The Grice Club


The Grice Club

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

Is Grice the greatest philosopher that ever lived?

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Female Grice

I was discussing with R. Paul, and he notes from the OED

under 'quean':

"Originally: a woman, a female. Later: a bold or impudent woman; a hussy; spec. a prostitute. Also in extended use.
In early Middle English as a general term of abuse, passing (esp. in 16-17th centuries) into a more specific term of disparagement.
Byron, Don Juan: Canto VI VI. xcvi, This martial scold, This modern Amazon and queen of queans."


While Grice plays with

"he was caught in the grip of a vice/vyse"

we could play here with 'queen' proper. Again R. Paul quotes under 'queen':

"A woman, esp. a noblewoman; a wife, esp. of an important man. Obs. rare. Even in Old English, cw{emac}n is not the usual term for ‘woman’ or ‘wife’; it is used in this sense only in poetry."

--- Now, apply Grice's "Senses should not be multiplied beyond necessity" (and his example of 'animal' to mean 'beast' -- and see what you get! Or not!

Grice's Perspectivism -- in Perspective

by JLS

--- NOT THAT GRICE WAS A PERSPECTIVIST, but we can all-ways play!


from online source:

Anderson, R. Lanier. 1998. "Truth and Objectivity in Perspectivism." Synthese. 115, no. 1: 1-32.
Burton, H. E. 1945. The optics of Euclid. Journal of the Optical Society of America, 35, 357-372.
Clark, Maudemarie. Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy. Modern European philosophy. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1990. ISBN 9780521348508
Hales, Steven D., and Rex Welshon. Nietzsche's Perspectivism. International Nietzsche studies. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000. ISBN 9780252068669
Meyer, L. N. 1997. "Pluralism, Perspectivism & The Enigma of Truth." CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY -BOULDER-. 19, no. 3: 9-16.
Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, and Walter Arnold Kaufmann. The Gay Science; With a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs. New York: Random House, 1974.
Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, Walter Arnold Kaufmann, and R.J. Hollingdale. The Will to Power. New York: Vintage Books, 1964.
Nietzsche, Friedrich, and Rolf-Peter Horstmann. Beyond Good and Evil Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001. ISBN 9780521770781
Nietzsche, Friedrich. On the Genealogy of Morality: A Polemic. trans. Maudemarie Clarke and Alan J. Swenswen. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1998.
Penner, Myron B. Christianity and the Postmodern Turn: Six Views. Grand Rapids, Mich: Brazos, 2005. ISBN 9781587431081

External links
All Links Retrieved August 13, 2008.

Nate Olson, Perspectivism and Truth in Nietzsche’s Philosophy: A Critical Look at the Apparent Contradiction
Alexandra Deligiorgi, Education without Truth in Postmodern Perspectivism

General Philosophy Sources
Philosophy Sources on Internet EpistemeLinks
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Guide to Philosophy on the Internet
Paideia Project Online
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Project Gutenberg
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Perspectivism (Jan 1, 1970) history
Perspective_(visual) (Jan 1, 1970) history
Maurice_Merleau-Ponty (Jan 1, 1970) history
Note: Some restrictions may apply to use of individual images which are separately licensed.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Finnish with Grice

When Grandy/Warner were collecting essays for the Grice festschrift, that came out as P. G. R. I. C. E. (Clarendon: Philosophical Grounds of Rationality: Intentions, Categories, Ends -- the Clarendon Press objected to the use of "Grice" explicitly in the title: 'festschrifts don't sell well'), they thought of Hintikka.

Hintikka, who had edited Grice's "Vacuous Names" (ed. Davidson/Hintikka, 1969, Words and objections: essays on the work of W. V. Quine), contributed with a paper on "game-theory", which he has now reprinted in his own collection. This link below is by another Finnish philosopher -- it seems games are the THING up there!

Gricean Intentions, Game Theory, and Linguistic Contexts
given theoretical context, and may even lead to astray as far as Grice's original ideas are concerned. ... Gricean kinds of B-contexts (let us call them the ...

Jaakko Hintikka
From Wikipedia,
Jaakko Hintikka in 2006.Jaakko Hintikka (born January 12, 1929) is a Finnish philosopher and logician. Hintikka was born in Vantaa. After teaching for a number of years at Florida State University, Stanford, University of Helsinki, and the Academy of Finland, he is currently Professor of Philosophy at Boston University. The prolific author or co-author of over 30 books and over 300 scholarly articles has contributed to mathematical logic, philosophical logic, the philosophy of mathematics, epistemology, language theory, and the philosophy of science. His works have appeared in over nine languages. Hintikka is regarded as the founder of formal epistemic logic and of game semantics for logic. Early in his career, he devised a semantics of modal logic essentially analogous to Kripke's frame semantics, and discovered the now widely taught semantic tableau, independently of Evert Willem Beth. In recent decades, he has worked mainly on game semantics, and on independence-friendly logic, known for its "branching quantifiers" which he believes do better justice to our intuitions about quantifiers than does conventional first-order logic. He has done important exegetical work on Aristotle, Kant, Wittgenstein, and C.S. Peirce. Hintikka's work can be seen as a continuation of analytic tendency in philosophy founded by Brentano and Peirce, advanced by Frege and Bertrand Russell, and continued by Carnap, Quine, and by Hintikka's teacher Georg Henrik von Wright. Hintikka edited the academic journal Synthese from 1962 to 2002, and has been a consultant editor for more than ten journals. He was the first vice-president of the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés de Philosophie, the Vice-President of the Institut International de Philosophie (1993–1996), as well as a member of the American Philosophical Association, the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science, Association for Symbolic Logic, and a member of the governing board of the Philosophy of Science Association. In 2005, he won the Rolf Schock prize in logic and philosophy "for his pioneering contributions to the logical analysis of modal concepts, in particular the concepts of knowledge and belief".

