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?

Search This Blog

Friday, April 30, 2010

Chien in Synthese (2009) on 'scalar' implicature


"I argue for a subsumption of any version of Grice's

first quantity maxim posited to underlie scalar

implicature, by developing the idea of implicature

recovery as a kind of explanatory inference, as e.g., in science."


"I take the applicable model to be contrastive explanation, while following van Fraassen's analysis of explanation as an answer to a 'why' question."

"A scalar implicature is embedded in such an answer, one that meets two probabilistic constraints: the probability of the answer, and 'favoring'."

"I argue that besides having application at large, outside of linguistic interpretation, these constraints largely account not only for implicatures based on strength order, logical and otherwise, but also for unordered cases."

"I thus suggest that Grice's maxim and its descendants are expressions of general explanatory constraints, as they happen to be manifested in this particular explanatory task."

"I conclude by briefly discussing how I accordingly view Grice's system outside of scalar implicature."

J. Robert Thompson cites Grice in Synthese (2008)


"In this paper, I lend novel support to H. P. Grice's account of [utterer] meaning (GA[U]M) by blunting the force of a significant objection."

"Schiffer has argued that in order to make [GAUM] sufficient, one must add restrictions that are 'psychologically impossible' to fulfill, thereby making GAUM untenable."

"In what follows, I explain the elements of GAUM that require it to invoke these psychologically unrealizable restrictions. I then accept Schiffer's criticism, but modify its significance to GAUM."

"I argue that the problem that Schiffer notes is not a reason to reject GAUM, but a reason to embrace it."

-- such is what I call Gricean love.

"GAUM shows that meaning is best understood as an absolute concept -- an unrealizable ideal limit. Taking some inspiration from contextualist theories of knowledge attribution, I argue that my version of GAUM offers a useful contextualist account of 'meaning' attribution. Hence, pragmatic theories of meaning and communication should not wholly exclude GAUM from their theorizing, at least not for the reasons that are commonly given."

More Grice To Your Mill -- abstract of Båve, Philosophical Studies (2008)

"A new kind of defense of [J. S. Mill's] theory of names is

given, which explains intuitive counterexamples as depending on pragmatic effects of the relevant sentences, by direct application of Grice's [...] and uncontroversial assumptions."

"I begin by arguing that synonyms are always intersubstitutable, despite Mates's considerations, and then apply the method to names. Then, a fairly large sample of cases concerning names are dealt with in related ways. It is argued that the method, as applied to the various cases, satisfies the criterion of success: that for every sentence in context, it is a counterexample to Millianism to the extent that it has pragmatic effects (matching speakers' intuitions)."

"Conversational Implicature" (Analysis, vol. 68)

"Conversational Implicature and the Cancellability Test"
M. Blome-Tillmann, Michael
Analysis, 68:2(298), 156-160. 2008.

Person as Subject:GRICE, H PAUL

Doerge and Siebel on "Grice" for Erknenntnis (2008)


"Gricea[i]n communication is communication

between utterers and their audiences, where the utterer

means something and the audience understands what is meant. The weak

transmission idea is that, whenever such communication takes place,

there is something which is transmitted from utterer to audience; the

strong transmission idea adds that what is transmitted is nothing

else than what is communicated. We try to salvage these

ideas from a seemingly forceful attack ... [which] attaches too much significance to the surface structure of sentences of the type 'S communicates the belief (desire …) that p to A' by assuming that the communicated entity is denoted by the grammatical object following 'communicates'."

"On our proposal, what is communicated in all Gricean cases is a thought. And since S communicates the thought that p to A only if S means that p and A understands what S means, the thought that p will be transmitted from S to A."

----- Excellent counterattack to that most unGricean of authors: Wayne Davis!

Paolo Labinaz, "La razionalità del rispondere non logicamente"

"La razionalità del rispondere non logicamente: Il caso del Wason Selection Task"
P. Labinaz, Paolo

Epistemologia: Rivista italiana di Filosofia della Scienza, 31.263-278. 2008.

"In this paper, I discuss whether in the Wason selection task,

where subjects are asked to select evidence for evaluating a


--- "if p, q"

"the most common response is indeed as irrational as many psychologists have maintained."

"My account of subjects' performances focuses on: (i) how the task is understood by the subjects and (ii) whether their performances can be seen as cases not so much of conditional reasoning, as of hypothesis testing."

"On this basis and

in accordance with

Grice's account of indicative conditionals

I suppose that normally people understand the conditional as involving a "strong" connection between the antecedent and the consequent. Whenever the inference to such a connection is not blocked, subjects will inductively test whether it holds, as they do in ordinary life with reference to wider domains than the narrow one provided by the experimental context. Thus, relative to their goals, their performance could be considered as rational.

Mark Textor cites Grice in Ratio (2008)


"Goodman and, following him, Elgin and Lehrer have claimed that sometimes a sample is a symbol that stands for the property it is a sample of."

"The relation between the sample and the property it stands for is called 'exemplification' (Goodman, Elgin) or 'exemplarisation' (Lehrer)."

"Goodman and Lehrer argue that the notion of exemplification sheds light on central problems in aesthetics and the philosophy of mind. However, while there seems to be a phenomenon to be captured, Goodman's account of exemplification has several flaws."

"I offer an alternative account of exemplification that is

inspired by Grice's idea

that one can communicate something by providing one's audience with intention-independent evidence and letting them draw the obvious conclusion for themselves."

"This explication of exemplification will solve the problems that arose for Goodman's theory in the spirit of his approach."

Scott Soames citing Grice for Nous (2008)

S. Soames
Noûs, 42.440-465. 2008.

Person as Subject:GRICE, H PAUL

"Sentences containing bare numerical quantifier

phrases -- 'n Fs' -- semantically express

incomplete propositions that are pragmatically enriched

by filling out the phrases -- e.g., 'at least, at most, exactly n Fs'

-- to arrive at the propositions asserted."

"When several enrichments are otherwise feasible,

conversational maxims dictate that one select the

strongest, most informative, and relevant propositions

for which one has adequate evidence. In this way, the

maxims have a role to play in determining what is asserted, over and above their

role in generating conversational implicatures."

--- and who doubted it?

Timothy Black (2008) on Grice and G. E. Moore


"According to a Moorean response to skepticism,

the standards for knowledge are invariantly comparatively

low, and we can know across contexts all that we

ordinarily take ourselves to know. It is incumbent upon

the Moorean to defend his position by explaining how, in

contexts in which S seems to lack knowledge, S can

nevertheless have knowledge. The explanation proposed

here relies on a warranted-assertability maneuver: Because we

are warranted in asserting"


----- "S doesn't know that p,"

"it can seem that S does in fact lack that piece of knowledge. Moreover,

this warranted-assertability maneuver is unique and better than

similar maneuvers because it makes use of H. P. Grice's general

conversational [maxim] of quantity -- "Do not make your

contribution more informative than is required" -- in explaining

why we are warranted in asserting that S doesn't know that p."


Abstract for Perry & Korta (2009)

"Classical Gricean pragmatics is usually conceived as

dealing with far-side pragmatics, aimed at computing

implicatures. It involves reasoning about why what

was said, was said. Near-side pragmatics, on

the other hand, is pragmatics in the service of

determining, together with the semantical properties

of the words used, what was said. But this raises

the [spectre] of 'the pragmatic circle.' If Gricean

pragmatics seeks explanations for why someone said what

they [sic] did, how can there be Gricean pragmatics

on the near-side? Gricean reasoning seems to require

what is said to get started. But then if Gricean reasoning

is needed to get to what is said, we have a circle."

--- which was, for Plato, the perfect figure.

Grice cited by Garmendia on "Irony"


"The traditional pragmatic accounts avoid using

the term "saying" when explaining irony. That is

not a mere coincidence: a fundamental characteristic of irony is hidden behind that avoidance strategy. That's what I call irony's "what is said issue": it really seems that nothing is said in irony. Here, I shall first analyze the Gricean solution for this issue: Grice (1967a/1989) states that the ironic speaker makes as if to say. When analyzing the Gricean approach, its main drawbacks will be displayed. I shall then propose an alternative theory to explain irony, following the pathway opened by Korta & Perry (2006a, 2006b, 2006c, 2007a, 2007b, 2008) in their critical pragmatics. In fact, the problem of what is said does not belong exclusively to ironic utterances, but comes from the existing confusion within general pragmatics. We shall see that the critical pragmatic approach clears up this general mess, and so can help us solve irony's specific problem. Summing up, I shall maintain that this way of approaching irony allows us dissolving the "what is said issue"."

--- Garmendia cites Korta & Perry referred in this club by L. J. Kramer.

In Catilinam

Abstract of

F. Kauffeld,
"Grice's Analysis of Utterance-Meaning and Cicero's Catilinarian Apostrophe"

"Argumentation: An International Journal on Reasoning, 23(2), 239-257. 2009.

Persons as Subjects:

"The pragmatics underlying Grice's analysis of

utterance-meaning provide a powerful framework for

investigating the commitments arguers undertake."

"Unfortunately, the complexity of Grice's analysis

has frustrated appropriate reliance on this

important facet of his work."

"By explicating Cicero's use of apostrophe in

his famous "First Catilinarian" [I attempt] to show that

a full complex of reflexive Gricean speaker intentions

in essentially to seriously saying and meaning something."

Geurts on Grice on "Scalar implicature and local pragmatics" (Mind and Language, 2009)

Scalar Implicature and Local Pragmatics
B. Geurts
Mind and Language, 24(1), 51-79. 2009.

Persons as Subjects:GRICE, H PAUL

"The Grice[i]an theory of conversational implicature

has always been plagued by data suggesting that what

would seem to be conversational inferences may occur

within the scope of operators like 'believe'."

"which for bona fide implicatures should be an impossibility."

"Concentrating my attention on scalar implicatures, I

argue that, for the most part, such observations can

be accounted for within a Grice[i]an framework, and

without resorting to local pragmatic inferences of

any kind. However, there remains a small class of

marked cases that cannot be treated as

conversational implicatures, and they do

require a local mode of pragmatic interpretation."


Well, as long as they are small who cares?

Grice cited by L. Shapiro (Synthese 2009)

Making Sense of Mirror Neurons
L. Shapiro,
Synthese: An International Journal for Epistemology, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, 167(3), 439-456. 2009.

Persons as Subjects:GRICE, H PAUL

"The discovery of mirror neurons has been

hailed as one of the most exciting developments

in neuroscience in the past few decades. These neurons

discharge in response to the observation of others'

actions. But how are we to understand the function of

these neurons?"

"I defend the idea that mirror neurons are best conceived

as components of a sensory system that has the

function to perceive action. In short, mirror neurons are

part of a hitherto unrecognized "sixth sense". In this

spirit, research should move toward developing a

psychophysics of mirror neurons."

