statement of the Pope would fall under Gregory's statement 22)"

Yes. It is a good thing that they keep numbering statements and articles. It makes our analytic task an easier one.

I would formalise Statement 22 (1075) as follows:

(22) "I hereby state -- by uttering (22) -- that the Roman Church has *never* erred, and more importantly that it will NEVER err to all eternity".

This quantifies over "t" (chronological operators). t1>t2. (t). For all 't'. Strictly, we should use the inverted "A" here:

(22) -- as uttered in ti (∀t) (22) is true.

Or something.

Strictly, I would think that the 39 Articles would require an extra 'closure' article (making that "Forty"), to echo Gregory's presumptuous claim:

ARTICLE 40. All of the above are true, as is this one, from here to eternity.

Or something.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Grice's Antidisestablishmentarianism

We have been revising Grice's religious background. His father was a noted non-conformist (he would conform, logically, to ~p). His aunt was a Catholic convert. His mother (nee Mabel Felton) was an antidisestablishmentarian.

He may have inherited something from that trait of hers.

"In a country with an established religion (e.g. England), "antiestablishmentarianism" means support
for the end of the special status of the established religion."

"In the 1800s, some English people opposed a movement to
dis-establish as the church exclusively recognized
by the Government as the official religion of the country. That
countermovement was
Anti-dis-establishment-arian-ism. Antidisestablishmentarianism is usually cited as the longest word in the English language, but according to some definitions it is exceeded by several others."


However, it is one that still implicates some long implicatures.

Grice and Articles 19 and 21 of the Thirty-Nine (1571)

by J. L. Speranza
--- for the Grice Club.

Vis a vis the Pope's visit to Grice's country.


We were discussing with J and Jones the issue of infallibility. The wiki goes about "papal infallibility":

"a rejection given expression in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion (1571)"

Wiki goes on to quote the two relevant articles here, also mentioned by Grice (1988, Studies in the way of words):


"Of the Church."

We are analysing to what extent these are propositions of the p, q, r, ... form and in what way they are infallible.

"The visible Church of Christ is
a congregation of faithful men, in
which the pure Word of God is preached, and
the Sacraments be duly ministered
according to Christ's ordinance, in all
those things that of necessity are
requisite to the same. As the Church
of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch,
have erred, so also the Church of Rome
hath erred, not only in their living and
manner of Ceremonies, but also
in matters of Faith."

OK. So the key concept here is 'error'. How can the Pope be infallible if he has erred?

---- So the proposition, p, q, r, ... goes:

i. The Church of Rome has erred.
---- i.a. in matters of faith.
---- i.b. in the living.
---- i.c. in the manner of ceremonies.

Personaly, I think 'matters of faith' is more relevant. Who cares for ceremonies?

--- Although the reference may be to the "mass" thing which Anglicans DENY it involves a real 'transubstantiation' (oddly Grice calls 'transubstantiation' one of his metaphysical routines).


Article XXI.

"Of the Authority of General Councils."

"General Councils may not be gathered together without the commandment and will of Princes."

"And when they be gathered together, (forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and Word of God,) they may err,"

------ i.e. <>p -- where <> is a 'possibility' operator. "They may err". It is possible that they err. Not that they MUST err. That would be the necessity operator []p.


"and sometimes have erred,"

--- So, here the modal assertion is rendered factive.

"even in things pertaining unto God. Wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of holy Scripture."

"that they be taken" is old English, but the 'be' is NOT African American Vernacular English. It means, "that they ARE taken".

---- But the 'be' has a 'deeming' side to it.

"Let there BE light".


I think there is a subjunctive side to 'that they be taken'. But in symbols, it means that

"it has to be declared" -- the "unless it may", while involving the possibility-operator at the surface level, involves, really, the 'necessity' operator --

"that they be taken out of Holy Scripture"

So, we need a DECLARATION (which is the speech-act involved here, which Grice would have as 'central', along with Austin, rather than 'peripheral').

A declaration about what?

And by who?

By princes. Meaning Henry VIII.

And on what?

On 'things ordained as NECESSARY' (the same operator) for salvation.

So, you HAVE to agree that the 39 Articles of the C. of E. give it an epistemic twist to what it taken for Granted by the Roman Catholics, it would seem.

--- Or something.


Well, if Margaret Masterman (who would NOT wear knickers) founded the "Cambridge Language Research Unit" I hereby infallibly assert that the OLRU (Oxford Language Reseach Unit) was founded, apocryphally, by Grice.

"We would meet at St. John´s. Austin would tell us: "games" today. So we would spend the Saturday morning -- from 10:30 to 12:30 analysing "rule", "game", "play". I once suggested "cricket", but he thought it was not general enough (His actual words: "Your specificity bores me")."

Grice and the 39 Articles

We are considering the visit by the Pope to England. The pope is said to be 'infallible'. This strikes one as anti-Popperian. As Jones remarks, it's best to translate 'infallible' as "definitive" (as per 'definition'). Plus, as he also remarks, there is a parallel with the 39 Articles.

Grice writes about the 39 Articles in "Logic and Conversation" (of all places) -- and I write this as I read that there is possibly a very interesting book -- if you are into that sort of specialised obsessions of academia -- called "Assertion" edited by Palgrave (who also edited Grice's bio):

Grice writes then,

"Now assertion presumably involves

committing oneself, and while

it is possible to commit oneself

to a statement which one has not

identified (I could commit myself to the

contents of the Thirty-Nine Articles

of the Church of England, without

knowing what they say), I do NOT

think I should be properly regarded

as having committed myself to the content

of the policeman's [or Pope's. JLS] statement,

merely in virtue of having said it was true. When to

my surprise I learn that the policeman [or Pope]

atually said, "Monkeys can talk", I say (perhaps):

"Well, I was wrong" -- NOT: "I withdraw that,"

or "I withdraw my commitment to that". I never was

committed to it."


We should compare this with the reference to the 39 articles in the wiki, "Papal infallibility" -- and recall that wiki also holds an entry for "infallibility of the church".


While I agree with R. B. Jones that in the case of the Pope what is deemed to be infallible does not quite fit Carnap's view of a 'proposition', the point by Grice above that the 'articles' are 'statements' (or that an article is a statement) seems to have a different colouring to it.

Or something.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Grice and the 39 Articles

Grice does refer explicitly to the C. of E. 39 Articles, so it is interesting to compare them with the "Papal ineffability" piece as per wiki. I may provide the actual google quote about Grice on the 39 articles. It's in the context of

"Monkeys can talk"

as said by a policeman.

And to what effect can we say that we 'are committed to the 39 articles' even if, to quote from Grice, 'we don't know what they say'. Or stuff. (Some Anglican!)

Griceian Infallibility

Vis a vis our current discussion with J on this.

From wiki's entry
"Papal infallibility"

"Papal infallibility is the dogma in Roman Catholic theology that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error[1] when he solemnly declares or promulgates to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals as being contained in divine revelation, or at least being intimately connected to divine revelation."

"It is also taught that the Holy Spirit works in the body of the Church, as sensus fidelium, to ensure that dogmatic teachings proclaimed to be infallible will be received by all Catholics."

"This dogma, however, does not state either that the Pope cannot sin in his own personal life or that he is necessarily free of error, even when speaking in his official capacity, outside the specific contexts in which the dogma applies."

"This doctrine was defined dogmatically in the First Vatican Council of 1870."

"According to Catholic theology, there are several concepts important to the understanding of infallible, divine revelation: Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Sacred Magisterium."

"The infallible teachings of the Pope are part of the Sacred Magisterium, which also consists of ecumenical councils and the "ordinary and universal magisterium"."

"In Catholic theology, papal infallibility is one of the channels of the infallibility of the Church."