Selected books
For a bibliography, see Auxier and Hahn (2006).
Socratic Epistemology; Explorations of Knowledge-Seeking by Questioning ISBN 9780521616515
The Philosophy of Mathematics ISBN 0-1987-5011-0
The Principles of Mathematics Revisited ISBN 0-521-62498-3
Paradigms for Language Theory and Other Essays ISBN 0-7923-4780-3
Lingua Universalis vs Calculus Ratiocinator ISBN 0-7923-4246-1
Inquiry as Inquiry: A Logic of Scientific Discovery ISBN 0-7923-5477-X
Language, Truth and Logic in Mathematics ISBN 0-7923-4766-8
Ludwig Wittgenstein: Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half-Truths ISBN 0-7923-4091-4
Analyses of Aristotle ISBN 1-4020-2040-6
The Logic of Epistemology and the Epistemology of Logic ISBN 0-7923-0040-8
Auxier, R.E., and Hahn, L., eds., 2006. The Philosophy of Jaakko Hintikka (The Library of Living Philosophers). Open Court. Includes a complete bibliography of Hintikka's publications. ISBN 0812694627
Bogdan, Radu, ed., 1987 Jaakko Hintikka, Kluwer Academic Publishers ISBN 9027724024
Daniel Kolak, 2001 On Hintikka, Wadsworth ISBN 0-534-58389-X
Daniel Kolak and John Symons, eds., 2004 Quantifiers, Questions and Quantum Physics: Essays on the Philosophy of Jaakko Hintikka Springer ISBN 1-4020-3210-2
[edit] See also
Rudolf Carnap
Charles Sanders Peirce
Saul Kripke
Willard Van Orman Quine
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Alfred Tarski
Doxastic logic
[edit] References
Jaakko Hintikka's personal website

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Georgia man sentenced to life in Maine

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

Stephanie Stapleton, who lives in Florida, found this AP headline
on Thursday: "Georgia man sentenced to life in Maine." She wrote,
"The weather's bad there, but is it that bad?"

WWI troops found in mass grave reburied in France

From Quinion's today World Wide Words:

Monday's Yahoo! News, Gary Christian notes, had an article headed
"WWI troops found in mass grave reburied in France". It reported,
"The ceremony was attended by Prince Charles, wearing a grey suit
hung with military decorations and top Australian officials."

Doxastic, Not Epistemic

As J notes, there are usually a lot of mistakes -- or 'errors' as J prefers -- in language. One example, the turkey, felt to be from Turkey (it isn't).

This from today's World Wide Words, M. Quinion refers to pub names:

With Two Nicks, for example in Worcester, at Little Bollington in
Cheshire, and at Sharnbrook in Bedfordshire. Two nicks put on a
swan's bill at the time of swan-upping signified that it was owned
by the Worshipful Company of Vintners, hence the connection with
pubs. The link has often puzzled people. Down the centuries several
pubs changed their names to Swan With Two Necks."


which belongs more in Grice's "Vacuous Descriptions".

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Grice on ex-operancy

Oddly, Grice played "Pavane pour une infante defunte" in 1930. In 1975, as President of the American Philosophical Association (who would have believed it?) he speaks of pirots dying.

When a pirot dies he becomes an ex-operant. I always found that phrase funny. But now I see that the Romans who were NOT very subtle were subtle enough to avoid the rude, "dead" -- as in "dead as a dodo" -- and used the etymological euphemistic metaphor, 'defunct' -- instead.

Surely the mechanism is implicatural:

---- Aunt Matilda died.
------- She is no longer operative.
-------------- "She is defunct".

---- In the case of Grice's inoperant pirots, Grice speaks of the survival value of operancy (or 'life'). He provides mechanistic analogues for all the talk that Aristotle used freely and loosely ("life", "soul", "generation" and "corruption") in terms of cybernetic accounts -- and just for fun!

Epistemic vs. doxastic: the case of the turkey

There is this section in Korta's & Perry's entry for 'pragmatics' in their online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. It relates to J on 'pavo'. As J notes, the 'pavo' (turkey) has nothing to do with Turkey OR the peacock. Still, since it's beliefs that count, not knowledge -- the moral is that in language, things mostly work via what J calls a 'linguistic error'! Or not!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Infant, Not Working No More

Grice played "Pavane pour une infante defunte".

This is a difficult piece. Not so much in the performance, but in the meaning. It comprises a few words which are clear enough in meaning: 'pour' and 'une'. However, the nominal elements ("pavane", "infante" and "defunte") are all malaprops.


1590s, from O.Fr. defunct (14c., Mod.Fr. defunt) or directly from L. defunctus "dead".


"off-duty," from pp. of defungi "to discharge, finish," from de- "off, completely" (see de-) + fungi "perform or discharge duty," from PIE base *bheug- "to enjoy" (see brook (v.)).

"Pavane pour une infante défunte"

Come to think of it, I would be INSULTED if people called me 'princess' (or prince, for that matter). In Spain, the daughters of the King of Spain -- well in their 40s and 50s -- are called, still, 'infants', which LITERALLY (i.e. sans implicature) means 'without speech', from 'in-', negative affix, and '-fant', 'speaking'.

How did this implicature spring? Surely by some flout (or affrent) to the Gricean maxims:

------ "He is a cute baby. He cannot talk!"
---------- "Let's call him 'infant'.
---"You are SO clever: 'in-', unable to, '-fant', speak.


----- Nanny (to Queen): The infant has talked!
-------- Queen: So?
----- Nanny: I was wondering, your Majesty, if
---------------- you would like NOT to call her 'infant' anymore.
------ The Queen Isabella da Castilla: Stuff and nonsense. Once an infant, allways an infant (to me).

Grice plays the Pavane

-- i.e. the turkey.


In 1930 Grice regaled the parents of the Clifton (end of year Christmas concert) with "La Pavane" by Ravel.

PARENT: I loved you Pavane!

GRICE: Thanks.

-- (pause)

------- (Grice continues): "It's for a 'defunct infant', you see. Hence my lugubre rendition.

PARENT: I thought it had a turkey-spirit to it.

GRICE: Well, there are variants.

PARENT: Variants? Of interpretation?

GRICE: No. Of Etymythology. Some think 'pavane' is from 'turkey'; some think it's from Pava, in Veneto, la bella Italia.

PARENT: You are a bright young fellow, Grice, and you know it.

The Life and Death of Conventional Implicature

Josef Stern, The Life and Death of a Metaphor, or the Metaphysics of Metaphor.This paper addresses two issues: (1) what it is for a metaphor to be either alive or dead and (2) what a metaphor must be in order to be either alive or dead. Both issues, in turn, bear on the contemporary debate whether metaphor is a pragmatic or semantic phenomenon and on the dispute between Contextualists and Literalists. In the first part of the paper, I survey examples of what I take to be live metaphors and dead metaphors in order (...)