-- and perhaps fail as crass homuncularism!

C. Abell cites Grice in "Philosophical Review" for 2009:


"Depiction is the form of representation distinctive of figurative paintings, drawings and photographs. Accounts of depiction attempt to specify the relation something must bear to an object in order to depict it. Resemblance accounts hold that the notion of resemblance is necessary to the specification of this relation. Several difficulties with such analyses have led many philosophers to reject the possibility of an adequate resemblance account of depiction. I outline these difficulties, and argue that current resemblance accounts succumb to them. I then develop an alternative resemblance account..."

And she does this:

"drawing on Grice's account of non-natural meaning and its role in determining sentence meaning to argue that something depicts an object if it bears intention-based resemblances to the object that jointly capture its overall appearance."

She adds:

"In addition to solving the metaphysical problem of what it is for something to depict an object, this account also sheds significant light on the epistemological issue of how we are able to work out that something depicts an object. I argue that our ability to work out that something depicts an object results from both our more general ability to identify intentions from the products of communicative behaviour and our knowledge of stylistic conventions. This account avoids the difficulties that face rival attempts to analyze depiction in terms of resemblance. It also clarifies and explains the features that distinguish depictive from nondepictive representation."

Abstract for Ben Blumson, "British Journal"

"It is a platitude that whereas language is

mediated by convention, depiction is mediated by

resemblance. But this platitude may be attacked

on the grounds that resemblance is either insufficient

for or incidental to depictive representation. I defend

common sense from this attack by

using Grice's analysis of meaning to specify the

nonincidental role of resemblance in

depictive representation."

-- and you win, because both you and Grice are Genii!

Hazlett on Grice on "Conversation"

Abstract for his essay on "Conversation" in the Phenomenological Research (Journal):

"What is the relationship between knowledge

and 'knows'? Can the nature of 'knows' shed

any light on the nature of knowledge? Epistemologists

have recently focused their attention on our use

of knowledge attributions, and many have

concluded that the problem of skepticism can

be solved if we accept a proper view of

these various uses of 'knows'. Contextualism

and subject sensitive invariantism take

the same puzzling linguistic data -- our

willingness to attribute knowledge in certain

contexts and our unwillingness in others -- as

their starting point."


of the pragmatics of knowledge attributions, arguing

that it is superior as an account of our uses of

knowledge attributions, and as a solution to (part of)

the problem of [scepticism]."

H. L. A. Hart and H. P. Grice on "content-independent reason"

Grice referred to in

"On Content-Independent Reasons: It's Not in the Name"
by S. Sciaraffa
Law and Philosophy: An International Journal for Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy, 28(3), 233-260. 2009.

Persons as Subjects:GRICE, H PAUL

Abstract for Arstila (2009)

"It is generally agreed upon that

Grice's "The Causal theory of Perception"

-- Aristotelian Society, 1961 --

"describes a necessary condition for perception. It

does not describe sufficient conditions, however,

since there are entities in causal chains that we

do not perceive and not all causal chains yield


"One strategy for overcoming these problems is

that of strengthening the notion of causality

(as done by D. K. Lewis, [who heard Grice at


"Another is that of specifying the criteria

according to which perceptual experiences

should match the way the world is

(Frank Jackson and Michael Tye)."

"Finally, one can also try to provide sufficient

conditions by elaborating on the content of

perceptual experiences (Alva Nöe)."

"These different strategies are considered

..., with the conclusion that none of them

is successful."

--- Try to succeed over Grice, and fail!

"However, a careful examination of their

problems points towards the general solution

that we outline at the end."

Abstract to Borge, "Conversational Implicature" (2009):

"In this paper I argue against a criticism by M. Weiner to Grice's

thesis that cancellability is a necessary condition

for conversational implicature. I argue that the

purported counterexamples fail because the supposed

failed cancellation in the cases Weiner presents

is not meant as a cancellation but as a reinforcement

of the implicature."

Could Weiner have been so myopic?

"I moreover point out that there are special situations

in which the supposed cancellation may really

work as a cancellation."

---- Piece of work, if you axe me!

Abstract for S. Read, "Signification" (2009)

"Persons as subject: H Paul Grice"

S. Read writes:

"In recent years, speech-act theory has

mooted the possibility that one utterance

can signify a number of different things. This

pluralist conception of signification lies at

the heart of Thomas Bradwardine's solution to

the [insolubilia, logical puzzles such

as the semantic paradoxes, presented in Oxford

in the early 1320s."

"His leading assumption was that signification

is closed under consequence, i.e., that a proposition

signifies everything which follows from what it


Call that palaeo-Gricean

"Then any proposition signifying its own falsity,

he showed, also signifies its own truth and so, since it signifies things which

cannot both obtain, it is simply false."

"Bradwardine himself, and his contemporaries, did not

elaborate this pluralist theory, or say much in

its defence. It can be shown to accord closely,

however, with the prevailing conception of

logical consequence in England in the fourteenth


"Recent [...] theories of signification, such as Grice's,

also endorse Bradwardine's closure postulate"

-- "as a plausible constraint on signification,

and so his analysis of the semantic paradoxes is

seen to be both well-grounded and plausible."

And then why shouldn't it!

Ah, the city of the dreaming spires, and all the talent that she produced!

From the City of Dreaming Spires to the City of Eternal Truth

---- Paul Grice writes in "Prejudices and Predilections, which become the Life and Opinions of Paul Grice", by Paul Grice:

"As I thread my way unsteadily along the tortuous mountain path which is supposed to lead, in the long distance, to the City of Eternal Truth, I find myself beset by a multitude of demons and perilous places bearing names like [the following.]"

Here follows the list of the 12 monsters:

1. Extensionalism

2. Nominalism

3. Positivism

4. Naturalism

5. Mechanism

6. Phenomenalism

7. Reductionism

8. Physicalism

9. Materialism

10. Empiricism

11. Scepticism

12. Functionalism;

and which Grice describes as:

"menaces which are, indeed, as numerous as those encountered by a traveller called Christian on another well-publicised journey."

(in Grandy/Warner, p. 67).


And this is the holy of holiest.


So one has to be careful about Geography here.

We have

"Vienna, City of Dreams" -- Carnap's territory.

then we have

"Oxford", "City of Dreaming Spires"


and we have, of course, Athens. -- which Chapman -- who has Aristotle as teaching in the "Academy" there -- rather than the Lyceum or Λύκειον --, finds a bit 'too much' to merit a comparison with Oxford. But there's Grice for you:


when he speaks of

"the striking parallels which seem to exist
between the Oxford which received such
a mixed in the mid-twentieth century,
and what I might make so bold as to
call THE OTHER OXFORD which,
more than two thousand three hundred
years earlier, achieved not merely
fame but veneration as the creadle of
our discipline."


Chapman comments on p.45, where she has that horrid gaffe of Aristotle teaching at the Academy (rather than the Lyceum):

"In a move that would have
seemed to the critics to have
confirmed their worst fears"

---- that's Chapman's journalese. MY worst fear is abortion --.

"about snobbery and self-importance,
[Grice] compares post-war Oxford"

--- where 'post-war', in Chapman's code, means 'the era of rationing' after the Blitz --

"to the Academy of Athens, with
Austin by implication"

implicature, rather -- and disimplicature at that, seeing that the Hekademos Grove is WITHOUT a city wall!


"playing the role of

Chapman refers this as 'pompous' even if perhaps "NOT as pompous as it may first appear".

Indeed, it's MORE pompous as it second appears!


But Grice was beyond all that! He's heading for Zion, now!


For surely, he wrote in a statement-of-account from his bank, "Moses must have brought something more than the 10 comms from Mt Sinai". He had brough "Eschatology" by Grice, into the bargain!

The Third Sub-Strand of Strand One: Philosophy of Perception


Grice can be systematic about his own thought.

As Jones has remarked elsewhere -- in our joint CarnapGrice pfd in Jones's site, the first strand -- "Strand One: Philosophy of Perception" -- there are three distinct theses here (Grice suggests that each be seen as independent)


and a third one that relates to his two betes-noires: Physicalism AND Phenomenalism, or rather, the other way round: Phenomenalism AND Physicalism. This connects with Carnap.

For Grice says in the headline section (as Jones calls it) of the Strands (WoW:340)

"A third question,"

Grice has 'question' here but he had spoken of 'theses' for the first two --

"about the ANALYSIS

of statements describing

objects of perception


was also prominent in my


--- not writing?

"at the time at which these

essays were written but does

not figure"

----- (and making the collection thus 'unrepresentative')

"largely in these pages."

--- i.e., to summarise, the thesis


'the analysis of statements about
material objects'.

What can that be but "PHENOMENALISM".

I recall I once got hold by chance really of Berlin's "Concepts and Categories" book published by Clarendon. A handsome volume. I was fascinated by this Russian's elaboration on this in a VERY early "Aristotelian Society" paper. I think it was called "Verificationism". So this point really involves the


that Grice originally (and always) belonged to:

J. L. Austin, b. 1911
I. Berlin, b. 1911, I think,
H. P. Grice, b. 1913

The analysis of statements ['describing' i.e] on material objects.

--- Grice's phrase is somewhat loose here: "the analysis of statements describing objects [of perception] like material objects."


This is a wrong use of 'like'. It can lead to an ambiguity in the interpretation. I take Grice literally to mean:

"analysis of statements" or of A statement if you must

'describing' i.e. on


objects of perception, perceptum

LIKE, -- such as


"material-object" statement.

I find the use of 'material' here VERY unreflective. "Matter" has very little to do with this. In Kantian strict philosophical jargon. An object is NEVER material. The right term to use here is 'thing' (Ding). The THING is material. The object cannot but be a perceptum.

In any case -- chair.

I.e. think chair.

What Grice is having in mind is:

"The chair is empty"

--- "The chair is big"

or something.

How do we analyse a statement describing an object of perception like a 'thing' like a 'chair'?


This is Carnap galore, indeed!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Grice and St. Augustine on the Eternal Truth

St. Augustine:

qui novit veritatem, novit eam, et qui novit eam, novit aeternitatem. caritas novit eam. o aeterna veritas et vera caritas et cara aeternitas! tu es deus meus, tibi suspiro die ac nocte. Bk 7, ch. 10. 16

"He who knows the Truth knows that Light, and he who knows it knows eternity. Love knows it, O Eternal Truth and True Love and Beloved Eternity! you are my God, to whom I sigh both night and day."


Grice and Descartes on "Veritas Aeterna"


Moyal, G. J. D. (1987) "Veritas aeterna, Deo volente". Les Etudes Philosophiques 4.463-487.