"The infallible teachings of the Pope must be based on, or at least not contradict, Sacred Tradition or Sacred Scripture. Papal infallibility does not signify that the Pope is impeccable, i.e.., that he is specially exempt from liability to sin."

"In practice, popes seldom use their power of infallibility, but rely on the notion that the Church allows the office of the pope to be the ruling agent in deciding what will be accepted as formal beliefs in the Church.[2]"

"Since the solemn declaration of Papal Infallibility by Vatican I on July 18, 1870, this power has been used only once ex cathedra: in 1950 when Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary as being an article of faith for Roman Catholics."

"Prior to the solemn definition of 1870, Pope Pius IX, with the support of the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholic bishops, had proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of Mary an ex cathedra dogma in December 1854."

"Conditions for papal infallibility"

"Statements by a pope that exercise papal infallibility are referred to as solemn papal definitions or ex cathedra teachings."

"These should not be confused with teachings that are infallible because of a solemn definition by an ecumenical council, or with teachings that are infallible in virtue of being taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium."

"For details on these other kinds of infallible teachings, see Infallibility of the Church."

"According to the teaching of the First Vatican Council and Catholic tradition, the conditions required for ex cathedra teaching are as follows:

1. "the Roman Pontiff"

2. "speaks ex cathedra" ("that is, when in the discharge of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, and by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority….")

3. "he defines"

4. "that a doctrine concerning faith or morals"

5. "must be held by the whole Church" (Pastor Aeternus, chap. 4)

"For a teaching by a pope or ecumenical council to be recognized as infallible, the teaching must make it clear that the Church is to consider it definitive and binding. There is not any specific phrasing required for this, but it is usually indicated by one or both of the following:

a verbal formula indicating that this teaching is definitive (such as "We declare, decree and define..."), or

an accompanying anathema stating that anyone who deliberately dissents is outside the Catholic Church.

For example, in 1950, with Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII's infallible definition regarding the Assumption of Mary, there are attached these words:

Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which We have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.

An infallible teaching by a pope or ecumenical council can contradict previous Church teachings, as long as they were not themselves taught infallibly. In this case, the previous fallible teachings are immediately made void. Of course, an infallible teaching cannot contradict a previous infallible teaching, including the infallible teachings of the Holy Bible or Holy Tradition. Also, due to the sensus fidelium, an infallible teaching cannot be subsequently contradicted by the Catholic Church, even if that subsequent teaching is in itself fallible.

In July 2005 Pope Benedict XVI asserted during an impromptu address to priests in Aosta that: "The Pope is not an oracle; he is infallible in very rare situations, as we know."[3]

It is the opinion of the majority of Catholic theologians that the canonizations of a pope enter within the limits of infallible teaching. Therefore, it is considered certain by this majority of theologians, that such persons canonized are definitely in heaven with God. However, this opinion of infallibility of canonizations has never been definitively taught by the Magisterium. Other theologians, even those of earlier times, refer to this majority opinion, as a "pious opinion, but merely an opinion".[citation needed] Before the height of Middle Ages, saints were created not by the Bishop of Rome, but by the bishops of the local dioceses, confirming or rejecting the acclamation of the people calling for declaration of sanctity of a particular Christian person who died "in the odour of sanctity". In Catholic teaching, diocesan bishops do not in themselves possess the charism of infallibility (but do so when gathered in ecumenical council), leaving these early Church canonizations without certainty of infallibility.

The only ex cathedra application of papal infallibility since its solemn declaration has been for the Marian Dogma of Assumption in 1950. This painting of the Assumption is by Rubens, 1626.See also: Roman Catholic Dogma
In Catholic theology, the Latin phrase ex cathedra, literally meaning "from the chair", refers to a teaching by the pope that is considered to be made with the intention of invoking infallibility.

The "chair" referred to is not a literal chair, but refers metaphorically to the pope's position, or office, as the official teacher of Catholic doctrine: the chair was the symbol of the teacher in the ancient world, and bishops to this day have a cathedra, a seat or throne, as a symbol of their teaching and governing authority. The pope is said to occupy the "chair of Peter", as Catholics hold that among the apostles Peter had a special role as the preserver of unity, so the pope as successor of Peter holds the role of spokesman for the whole church among the bishops, the successors as a group of the apostles. (Also see Holy See and sede vacante: both terms evoke this seat or throne.)

Scriptural support for infallibility of the Pope
Believers of the church doctrine claim that their position is historically traceable[4] to Scripture:

John 1:42, Mark 3:16 ("And to Simon he gave the name "Peter", "Cephas", or "Rock")
Matthew 16:18 ("thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it"; cf. Matthew 7:24-28, (the house built on rock)
Luke 10:16 ("He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me.")
Acts 15:28 ("For it hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, ...") ("the Apostles speak with voice of Holy Ghost")
Matthew 10:2 ("And the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon who is called Peter,...") (Peter is first.)
Ludwig Ott points out the many indications in Scripture that Peter was given a primary role with respect to the other Apostles: Mark 5:37, Matthew 17:1, Matthew 26:37, Luke 5:3, Matthew 17:27, Luke 22:32, Luke 24:34, and 1 Corinthians 15:5 (Fund., Bk. IV, Pt. 2, Ch. 2, §5).

Supporters of the pope outside the United Nations in 2008 with a banner quoting Matthew 16.Doctrine-based religions evolve their theologies over time, and Catholicism is no exception: its theology did not spring instantly and fully formed within the bosom of the earliest Church.

The doctrine of the Primacy of the Roman Bishops, like other Church teachings and institutions, has gone through a development. Thus the establishment of the Primacy recorded in the Gospels has gradually been more clearly recognised and its implications developed. Clear indications of the consciousness of the Primacy of the Roman bishops, and of the recognition of the Primacy by the other churches appear at the end of the 1st century. L. Ott[5]

Pope St. Clement of Rome, c. 99, stated in a letter to the Corinthians: "Indeed you will give joy and gladness to us, if having become obedient to what we have written through the Holy Spirit, you will cut out the unlawful application of your zeal according to the exhortation which we have made in this epistle concerning peace and union" (Denziger §41, emphasis added).

St. Clement of Alexandria wrote on the primacy of Peter c. 200: "...the blessed Peter, the chosen, the pre-eminent, the first among the disciples, for whom alone with Himself the Savior paid the tribute..." (Jurgens §436).

The existence of an ecclesiastical hierarchy is emphasized by St. Stephan I, 251, in a letter to the bishop of Antioch: "Therefore did not that famous defender of the Gospel [Novatian] know that there ought to be one bishop in the Catholic Church [of the city of Rome]? It did not lie hidden from him..." (Denziger §45).

St. Julius I, in 341 wrote to the Antiochenes: "Or do you not know that it is the custom to write to us first, and that here what is just is decided?" (Denziger §57a, emphasis added).

Catholicism holds that an understanding among the Apostles was written down in what became the Scriptures, and rapidly became the living custom of the Church, and that from there, a clearer theology could unfold.

St. Siricius wrote to Himerius in 385: "To your inquiry we do not deny a legal reply, because we, upon whom greater zeal for the Christian religion is incumbent than upon the whole body, out of consideration for our office do not have the liberty to dissimulate, nor to remain silent. We carry the weight of all who are burdened; nay rather the blessed apostle PETER bears these in us, who, as we trust, protects us in all matters of his administration, and guards his heirs" (Denziger §87, emphasis in original).

Many of the Church Fathers spoke of ecumenical councils and the Bishop of Rome as possessing a reliable authority to teach the content of Scripture and tradition. However, patristic support for papal infallibility does not exist. Theologians of the Middle Ages are responsible for that development.[citation needed]

In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance the doctrine of papal infallibility first developed.