Implicature Without Common Ground

Mandy Simons, Presupposition Without Common Ground.In this paper, I review a number of arguments in favor of treating many of the central cases of presupposition as the result of conversational inference, rather than as lexically specified properties of particular expressions. I then argue that, despite the standard assumption to the contrary, the view of presupposition as constraints on the common ground is not consistent with the provision of a conversational account of particular presuppositional constraints. The argument revolves crucially around the workings of accommodation. I then (...)

Implicated In Conversation --

The Things We Implicate

Peter Pagin (2005). Review of Stephen Schiffer, The Things We Mean. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (7).
After Meaning, 1972, and The Remnants of Meaning , 1987, The Things We Mean is Stephen Schiffer's third major work on the foundations of the theory of linguistic meaning. In simplest possible outline, the development started with a positive attempt to base a meaning theory on a modified Gricean account of utterance meaning, but took a negative turn, with the problems of belief sentences as a major reason for thinking that a systematic (compositional) semantic theory for natural language was (...)

Implicatura Ex Machina

Kent Bach, Context Ex Machina.Once upon a time it was assumed that speaking literally and directly is the norm and that speaking nonliterally or indirectly is the exception. The assumption was that normally what a speaker means can be read off of the meaning of the sentence he utters, and that departures from this, if not uncommon, are at least easily distinguished from normal utterances and explainable along Gricean lines. The departures were thought to be limited to obvious cases like figurative speech and (...)

Breaking Out of the Gricean Circle

Joseph Levine (1989). Breaking Out of the Gricean Circle. Philosophical Studies 57 (2).
Pragmatics in Philosophy of Language
Reading list | Discuss | Edit | Categorize | My bibliography | Export citation | Scholar | At my library | Share & More ...

Gricean Belief Change

James P. Delgrande, Abhaya C. Nayak & Maurice Pagnucco (2005). Gricean Belief Change. Studia Logica 79 (1).
One of the standard principles of rationality guiding traditional accounts of belief change is the principle of minimal change: a reasoner's belief corpus should be modified in a minimal fashion when assimilating new information. This rationality principle has stood belief change in good stead. However, it does not deal properly with all belief change scenarios. We introduce a novel account of belief change motivated by one of Grice's maxims of conversational implicature: the reasoner's belief corpus is modified in a minimal (...)

Gricean Deference

W. E. Coopr (1976). Gricean Deference. Metaphilosophy 7 (2):91–101.

Pirot Talk

Friedrich Christoph Doerge & Mark Siebel (2008). Gricean Communication and Transmission of Thoughts. Erkenntnis 69 (1).
Gricean 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 by Wayne Davis. Davis attaches too much significance to the surface (...)

The GAUM -- Grice's account of utterer's meaning

J. Robert Thompson (2008). Grades of Meaning. Synthese 161 (2).
In this paper, I lend novel support to H. P. Grice’s account of speaker meaning (GASM) by blunting the force of a significant objection. Stephen Schiffer has argued that in order to make GASM sufficient, one must add restrictions that are psychologically impossible to fulfill, thereby making GASM untenable. In what follows, I explain the elements of GASM that require it to invoke these psychologically unrealizable restrictions. I then accept Schiffer’s criticism, but modify its significance to GASM. I argue that (...) the problem that Schiffer notes is not a reason to reject GASM, but a reason to embrace it. GASM 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 GASM offers a useful contextualist account of meaning attribution. Hence, pragmatic theories of meaning and communication should not wholly exclude GASM from their theorizing, at least not for the reasons that are commonly given. (shrink)
Aspects of Meaning in Philosophy of Language

Is Grice a Gricean?

John R. Cook (2009). Is Davidson a Gricean? Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review/Revue canadienne de philosophie 48 (3):557-575.
In his recent collection of essays, Language, Truth and History (2005), Donald Davidson appears to endorse a philosophy of language which gives primary importance to the notion of the speaker’s communicative intentions, a perspective on language not too dissimilar from that of Paul Grice. If that is right, then this would mark a major shift from the formal semanticist approach articulated and defended by Davidson in his Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation (1984). In this paper, I argue that although there (...)

The Causal Theory of Hallucination

Sean Wilkie (1996). The Causal Theory of Veridical Hallucinations. Philosophy 71 (276):245-254.
The Causal Theory of Perception in Philosophy of Mind
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A Gricean Defence of a Moorean Response to Scepticism

Tim Black (2008). A Warranted-Assertability Defense of a Moorean Response to Skepticism. Acta Analytica 23 (3).
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 that 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 rule 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. (shrink)
Skepticism in Epistemology

All Grice Considered

Edmund Henden (2006). The Role of All Things Considered Judgements in Practical Deliberation. Philosophical Explorations 9 (3):295 – 308.
Suppose an agent has made a judgement of the form, 'all things considered, it would be better for me to do a rather than b (or any range of alternatives to doing a)' where a and b stand for particular actions. If she does not act upon her judgement in these circumstances would that be a failure of rationality on her part? In this paper I consider two different interpretations of all things considered judgements which give different answers to this (...) question, one suggested by Donald Davidson, the other by Paul Grice and Judith Baker. I argue that neither interpretation is adequate. However, a third interpretation that combines features of the Grice/Baker view with the Davidsonian view is possible. In the final section of the paper I defend this interpretation against two objections. (shrink)

A Martian Implicature

Dimitria Electra Gatzia (forthcoming). Martian Colours. Philosophical Writings.
Developmental synesthesia typically involves either the stimulation of one sensory modality which gives rise to an experience in a different modality (when a sound, for example, evokes a colour) or the stimulation of a single sensory modality giving rise to different qualitative aspects of experience (when the sight of a number, for example, evokes a colour). These occurrences seem to support Grice’s (1989) argument that sense modalities cannot be individuated without reference to the introspective-character of experience. This, however, threatens intentionalism (...) which maintains that the qualitative character of experience is exhausted, or fully determined by, its intentional content. Ross (2001) attempts to defuse Grice’s argument by proposing an account that does not appeal to the qualitative character of experience to individuate sense modalities. I argue that his account is unsuccessful. (shrink)
Philosophy of Mind