ABSTRACT: "La Quatrième Méditation de Descartes démontre que Dieu est condition suffisante de la véracité des perceptions claires et distinctes. La cinquième démontre le rapport inverse : que Dieu en est la condition nécessaire."

God; Truth ;Eternal Truth ; Necessity ; Descartes, R. ; Meditations ; History of philosophy ;

Second quote for "City of Eternal Truth" Revelations 3:12

City of Eternal Truth

King James Version:

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

First source for "City of Eternal Truth" quote: Hebrews 12:22

"City of Eternal Truth"

Quotation for Hymn:

King James Bible:

"But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels."

Grice and A. S. Peake (1965-1929)

The quote from p. 190, is from his book:

"Christianity: its nature and its truth"

Peake and Grice On the City of Eternal Truth

From Arhur S. Peake, "Christianity: Its Nature and Its Truth"

On p. 140 -- an old book.

"There can, indeed, be no doubt that from some points of view the prospect thus held out to us is an alluring one. To soar away from the dreary earth into the rare atmosphere of beautiful ideas, to reach that peaceful region where we are no longer in the rough and tumble of historical controversy, to have gone where critics cease from troubling, that would be a delightful experience. How exhilarating to be born upward on the bold unfettered wing of pure speculation till we have scaled the cloudy ramparts and found ourselves at home in the city of eternal truth!" (p. 140).

Grice's Holy City

O city of eternal truth,
------Blest mother of the free,
------As in the glory of thy youth,
------The saints have come to thee.

Rather than from the Tamil Scriptures, as suggested in the previous post, it's more likely that Grice borrowed (but never returned) the phrase, the "City of Eternal Truth" phrase from Daniel O. Teasely (1918)


---- In D♭ Major

----- Words by Daniel S. Warner.

- Revelation 3:12;
- Hebrews 12:22

Fair city of the gospel day,
Long have they sung of thee,
But sung thy glory far away,
And failed thy light to see.

“Come,” said an angel voice to John,
“I’ll show the bride of Christ”;
He showed him new Jerusalem,
In bridal glory dressed.


Jerusalem, my blissful home,
Long has my soul repined for thee;
I’ll sing thy praise forevermore,
Blest mother of the pure and free.

This holy new Jerusalem
Came down from God all pure;
In her the Lord doth dwell with men,
And keep them evermore.

Thou art the mother of us all,
Thou art the church of God;
And all within thy sacred wall
Are washed in Jesus’ blood.

The Lamb of God Himself thy light,
Shines out in crystal rays;
We call thy walls salvation bright,
And all thy gates are praise.

O city of eternal truth,
------Blest mother of the free,
------As in the glory of thy youth,
------The saints have come to thee.

Topic: Zion

Timeless Truths (;

The Gospel Trumpet Company, Songs of Grace and Glory, 1918 (210);

Harlan D. Sorrell, The " Last Reformation" Truth in Song (20)

MIDI file: Jerusalem_My_Home.mid(
Sibelius Scorch score: Jerusalem_My_Home.sib(
XML score: Jerusalem_My_Home.xml(

Grice Reaches the City of Eternal Truth

Adapted from

The City of Eternal Truth and Her History.

"The early history of the City of Eternal Truth

lies hidden in the mists of time. The City reached her

present form under the patronage of Kantotle."

"In an aerial view we can see the total

surface area of the temple covers 13 hectares or 35 acres --

each dedicated to a philosophical speciality."

"Placing it among the largest Cities in the whole

of Philosophy".

"The City is the result of some urban planning."

"It is designed with 5 concentric 'monads',

or circumambulatory temple courtyards."

"Each of these is associated with one of the Five Elements --

which are ultimately one, of course."

"The innermost 'monad' is not visible."

"It lies within the sanctum with the golden roof,

and can only be entered by the Universal Maxim."

"The architecture and the rituals of this City

reflect its history and doctrine."

"Where we now find this beautiful and ancient City was

once an impenetrable Forest of Dogmatic Trees, which is a

kind of mangrove."

"This Forest gave The City her first and most ancient name, "Woody"".

"Within this sprawling forest was a lotus pond, and at

the southern bank of this pond existed a Cunning of Reason."

"A Cunning of Reason is a representation of Kantotle --

which unites

both the concepts of Form as well as of Formless in itself

"In modern terms this formless-form might be called an abstraction. What Carnap

calls an "Intension".

"Intension means ‘self existent’ [only different],

signifying that the Fregean Sense [like the Natural Number]

was not made by human beings, but came into existence by itself,

from what Grice calls "Nature"".

"To this lotus pond in the "Woody" forest

came two saints, named Carnap and Grice."

"They came from very different backgrounds and

from very different directions."

"But they came for the same reason: to witness Kantotle’s Cosmic Dance."

"It had been foretold to them that if they would 'elucidate' the "Cunning of Reason"

on the bank of the lotus pond in the forest, Kantotle would come to

perform His Dance for them.

Eventually this great event took place.

Kantotle (in his guise as Plathegel) came to perform His

Dance on a Saturday morning, when the moon was in

the asterism Ryle, during Hilary, long before the Devil of Scientism era.

Kantotle's dance is called the Dance of Bliss.

The two saints achieved liberation, and on their

special request Kantotle (in his guise as Plathegel) promised

to perform His Dance for all time at that place.

For the full narration of the myth the reader is referred to chapter IV of the

present Conversation (again -- and again).

"The story of the origin of the worship of Kantotle in

the City of Eternal Truth

is told in the Logische Aufbau der Welt.

The Sacred History of the City of Eternal Truth,

which is part of the "Principia Mathematica", one of the 18

great vademecums or collections of mythology.

From one of the saints, Carnap, which means "Slept in a Vehicle",

The City of Eternal Truth received her second name, Pirotgrad,

meaning ‘City of the Pirot’.

Its third name, Griceland, refers to the philosophy and doctrine of the temple, as

narrated by Grice's arch-enemy: Carnap, in his third re-incarnation.

"Gri-" means consciousness or wisdom. "-ce" signifies "ether" in Pirotese but

in Russell it means 'hall'.

Carnap-Corner-in-Griceland unifies the two aspects of the one and

only Kantotelian doctrine.

Meaning thus both "Hall of Wisdom", as well as the place of

the Ether of Consciousness.


"The edifice which now includes within its sanctum this Cunning

of Reason form of Kantotle, situated on the southern bank of the

sacred pound, is called "Bosanquet"". This term means ‘place of origin’

or ‘root place’ -- an exaggeration, seeing that old Grice saw him

as a 'minor figure'. "Bosanquet" can be found in the third courtyard,

within the temple proper."

"Facing east, it is a conventional temple with a sanctum containing the

cunning of reason, and aa hall in front of the sanctum.

In this hall we find the images of our two saints, Carnap and Grice."

"How the images got there BEFORE THEM is a great mystery."

"They stand with their hands folded, worshipping."

"A sanctum placed at an angle to the Cunning-of-Reason shrine,

facing south, houses the consort of Kantotle, the goddess Aletheia."

"On the western wall of the shrine we find a relief

sculptured of the Wishing Tree of Paradise (Eschatology)"

"This shrine achieved its present form probably

under the middle and later stages of the Vienna Circle."

"The main edifices of the temple are the five Halls."

"At the centre of the temple is situated the sanctum sanctorum

or holy of holiest."

"This means the ‘Hall of Wisdom’."

"It is the main shrine where Kantotle accompanied by his consort

Aletheia (the Unveiled One) performs His Cosmic Dance, the Dance of Bliss."

"The World -- or "Nature" -- is the embodiment of the colossal human form."

"The City of Eternal Truth is the centre of this form, the place of the heart, where

Kantotle performs the Cosmic Dance."

"The City is laid out as a labyrinth."

"For this reason the devotees may approach the

central shrine from two sides."

"One is called Extension"

"A narrower path is called Intension".

"As blood flows to and from the heart."

"The 16 stupas topping the golden roof

represent the sixteen strands of The Fabric."

"They also asymbolize the sixteen Strands -- or goddesses."

"The roof of this hall is made of 21.600 tiles, representing

inhalations and exhalations of Pirots."

"The links and side joints symbolize the connecting veins

-- of the pirots, of course."

"The five main steps at the entrance to the shrine stand

between the devotees and the image of Kantotle, covered in

silver. They are the five seed words or syllables."

"By chanting these syllables,"

KAN -- TO --- TLE

"the devotee can cross the ocean of bondage and

attain to the Lord."

"The granite plinth of the shrine is called Oxonianism,

because it does duty for Vienna in providing a support for Kantotle (in his

Russell re-incarnation)."

"On all special occasions worship is performed to this plinth."

"The name, Hall of Consciousness or Hall of Wisdom,

refers to the quality of wisdom which pervades the

atmosphere, bestowed upon the

worshippers by the Dance of the Lord."

"His boon is the experience of the Cosmic Dance."

"A unique feature is that the structure of

the actual stage is made of wood, which has

so far not been botanically classified but is

nevertheless real."

"It is rectangular in form and here Kantotle is worshipped

in his three aspects:

As Form image

As Formless-Form The crystal Cunning of Reason

As Formless

From the platform opposite one can see the image of the Dancing Kantotle,

situated in the middle of the stage."

"Kantotle is facing south, unlike most other simpler


"This signifies he is the Conqueror of Dogma,

dispelling the fear of death for Humanity."

"The Crystal Cunning of Reason is Kantotle as

Formless-Form. It was formed from the essence of

the crescent moon in Kantotle's matted hair,

for the purpose of peripatetic worship."

"This is taken from its keeping place at the feet

of the thing six times a day, and holy ablution

is performed to him in the hall."

"Immediately to the proper right of this

is the ‘mystery’ of Analyticity."

"Here, behind a silk curtain which is black

on the outside and red on the inside, is the

Treasure of Meaning Postulates, in the form of

Predicate Calculus. An abstract geometrical

design, on which the deity is invoked. Behind

the curtain, before it, hang a few strands of

golden fig leaves. This signifies the act of

creation -- or Pirotology. One moment nothing

exists, the next instant the All has been

brought into existence."

"At regular timings the curtain is removed to allow the devotees to

worship the Ether which is the vehicle of the Absolute and Consciousness."

The hall houses one more unique form of Kantotle. This is

the Organon, the Ruby Lord: a replica of Kantotle in ruby form.

This appeared out of the fire of the sacrifice in response to the

devotion of the Modernists.

Every Saturday, as part of the 10.00 o’clock morning ritual,

after the Recitation of the Crystal Cunning of Reason is

also performed to the Ruby Shiva.

As conclusion of this ceremony the Ruby Thing is placed

on the edge of the Swimming Pool and an Implicature is offered.

This is the burning of camphor on a special plate

which is shown both in front and behind the Ruby Thing.