The first theologian to systematically discuss the infallibility of ecumenical councils was Theodore Abu-Qurrah in the 9th century.

In the year 1075, Pope Gregory VII asserted 27 statements regarding the powers of the papacy in Dictatus Papae: "22.That the Roman church has never erred; nor will it err to all eternity, the Scripture bearing witness."

Several medieval theologians discussed the infallibility of the pope when defining matters of faith and morals, including Thomas Aquinas and John Peter Olivi. In 1330, the Carmelite bishop Guido Terreni described the pope’s use of the charism of infallibility in terms very similar to those that would be used at Vatican I.

"The infallibility of the pope was formally defined in 1870, although the tradition behind this view goes back much further. In the conclusion of the fourth chapter of its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Pastor aeternus, the First Vatican Council declared the following, with bishops Aloisio Riccio and Edward Fitzgerald dissenting:[6]

“ We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals, and that therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves and not from the consent of the Church irreformable.
So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema. (see Denziger §1839).

— Vatican Council, Sess. IV , Const. de Ecclesiâ Christi, Chapter iv

According to Catholic theology, this is an infallible dogmatic definition by an ecumenical council. Because the 1870 definition is not seen by Catholics as a creation of the Church, but as the dogmatic revelation of a Truth about the Papal Magisterium, Papal teachings made prior to the 1870 proclamation can, if they meet the criteria set out in the dogmatic definition, be considered infallible. Ineffabilis Deus is an example of this.

The British statesman, Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone publicly attacked Vatican I, stating that Roman Catholics had "forfeited their moral and mental freedom".

Gladstone published a pamphlet called The Vatican Decrees in their Bearing on Civil Allegiance in which he described the Catholic Church as "an Asian monarchy: nothing but one giddy height of despotism, and one dead level of religious subservience". He further claimed that the Pope wanted to destroy the rule of law and replace it with arbitrary tyranny, and then to hide these "crimes against liberty beneath a suffocating cloud of incense".[7] Cardinal Newman famously responded with his Letter to the Duke of Norfolk. In the letter he argues that conscience, which is supreme, is not in conflict with papal infallibility—though he toasts "I shall drink to the Pope if you please--still, to conscience first and to the Pope afterwards".[8] He stated later that “the Vatican Council left the Pope just as it found him”, satisfied that the definition was very moderate, and specific in regards to what specifically can be declared as infallible[9]

The Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, which was also a document on the Church itself, explicitly reaffirmed the definition of papal infallibility, so as to avoid any doubts, expressing this in the following words:

“ This Sacred Council, following closely in the footsteps of the First Vatican Council, with that Council teaches and declares that Jesus Christ, the eternal Shepherd, established His holy Church, having sent forth the apostles as He Himself had been sent by the Father;(136) and He willed that their successors, namely the bishops, should be shepherds in His Church even to the consummation of the world. And in order that the episcopate itself might be one and undivided, He placed Blessed Peter over the other apostles, and instituted in him a permanent and visible source and foundation of unity of faith and communion. And all this teaching about the institution, the perpetuity, the meaning and reason for the sacred primacy of the Roman Pontiff and of his infallible magisterium, this Sacred Council again proposes to be firmly believed by all the faithful. ”

It is incorrect to hold that doctrine teaches that the Pope is infallible in everything he says. In reality, the invocation of papal infallibility is extremely rare.

Catholic theologians agree that both Pope Pius IX's 1854 definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, and Pope Pius XII's 1950 definition of the dogma of the Assumption of Mary are instances of papal infallibility, a fact which has been confirmed by the Church's magisterium.[10] However, theologians disagree about what other documents qualify.

Regarding historical papal documents, Catholic theologian and church historian Klaus Schatz made a thorough study, published in 1985, that identified the following list of ex cathedra documents (see Creative Fidelity: Weighing and Interpreting Documents of the Magisterium, by Francis A. Sullivan, chapter 6):

"Tome to Flavian", Pope Leo I, 449, on the two natures in Christ, received by the Council of Chalcedon;
Letter of Pope Agatho, 680, on the two wills of Christ, received by the Third Council of Constantinople;
Benedictus Deus, Pope Benedict XII, 1336, on the beatific vision of the just prior to final judgment;
Cum occasione, Pope Innocent X, 1653, condemning five propositions of Jansen as heretical;
Auctorem fidei, Pope Pius VI, 1794, condemning seven Jansenist propositions of the Synod of Pistoia as heretical;
Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX, 1854, defining the Immaculate Conception;
Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII, 1950, defining the Assumption of Mary.
For modern-day Church documents, there is no need for speculation as to which are officially ex cathedra, because the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith can be consulted directly on this question. For example, after Pope John Paul II's apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone) was released in 1994, a few commentators speculated that this might be an exercise of papal infallibility.[11] In response to this confusion, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has unambiguously stated, on at least three separate occasions,[12][13][14] that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis although not an ex cathedra teaching (i.e., although not a teaching of the extraordinary magisterium), is indeed infallible, clarifying that the content of this letter has been taught infallibly by the ordinary and universal magisterium.[15]

The Vatican itself has given no complete list of papal statements considered to be infallible. A 1998 commentary on Ad Tuendam Fidem, written by Cardinals Ratzinger (the later Pope Benedict XVI) and Bertone, the prefect and secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, listed a number of instances of infallible pronouncements by popes and by ecumenical councils, but explicitly stated (at no. 11) that this was not meant to be a complete list.[14]

The number of infallible pronouncements by ecumenical councils is significantly greater than the number of infallible pronouncements by popes.

Those opposed to papal infallibility provide various arguments, such as those cited by Geisler and MacKenzie[16] with proof texts for papal infallibility being contended against.[17]

White[18] and others disagree that Matthew 16:18 refers to Peter being the Rock, based on linguistic grounds, and their understanding that his authority was shared. They argue that in this passage Peter is in the second person ("you"), but that "this rock" is in the third person, referring to Christ, (the subject of Peter's truth confession in the verse 16, and the revelation referred to in v. 17), and who is uniquely and explicitly affirmed to be the foundation of the church.[19] Certain Catholic authorities, such as John Chrysostom and St. Augustine, are cited as supporting this understanding, with Augustine stating, "On this rock, therefore, He said, which thou hast confessed. I will build my Church. For the Rock (petra) is Christ; and on this foundation was Peter himself built".[20]
The "keys" in the Matthean passage and its authority is understood as primarily or exclusively pertaining to the gospel.[21]
The prayer of Jesus to Peter, that his faith fail not, (Luke 22:32) it is not seen as promising infallibly to a papal office, which is held to be a late and novel doctrine.[22]
While recognizing Peter's significant role in the early church, and initial brethren-type leadership, it is contended that the Book of Acts manifests him as inferior to the apostle Paul in his level of contribution and influence, with Paul becoming the dominant focus in the Biblical records of the early church, and the writer of most of the New Testament (receiving direct revelation), and having authority to publicly reprove Peter.(Gal. 2:11-14)
Geisler and MacKenzie also see the absence of any reference by Peter referring to himself distinctively, such as the chief of apostles, and instead only as "an apostle," or "an elder" (1Pet. 1:1; 5:1) as weighing against Peter being the supreme and infallible head of the church universal, and indicating he would not accept such titles as the Holy Father.
The Roman Catholic claim that the Lord's commission to Peter to "feed my lambs" in John 21:15ff requires infallibility is seen to be a serious overclaim for the passage.[citation needed]
The argument based on the revelatory function connected to the office of the high priest Caiaphas, (Jn. 11:49-52) which holds that this establishes a precedent for Petrine infallibility, is rejected, based (among other reasons), on the Catholic-acknowledged position that there is no new revelation after the time of the New Testament, inferred by Rev. 22:18[23]
Likewise, it is also held that a Jewish infallible Magisterium did not exist, though the faith yet endured, and that the Roman Catholic doctrine on infallibility is a new invention.[24][25]