John O'Dea (forthcoming). A Proprioceptive Account of the Senses. In Fiona Macpherson (ed.), The Senses: Classical and Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives. OUP.
Representationalist theories of sensory experience are often thought to be vulnerable to the existence of apparently non-representational differences between experiences in different sensory modalities. Seeing and hearing seem to differ in their qualia, quite apart from what they represent. The origin of this idea is perhaps Grice’s argument, in “Some Remarks on the Senses,” that the senses are distinguished by “introspectible character.” In this chapter I take the Representationalist side by putting forward an account of sense modalities which is consistent (...) with that view and yet pays due regard to the intuition behind Grice’s argument. Employing J.J. Gibson’s distinction between exploratory and performatory behaviour, I point to a proprioceptive element in perceptual experience, and identify this as crucial in any account of what makes a particular way of perceiving a sense modality. (shrink)
Distinguishing the Senses in Philosophy of MindRepresentationalism in Philosophy of Mind

Grice's Razor

Thomas D. Bontly (2005). Modified Occam's Razor: Parsimony, Pragmatics, and the Acquisition of Word Meaning. Mind and Language 20 (3):288–312.
Advocates of linguistic pragmatics often appeal to a principle which Paul Grice called Modified Occam's Razor: 'Senses are not to be multiplied beyond necessity'. Superficially, Grice's principle seems a routine application of the principle of parsimony ('Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity'). But parsimony arguments, though common in science, are notoriously problematic, and their use by Griceans faces numerous objections. This paper argues that Modified Occam's Razor makes considerably more sense in light of certain assumptions about the processes (...)

Grice on 'if' and '⊃'

Gunnar Björnsson (2008). Strawson on 'If' and ⊃. South African Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):24-35.
This paper is concerned with Sir Peter Strawson’s critical discussion of Paul Grice’s defence of the material implication analysis of conditionals. It argues that although Strawson’s own ‘consequentialist’ suggestion concerning the meaning of conditionals cannot be correct, a related and radically contextualist account is able to both account for the phenomena that motivated Strawson’s consequentialism, and to undermine the material implication analysis by providing a simpler account of the processes that we go through when interpreting conditionals.

Implicatures in the Nyayasutra: Grice as a non-defeatist

Alberto Todeschini (2010). Twenty-Two Ways to Lose a Debate: A Gricean Look at the Nyāyasūtra 's Points of Defeat. Journal of Indian Philosophy 38 (1).
This paper is a study of debate practices as seen in the Nyāyasūtra and a number of commentaries. It concentrates on the ‘Points of Defeat’ ( nigrahasthāna ), i.e., those occasions that if met in debate would entail defeat. The conditions under which a debater would meet with defeat were discussed widely in India and have also attracted considerable attention from modern scholars. In order to better understand this subject, use is made of some of the intuitions (...) about language and conversation that we owe to the philosopher H. P. Grice (1913–1988) as well as of some recent theoretical advances in argumentation theory and informal logic, particularly of those most influenced by Grice’s thought. The Points of Defeat are studied both individually and as a group and it is shown that they point towards the practice of debating as being a rational, cooperative and goal-directed activity. (shrink)
Indian Philosophy in Asian Philosophy

R. I. P.: Grice's Conventional Implicature

Into the Conventional-Implicature Dimension
Christopher Potts 1*

Grice coined the term 'conventional implicature' in a short passage in 'Logic and Conversation'. The description is intuitive and deeply intriguing. The range of phenomena that have since been assigned this label is large and diverse. I survey the central factual motivation, arguing that it is loosely unified by the idea that conventional implicatures contribute a separate dimension of meaning. I provide tests for distinguishing conventional implicatures from other kinds of meaning, and I briefly explore ways in which one can incorporate multiple dimensions of meaning into a single theory.


Philosophy Compass 2 (2007): 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2007.00089.x

Resistance to Grice: Imaginable?

Bence Nanay
Syracuse University, New York
Copyright Journal compilation © 2009 The Editors of The Philosophical Quarterly
We experience resistance when we are engaging with fictional works which present certain (for example, morally objectionable) claims. But in virtue of what properties do sentences trigger this 'imaginative resistance'? I argue that while most accounts of imaginative resistance have looked for semantic properties in virtue of which sentences trigger it, this is unlikely to give us a coherent account, because imaginative resistance is a pragmatic phenomenon. It works in a way very similar to Paul Grice's widely analysed 'conversational implicature'.

Grice on (Ex) and 'some'

It is a well-known fact about logic that you can say,

"Tom has dogs"

even if he only has one.


the expression

(Ex)Dx & H(t,x)

--- i.e. there is an x such that x is a dog and Tom has it -- does not ENTAIL that there is more than one x. Reciprocally, --

Grice has "Ex" to read: "some (at least one)".


"Some dog is owned by Tom"


"Some dogs ARE owned by Tom".

Same quantifier: 'some (at least one)'.

The clearest statement of this fact about the use of "some" and the plural is in Warnock, "Metaphysics in Logic," though -- broadly endorsing a Gricean approach.

This below from a more recent source:

Eytan Zweig (2009).

Number-Neutral Bare Plurals and the Multiplicity Implicature. Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (4).

Bare plurals ("dogs") behave in ways that quantified plurals ("some dogs") do not. For instance, while the sentence "John owns dogs" implies [implicates, but does not entail. JLS] "John owns more than one dog," its negation "John does not own dogs" does not mean “John does not own more than one dog”, but rather “John does not own a dog” ([at all. JLS]. A second puzzling behavior is known as the dependent plural reading; when in the scope of another plural, the ‘more than one’ (...)"

Confucius: the Chinese Grice

Michiel Leezenberg (2009). Gricean and Confucian Pragmatics: A Contrastive Analysis. In Dingfang Shu & Ken Turner (eds.), Contrasting Meanings in Languages of the East and West. Peter Lang.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Grice's Recursive Defintion of Truth

This is the title of a publication by Bankruptcy Judge Markell. It is very good.

A Gricean Riddle

How could he have implicated it if he said it?

A Gricean Riddle

How could he have implicated it if he said it?


Nobody that I know -- but on very RARE occasions, Grice becomes krypto-Gricean (when he speaks of pirots, Humean projection, eschatology and post-conventional implicata).