This brings out the special quality of translucence of this,

creating a mystical spectacle for the onlookers.

Nobody knows when the worship of Kantotle was established

here, or when the City of Eternal Truth was build.

The original wooden structure is doubtless, and ironically,

the oldest structure in the temple complex,

as the shrine of Plathegel is a later construction under the Neo-Kantians.

The City has no features, really, that could help to date it and it might

just as well be eternal, after all.

It is unique and no other structure is known like it anywhere else in


Analysis by the Leibnizian ifinitesimal method would be unreliable

because it is known to have been regularly renovated during the centuries.

But the origins of the City of Eternal Truth lie back in prehistoric times.

According to the mythology the City was first constructed by a Philosopher

King nicknamed "Thales". This Philosopher King was healed of leprosy

by bathing in the sacred pond in the "Woody" forest and witnessed

the Cosmic Dance. The first gilding of the roof of the temple

and the instituting of the formal worship are all attributed

to this King Philosopher.

The first historical references can be found in Jowett's

translation of the Plato Dialogues,

especially in the Timaeus. Here Aletheia, the six-faced

Daughter of Yocasta and Socrates, is described as

worshipping his parents in Athens, before going to do

battle with a demon called Physicalism.

This text can be dated to the fourth century BCE.

The City of Eternal Truth is also prominently

mentioned in "De Consolatione Philosophiae", an important

religious and philosophical text in ancient Latin, dating

from the beginning of the Christian era. A

few centuries later the temple and its Lord are often

mentioned by members of the Vienna Circle, but only

derogatorily and, especially by Schlick.

The first historical persons to claim having

gilded the roof of the temple are Baumgarten and his

'cousin', Kant. By this time the temple had already become important.

The place where Students were crowned, and where

they came to worship and receive counsel. How the

gilding of the roof was done is a knowledge that

was sadly lost with time. But it is without

doubt one of the great technical achievements of ancient times.

Immediately in front of the temple is the golden hall. Its

roof is made of copper, although Kanaka means gold. This

is the gold of spiritual treasure: to experience Kantotle's

dance from so near.

In this hall are most of the Saturday morning rituals of

worship performed. The Early Morning rituals. The rituals

with lamps and ritual objects. And the Ruby Thing. The

pilgrims can enter certain areas of the

hall for worship at specified hours.

It is a controversy whether this was originally

constructed together with the older hall, or some time later.

This is the shrine in the form of a chariot, pulled by

two stone horses."

"One represents Practical Reason, the other

Theoretical Reason."

"It is situated opposite the old hall, in the third courtyard. It

is the place of the dance contest between Kantotle and Plathegel.

Kantotle conquered Alethei, who would not calm down after

she destroyed a powerful demon -- Reductionism -- by lifting

his right leg straight up towards the sky. This dance is

called "Gentzen". Then and there Aletheia suddenly remembered

who she really was, the peaceful consort of Kantotle, and

she was able to leave her furious mood and returned

to her peaceful self. This scene is depicted in the sanctum

inside. We see Kantotle performing his dance, with his leg

lifted straight above his head, and Aletheia calmed down

in one corner, both accompanied by Carnap and Grice playing the Fiddles, the

instruments which are used to accompany the dance."

The chariot form commemorates Kantotle as the Destroyer of

the Three Demon Cities. Several divine powers joined

together to create this chariot. Thus the sun and moon became

the wheels, and the Two Reasons the two horses.

After destroying the Three Cities he descended from

his chariot, having landed opposite, and ascended into the City

to commence His Dance. From this, it is also called opposite hall.

This opposite (or subcontrary) hall has several distinguishing

features aside from its shape and its function. Its

columns are unique to the chariot hall. They are square,

and circular at the same time, and although carved from

the hardest granite they are covered with exquisite miniature reliefs,

depicting dancers,

musicians and all kinds of philosophical figures.

One other feature sets this edifice apart from any other hall

within the temple complex and from all other temple halls in

Philosophy. This Sabha is mysteriously connected to the

Sphinx -- she of Riddles fame. Just under the floor surface

of the raised platform which is the Body is a belt surrounding the whole city.

Here we see lions and sphinxes alternating in pairs, girdling it.

Also the pillars of the two pavilions on the western side of

the hall are supported by four sphinxes which function as caryatids.

It is considered by tradition the second oldest building in the complex,

without any real indication of its age. It is reported in

inscriptions as having been renovated by the St. Bonaventura,

in the thirteenth century.

The hall can be found in the third courtyard. The festival deities

are kept during the year, and worship is performed for them

on Saturday mornings. This is done inside the hall, and is open

to the public. The age and history of this hall is also hidden

in the mists of time. There is some evidence the hall was once used not

just as a dance hall, but as an "Music Hall" by visiting Philosophers and

Comedians of the different governing dynasties of the Oxford and

the Sorbonne during the several phases of history. No other

information is available, alas.

To the right is the Thousand Pillar Hall in the second courtyard. It is

the architectural representation of the Crown. Which is the seventh

spiritual energy point in the astral body. Kantotle and the goddess

Aletheia, his consort, dance here in the mornings of the 9th and 10th

Saturday of the Chariot Festival.

About this too, we have very little historical information. It is first

mentioned as the place where the Flemish philosopher, Descartes, premiered

his great Song-and-Dance routine ("The Cogito") on the lives of the 63 saints

-- or Malignant Demon --, before Voltaire. Its base is encircled by

reliefs of dancers and musicians, as it were, participating in

a procession.

The most imposing feature of the temple, which can be seen

soaring above the plain from miles away, are the four temple

gateways, located in the second wall of enclosure at the four cardinal

points. These are:

The South,

The West,

The East


The North.

They are considered among the earliest examples of

such structures and are in their present form dated to

at least the 12th and 13th century. Both Carnapians

and Griceians disagree about the dates of the individual columns, or

about which one was build first. Some consider the West as oldest,

some the East.

In between the sculptures decorating the inside of the West Corridor

we find a musician (Grice?) playing a standing double drum.

This could point to an early date for this -- or a later one, if one

allows for Syncopation and the Jazz Age.

On the outside of the granite bases are found sculptures

of many important as well as less well known deities in

niches in a particular order. The inside walls of passages

through all the four corridors are decorated with the 108

dance movements of Kantotle's Peripatetic Dance, from the

Organon, the world’s most ancient treatise on dance, drama

and theatre -- and logic. Besides here, these movements

-- of which the first is called "Barbara" --

are depicted in only four other temples -- but they

circulate widely on the Net.

The four corridors, together with the golden dome of

the central shrine are the five towers which represent the

five faces of Kantotle, with the Smiley symbolizing the

masterful face.

In the innermost courtyard, at a right angle with the Golden Thing, we

find the shrine of Aletheia. Reclining on the Cosmic Snake, she is

in the state of consciousness, enjoying the vision of Kantotle’s dance.

The coexistence of the worship of both Kantotle and Aletheia within

one temple is unique. The worship was established in the earliest

times and was originally performed by the "Minstrels" themselves. In

the later medieval period, with a shifting political situation

and hyperinflation under pressure of Capitalist invasions, there was

possibly a discontinuation of the worship for a

long period, after which it re-instated by the Wittgenstein, of the

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. The worship of Aletheia has since

then been in the hands of Carnapians and Griceians mainly, and

was no longer performed by the "Minstrels" proper.

Within the inner courtyard, to the east, we find a small shrine which

houses the bracelets of both the Creator god, of the Handy Trinity, and

Home, a deified saint. The presence of the Creator-God (a deity

almost never worshipped) establishes the worship of all

three deities of the Handy Trinity with-in the

one complex.

The temple of goddess Aletheia, consort of Kantotle, is situated

on the west side of the Water Tank. A flight of steps leads

down into its courtyard. The goddess

is worshipped here as the energy and power of wisdom. On the frontal

portion of the pillared hall, on the ceiling of the right and

left wings, the finest eye-capturing fresco paintings

of approximately a thousand years old,

illustrate the Sacred Deeds of Kantotle. The galleries surrounding

the temple are decorated with a procession of dancers, musicians,

and philosophers, sculptured in relief. This temple was possibly built

in the 11th century, if not earlier.

This holds is The Sacred Twater Place or Tank. It is famous for

healing the ancient king Buridan of his skin disease. His skin

became golden after which he was called "The Ass".

In this Tank we find a stone representation of the the Element Twater,

which as Putnam has showed, is not H20, but XYZ. In the dry season it

becomes visible as the water level in the tank is reduced.

The Twater temple is dedicated to Abelard, the second son of Kantotle and

Aletheia. This shrine is also shaped as a chariot, pulled by horses and

elephants. This temple was according to tradition build by a king of

the dynasty from Cambridge, which superceded the rule of the

the Oxonians in the fifteenth century. His name was Testa Bianca ("White Head"),

and the temple is named after him.

In the middle of the 19th century this temple was renovated

by the Victorians

with the support of Dutch merchants, who had a trading post

in nearby Porto Nuovo. According to an inscription on copper

plates they donated a share of their profit for this purpose,

but we do not know what they did with the rest.


(For the account of the OTHER city of eternal truth, vide

Grice Plays with Eternity


Grice calls it "The City of Eternal Truth". This is a joke. It should spell "Aeternal", or æternal, if you must.


When in his anglo-saxon mood, he says, 'timeless'.

When is the first time Grice used 'timeless'?

Let's check:

It was in 1948 ("Meaning", repr. WoW:217).

if we can elucidate the MEANING
of [occasion-meaning] this might
reasonably be expected to help us with"
[the below]

x means-NN (timeless) something (that so-and-so).
A means-NN (timeless) by x something (that so-and-so).

THIS IS A JOKE! Nothing is timeless LIKE THAT!

It's like if we need Frege to tell us:

"the concept 'horse' is not a horse."

Or something.

Surely, 'horse' refers to the concept horse, timelessly.

---- The opposite is NOT 'occasion', but timeful!


On p. 220 he proposes to see how timeful gets you to timeless: For he provides definiens for (a) and (b) above. He just skips (b), though, and for (a) provides what follows. That he skips (b) and indeed that he lists (b) which naturally and ontologically comes earlier than (a) as (b) is a sign that nobody has to take 'timeless' too serious.

Grice proposes then for 'timeless' as defined in terms of 'timeful':

"'x means-NN (timeless) that so-and-so" MIGHT AS
A FIRST SHORT be equated with some statement
[or other] or disjunction of statements about what
"people" (vague) intend (with qualifications about
'recognition') to effect by x."

Some eternity!


Grice was enamoured enough with his flirtings with "in aeternum" when in 1967 -- i.e. almost 20 years after -- he is still talking 'timeless' (WoW:89):

When he is considering:

grass, n. marijuana.