The promise of papal infallibly is seen violated by certain popes who spoke heresy (as recognized by the Roman church itself) under conditions which, it is argued, fit the criteria for infallibility.[26][27]

The condemnation of Pope Honorius I by the sixth, seventh and eighth ecumenical councils for teaching a Monothelite heresy argue against the position that papal infallibility has always been a consistent teaching of the Catholic Church. The counter argument is that Honorius, as Pope Leo II stated, was anathematized, not because of heresy, but because of his negligence.
Regarding the first ecumenical council at Jerusalem, Peter is not seen being looked to as the infallible head of the church, with James exercising the more decisive leadership, and providing the definitive sentence.[28] Nor is he seen elsewhere being the final and universal arbiter about any doctrinal dispute about faith in the life of the church.[29]

The conclusion that monarchical leadership by an infallible pope is needed and existed, is held as unwarranted on scriptural and historical grounds. Rather than appeal to an infallible head, the scriptures are seen as being the infallible authority.[30][31] Rather than an infallible pope, church leadership in the New Testament is understood as being that of bishops and elders, denoting the same office.[32][33] (Titus 1:5-7)

It is further argued that the doctrine of papal infallibility lacked universal or widespread support in the bulk of church history, contrary to the claims made by Vatican 1 in first promulgating it,[34] and that substantial opposition existed from within the Catholic Church, even at the time of its official institution, testifying to its lack of scriptural and historical warrant.[35][36][37]
[edit] Internal opposition to the doctrine of papal infallibility
Following the first Vatican Council, 1870, dissent, mostly among German, Austrian, and Swiss Catholics, arose over the definition of Papal Infallibility. The dissenters, holding the General Councils of the Church infallible, were unwilling to accept the dogma of Papal Infallibility, and thus a schism arose between them and the Church. Many of these Catholics formed independent communities in schism with Rome, which became known as the Old Catholic Churches.

A few present-day Catholics, including priests, refuse to accept papal infallibility as a matter of faith, such as Hans Küng, author of Infallible? An Inquiry, and historian Garry Wills, author of Papal Sin. A recent (1989–1992) survey of Catholics from multiple countries (the United States, Austria, Canada, Ecuador, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Peru, Spain and Switzerland), aged 15 to 25 showed that 36.9% accepted the teaching on papal infallibility, 36.9% denied it, and 26.2% said they didn't know of it. (Source: Report on surveys of the International Marian Research Institute, by Johann G. Roten, S.M.) Küng has been sanctioned by the Church and prohibited from teaching theology.

Lord Acton, a leading Roman Catholic 19th century British historian, the who succeeded Newman as the editor of the Catholic periodical The Rambler, is justly famous for his axiom, that "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. . . There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holder of it", which he made in a letter to the Anglican Bishop of London, Mandell Creighton, specifically in reference to his opposition to the definition of papal infallibity.

Historical objections to the teachings on infallibility often appeal to the important work of Brian Tierney, Origins of Papal Infallibility 1150-1350 (Leiden, 1972). Tierney comes to the conclusion, "There is no convincing evidence that papal infallibility formed any part of the theological or canonical tradition of the church before the thirteenth century; the doctrine was invented in the first place by a few dissident Franciscans because it suited their convenience to invent it; eventually, but only after much initial reluctance, it was accepted by the papacy because it suited the convenience of the popes to accept it".[38] (See also Ockham and Infallibility). The Rome-based Jesuit Wittgenstein scholar Garth Hallett argued that the dogma of infallibility was neither true nor false but meaningless; see his Darkness and Light: The Analysis of Doctrinal Statements (Paulist Press, 1975). In practice, he claims, the dogma seems to have no practical use and to have succumbed to the sense that it is irrelevant.

In the nineteenth century, before the 1870 definition, two catechisms in use in Ireland explicitly denied the doctrine of Papal Infallibility. In answer to the question of whether the pope was infallible they suggested that such an idea was a Protestant invention made to discredit Roman Catholics. After the formal declaration of the Pope's Infallibility by Pius IX, this question and answer were quietly dropped in subsequent editions, with no explanation for the change.[39]

It is also argued that since the apostle Peter himself was not regarded as infallible in the Bible, and was corrected—albeit in a matter regarding his personal behavior and failure to live by his own teachings—by the apostle Paul (referenced in Galatians 2:11), that it makes little sense to regard current popes as infallible.

The Catholic priest August Bernhard Hasler provides a detailed analysis of the First Vatican Council, and how the passage of the infallibility dogma was orchestrated.[40] Roger O'Toole identifies the distinctive contributions of Hasler as follows:[41] "

1.It weakens or demolishes the claim that Papal Infallibility was already a universally accepted truth, and that its formal definition merely made de jure what had long been acknowledged de facto.

2.It emphasizes the extent of resistance to the definition, particularly in France and Germany.

3.It clarifies the 'inopportunist' position as largely a polite fiction and notes how it was used by Infallibilists to trivialize the nature of the opposition to papal claims.

4.It indicates the extent to which 'spontaneous popular demand' for the definition was, in fact, carefully orchestrated.

5.It underlines the personal involvement of the Pope who, despite his coy disclaimers, appears as the prime mover and driving force behind the Infallibilist campaign.

6.It details the lengths to which the papacy was prepared to go in wringing formal 'submissions' from the minority even after their defeat in the Council.

7.It offers insight into the ideological basis of the dogma in European political conservatism, monarchism and counter-revolution.

8.It establishes the doctrine as a key contributing element in the present 'crisis' of the Roman Catholic Church."

Additional voices of opposition are compiled in such works as, Roman Catholic opposition to papal infallibility, (1909), by W. J. Sparrow Simpson.[42]

The dogma of Papal Infallibility is rejected by Eastern Orthodoxy. Orthodox Christians hold that the Holy Spirit will not allow the whole Body of Orthodox Christians to fall into error[43] but leave open the question of how this will be ensured in any specific case. Eastern Orthodoxy considers that the first seven ecumenical councils were infallible as accurate witnesses to the truth of the gospel, not so much on account of their institutional structure as on account of their reception by the Christian faithful.

Furthermore, Orthodox Christians do not believe that any individual bishop is infallible or that the idea of Papal Infallibility was taught during the first centuries of Christianity. Orthodox historians often point to the condemnation of Pope Honorius as a heretic by the Sixth Ecumenical council as a significant indication. However, it is debated whether Honorius' letter to Sergius met (in retrospect) the criteria set forth at Vatican I. Other Orthodox scholars[44] argue that past Papal statements that appear to meet the conditions set forth at Vatican I for infallible status presented teachings in faith and morals are now acknowledged as problematic (e.g. Exsurge Domine).

The Church of England and its sister churches in the Anglican Communion, having seceded from the Roman Church centuries ago, reject papal infallibility, a rejection given expression in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion (1571):

XIX. Of the Church. The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same. As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred, so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith.

XXI. Of the Authority of General Councils. General Councils may not be gathered together without the commandment and will of Princes. And when they be gathered together, (forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and Word of God,) they may err, and sometimes have erred, even in things pertaining unto God. Wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of holy Scripture.

John Wesley amended the Anglican Articles of Religion for use by Methodists, particularly those in America. The Methodist Articles omit the express provisions in the Anglican articles concerning the errors of the Church of Rome and the authority of councils, but retain Article V which implicitly pertains to the Roman Catholic idea of papal authority as capable of defining articles of faith on matters not clearly derived from Scripture:

V. Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation. The Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation...