Grice's Turkey Walk

J reminds us that "Turkey" is short for "Turkey peacock", since the bird was imagined to come from Turkey.

Oddly, I was once reading Birchfield's "Making of the OED" (Faber) and was amused (in the wrong way) by the definition of "Turk" in the old edition of the OED. As I recall, it read:

Turk: an inhabitant of Turkey; wanton child.


This was later deleted (the second 'use') on the strength of it being politically correct.

Similarly, there was a law suit in the isle of Lesbos (in Greece) against the use of 'Lesbian' to mean 'female lover of a female': "it offends those who are heterosexual and still choose to live on this island".

Grice Does The Turkey Walk

As T. Glover reminded us, Grice played the "Pavane" in 1930, at the piano. This is a solemn 'piece of music'. The name may derive from 'pavo', turkey -- and the music is 'reminiscent of the way a turkey walks,' hence the name.

"It may also derive from Padova, in Italy", where this music representative of a turkey walk originated.

He played the 'turkey walk'

Oddly, the etymological dictionary sheds some darkness on 'pavane'.

It is a "slow, stately dance," 1530s, from Fr. pavane (1524).

So far so good.

Here there is a divergene.

It is "probably from Spanish "pavana," from "pavo", peacock. (from L. pavo), in ref. to the bird's courting movements."


"But some see an Italian origin and trace the name to Padovana "Paduan.""

"Possibly there was a merger of two distinct dance words."

---- And they say that with a straight face. They get paid to provide us with right etymologies!



Do not multiply senses beyond necessity. If I must, I will concede that the turkey was from Padua.

Call me a parsinomist.

Grice, a pavano

Grice played Ravel's "Pavane" (which as J. informs us, Ravel composed in 1902).

The word 'pavane' is from the Middle French, "pavane," itself from Italian dialectal "pavana," from feminine of "pavano", 'of Padua,' or 'Pava' (Tuscan "Padova", rather). It refers not to anything from that town but just to a
"stately court dance by couples that was introduced from southern Europe into England in the 16th century." Also: music for the pavane; also: music having the slow duple rhythm of a pavane."

"Mahler's music is better than it sounds" (Grice, apres William Nye)

From wiki:

"Wagner's music is better than it sounds.
Actually by Bill Nye, possibly confused due to Twain quoting Nye in More tramps abroad, 1897."


i. Mahler's music is better than it sounds.

Cfr. Grice:

"She sang "Home Sweet Home".
"Her rendition matched the score admirably" (adapted from "Logic and Conversation").

There is something which IS Mahler's music ("The song of the earth") that IS *NOT* any of its renditions, even the beloved one by Grice, by Kathleen Ferrier.

So Nye makes perfect sense.

Joan Sutherland, whose career I have studied, used to say that rehearsing was very easy for her -- "People don't realise but a lot of rehearsing can be carried on mentally."

I agree! And I'm a Monist!

Grice on Mahler: "music better than it sounds" -- and "Remarks about the senses"

J reports about Twain that he made some

"funny cracks about Wagner: "it sounds better than it is"' or something".

Exactly. We should check the actual wording.


(i) x sounds better than it is.

is different from

(ii) x is better than it sounds.

I'm using "Mahler" for provocative intents, since we know Grice was a Mahlrer-fan.

On the face of it, there is something virtually stupid about (ii) -- on the strenght of all the being there is to 'x' is 'how x sounds'. But surely Twain is IMPLICATING something.

Grice plays Pavane pour une infante défunte

This is what we -- well, S. R. -- was able to excavate by contacting T[homas] J. Grover, of the Old Cliftonian Society:


Quotation courtesy of the Old Cliftonian Society:

--- From end-of-year concert, 1930 -- "The Clifonian"


"We enjoyed Grice's playing of Ravel's "Pavane";"

----- Grice was 17.

The review goes to focus on

"its stateliness"


where 'its' refers to

(m) mainly: Grice's playing
(less mainly): the Pavane itself.

---- (Surely I can play the Pavane in a non stately manner -- I can even murder the tune with the left pedal, too -- and turn it into a Lambeth Walk).


The reviewer is eager to contrast the 'stateliness' of Grice's performance with his companion, who had played the rather unBritish Rachmaninoff.

"[Grice's 'Ravane''s] "stateliness

provided an effective contrast to the

exuberance of the Rachmaninoff"

as played by Joseph Cooper.

(Oddly, Cooper never studied philosophy, but run the BBC television programme, "Face the music" --, and he was also a concert pianist.

The Pavane should have some text to it.

I can think of various lines that may fit the piece.

The important thing about finding lyrics to a non-lyrical piece is to match the spirit. If this is a pavane for a dead princess, we expect appropriately funeral lyrics -- not anything about robins in spring, say.

The music itself usually 'invites' a certain setting. If it's a minor key it's usually sad, unless the lyrics are meant as 'funny'.

Grice Plays French at Clifton

Thanks to J for the comments on Ravel, that Grice played at Clifton. The piece he played to great applause was "Pavane for a dead princess".

This from wiki:

"Pavane pour une infante défunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess) is a well-known piece written for solo piano by the French composer Maurice Ravel in 1899 when he was studying composition at the Conservatoire de Paris under Gabriel Fauré. Ravel also published an orchestrated version of the Pavane in 1910. A typical performance of the piece lasts between six and seven minutes."

----------- Grice repeated the coda, and started with the introduction again, while his little 'sister' (a boy really, dressed as a girl) was giving away some brownies to the audience. This allowed Grice to repeat the coda and the bride. In total, the piece lasted 23 minutes.

"Ravel described the piece as "an evocation of a pavane that a little princess might, in former times, have danced at the Spanish court".[1] The pavane was a slow processional dance that enjoyed great popularity in the courts of Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries."

"This antique miniature is not meant to pay tribute to any particular princess from history, but rather expresses a nostalgic enthusiasm for Spanish customs and sensibilities, which Ravel shared with many of his contemporaries (most notably Debussy and Albéniz) and which is evident in some of his other works such as the Rapsodie espagnole and the Boléro."

"Ravel dedicated the Pavane to his patron, the Princesse de Polignac. The Spanish pianist Ricardo Viñes gave the first performance on April 5, 1902. The Pavane was warmly welcomed by the public, but received much more subdued reviews from Ravel's fellow musicians. Indeed, Ravel himself complained that it "lacked daring". Subsequent performances tended to be much too slow and plodding. In one instance, Ravel attended just such a performance, and afterward mentioned to the pianist that it was called "Pavane for a Dead Princess", not "Dead Pavane for a Princess"."