"If I shall be assisting the marijuana to mature"... "I shall call the specifications of the timeless meaning(s)".

These can be of a TYPE (always), never token.

But there is

"applied timeless"


Yes. For if, "on this occasion", 'grass' DOES MEAN 'marijuana' we want to say so. This applies then to A PART (rather than a whole, complete, utterance). Grice is being loose here for surely




"Grass is green"
"Snow is white"


"We need to be able to say, with respect
to the occurrence [tokening] of [a type], 'grass'
in a particular 'utterance' ... that, here, on
this occasion, 'grass' meant 'marijuana'.

--- (and not 'lawn-material').

But if in 1948 he was defining timeless in terms of timeless, he is more careful in 1967, for he notes of

"I shall be dead"

"I shall be helping (or assist) the grass (lawn material? marijuana?) to grow (mature)"

That phrase, Grice rightly notes,

"neither mean nor mean here "I shall be dead"" (WoW:90). So utterer's meaning is NEVER timeless.

Yet it is what defines TIMELESS.

--- Odd.

--- But true.

He refers back to 'timeless' on p. 91 when he repeats his 'nominalist' claim: it is via the explication of utterer's occasion meaning that "timeless meaning and applied timeless meaning can be explicated."


"together with other notions" -- he adds! Which we hope is not Nicholas of Cusa!


"and so ultimately in terms of intention"

-- for which he DOES NOT ADD, 'together with some other notions', fortunately.


On p. 119 he resumes talk of 'timeless':

---- This all relates to Carnap's intensions, so beware!


Grice notes:

"It will be convenient to recognise
that what I shall call statements of
timeless meaning (statements of
the type "X means '...'", in which
the specification of meaning involves
quotation marks) may be subdivided."

into idiolectal (or idiosyncratic).

--- and other.

Here he contrasts the labels as being

"idionsyncratic meaning", which is still timeless. This seems rahter artificial. If I use "tomato" to mean "pear" on ONE OCCASION -- for one specific semantic interpretation or model -- it seems a stretch to say that 'tomato' means 'pear' in some timeles sort of way. And surely one's idiosyncratic meaning can apply to just one idiosyncratic occasion. But I see Grice's point.

In any case, it's interesting that Grice, (in case you are considering Carnap), goes to use "L" which is the variable that Carnap uses in "Concepts of Pragmatics". L for language.

For the other type, other than timeless idiosyncratic meaning is what Grice calls, roughly, "linguistic meaning". The specification follows a general pattern, without loss of generality as it were. And it's quotation marks alright, but it's surely now NOT 'for an utterer' but with "L" as variable:

In L (language) X means '...'

Abstract -- but true.


What about the Essay 6 redefinition of the APPLIED timelessness?

Grice writes:

"In view of the MULTIPLICITY [disjunctional] in the
timeless meaning of an utterance-type, we shall need to
notice, and to provide an explication of, what I shall
call the APPLIED timeless meaning of an utterance
type. That is, we need a definition for the
schema, "X (utterance-type) meant HERE '...'""

Grice glosses this as

"a schema the specification of which announce
the correct reading of X for a GIVEN
occasion of utterance",

and for which the word 'applied' as applied to 'timeless' seems --- dated?

Grice and the City of Eternal Truth


In fact this notion is so central that readers are invited to drop by to our blog, with Jones, entitled, "The City of Eternal Truth" at:


What is the City of Eternal Truth?

Note that 'the' is very important (cfr. "The Salt Lake City"). While the name of the blog is

"The City of Eternal Truth"

the web address is just


no 'the'. Sorry for the loose language!


In any case:

"I'm going to Salt Lake City for spring break".

It would be otiose to say,

"I'm going to the Salty Lake City for spring break".

Similarly, we say,

"Congress is otiose. One should burn it."

rather than:

"The Congress is otiose. One should burn it."

The 'the' is otiose, most of 'the' times.



So what IS the City.

God knows!

Grice: Theme A and Theme B

-- by JLS
----- for the GC

WITH R. B. JONES (elsewhere, notably his pdf CarnapGrice in his site coauthored (c) JonesSperanza) we are examining the logic of the strands and the monsters. Here I would like to add:

-- the aspects


-- the themes

The 'aspects' are three, and listed in the first page of the Retrospective Epilogue. They refer to:

aspect I: everything Grice says is important.
aspect II: everything Grice says is important to ANYONE.
aspect III: everything Grice says is important AND the first word (if not the last word).


As for the themes:

This is the second, third, and fourth paragraphs of the "Foreword":

Grice writes:

the main focus ... is on the nature
and philosophical importance

rather than linguistic importance, anthropological importance, or what have you,

of TWO closely linked ideas

-- here Grice has a bracket: "(Theme A)".

and which he characterises as:

Ingredient/Element/Problem/Topic a. ONE idea (because the ideas are TWO in total):
assertion and implication

Ingredient/Element/Problem/Topic b. THE OTHER IDEA:

(He uses 'problem' in plural on p. vi -- 'the problems [of assertion/implication AND meaning] form the topic'. He uses 'element' on p. vi, too, as well as 'ingredient'. (Ingredients for a Gricean cocktail).

So that we would have rather

Sub-theme/topic A: assertion and implication (i.e. not assertion -- it being defeasible).

Sub-theme/topic A: what U meant.


Grice introduces Theme B:

"But besides the topic," something is "persistently discernible"

---- He likes the simile: something persists, or recurrs, as with the strands -- this has to do with his research on relative identity contra Wiggins --

"another theme (theme B)"


What is that?

This is "a METHODOLOGICAL or programmatic

and this is "manifested in a recurrent

--- what in Reply to Richards he describes as "The school of ordinary language philosophy", but which by 1987 he has come to regard, and justly so, as more of a Gricean trait of character than an application of the Austinian code.


But which, for the purposes of this Club we do regard as having some general traits shared by other philosophers, and which we thus identify by the keyword:



Grice is emphatic (and Italic) with 'ordinary' on p. vi of the Foreword. He is being reactionary, becuase there is nothing 'ordinary' about the way a Clifton old boy and first with Lit. Hum., uses it -- i.e. language.


He then proposes to see his essays as:

"the consideration of ordinary
language in philosophising",

-- i.e. Theme B.


As he notes at least two essays ("Common sense and scepticism" and "Philosopher's Paradoxes" [not a typo there, he does mean the individual philosopher]) expose "Common Sense" which he regards as being "closely related".

The idea that there is indeed this conceptual connection:

Ordinary Language Cannot Deviate From Common Sense.


(At this point, when he discusses "Causal Theory of Perception" on p. vi, and he notes that it contains "an EARLIER VERSION OF ... the notion of conversational implicature", we can use that for a forthcoming edn of WoW that reprints the whole essay without the excerpting note which cut the excursus. For we can imagine that it was Grice's idea at one time to reprint the essay in full -- Otherwise, why note it "contans an earlier version" if the reprint does not?)


Grice had in mind a retrospective with Warnock on perception (Warnock died in 1996 and wrote the DNB entry for Grice). So Grice is careful that the reprint of "Causal Theory of Perception" -- that Warnock had reprinted in full -- and indeed, as it should, with A. R. White's reply in the symposium -- what's the good of a symposium if you cut it? -- is justified in WoW vis a vis "the double character" as he calls it (Janus-like would be fairer) of the essay, which is not so, if you cut out the excursus. It's interesting that the double character of ONE ESSAY ("Causal theory") justifies the inclusion of TWO essays ("Causal Theory" and "Some remarks about the senses") in WoW.

When the Warnock retrospective IS published then, both essays would need to be reprinted there, along with the discussion of the Strand -- which is Number 1, no less.


Just because he includes his "Eschatology" paper he feels justified in entitling the Part II of WoW as "Explorations in Semantics and Metaphysics". I note this as of interest, lest we read too much metaphysics in the stuff that Grice did not mean as such.

Grice For Philosophers

--- bY JLS
------- for the GC

THIS WILL SOUND HATEFUL, but it's not meant to! I'm revising, for this joint project with R. B. Jones -- part of which is already available for perusal as the CarnapGrice pdf document by JonesSperanza (c) at Jones's site along with the Appendix pdf by Speranza --.

In looking for strands, and themes, etc. I go from the "Retrospective Epilogue" to the "Retrospective Preface" or "Foreword" (Indeed, Grice entitled this thus, but it was edited out as plain "Foreword" during the publication proceeding).

For in the Retrospective Epilogue he lists these 8 strands, to which we have proposed a further 8, making them 16 -- and he considers, in the same epilogue, three aspects, which are not of main 'substance', but rather, 'method', i.e. they highlight the import of the strands for Grice and the philosopher in general ("the first, if not the last word," Grice has it) -- first page of the Epilogue.

In going back to the Foreword, he notes the primacy of "The William James Lectures", thus deposited, untitled, in the Grice Archive, and he resists the temptation by J. F. Bennett of reordering the whole thing.

And it is to his bracket that I want to bring attention right now.

He explains the reason why he kept the original format -- as per handwritten notes, deposited at the Grice archive, and untitled --:

"[T]he scope and content of the lectures"
[delivered to a philosophical audience --
in the first semester of 1967 at Emerson
Hall, Harvard -- the bi-annual lectures
in memory of philosopher W. James]

"has long been familiar to many PHILOSOPHERS"

i.e. not linguists, anthropologists, or what have you.

"some of whom [philosphers, rather than linguists,
anthropologists, or what have you] may well have been
awaiting an opportunity for a continuous
perusal of the material."

--- Excellent! Puts Grice in his place!

Grice in the DNB (entry by Stroud and Warnock, 1996, pp. 171-2 (rev.)

--- by JLS
------- for the Grice Club

THIS IS POSSIBLY MY FAVOURITE bio of Grice. Just two pages long, but pretty excellent, in parts!

Warnock wrote this in 1996. He died in 1998. He died a pretty tragic death, having a very painful cancer to the throat.

Stroud I know well. He LOVED Grice and they were always ready to amuse each other. Stroud acknowledges Grice in Stroud's brilliant interpretation of Hume -- for which Stroud relies on Grice's quandary about Hume's quandary about personal identity.


The ref. then is to:

Stoud, Barry C. and G. J. Warnock, "Grice, (Herbert) Paul", The Dictionary of National Biography: 1986-1990. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996, pp. 171-172.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How Clever Language Is

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

THERE IS THIS IDEA THAT NATURAL LANGUAGE IS amorphous, vague, fuzzy, -- in short: a mess. On the other hand, Austin thought, like L. J. Kramer, that there is LOGIC to natural language. Like a living organism, English has evolved, and has embodied all the distintions that need to be embodied. Grice shared this credo with Austin, and I, too, except when I'm reading James Joyce.