Presbyterian and Reformed churches also strongly reject papal infallibility. The Westminster Confession of Faith [2] which was intended in 1646 to replace the Thirty-Nine Articles, goes so far as to label the Roman pontiff "Antichrist"; it contains the following statements:

(Chapter one) IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.

(Chapter one) X. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.

(Chapter Twenty-Five) VI. There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God.

Evangelical churches do not believe in papal infallibility for reasons similar to Methodist and Reformed Christians. Evangelicals believe that the Bible alone is infallible or inerrant. Most evangelical churches and ministries have statements of doctrine that explicitly say that the Bible, composed of the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, is the sole rule for faith and practice. Most of these statements, however, are articles of faith that evangelicals affirm in a positive way, and contain no reference to the Papacy or other beliefs that are not part of evangelical doctrine.

According to Raffaele De Cesare:

The first idea of convening an Ecumenical Council in Rome to elevate the temporal power into a dogma, originated in the third centenary of the Council of Trent, which took place in that city in December, 1863, and was attended by a number of Austrian and Hungarian prelates.[45]
However, following the Austro-Prussian War, Austria had recognized the Kingdom of Italy. Consequently, because of this and other substantial political changes: "The Civiltà Cattolica suggested that the Papal Infallibility should be substituted for the dogma of temporal power ..."[46]

Moritz Busch's Bismarck: Some secret pages of his history, Vol. II, Macmillan (1898) contains the following entry for 3 March 1872 in pp. 43–44.

Bucher brings me from upstairs instructions and material for a Rome despatch for the Kölnische Zeitung. It runs as follows: "Rumours have already been circulated on various occasions to the effect that the Pope intends to leave Rome. According to the latest of these the Council, which was adjourned in the summer, will be reopened at another place, some persons mentioning Malta and others Trient. [...] Doubtless the main object of this gathering will be to elicit from the assembled fathers a strong declaration in favour of the necessity of the Temporal Power. Obviously a secondary object of this Parliament of Bishops, convoked away from Rome, would be to demonstrate to Europe that the Vatican does not enjoy the necessary liberty, although the Act of Guarantee proves that the Italian Government, in its desire for reconciliation and its readiness to meet the wishes of the Curia, has actually done everything that lies in its power."

First Vatican Council
Infallibility of the Church
Papal supremacy
Primacy of the Roman Pontiff
Sola scriptura and free interpretation of Sacred Scripture
Three-Chapter Controversy
Union of Utrecht (Old Catholic)
Lord Acton's dictum

1.^ "infallibility means more than exemption from actual error; it means exemption from the possibility of error," P. J. Toner, Infallibility, Catholic Encyclopedia, 1910

2.^ Erwin Fahlbusch et al. The encyclopedia of Christianity Eradman Books ISBN 0-8028-2416-1

3.^ "Pope Has No Easy "Recipe" for Church Crisis", Zenit, 29 July 2005, retrieved 8 July 2009 [1]

4.^ 551-553

5.^ Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Bk. IV, Pt. 2, Ch. 2, §6.

6.^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Vatican Council".

7.^ Philip Magnus, Gladstone: A Biography (London: John Murray, 1963), pp. 235–6.

8.^ Letter to the Duke of Norfolk in The Genius of John Henry Newman: Selections from His Writings. Ed. I. Ker. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.

9.^ Stanley Jaki in Newman's Challenge p. 170

10.^ John Paul II (1993-03-24). "General Audience Address of March 24, 1993".

11.^ "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis: An Exercise of Infallibility". 1994-06-02.

12.^ Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. "Concerning the Reply of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the Teaching Contained in the Apostolic Letter "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis"".

13.^ Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. "Magisterial Documents and Public Dissent".

14.^ a b Ratzinger, Cardinal Joseph; Bertone, Cardinal Tarcisio. "Doctrinal Commentary on the Concluding Formula of the Professio Fidei".

15.^ "CDF's Reply to a Doubt, approved by Pope John Paul II, in which the Congregation affirms that the doctrine of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis has been set forth infallibly".

16.^ What Think Ye of Rome? Part Four: The Catholic-Protestant Debate on Papal Infallibility, Christian Research Journal, Fall 1994, page 24

17.^ John Harvey Treat, Johann Augustus Bolles, G. H. Houghton Butler, The Catholic faith, or, Doctrines of the Church of Rome contrary to scripture and the primitive church, pp. 480ff

18.^ James Robert White, Answers to Catholic Claims, 104-8; Crowne Publications, Southbridge, MA: 1990

19.^ petra: Rm. 8:33; 1Cor. 10:4; 1Pet. 2:8; lithos: Mat. 21:42; Mk.12:10-11; Lk.
20:17-18; Act. 4:11; Rm. 9:33; Eph. 2:20; 1Pet. 2:4-8; cf. Dt. 32:4, Is. 28:16

20.^ Augustine, "On the Gospel of John," Tractate 12435, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Series I, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1983, 7:450, as cited in White, Answers to Catholic Claims, p. 106

21.^ John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, p. 1105; Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1960

22.^ Ibid, Treat, Bolles, and Butler, pp. 479

23.^ Ibid, Geisler and MacKenzie

24.^ White, A Response to David Palm's Article on Oral Tradition from This Rock Magazine, May, 1995

25.^ A Response to an Argument for Infallibility

26.^ Richard Frederick Littledale, Plain reasons against joining the Church of Rome, pp. 157-59

27.^ E.J.V. Huiginn, From Rome to Protestantism", The Forum, Volume 5, p. 111

28.^ F. F. Bruce, Peter, Stephen, James and John, 86ff; Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1979

29.^ Peter De Rosa, Vicars of Christ: the Dark Side of the Papacy

30.^ E.J.V. Huiginn, From Rome to Protestantism", The Forum, Volume 5, pp. 111-113

31.^ White, Of Athanasius and Infallibility

32.^ James White, A Response to an Argument for Infallibility

33.^ White, Exegetica: Roman Catholic Apologists Practice Eisegesis in Scripture and Patristics

34.^ Ibid., Treat, Bolles, and Butler, pp. 486ff

35.^ Harold O. J. Brown, Protest of a Troubled Protestant, New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1969; p. 122

36.^ Williston Walker, A History of the Christian Church, 3d ed. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1970; p. 67

37.^ E.J.V. Huiginn, From Rome to Protestantism", The Forum, Volume 5, pp. 109-110

38.^ p. 281, as cited in John E. Lynch's review of the work, in Church History, Vol.

42, No. 2. (Jun., 1973), pp. 279-280, at p. 279.

39.^ Salmon, George (1914) The Infallibility of the Church John Murray pp.26-27

40.^ Hasler, August Bernhard (1981). How the Pope Became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion. Doubleday.

41.^ Roger O'Toole, Review of "How the Pope Became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion" by August Bernhard Hasler; Peter Heinegg, Sociological Analysis, Vol. 43, No. 1. (Spring, 1982), pp. 86-88, at p. 87.


43.^ Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs of 1848

44.^ Cleenewerck, Laurent. His Broken Body: Understanding and Healing the Schism between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. pp. 301-30

45.^ De Cesare, Raffaele (1909). The Last Days of Papal Rome. Archibald Constable & Co.. p. 422.

46.^ De Cesare, Raffaele (1909). The Last Days of Papal Rome. Archibald Constable & Co.. p. 423.