I suppose Grice would say that the difference, being one of scope, is merely implicatural.

"When Ravel published his orchestrated version of the Pavane in 1910, he gave the lead melody to the horn, and specified a non-generic instrument: the score calls for "2 Cors simples en sol" (two hand-horns in G). The teaching of the valveless hand-horn had persisted longer in the Paris Conservatory than in other European centers; only in 1903 had the valve horn replaced it as the official horn of primary instruction."

1.Robert Andres. An introduction to the solo piano music of Debussy and Ravel

Heninger, Barbara (2001-11-23). Maurice Ravel: Pavane for a Dead Princess (program notes). Eric Kujawsky, Peter Stahl, Wyatt Doug (eds.). Redwood Symphony. Retrieved 2008-08-17.
[edit] External links
Pavane pour une infante défunte: Free scores at the International Music Score Library Project.
Recording of Pavane pour une Infante Défunte by Therese Dussaut in MP3 format

Grice's White Lies

"On trying and lying: cultural configurations of Grice's maxim of quality"
by Eve Danziger

Intercultural Pragmatics. Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages 199–219 2010

"Gricean communication takes place when

an audience"

-- addressee --

"recognizes an utterer's intention to communicate some specific content by producing a particular locution"

-- or gesture, or even 'fart' (some 'farting, burping, etc. can be VERY intentional' -- Adorno).

"This general view is discernible in Grice's wording of the maxim of Quality, which pivots on the idea of utterer “trying” to avoid falsehood."

What is not clear in the wording if the utterer is a 'he' or a 'she'. Apparently, 'he's like more than 'she's, or less, I forget.

Eve continues:

"The cultural model of utterance interpretation among the Mopan Maya of Eastern Central America however, does not refer to the intentions of the utterer."

I'm surprised they refer to ANYthing!

"For example, falsehoods are categorized by Mopan as blameworthy violations of Quality (“lying”) whether or not the utterer was aware of the falsehood at the moment of utterance."

See the mopan Maya translation of Grice, "Logic and Conversation" -- in ideographs. They made a little solar calendar out of it, with each maxim representing the equinox of the sun in the solstice of global warming.

"Ethnographic evidence suggests that even mutually known falsehoods are not interpreted figuratively among traditional Mopan, who do not produce or recognize fiction."

---- Except a few grandmothers who enjoy Barbara Cartland (as they hide in tents).

"But since Mopan conversation otherwise proceeds in general very much as it does in other languages, the Mopan findings suggest that intention-seeking must not in fact be necessary to most ordinary conversational interaction."

OR that Grice is Euro-centric. I always correct this: Oxon-centric. Vide the last chapter of my PhD thesis, "The cunning of conversational reason".

Eve writes:

"This conclusion supports post-Gricean views in which routine conscious interrogation of interlocutors' intentions are not necessarily required for the conduct of ordinary conversation in any society."

EXCEPT cross-examination.

As the king says to the Queen in "Alice in Wonderland"

"Really, dear, YOU should be cross-examining her -- it gives me a headache". (Vide Grice on 'cross-examination' in "Retrospective Epilogue" -- 'cross-examination apes conversation'.

Eve writes:

"Overall, the data suggest that Grice was perhaps right that the figurative interpretation of novel flouts requires intention-seeking on the part of audiences."

Perhaps????? He was mightly RIGHT about it!

"It also suggests, however, that intention-seeking in conversation may be reserved for cases in which a maxim violation is suspected, and may be confined to those cases in which the status of utterer's intentions is culturally understood to be relevant to the question of whether a violation has indeed taken place."

Right. But then, who cares. I mean. When I speak to the greengrocer I usually implicate things different from those I implicate when I speak to my mother!

If people were being to fine-tuned to their addressees conversation would never start!


"Don't speak till you're spoken to!", the Duchess said to Alice.
"If everyone followed this maxim, I cannot see how conversation would ever start in the first place".


In Grice's scheme, each PIROT is a rational agent, very much like a Chomskyan monstrosity (ideal) -- so they share a cultural background. So you ask:

"Are you a virgin?"

And you expect the right, honest reply.

It has been argued that 'virgin', in English, means 'male'.

"I hardly can be a 'virgin'. I'm male'"

This implicature is cancelled in Italian, and Latin, where 'virgin' is a FEMININE noun. In English, which lacks gender, 'virgin' CAN be used for a male. Surely that affects a few implicatures one can derive out of it. Or not.


PDF (124 KB) PDF with Links (124 KB) Permalink
Recommended ReadingsSpeech Act Theory: Some current options

Savas L. Tsohatzidis

Intercultural Pragmatics May 2010, Vol. 7, No. 2, Pages 341–362: Pages 341–362

Abstract - PDF (131 KB) - PDF with Links (132 KB)
Lost in subtitle translations: The case of advice in the English subtitles of Spanish films

Derrin Pinto

Intercultural Pragmatics May 2010, Vol. 7, No. 2, Pages 257–277: Pages 257–277

Abstract - PDF (133 KB) - PDF with Links (133 KB)
Videoconferencing with strangers: Teaching Japanese EFL students verbal backchannel signals and reactive expressions

Veronica G. Sardegna, Daniella Molle

Intercultural Pragmatics May 2010, Vol. 7, No. 2, Pages 279–310: Pages 279–310

Abstract - PDF (177 KB) - PDF with Links (178 KB)
An experimental study of native speaker perceptions of non-native request modification in e-mails in English

Berna Hendriks

Intercultural Pragmatics May 2010, Vol. 7, No. 2, Pages 221–255: Pages 221–255

Abstract - PDF (172 KB) - PDF with Links (173 KB)
Using task-based pragmatics tutorials while studying abroad in China

Paula M. Winke, Chunhong Teng

Intercultural Pragmatics May 2010, Vol. 7, No. 2, Pages 363–399: Pages 363–399

Abstract - PDF (318 KB) - PDF with Links (318 KB)

Grice's Desert Island Discs

Grice's family was musical. His father, Grice describes in "Life and Opinions of Paul Grice" as a 'dreadful businessman', where 'dreadful' and 'busy' are metaphorical. "But a fine musician," he adds. Implicating (as per conventional implication, cfr. "She is a whore, but has good manners") that there is a contrast there.