Footnotes to Grice


Whitehead wrote that metaphysics was footnotes to metaphysics, and he was right!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Analecta Griceana

--- by courtesy of Ian Dengler Cargan:

Wlodzimierz Pawliszyn

“On Philosophy and On Expertise in Philosophy (‘PHILOSOPHISTICS’)

—A Fantastic Narrative” in ANALECTA HUSSERLIANA: THE YEARBOOK OF PHENOMENOLOGICAL RESEARCH VOL LXXVII, Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa (ed), 297-305. Dordrecht 2002.

W. P. writes:

"I would like to present to you the essence, or

the sense of a certain distinction. This distinction

is between philosophy and “philosophistics”.

To be most brief, the essence of this distinction

is that although philosophy could be a

kind of expertness, nevertheless, philosophy

is NOT the expertise of philosophy. It is not

the same to know philosophy (history) and

to be a REAL philosopher. That, which we

are going to talk about, belongs to such matters,

as we ARE NOT ABLE TO PROVE. As to the

form of our ALARM — a philosophical narrative — it

seems to me, is in spite of circumstancing,

the most suitable. The circumstances here

are INTENTIONS: first of all to warn against

a serious danger, which is to FORGET,

to OMIT philosophy itself

in “philosophistics” noise, and to awaken vigilance."

--- Or not

Grice: Philosopher (and amateur cricketer)

--- When Grice died, the Times obituary read: "Professional philosopher". On the other hand, there's the

Philosophist: a pretender in philosophy;

see philosophastics Musical settings of this text (not necessarily exhaustive) by Robert Fairfax Birch (1917-) , "The Philosophist".

(I owe the ref. to Ian Dengler Cargan).

The Claims of Philosophy

-- I owe this linguistic botanising to Ian Dengler Cargan.

"A philosopher is a philosopher is a philosopher". But a 'philosophaster'?

Philosophastics Philosophast: OED: philosophaster:

"A shallow or pseudo-philosopher; a smatterer or pretender in philosophy."


1611. Florio,

"Philosophasto" a smatterer in philosophy, a foolish pedanticall philosophaster.

Catherine Elgin. The Epistemic Efficacy of Stupidity Synthese 74, 297-311.

1988 Stupid people may be in a better position to know than smart ones. Our epistemic goal is to accept as many truths as possible combined with a recognition that the standard for acceptability cannot be set too high, else scepticism will prevail. Knowledge, as contemporary theories construe it, is not a particularly valuable cognitive achievement, and that we would do well to reopen epistemology to the study of cognitive excellences of all sorts. In the Wizard of Oz, the Scarecrow is awarded the degree of THD ("Doctor of Thinkology") by the Wizard.

1808 Lexique et sémantique : le cas de "Philosophie" P. C. V. Boiste, dès 1808 et la 3e édition de son Dictionnaire Universel note : " amour de la sagesse; connaissance évidente, distincte des choses par leurs causes et leurs effets; science qui comprend la logique, la morale, la physique et la métaphysique; classe, leçon de philosophie; opinions des philosophes; élévation et fermeté d'esprit; élévation et fermeté d'âme qui porte à se mettre au-dessus des préjugés, des événemens fâcheux, des fausses opinions; caractère d'imprimerie". C'est bien autour de ce noyau inaliénable que se structurent les diverses formes de la dérivation morphologique du terme. Si philosophie, philosophe, philosopher, philosophique, et même le terme apparemment moderne de philosophème, peuvent être entendus comme les formes d'appréhension les plus neutres du phénomène de la pensée abstraite et générale."

"Les items



en revanche, laissent clairement percevoir dans leur dérivation suffixale une charge de connotation. Quant à philosophisme, philosophiste, il est assez aisé d'y détecter une exacerbation du syndrome condamnateur tel qu'il résulte des tendances du néologisme.


"incline vers les associations avec tous les termes qui, en raison de leur suffixation diminutive [latin -aster], dénotent une ressemblance incomplète avec la notion contenue dans le radical, et connotent un effet de péjoration archaïsante: gentillâtre, poétastre, etc. Philosopherie et philosophesque pour leur part, respectivement définis comme une mauvaise philosophie et la caractérisation d'une philosophie fautive, ne sont guère susceptibles d'une contre-interprétation qui les valoriserait positivement tout-à-coup. La simple situation du terme neutre au sein de cette ensemble suffit -- paradoxalement -- à ériger la neutralité en pseudo-critère positif d'appréhension du contenu, en dépit des expériences de l'histoire immédiatement passée dont les lexicographes de la première moitié du XIXe siècle ne peuvent cependant pas ignorer les conséquences pratiques."

Joseph Fletcher.

How to Keep From Being an Idiot. Relig Hum 15, 74-79 1981.

"Greek philology shows that “idiot” means self-complacency, being without a comprehensive worldview. Ultimately, if we are to avoid being idiotic, we have to choose between a theistic-idealistic and a humanistic-naturalistic ideology. Either one is an exercise in the will to believe; neither one is falsifiable. All we can reasonably ask is that the “believers” are humane, whether humanistic or not; pragmatically there is then no difference. Only ethically may they be discredited; neither can ever be logically discredited."

"ignoratio elenchi phr."-

ignorance of the refutation: the fallacy ofarguing astray from the point at issue; stressing or 'proving'what is irrelevant ignotum per ignotius phr. - the unknown (explained) by means of the more unknown: an annoyingly obscure explanation

Pseudosophical and alethosophical

-- pseudosophical, courtesy of Ian Cargan Dengler:

"pseudosophy pretension to wisdom"

"This group of 30 odd 'sophy' and 'sopher' words have in common an etymological derivation from the Greek sophia, meaning 'wisdom'. They refer to an odd group of systems of knowledge, esoteric doctrines and other principles, most of which are obsolete or extremely rare, with philosophy being the only major exception. Not quite sciences or studies, nor are they isms, they tend to refer to mystical or occult concepts rather than strictly religious or scientific canons of knowledge."


I posted to "Eternal City" a note on Carnap on the pseudo-problems. These are 'scheinprobleme', but 'schein', cognate with 'shine' does not do in English, and we prefer 'pseudo-'. Well, I don't but you get the drift.

In Greek, they lacked a word for 'that's FALSE!'. They would say, "That's Pseudo!"

Similarly, I talk of 'aletho-sophy', the alternate to pseudo-. Etc.

The English Futilitarians

--- were, as named by Bergmann (who had the driest sense of humour you can imagine) were: Grice, Austin, and a few others.

The correct term he meant was "psilosophers"

(Courtesy of Ian Cargan Dengler):

psilosophy shallow philosophy; limited knowledge

"In this new manual Derek Appleby describes the psilosophy of horary interpretation,
the basic techniques, the traditional ways in which questions are resolved ... KNJIGE/BIBLIOTEKA.htm

"A brilliant synthesis of contemporary anthropology sociology, literary theory,.
and psilosophy as well as psychology.". -San Francisco chronicle."



I owe to Ian Dengler Cargan the point about 'morosophy'. It's very strange that there are so few hits for 'morosophical' so here we go.

For Grice,

a philosopher KNOWS things.

People usually don't.

There is one sort of philosopher who does NOT know things. As when Johnson kicked the stone to refute Berkeley. Johnson KNEW: Berkeley knew diddle. So, to go against common sense is "morosophical".

A morosopher is the one that abides with 'common sense' as built in 'ordinary language'. "At one time is the sun raising today?", she asks. The sun, literally, never raises. Rather, the situation, as anyone who's gone to the moon realises, is different: the moon, the sun, etc., all gyrate in such a way that it's US we gyrate. etc.

So, to say, "the sun raises from the east" is morosophical.

Grice tried to fight with the morosopher:

He not always won.

Why the Dretske-Grice approach should be redubbed the "Grice-Dretske" approach


Well, for the simple reason that Grice said it beofore!


Some hits below for the infamously labelled "Dretske-Grice" approach. (Note that it's best to refer to Dretske as Wisconsin Semantics and have Grice as having influential with it, via Stampe).


Apparently, the coiner is L. Floridi who credits me in his entry on information for the Stanford encyclopaedia (vis a vis Grice's notes on 'genuine info' in Strand 6 of WoW):


[PDF] Informational Semantics as a Third Alternative?
P Allo
"This is in line with what Floridi [2005] calls the Dretske-Grice approach to semantic information."

I have discussed with Stampe the trickier issues of the earliest references to 'causation' as from even Grice 1948 -- his playing with Stevenson's 'causal' approaches, e.g. -- and we have enjoyed our conversation!

Grice and Wisconsin Semantics

---- We are discussing with J. Bowman, in CHORA, the Dretske-Grice interface, which I suggest be done by a consideration of Stampe. Stampe has the "causal theory of linguistic representation."

In general these authors take, for a change, seriously, Grice's remarks in "Causal theory of perception."

Monday, April 26, 2010

John Cook Wilson -- on taking for granted, not knowing -- Grice's sharp criticism

From M. Marion's entry on J. C. Wilson in the Stanford Encyclopaedia:

"H. P. Grice put forth a common objection

when he argued that Cook Wilson's position


----- “no room for the
----- possibility of thinking
----- that we know p when
----- in fact it is not the case that p”,

while the introduction of the state of ‘being under the impression that’ does not solve the problem:

----“for what enables us to deny that
---- all of our so-called knowledge
----is really only ‘taking for granted’?” (Grice 1989, 383–384).

Grice and Dretske

--- Some notes on the 'causal' approach by Grice.

Grice 1961 is reprinted in Bernecker and Dretske (2000).

Grice and Kierkegaard

--- as per study by K. Ramsland (of New Jersey). She focuses on Kierkegaard's idea of "indirect communication".

From the Stanford entry on Kierkegaard:

"Kierkegaard's “method of indirect communication” was designed to sever the reliance of the reader on the authority of the author and on the received wisdom of the community. The reader was to be forced to take individual responsibility for knowing who s/he is and for knowing where s/he stands on the existential, ethical and religious issues raised in the texts."

From another online source:

"His arsenal of rhetoric includes irony, satire, parody, humor, polemic and a dialectical method of “indirect communication” – all designed to deepen the reader’s subjective passionate engagement with ultimate existential issues."

Ah well -- the Danish Grice, then.

"Essays on Grice"


---- An overview of the 14 contributions:

1. Grice's Defense of the Analytic/Synthetic Distinction and Its Unintended Historical Consequences in Twentieth Century Analytical Philosophy
Jay David Atlas
----- Grice, In defense of a dogma. Grice's wit is in the rallying of an underdogma. I would think it was Strawson's publishing of Grice's Meaning (1948) in 1957 that had unintended consequences -- for Grice! Never mind twentieth-century analytic philsophy (she's dead now).