Bermejo, Luis (1990). Infallibility on Trial: Church, Conciliarity and Communion. imprimi potest by Julian Fernandes, Provincial of India. ISBN 0-87061-190-9.
Chirico, Peter. Infallibility: The Crossroads of Doctrine. ISBN 0-89453-296-0.
The Last Days of Papal Rome by Raffaele De Cesare (1909) London, Archibald Constable & Co.
Gaillardetz, Richard. By What Authority?: A Primer on Scripture, the Magisterium, and the Sense of the Faithful. ISBN 0-8146-2872-9.
Hasler, Bernhard (1981). HOW THE POPE BECAME INFALLIBLE: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuation. Translation of Hasler, Bernhard (1979) (in German). WIE DER PAPST UNFEHLBAR WURDE: Macht und Ohnmacht eines Dogmas,. R. Piper & Co. Verlag.
Küng, Hans. Infallible?: An inquiry. ISBN 0-385-18483-2.
Lio, Ermenegildo (in Italian). Humanae vitae e infallibilità: Paolo VI, il Concilio e Giovanni Paolo II (Teologia e filosofia). ISBN 88-209-1528-6.
McClory, Robert. Power and the Papacy: The People and Politics Behind the Doctrine of Infallibility. ISBN 0-7648-0141-4.
O'Connor, James. The Gift of Infallibility: The Official Relatio on Infallibility of Bishop Vincent Gasser at Vatican Council I. ISBN 0-8198-3042-9 (cloth), ISBN 0-8198-3041-0 (paper).
Powell, Mark E. Papal Infallibility: A Protestant Evaluation of an Ecumenical Issue. ISBN 978-0-8028-6284-6.
Sullivan, Francis. Creative Fidelity: Weighing and Interpreting Documents of the Magisterium. ISBN 1-59244-208-0.
Sullivan, Francis. The Magisterium: Teaching Authority in the Catholic Church. ISBN 1-59244-060-6.
Tierney, Brian. Origins of Papal Infallibility, 1150-1350: A Study on the Concepts of Infallibility, Sovereignty and Tradition in the Middle Ages. ISBN 90-04-08884-9.

External links
Online Version of the book THE TRUE AND THE FALSE INFALLIBILITY OF THE POPES (1871) by Bishop Joseph Fessler (1813-1872), Secretary-General of the First Vatican Council.
Universal Catechism of the Catholic Church on Infallibility (Holy See official website)

"Infallibility". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). "Infallibility". Encyclopædia Britannica (Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University Press.

[3] News article from the Catholic Register on "Rethinking Papal Infallibilty".
Retrieved from ""
Categories: Pope Pius IX | Catholic theology and doctrine | Holy See | Christian terms

Grice and Margaret Masterman

Oddly, both are described as "philosopher and linguist".

This from online review of a book that J owns:

"There may have even been a woman or two squashed into H3 that night too, like posh molls brought along for the spectacle."

"One of those women, Margaret Braithwaite, wife of King's fellow R. B. Braithwaite, was famous for supposedly not wearing knickers."


(This may relate to Kramer's point about 'the well-known lesbian', and other phrases. How can one be famous for "SUPPOSEDLY not wearing...". I mean, I take the point but, strictly, she was famous for NOT wearing knickers, supposedly -- rather. Or something).

The review goes on:

"And that evening, as two of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century clashed, onlookers may have been distracted from the quarrel by Mrs Braithwaite crossing and uncrossing her legs."

Oddly, I have an essay by Masterman that I adore. It is in a collection of "British Philosophy in the Mid-Century", I think. And it is the most delightful if otiose analysis of "Three blind mice", the nursery rhyme. She proposes an ideographic lingo to represent the rhyme, but she fails.

She IS a genius!

Infallibility and Grice's Non-Conformism

Oddly, infallibility is a Popperian concept. And the Pope is visiting England.

The Pope's burden of infallibility is a case to consider. In general, Catholics favour a big word -- ending in -ity, or 'ation'. Transubstantiation, e.g. Infallibility. For a nominalist like me, I distinguish between 'Infallibility' (e.g. Strawson, "Subject and Predicate in logic and grammar", for the study of sentences that have "Infallibility..." as a SUBJECT) and 'infallible', the adjective.
When it comes to 'infalllible', an adjective, we distinguish:

"The Pope is infallible" -- a sort of category mistake --


"WHAT THE POPE says is infallible."

Grice notes that what the Pope says is hardly 'infallible' at the level of
the implicature. From memory. Grice applies Tarski's theory to the Pope:

"What the Pope said was true".

Grice writes: "A theory of truth" -- and thus infallibility -- "has to provide, as Tarski noted, not only for occurrences of the adjective, 'true' in sentences in which what is being spoken of as 'true' is SPECIFIED, but also for occurrences in which no specification is given."

As an example:

"What the Pope said was true."

Or even,

"The Pope's statement was true."

According to Strawson, an otherwise intelligent philosopher,
"at least part of what the utterer of such a sentence -- "What the Pope
said was true" -- is doing is to assert whatever it
was that the Pope stated."

"But," in, say the Vatican circles -- full of bureacracy as they are --
"the utterer may NOT know what the Pope's statement
was". They would just go by an analytic claim ("meaning postulate"):

The pope is inefallible.
Ergo (by definition) What the Pope said was true.


Grice continues:

"One may think that the [Pope]'s statement
was true because, by definition, [Popes]
always speak the truth."

Now, there is a problem with this. For Grice:

"Assertion involves committing oneself, and I would not
think I should be properly [or the Vatican officer should be properly]
be regarded as having committed myself [or himself]
to the content of the Pope's statement merely in virtue
of having said that it was true."

Grice goes on:

"When, to [the Vatican's officer's] surprise, [he or she] learns
that the [Pope] actually said, "Monkeys can talk",
[the officer] says [but he won't], perhaps, "Well, I was wrong", not
"I withdraw that", or "I withdraw my commitment to
that". [He or she] never was committed to it."


Oddly, Grice was very specific about his religious upbringing. His father,
Herbert (Grice's first name was ALSO "Herbert" but he avoided it like the
plague -- "It reminds me of my father", he would say), was a non-conformist. A non-conformist (that p) means that the utterer denies (in symbols, ~p),
that p.
--- Herbert's wife (Grice's mother) was a High Anglican (She was an aristocrat -- nee Mabel Fenton). Mabel's sister -- also an Aristocrat -- they lived in Harborne, an affluent suburb in Birmingham -- was, however, a Catholic convert. The problem is that SHE (Matilda, Mabel's sister) moved to the Grice household.

"As a result, almost every night I would witness the interminable
discussions between Herbert (my father) and Matilda, to the occasional grunt from

Grice suggests that if he became a philosopher it was because of his
(Grice's) father: "his non-conformism could bother people, but it stuck with me."
His implicature is that no philosopher can conform (with stuff).


"Some people like Witters"

Oddly, I was discussing in CHORA this dictum by Austin.

Austin said, according to Grice,

"Some like Witters, but Moore's MY man".

This has been also quoted, otiosely, as

"Some people like Witters, but Moore is my man".

---- I take 'people' to be otiose. Surely we are not saying that some _elephants_ like Wittgenstein. Plus, in Grice's version (recollection of Austin's dictum) the implicature is "philosophers" (some 'philosophers' like Witters).


J is absolutely right about all about Witters.


Grice would quote from Witters occasionally. His (Witters's) style is so cryptic that it becomes amusing.


Witters loved a Soviet AND a Western (as Malcolm recalled -- by 'western' meaning 'western film', i.e. cowboy film, in the vernacular).


Oddly, to refer to "Moore" as "man" is colloquial. "_my_ man" is even MORE colloquial.

Grice's Wit (Was: Wittgenstein's Poker)


"It was the property of Cambridge, most likely,"

--- Yes. But McEvoy (a friend of mine) has pointed out to me that possession is (I forget what percentage, 75%) of ownership, by British law (or something).