Herbert Grice, for such was his name, played the fiddle -- and as a concertist. He taught the young Grice (H. Paul -- after whom this club was created) to play the piano-forte (we always add 'forte', because 'piano' means 'soft', and surely Grice used BOTH pedals, so he played the soft-hard).

It was a good idea of Mabel Fenton-Grice (Grice's mum) to have another son -- they called him Derek.

"The appearance of Derek on the scene meant
that, once he could speak, and stuff, he
learned the 'cello and he would join Papa
and me -- in our duets, which became,
strictly, trios."


Grice is reported in "The Cliftonian" to have played, to the audience's wonderment, Ravel's piano piece --.


While at Oxford, and Berkeley, he kept a grand piano, and rather than "Principia Mathematica" he would more often than not consult Grove's "Music and Musicians".

He thought, rightly, that Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nurenberg were 'for children', implicating that we are NOT children, and that that means it's a bad thing (for a work to be 'for children' when you are not a child). This implicature ('the work is bad') is cancelled if it's CHILDREN speaking:

----- Tommy (aged 8). I went to the Albert Hall today.
--------- Billy (aged 7). What did you see?
----------Tommy: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, by Wagner.
----------Billy: Did you like it.
------Tommy: It is for children.


The implicature, above, is that, "yes, I did like it".


In any case, George Richardson, Grice's obituarist -- for the St. John's College records -- Richardson was a working-class Glasgwegian, originally -- adds that while Wagner was dismissed by Grice (e.g. Meistersinger for children), Grice liked Mahler -- "there was something in Mahler's [music] that 'spoke' directly to Grice", Richardson writes. His favourite (Grice's, not Richardson's) was Kathleen Ferrier's rendition of "The song of the earth".

There are a lot of implicatures in this piece of work, as per below.

The wiki informs us:

"Das Lied von der Erde ("The Song of the Earth") is a large-scale work for two vocal soloists and orchestra by the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler. Laid out in six separate movements, each of them an independent song, the work is described on the title-page as Eine Symphonie für eine Tenor- und eine Alt- (oder Bariton-) Stimme und Orchester (nach Hans Bethges "Die chinesische Flöte") – ("A Symphony for Tenor and Alto (or Baritone) Voice and Orchestra (after Hans Bethge's 'The Chinese Flute')"). Bethge's text was published in the autumn of 1907. Mahler's use of 'Chinese' motifs in the music is unique in his output. Composed in the years 1908–1909, it followed the Eighth Symphony, but is not numbered as the Ninth, which is a different work. It lasts approximately 65 minutes in performance."

"Mahler conceived the work in 1908. This followed closely on the publication of Hans Bethge's volume of ancient Chinese poetry rendered into German, Die Chinesische Flöte ("The Chinese Flute"), based on several intermediate works (see Text). Mahler was very taken by the vision of earthly beauty and transience expressed in these verses[1] and chose seven (two of them used in the finale) to set to music. Mahler himself wrote: "I think it is probably the most personal composition I have created thus far."[2] Bruno Walter called it "the most personal utterance among Mahler's creations, and perhaps in all music."[3]"

"According to the philosopher Theodor W. Adorno, in Chinese poetry Mahler found what he had formerly sought in the genre of German folk song: a mask or costume for the sense of rootlessness or "otherness" attending his identity as a Jew.[4] This theme, and its influence upon Mahler's tonality, has been further explored by John Sheinbaum.[5] It is also claimed that Mahler found in these poems an echo of his own increasing awareness of mortality.[6]"

"Mahler's experiences during the preceding summer (1907) are likened to the three hammer blows of his Sixth Symphony (written in 1903–1904)[7]. He was pushed to resign his post as Director of the Vienna Court Opera, through political intrigue partly involving anti-semitism. His eldest daughter Maria died from scarlet fever and diphtheria. In addition, Mahler himself was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. "With one stroke," he wrote to his friend Bruno Walter, "I have lost everything I have gained in terms of who I thought I was, and have to learn my first steps again like a newborn"[7]."

"Mahler had already included movements for voice and orchestra in his Second, Third, Fourth and Eighth Symphonies. However, Das Lied von der Erde is the first work giving a complete integration of song cycle and symphony. The form was afterwards imitated by other composers, notably by Shostakovich and Zemlinsky. This new form has been termed a "song-symphony",[8] a hybrid of the two forms that had occupied most of Mahler's creative life."

"Mahler was aware[9] of the so-called "curse of the Ninth", the fact that no composer since Beethoven had successfully completed more than nine symphonies before dying. He had already written eight symphonies before composing Das Lied von Der Erde, which he subtitled A Symphony for Tenor, Contralto and Large Orchestra, but left unnumbered as a symphony. His next (instrumental) symphony was numbered his Ninth. That was indeed the last he fully completed, for only the first movement of the Tenth had been orchestrated at the time of his death."

"The original public performance was given on 20 November 1911 in the Tonhalle in Munich, with Bruno Walter conducting. One of the earliest in London (possibly the first?) was in January 1913 at the Queen's Hall, under Henry Wood, where it was sung by Gervase Elwes and Doris Woodall: Wood thought it 'excessively modern but very beautiful'.[10]"

"Four of the Chinese poems used by Mahler ("Das Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde", "Von der Jugend", "Von der Schönheit" and "Der Trunkene im Frühling") are by Li Bai, the famous Tang dynasty wandering poet; the German text used by Mahler was derived from Hans Bethge's translations in his book Die chinesische Flöte (1907). These 'translations' were in fact loose imitations of translations in Hans Heilman's book Chinesische Lyrik (also 1907), which in turn drew upon two French translations from the Chinese: these were Poésies de l'époque des Thang by Marie-Jean-Léon, Marquis d'Hervey de Saint Denys,[11] and the Livre de Jade by Judith Gautier (an intimate friend of Richard Wagner's[12]).[13] "Der Einsame im Herbst" is by Chang Tsi and "Der Abschied" combines poems by Mong Hao-Ran and Wang Wei, plus several additional lines by Mahler himself."