2. Paul Grice and the Philosopher of Ordinary Language--Siobhan R. Chapman.
Chapman keeps calling Grice "Paul Grice". Recall in the days of yore, that would have been so RUDE! It's always "H. P. Grice" even to your brother! I would NOT use "ordinary language" as the object of 'philosophy'. Rather it's "ordinary-language philosopher."

3. Some Aspects on Reasons and Retionality--J.Baker. This is a pun on Grice, "Aspects of reason" (Grice's 2001 book), originally entitled, "Some aspects of reason". She knows what she is talking about, and I love her most when she goes 'irrational'!

4. The Total Content of What a Speaker Means--A.Martinich
The implicatum, the explicatum, the dictum, and what have you! Fine-analyst as he was, Grice could not compete with R. M. Hare, who needed to accomodate a clistic and a tropic to the Gricean phrastic and neustic.

5. Showing and Meaning--M.Green. From the author of "Grice's Frown". He showed me the way to go home". "He meant that I was drunk". What are the analogies. Both take "that"-clause, but the first is natural meaning. Anglophones don't really understand the irony in Grice's terms ('meaning-non-natural') but they can be fun to read.

6. Communicative Acts - With and Without Understanding--C.Plunze. This is Continental Swiss Philosophy at its best.

7. Perillocutionary Acts. A Gricean Approach--K.Petrus. Idem!

8. William James + 40: Issues in the Investigation of Implicature--L.Horn. This was meant for publication in 2007

+ 40

Now it's WJ+43, but there are still 'issues', we trust.

9. Grice on Presupposition--A.Bezuidenhout. Or why Grice felt the notion wasn't important.

10. Irregular Negations: Implicature and Idiom Theories--W.Davis. Davis reviewed what he called (nfamously) the failure of Grice for Cambridge University Press, so this is a re-hash of his main point. That Grice fails to understand the importance of the idiom. Some people forget that Grice had a first in Lit. Hum, Oxon., so he knew what idioms are and what they meant.

11. Grice's Calculability Criterion and Speaker Meaning--J.Saul. Saul has criticised Davis elsewhere, but for the Palgrave contract, we are all good fellows and friends. The calculability was Grice's joke for a very informal 'working-out pattern': "She said that the cat sat on the mat; that was, presumably, what she meant".

12. A Gricean View on Intrusive Implicatures--M.Simons. If they are intended, they can never be intrusive. So she means 'as unwelcomed by the boring addresee". Who certainly has no 'say' in the matter!

13. Three Theories of Implicature: Default Theory, Relevance and Minimalism--E.Borg. None of this pleased Grice -- who was unique. What the contributors here should do is get a solitary reclusion at the Bancroft, and each should come out with an edition of some paper by Grice. So, instead of having more name-drops, we would have the real Grice strike back with a vengeance! THAT should provide a lesson to Griceians. Imagine if Aristotle's bulk of writings was still deposited somewhere and all we get were second-hand voices of his views!

13. Contextualism--N.Kompa. Overlaps with Emma Borg, because Grice hated 'contextualism', and contextualism hates Grice, so that's a tit for the tat, as they say.

Essays on Grice -- name index/subject index

Details on the fourteen essays on Grice

The order of presentation:

1. Jay David Atlas (sometime Fellow of Wolfson, Oxford):

"Grice's Defense of the Analytic-Synthetic Distinction, and Its Unintended Historical Consequences in Twentieth-Century Analytical Philosophy"

---- abstract: read Grice WoW:Essay "In defense of a dogma"

2. Siobhan R. Chapman, official biographer of Grice "philosopher and linguist", for Palgrave:

"Grice and the Philosopher of Ordinary Language"

---- Good to be able to read some critical view by Chapman. Who is 'the philosopher of ordinary language'? I hope she is trusting me not to understand her as thinking that she means Grice!


3. Judith ("Judy" as Grice affectionately calls her) Baker, sometime PhD student at Berkeley under Grice.

"Some Aspects on Reasons and Retionality"

--- Her recent tirade is that 'rationality' does not involve reasons! (She quotes, for good measure, Grice on thought-transitions and propensions).

4. Aloysius Martinich, Russian emigre, like G. Myro -- taught at Arizona.

"The Total Content of What [an Utterer] Means"

---- Martinich can be genial. In his reprint of Grice, "Logic and Conversation", he wittily notes, "Grice introduces the vernacular/logical form distinction in the first passage of this magisterial lecture never again to touch on it in the body of the same lecture."

5. Mitchell Green,

"Showing and Meaning"

----- Green's claim to fame, "Grice's Frown" discusses to what extent an angry frown by Grice (in 1948 Meaning) may be intentional -- or not.

6. C. Plunze.

"Communicative Acts - With and Without Understanding"

------ Don't fail to!

7. K. Petrus,

"Perillocutionary Acts. A Gricean Approach"

------ "I may be mistaken but I'm not confused!"

8. Laurence R. Horn, Yale linguist, born in New York City. Neo-Gricean.

"William James + 40: Issues in the Investigation of Implicature"

------ there is a pun here on a brandname americain.

9. Anne Bezuidenhout, South Afrikaan.

"Grice on Presupposition"

------ and why he hated her ('presuppositio' is Feminine in Latin)

10. Wayne Davies, author of the infamous, "The failure of Grice" -- published, of course, by Cambridge University Press.

"Irregular Negations: Implicature and Idiom Theories"

---- Idioms: who needs them? They cannot but flout Grice's Conversatioanl Category of Quality.

11. Jennifer Saul, Princeton student and teacher at Sheffield. Feminist woman philosohperess.

"Grice's Calculability Criterion and [Utterer] Meaning"

------ Grice got tired of calculability after someone pointed out to him that one of Hobbes's most boring books was called "Computatio sive Logica".

12. Mandy Simons,

"A Gricean View on Intrusive Implicatures"

----- Or how to lose them with the tub water.

13. Emma Borg:

"Three Theories of Implicature: Default Theory, Relevance and Minimalism"

---- and what's wrong with each! The one Grice endorsed was neither!

14. N. Kompa

"Contextualism in context".

----- Name index: the usual suspects.
----- Subject index: look out for 'disimplicature' and fail.

Essays on Grice --

Blurb of the Palgrave book on Grice at

"Essays on Grice"

"This collection assembles 14 essays on the key topics of meaning and analysis in Grice's philosophy of language."

"The contributors include philosophers -- many of whom have been participants in the various debates concerning Gricean issues."

---- And beyond. Cfr. Grice:

"Mr Poodle is our man in Gricean Studies" (implicature: "Surely he leaves quite a bit to be desired as an Aristotelian scholar")

""Essays on Grice" contains an introduction [to] Grice's overall project, i.e. his general theory of ... rationality."

"It then devotes its attention to the following topics."

"First, Grice's impact on 20th-century philosophy"

"Second, his theory of meaning."

"Third, the status of conversational implicature."

"Fourth, the realm of the pragmatic: minimal semantics/radical pragmatics.

The 14 contributors are, in strict alphabetical order:

ATLAS, Jay David -- educated Wolfson College, Oxford.

BAKER, Judith. Canadian philosopher who earned a PhD at Berkeley under Grice.

BEZUIDENHOUT, Anne. South Afrikaan.

BORG, Emma.

CHAPMAN, Siobhan R. -- biograher of "Grice: philosopher and linguist" for Palgrave.

DAVIS, Wayne A., auhtor of "The failure of Grice".

HORN, Laurence R. WJ-40.

MARTINICH, Aloysius, Russian emigre teaching in Arizona.

GREEN, Mitchell, Author of "Grice's Frown".

KOMPA, Nikola. Author.

PETRUS, Klaus. Author.

PLUNZE, Christian. Author

SAUL, Jennifer -- student at Princeton, teacher at Sheffield. Feminist woman philosopher.

SIMONS, Mandy. Author.


A valuable contribution to any Gricean library worth her name!

Staal and Grice: The Hermeneutic Tradition


Staal quotes from Julia Frazer on:

"Hermeneutic practice rais[ing] a range of
questions over issues such as the social
context and implicit power of
[hermeneutic] rules."

and comments:

"Frazer's "Implicit power" is reminiscent of H. P. Grice's "implicatures"".

And they are, but their goals were different?

Grice, H. P. -- cited by J. Frits Staal


"Ritual and mantras: rules without meaning"


"This was developed by H. P. Grice — subsequently by S. Y. Kuroda — and led to Searle's classifications of speech acts based on the assumption that all speech acts are concerned with ... intention."


Pears Brings Grice/Haugeland to the Hume Society

From: "Hume on Personal Identity"
by D. F. Pears, 1993

"Grice and Haugeland argue that causation presupposes personal identity and cannot, threfore, be used to explain it."

David Pears, “Hume on Personal Identity,” Questions in the Philosophy of Mind.


Pears goes on to argue that Grice/Haugeland are concerned with strict physical causation, while he and (he thinks) Hume are concerned with mental causation.

Grice and Haugeland on Hume's Quandary About Personal Identity in the Appendix to the Treatise (

--- from

Hume writes in 1740, in his Appendix to Book III, of Morals, of his Treatise, that "there is nothing I would more willingly lay hold of, than an opportunity of confessing my errors".

He adds that he "should esteem such a return to truth and reason to be more honourable than the most unerring judgment. A man, who is free from mistakes, can pretend to no praises, except from the justness of his understanding. But a man, who corrects his mistakes, shews at once the justness of his understanding, and the candour and ingenuity of his temper."

"I have not yet been so fortunate as to discover any very considerable mistakes in the reasonings delivered in the preceding volumes, except on one article: But I have found by experience, that some of my expressions have not been so well chosen, as to guard against all mistakes in the readers; and it is chiefly to remedy this defect, I have subjoined the following appendix."

-------- According to Grice and Haugeland, then, as is obvious from the above, Hume is retracting from going in circles in the Book III. Notably dismissing the impressions of the simple mind on cause.

Hume writes:

"We can never be induced to believe any matter of fact, except where its cause, or its effect, is present to us; but what the nature is of that belief, which arises from the relation of cause and effect, few have had the curiosity to ask themselves."

"In my opinion, this dilemma is inevitable. Either the belief is some new idea, such as that of reality or existence, which we join to the simple conception of an object, or it is merely a peculiar feeling or sentiment. That it is not a new idea, annexed to the simple conception, may be evinced from these two arguments."

"First argument: we have no abstract idea of existence, distinguishable and separable from the idea of particular objects. It is impossible, therefore, that this idea of existence can be annexed to the idea of any object, or form the difference betwixt a simple conception and belief."

"Second argument: the mind has the command over all its ideas, and can separate, unite, mix, and vary them, as it pleases; so that if belief consisted merely in a new idea, annexed to the conception, it would be in a man’s power to believe what he pleased."