"tho' St Ludwig was, apparently, quite fond of waving it around, at one point threatening Karl Popper (as you are probably aware). Did LW have the Poker, or maybe ..the Poker had him?
According to reports (I have a copy of Witt's Poker, and read a bit, until nauseated), even Lord Russell's stoical reserve finally cracked and he barked something like STFU! to Wittgenstein, his former protege. On the whole Popper and Russell seem a bit...saner, however pedantic. Witt. at times verged on madness, tho' supposedly Popper did intend to rile him up, and more or less dismissed Witt's preoccupation with language."

--- Yes, that episode has been the laughing stock of much. The way philosophers, who can quote from things, cannot remember diddly. As I recall, one philosopher only recalled of the incident that Margaret Masterman wasn't wearing underwear (as was his wont).


You are absolutely right about Popper and Witters. It was a polemic, absurd, about 'rules' and stuff. Never to have happened in Oxford!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Short-cut implicature

From Quinion's World Wide Words, today:

"SHORT CUTS The subtitle of this book by Alexander Humez, Nicholas
Humez and Rob Flynn is "a guide to oaths, ring tones, ransom notes,
famous last words, & other forms of minimalist communication". I
was tempted to make my review suit the subject by reducing it to
"mildly interesting". It's a melange that popularly discusses and
illustrates the semiotics of communication methods such as bank
robbery notes, postcards, wanted posters, billboards, obituaries,
police language, suicide notes, Mountweazels, ghost-words, weasel
words, Sniglets, pre-nups, computer error messages, car vanity
plates, bumper stickers, clothing brand names, telephone answering
machines, and neckties. Some of the discussion strays into areas
that have little connection with brevity, such as the nature of
dictionaries and newspapers.
[Oxford University Press USA, $19.95. ISBN 978-0-19-538913-5.]"

---- in obvious connection with Grice's maxim (supramaxim and two submaxims) pertaining to the category of "Quantitas".

(previously dubbed, "Strength").

To analyse each by each.

Oxford as it wasn't: 187 senses of 'roll'

From Quinion's World Wide Words, today:

"I've had a sneak preview and it's
going to be excellent). Chief Editor John Simpson discusses some of
the new and revised entries (go via, in
particular the immense entry for the verb "roll", which now has 187
distinct senses."


I wonder if it were so easy!

Surely Grice is right: do not multiply senses beyond necessity -- or "senses should not be multiplied beyond necessity".

The very fact that this is such an odd number (in both 'senses' of 'odd') indicates that it can't be right.

There is only ONE sense of 'roll' -- the rest is implicature!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cancelling Old-English 'dual' implicature with Chaucer's plural


"the traditional anglo-saxon (and german ich denke) had a case marking for two, I believe, separate from the singular and plural."

Yes. I think the relic is in 'both'.

"Both my eyes are pretty," says Cyclops.

It may be argued that this is FALSE since he only has ONE eye.

In this concern,

"My ideas are always clever"

contrasts with

"Both my ideas are always clever".

Since 'always' is a red-herring (metaphorically) -- I mean, it's NOT a red-herring, actually -- I will drop it:

"My ideas are clever" -- IMPLICATES but does not entail, "there are more than ONE idea that I entertain and which are clever".

"Both my ideas are clever" seems to have LEXICALISED 'duality' (and thus 'plurarity,', in this non-Anglo-Saxon conception of things).

I discussed this with Horn. I used to believe that 'bisexual' works like 'bicycle'. ("He is bisexual; therefore, he is straight"). He would rather argue that a bicycle is NOT a monocycle.

---- (He would quote Hirschberg to his defense, "A theory of scalar implicature". What I was into was a 'rank', not a 'scale').


"the traditional anglo-saxon (and german ich denke) had a case marking for two, I believe, separate from the singular and plural."

Yes, 'both' and 'twin' and 'between', seem to be relics. But note that in the case of the Greek, this was a matter of the verb-ending (conjugation). I should revise what the two forms for 'run' (plural) were (as opposed to 'runs' singular).

Horses run. -- plural

They run. ---- plural.

The Greeks (Ancient Greeks) were able to GET, out of the mere form:

"They run"
"They run"

whether 'they' was 'dual' or not.

This they possibly thought a very important thing. I don't think I do. By the same token, why not have a verbal-ending for EACH different number:

"They run" (meaning 3, the Three stooges)
and so on.


Levinson has noted that numerals are a trick anyways (his "Theory of Generalised Conversational Implicature"). Much of the blame comes from the fact that we have five fingers in each hand. In some tribes, more than 'five' is rendered as 'many' and 'infinite'. He discussed this in a specific section of his long treatise, which I provided the summary and index elsewhere --. Should check it out.


So, at some point, the Old English system of the 'dual' must have been thought 'otiose'. And so, what possibly was an 'entailment' for the Anglo-Saxons ("both my eyes are pretty") became a mere implicature in plural (rather than dual) for the Chaucerians.

Of course, all this is confused wording just to motivate you! Teasing.

Plurals -- the implicatures

J quotes my:

""My eyes are blue" only IMPLICATES (rather than say) that I have two eyes."

and comments:

"True. Were the giant Argus Panoptes to have said it, he would have meant the 100 eyes his head was covered with."

Now, a point made be made about Polyphemos, the Cyclops. He, as legend has it, had only one eye.

In this case,

"My eyes are blue"

would THAT be 'false' (given that he has just one eye).

Here we need a recourse to the logical form.

Apparently, 'my' involves 'the'. Note that in Italian, they do say, otiosely, "the my book" --. "or the my books".

'the' is easily enough understood as the iota operator.

What about the 'my'. Never mind 'possession' here, which is a trick of a concept. "Wittgenstein's Poker", for example -- was it HIS?


I would think that

"My ideas are always clever"
--- makes sense as per the below:

A: My ideas are always clever.
B: Idea_s_? You only ever entertained one!
A: So?
B: So -- how can you say, your ideas.
A: I didn't say, 'your ideas'. I said, "MY ideas".
B: Still. You meant, surely, "My idea is always clever".


I think B equivocates and fails to catch the implicature on B's inability to grasp the logical form of "My ideas are always clever" which does not necessarily entail that the utterer means (as per explicature) that he ever entertained more than one idea.

Ditto for Cyclops's

"My eyes are pretty".


It's still different (mabbe) with a sort of sexual dymorphism where males are born with just one testicle: "My balls are blue". But I disgress.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Horse and Horses

--- Thanks to J for engaging in metaphysical views about how uncriminal to be a dualist is.

In Homer, when he refers to Achilles's two horses, Homer uses a 'dual number'. This is very odd. It's like the Greeks could say:

. That horse is running.
. Those horses are running.

---- BUT

if it's

TWO horses running, they used a still different form (dual plural): 'Two horses arer running', say.

This seems a bit otiose.

Apparently, if you used the REGULAR plural (for n>2) when referring to or predicating something about the TWO horses, you were misusing the system.

I'm not sure if it would come as FALSE that 'Two horses are running', with 'running' in plural, rather than dual.

For one, modern Greek lost the dual-number altogether.

There are relics of duality in things like "Both my eyes are blue" (as David Bowie cannot say").

"My eyes are blue" seems to be informative enough. But surely Grice who can speak of Martians, and in fact has written about Martians having 'our ordinary set of eyes, plus an extra pair, as it were', may want to say that "My eyes are blue" only IMPLICATES (rather than say) that I have two eyes.

Joshi et al held a symposium in Pennsylvania ("Elements of dicourse understanding", Cambridge University Press) and they noted how intuitive our criteria of grammaticality are. At least for males. They discussed the example:

"My ball itches".