"We may, therefore, conclude, that belief consists merely in a certain feeling or sentiment; in something, that depends not on the will, but must arise from certain determinate causes and principles, of which we are not masters. When we are convinced of any matter of fact, we do nothing but conceive it, along with a certain feeling, different from what attends the mere reveries of the imagination."

"And when we express our incredulity concerning any fact, we mean, that the arguments for the fact produce not that feeling. Did not the belief consist in a sentiment different from our mere conception, whatever objects were presented by the wildest imagination, would be on an equal footing with the most established truths founded on history and experience. There is nothing but the feeling, or sentiment, to distinguish the one from the other."

"This, therefore, being regarded as an undoubted truth, that belief is nothing but a peculiar feeling, different from the simple conception, the next question, that naturally occurs, is, what is the nature of this feeling, or sentiment, and whether it be analogous to any other sentiment of the human mind? This question is important. For if it be not analogous to any other sentiment, we must despair of explaining its causes, and must consider it as an original principle of the human mind. If it be analogous, we may hope to explain its causes from analogy, and trace it up to more general principles. Now that there is a greater firmness and solidity in the conceptions, which are the objects of conviction and assurance, than in the loose and indolent reveries of a castle-builder, every one will readily own. They strike upon us with more force; they are more present to us; the mind has a firmer hold of them, and is more actuated and moved by them. It acquiesces in them; and, in a manner, fixes and reposes itself on them. In short, they approach nearer to the impressions, which are immediately present to us; and are therefore analogous to many other operations of the mind."

"There is not, in my opinion, any possibility of evading this conclusion, but by asserting, that belief, beside the simple conception, consists in some impression or feeling, distinguishable from the conception. It does not modify the conception, and render it more present and intense: It is only annexed to it, after the same manner that will and desire are annexed to particular conceptions of good and pleasure. But the following considerations will, I hope, be sufficient to remove this hypothesis. First, It is directly contrary to experience, and our immediate consciousness. All men have ever allowed reasoning to be merely an operation of our thoughts or ideas; and however those ideas may be varied to the feeling, there is nothing ever enters into our conclusions but ideas, or our fainter conceptions. For instance; I hear at present a person’s voice, whom I am acquainted with; and this sound comes from the next room. This impression of my senses immediately conveys my thoughts to the person, along with all the surrounding objects. I paint them out to myself as existent at present, with the same qualities and relations, that I formerly knew them possessed of. These ideas take faster hold of my mind, than the ideas of an inchanted castle. They are different to the feeling; but there is no distinct or separate impression attending them. It is the same case when I recollect the several incidents of a journey, or the events of any history. Every particular fact is there the object of belief. Its idea is modified differently from the loose reveries of a castle-builder: But no distinct impression attends every distinct idea, or conception of matter of fact. This is the subject of plain experience. If ever this experience can be disputed on any occasion, it is when the mind has been agitated with doubts and difficulties; and afterwards, upon taking the object in a new point of view, or being presented with a new argument, fixes and reposes itself in one settled conclusion and belief. In this case there is a feeling distinct and separate from the conception. The passage from doubt and agitation to tranquility and repose, conveys a satisfaction and pleasure to the mind. But take any other case. Suppose I see the legs and thighs of a person in motion, while some interposed object conceals the rest of his body. Here it is certain, the imagination spreads out the whole figure. I give him a head and shoulders, and breast and neck. These members I conceive and believe him to be possessed of. Nothing can be more evident, than that this whole operation is performed by the thought or imagination alone. The transition is immediate. The ideas presently strike us. Their customary connexion with the present impression, varies them and modifies them in a certain manner, but produces no act of the mind, distinct from this peculiarity of conception. Let any one examine his own mind, and he will evidently find this to be the truth."


"Whatever may be the case, with regard to this distinct impression, it must be allowed, that the mind has a firmer hold, or more steady conception of what it takes to be matter of fact, than of fictions. Why then look any farther, or multiply suppositions without necessity?"

3. "We can explain the causes of the firm conception, but not those of any separate impression. And not only so, but the causes of the firm conception exhaust the whole subject, and nothing is left to produce any other effect. An inference concerning a matter of fact is nothing but the idea of an object, that is frequently conjoined, or is associated with a present impression. This is the whole of it. Every part is requisite to explain, from analogy, the more steady conception; and nothing remains capable of producing any distinct impression."


"The effects of belief, in influencing the passions and imagination, can all be explained from the firm conception; and there is no occasion to have recourse to any other principle. These arguments, with many others, enumerated in the foregoing volumes, sufficiently prove, that belief only modifies the idea or conception; and renders it different to the feeling, without producing any distinct impression. Thus upon a general view of the subject, there appear to be two questions of importance, which we may venture to recommend to the consideration of philosophers, Whether there be any thing to distinguish belief from the simple conception beside the feeling of sentiment? And, Whether this feeling be any thing but a firmer conception, or a faster hold, that we take of the object?"

"If, upon impartial enquiry, the same conclusion, that I have formed, be assented to by philosophers, the next business is to examine the analogy, which there is betwixt belief, and other acts of the mind, and find the cause of the firmness and strength of conception: And this I do not esteem a difficult task. The transition from a present impression, always enlivens and strengthens any idea. When any object is presented, the idea of its usual attendant immediately strikes us, as something real and solid. It is felt, rather than conceived, and approaches the impression, from which it is derived, in its force and influence. This I have proved at large. I cannot add any new arguments."

"I had entertained some hopes, that however deficient our theory of the intellectual world might be, it would be free from those contradictions, and absurdities, which seem to attend every explication, that human reason can give of the material world. But upon a more strict review of the section concerning personal identity, I find myself involved in such a labyrinth, that, I must confess, I neither know how to correct my former opinions, nor how to render them consistent. If this be not a good general reason for scepticism, it is at least a sufficient one (if I were not already abundantly supplied) for me to entertain a diffidence and modesty in all my decisions. I shall propose the arguments on both sides, beginning with those that induced me to deny the strict and proper identity and simplicity of a self or thinking being."

"When we talk of self or substance, we must have an idea annexed to these terms, otherwise they are altogether unintelligible. Every idea is derived from preceding impressions; and we have no impression of self or substance, as something simple and individual. We have, therefore, no idea of them in that sense."

"Whatever is distinct, is distinguishable; and whatever is distinguishable, is separable by the thought or imagination. All perceptions are distinct. They are, therefore, distinguishable, and separable, and may be conceived as separately existent, and may exist separately, without any contradiction or absurdity."

"When I view this table and that chimney, nothing is present to me but particular perceptions, which are of a like nature with all the other perceptions. This is the doctrine of philosophers. But this table, which is present to me, and the chimney, may and do exist separately. This is the doctrine of the vulgar, and implies no contradiction. There is no contradiction, therefore, in extending the same doctrine to all the perceptions."

"In general, the following reasoning seems satisfactory. All ideas are borrowed from preceding perceptions. Our ideas of objects, therefore, are derived from that source. Consequently no proposition can be intelligible or consistent with regard to objects, which is not so with regard to perceptions. But it is intelligible and consistent to say, that objects exist distinct and independent, without any common simple substance or subject of inhesion. This proposition, therefore, can never be absurd with regard to perceptions."

----------------------- BEGIN OF EXCURSUS ON "I".

Hume writes:

"When I turn my reflection on

myself, I never can perceive

this self without some one or

more perceptions."

"Nor can I ever perceive any thing

but the perceptions. It is the composition

of these, therefore, which forms the self."

"We can conceive a thinking being to

have either many or few perceptions."

"Suppose the mind to be reduced even

below the life of an oyster. Suppose it

to have only one perception, as of thirst or hunger.

Consider it in that situation. Do you

conceive any thing but merely that perception?"

"Have you any notion of self or substance?"

"If not, the addition of other perceptions can

never give you that notion."

"The annihilation, which some people suppose to

follow upon death, and which entirely destroys

this self, is nothing but an extinction

of all particular perceptions; love and hatred,

pain and pleasure, thought and sensation."

"These therefore must be the same

with self; since the one cannot

survive the other."

"Is self the same with substance?"

"If it be, how can that question have place,

concerning the subsistence of self, under

a change of substance?"

"If they be distinct, what is the difference

betwixt them?"

"For my part, I have a notion of neither, when

conceived distinct from particular perceptions."

"Philosophers begin to be reconciled to the principle, that we have no idea of external substance, distinct from the ideas of particular qualities. This must pave the way for a like principle with regard to the mind, that we have no notion of it, distinct from the particular perceptions."

"So far I seem to be attended with sufficient evidence. But having thus loosened all our particular perceptions, when I proceed to explain the principle of connexion, which binds them together, and makes us attribute to them a real simplicity and identity; I am sensible, that my account is very defective, and that nothing but the seeming evidence of the precedent reasonings coued have induced me to receive it. If perceptions are distinct existences, they form a whole only by being connected together. But no connexions among distinct existences are ever discoverable by human understanding. We only feel a connexion or determination of the thought, to pass from one object to another. It follows, therefore, that the thought alone finds personal identity, when reflecting on the train of past perceptions, that compose a mind, the ideas of them are felt to be connected together, and naturally introduce each other."

"However extraordinary this conclusion may seem,

it need not surprise us."

"Most philosophers seem inclined to think,

that PERSONAL IDENTITY arises from

consciousness; and consciousness is nothing

but a reflected thought or perception."

"The present philosophy, therefore, has so far a promising aspect. But all my hopes vanish, when I come to explain the principles, that unite our successive perceptions in our thought or consciousness. I cannot discover any theory, which gives me satisfaction on this head."

"In short there are two principles, which I cannot render consistent; nor is it in my power to renounce either of them, viz, that all our distinct perceptions are distinct existences, and that the mind never perceives any real connexion among distinct existences."

"Did our perceptions either inhere in something simple and individual, or did the mind perceive some real connexion among them, there would be no difficulty in the case."

"For my part, I must plead the privilege of a sceptic, and confess, that this difficulty is too hard for my understanding. I pretend not, however, to pronounce it absolutely insuperable."

"Others, perhaps, or myself, upon more mature reflections, may discover some hypothesis, that will reconcile those contradictions."

"I shall also take this opportunity of confessing two other errors of less importance, which more mature reflection has discovered to me in my reasoning. The first may be found in Vol. I. page 106. where I say, that the distance betwixt two bodies is known, among other things, by the angles, which the rays of light flowing from the bodies make with each other. It is certain, that these angles are not known to the mind, and consequently can never discover the distance. The second error may be found in Vol. I. page 144 where I say, that two ideas of the same object can only be different by their different degrees of force and vivacity. I believe there are other differences among ideas, which cannot properly be comprehended under these terms. Had I said, that two ideas of the same object can only be different by their different feeling, I should have been nearer the truth."