Apparently, there is an unwanted 'implicature' (of the conversational kind) there that the utterer only has one ball, but I disgress. Barbara Partee said she couldn't opine on the topic, since she lacked the proper 'linguistic' intuition.


In general, while monism, pluralism, dualism, etc, seem all wrong -- they can be fun.

In general, logicians avoid 'number' altogether. If we speak about Nellie, the Loch Ness monster, we may speak about a class (the class of monsters inhabititng Loch Ness), a set, or a "Menge".


-- there is a monster

--- there is at least one monster

---- there are monsters

------------- all refer to the same logical form.

Warnock (in "Metaphysics in Logic", repr. in Flew, Conceptual Analysis -- Warnock belonged to Grice's generation or play group) argued that if we don't feel to comfy about:

------- "Some cities in England are called "London""

just because ONE city is thus called -- that's an ordinary-language problem, not a logical one. It may well be argued that Grice's whole point about the implicature is to justify an apparent 'divergence' between the logical form and the ordinary language counterpart as merely 'implicatural'.


The point about collective or mass nouns is still a different one. But it does seem to relate to our ideas of plurality. It would be VERY OTIOSE if Americans and British (according to the wiki on 'collective nouns'), since they differ in the grammar for 'collective nouns' -- 'The police are late', 'The police is late' -- also differ in the logical form of what they say. Or not.

How Menge became Set?

(intended as a comment, but too big)

In set theory one now speaks of both sets and classes which have different meanings.

The early development of set theory, from Cantor through to Von Neumann seems to be dominated by German publications, in which the term "mengenlehre" is used.
English translations of these works use the term "Set Theory" for mengenlehre.

The distinction between set and class originates with a distinction made by Cantor between consistent and inconsistent multiplicities, but does not seem to appear in axiomatic set theory until Von Neuman in 1925 published an axiomatic set theory in which a similar distinction appears.

Ontologically this is a strange set theory, since the entities involved are functions rather than sets. Nevertheless the paper, in german, again uses the term mengenlehre in the title.
It may however be the source of the migration of mathematical logicians from talk of classes (which is the term used by Russell) to sets (with classes as collections which do not qualify as sets).

Von Neumann's introduction into axiomatic set theory of Cantor's distinction between consistent and inconsistent multiplicities leads eventually to the NBG (Neumann, Bernays, Goedel) set theory in which the ontology involves two kinds of multiplicity called classes and sets.  The sets are the ones which correspond to the multiplicities in theories which do not make the distinction (they lack the distinction because their ontologies lack the entities which are known in NBG as classes).

It is possibly because of the need to make this distinction that we have two terms for menge, and the (possibly arbitrary) choice to use "class" for the "inconsistent" multiplicities (which are rendered consistent in the formal theories in which both kinds occur), seems to have forced a migration of terminology in the English speaking world from talk of classes to talk of sets (bearing in mind that the set theories in which the distinction appears, and in which there are classes in this new sense, have largely disappeared from active use, so far as I am aware).  The term class, once use as menge, was appropriate for use specifically for a kind of collection which we don't really need, and mengenlehre became set theory.

How this played out in German I have no idea.
Presumably German set theorists do now have to make the same distinction, at least when they speak of systems like NBG, but how they do it I have no idea.
Possibly by talking of sets and classes!

This seems to me a case where prior usage is of marginal influence. If one had considered prior usage of the words "set" and "class" one might come up with grounds for chosing which to use for (let us say) consistent or inconsistent multiplicities (or grounds perhaps connected with the fact that classes are larger than sets) but it is doubtful that any such exercise was ever undertaken or that mathematicians ever go into such matters when chosing their terms.
(another example one might speculate about is the choice of the term "category theory", which actually seems to me quite appropriate).

Apparently the word set used as a noun for collection dates back to 15C, long before the mathematicians got in on the act, and possibly originates in the old French "sette".

Roger Jones

Was Grice A Pluralist? (The Implicature of "-s")


"maths people say one is unique--a "singleton" -- generally because they haven't decided it's prime or not. But it's still included in classes--ie the class (or set, if you will) of natural numbers. Yet...who cares?"

Exactly. Oddly, Grice never forgave J. L. Austin for having spent more than a weekend on that 'dreadful bore': Frege's "The concept of number".

--- "The page numbering is inadequate".


"The bridge holds or it doesn't; the plane flies or it don't. The equations are important, but only insofar that they produce useful, working tools or technology, etc(or perhaps models)."

Yes, plus the Arabs invented the zero, but the ROMANS invented the bridges.

"The proof's in the pudding. Now, supposed universals are useful as well--mammals, or natural numbers, or polygons, or even "Justice", whatever--but I think it's because they're useful that we...use them!"

Yes, I think 'dodo' is a good class. People say Dodgson was considering universalia when he had the Dodo as a critter in "Wonderland". But having been to Oxford (and the Ashmolean) I found that there is a stuffed dodo in there, which may have influenced Dodgson, too. Plus, as Alice Harvgreaves, "the real Alice", reminisced:

"Professor Dodgson had an annoying stutter. We would laugh at him! He couldn't even pronounce his name: "Do-Do-Do-Dodgson", he'd say. We called him Dodo".

"Not because they have some platonic existence. Pragmatic analyticity, instead of Russell/Frege crypto-platonic logicism. So perhaps that's a type of conceptualism rather than the dreaded N-word.

Yes. Plurals are also important, because while we cannot say, "justices", in the plural, and mean it (unless in very special circumstances) we can still refer to the 'class of all singletons', or stuff.

There's the universalia problem, and the plural problem. Spinoza (who called himself a monist) thought he had resolved the 'plural' ('pluralitas') problem. He refused to use the plural -- even as applied to food ("potato" was a mass noun for him).

His views is referred to as "monism", which influenced Leibniz. For Leibniz, there is only ONE thing (singular), which he called, for lack of a better term, "Monad".

Strictly, there is only ONE thing. It may be big, even 'infinite'. When we say, "There are two apples in the tree", strictly -- who cares (to echo J). The universe is just one. Others (O. D.?) may disagree and speak instead of the pluriverse, multiverse, or di-verse.


In general, Monism is easy to prove.

On the other hand, Pluralism can be a bother. To echo Grice,

"Surely when we say we are pluralists we don't
meant to say that we believe in the existence
of two bananas. The issue goes deeper than that."

For Grice, a pluralist is someone who holds NOT that there are more than one entity, but more than one TYPE of entity. This may beg the question, but then most people beg questions all the time ("What time is it?") and it's not like begging the question is a crime.

"Begging the question" is "petitio principii" which is a different class of animal.

To prove the pluralist wrong, or the conceptualist, or the realist, try interpersing each noun with "mass" expressions:

"I'm not the sort of guy to tolerate that"

-- meaning?

"I saw a kind of curious film."


"My mother has two classes of dogs".


And see how silly the implicatures those expressions trigger.

Or not.

Numbers of Numbers


"I think it's only philosophers, and a few mathematicians who would say there are classes or sets with only one member."

Well, there's nothing in the word 'set' (as per word) that implicates, implies, entails ... plurality. Surely a hen can set (is that the word) just ONE egg.

"The table is set for ONE".

I wouldn't know why the English think of 'set' (which is such a bit of an emtpy word) to refer to what the Germans call 'menge', as I think they do, as per 'set theory'. The French may be even more charismatic.

"class" may be a more pedantic Latinate choice. I think Carroll used it, and I can be pedantic at times.

But after studying the 'classics', I found out that Cicero and his ilk were never sure as to why the 'classics' had to be 'classics'. Apparently, it's from 'class'. But then implicated to mean 'FIRST' class.

I rather feel nominalistic ANYday!


Or not.