"In 2005 a Cantonese version was prepared by Daniel Ng. The Cantonese dialect was chosen as it bears closest resemblance to the lost 8th Century Northern Mandarin dialect in which the original texts were written. The world premiere of this version was given by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra on 22 July 2005 with mezzo Ning Liang and tenor Warren Mok under the direction of Lan Shui."

"Das Lied von der Erde is scored for a large orchestra consisting of piccolo, three flutes (the third doubling on second piccolo), three oboes (the third doubling on English horn), three clarinets, E-flat clarinet, bass clarinet, three bassoons (the third doubling on contrabassoon), four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, bass tuba, percussion (timpani, bass drum, side drum (omitted in the revised score), cymbals, triangle, tambourine, tamtam, glockenspiel), celesta, two harps, mandolin, and strings. Mahler deploys these resources with great restraint: only in the first, fourth and sixth songs does the entire orchestra play at once, and in some places the texture almost resembles chamber music, with only a few instruments playing."

"Mahler's habit was to subject the orchestration of every new orchestral work to detailed revision over several years: though the musical material itself was hardly ever changed, the complex instrumental 'clothing' would be altered and refined in the light of experience gained in performance. In the case of Das Lied von der Erde, however, this process did not occur: the work's publication and first performance occurred posthumously."

"The scoring also calls for tenor and alto soloists. However, Mahler also includes the note that "if necessary, the alto part may be sung by a baritone". For the first few decades after the work's premiere, this option was little used. However, following the pioneering recordings of the work by baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau under conductors Paul Kletzki and Leonard Bernstein, the use of baritones in this work has become increasingly common."

"Arnold Schoenberg began to arrange Das Lied von der Erde for chamber orchestra, reducing the orchestral forces to string and wind quintets, and calling for piano, celesta and harmonium to supplement the harmonic texture. Three percussionists are also employed. Schoenberg apparently never finished this in his lifetime, and the arrangement was completed by Rainer Riehn in 1980."

"The first movement, "The Drinking Song of Earth's Misery", continually returns to the refrain, Dunkel ist das Leben, ist der Tod (literally, "Dark is life, is death"), which is pitched a semitone higher on each successive appearance. Like many drinking poems by Li Po, the original poem "Bei Ge Xing" (a pathetic song) (Chinese:悲歌行) mixes drunken exaltation with a deep sadness. The singer's part is notoriously demanding, since the tenor has to struggle at the top of his range against the power of the full orchestra. This gives the voice its shrill, piercing quality, and is consistent with Mahler's practice of pushing instruments, including vocal cords, to their limits. According to philosopher Theodor W. Adorno, the tenor should here create the impression of a "denatured voice in the Chinese (falsetto) style",[14] perhaps in the style of Peking opera."

""The wine in the golden cup calls us, but first let me sing you a song of sorrow which shall ring laughingly in your soul. When sorrow comes the gardens of the soul lie waste, joy and song fade and die: Dark is life, dark is death. Master of this house! Your cellar is full of golden wine! This lyre I shall call mine, for emptying the glass and sounding the lyre are things that go together. A full beaker of wine at the right time is worth more than all the riches of this world: Dark is life, dark is death. The sky is endlessly blue, and the earth will long remain, and bloom in Spring. But you, Man, how long will you remain? Not even a hundred years shall you enjoy all the mouldering trinkets of this earth! A wild, ghostly figure crouches in the moonlight on the tombs - it is an Ape! Listen, its howling cuts through the sweet scent of Life. Now, drink the wine! Now is the time, comrades! Empty your golden cups to the lees! Dark is life, dark is death.""

""The lonely one in Autumn" is a much softer, less turbulent movement. Marked 'somewhat dragging and exhausted', it begins with a repetitive shuffling in the strings, followed by solo wind instruments. The lyrics, which are based on a Tang Dynasty era poem by Chang Tsi,[15] lament the dying of flowers and the passing of beauty. The orchestration in this movement is sparse and chamber music-like, with long and independent contrapuntal lines."

""Autumn mists roll across the lake, as if a dust of Jade had been spread over the flowers, and their scent is gone. The withered lotus leaves will soon float on the lake waters. My heart is weary, and I come to this beautiful place of rest, for I need solace: I weep much in my loneliness. Autumn lasts too long in my heart: Sun of Love, will you never shine and dry away my bitter tears?""

"The third movement, "Of Youth" (for tenor), is the most obviously pentatonic and faux-Asian. The form is ternary, the third part being a greatly abbreviated revision of the first.
"A pavilion of green and white porcelain stands in the middle of a tiny pond. Like a tiger's back, a Jade bridge arches over to it. Inside the house beautifully-dressed friends drink and chat, and some write poetry: their silk sleeves slip back and their silk caps hang cheerfully over their necks. Everything is marvellously reflected in the still surface of the water. Everything stands on its head in the green and white pavilion. The bridge is like a half moon, the arch upturned. Beautifully dressed friends drink and chat.""

"The music of this movement, "Of Beauty", is mostly soft and legato, with a loud articulated section in the brass as the young men ride by. There is a long orchestral postlude to the sung passage."

""Maidens gather blossoms in their laps as they sit among the bushes of the river bank, and the sunlight reflects them in the water. Handsome youths ride past on horses among the willows, trampling the flowers. The loveliest of the maidens looks on the handsome young man with burning desire, her heart's excitement beseeching him through her gaze behind her mask of pride.""

"The scherzo of the work is represented by the fifth movement, "The drunken man in Spring". Like the first, it opens with a horn theme. In this movement Mahler uses extensive variety of tempo, which alters every few measures. The middle section features a solo violin and solo flute.
"If Life is a dream, why all this work and worry? I drink all day, till I can drink no more! Then I roll home and sleep. When I wake, a bird is singing, and I ask him if Spring has come. Yes! he replies, it came last night, and he sings and laughs, and I listen in wonder. And I fill my cup and drain it, and sing till the moon fills the night sky, and fall asleep again. What's the Spring to me? Just let me be drunk!""

"The final movement, "The Farewell", is nearly as long as the previous five movements combined. Its text is drawn from two different poems, both involving the theme of leave-taking.
"The sun sinks beyond the hills, evening descends into the valleys with its cooling shade. See, like a silver boat the moon sails up into the lake of the sky. I sense a soft wind blowing beyond the dark fir-trees. The brook sings melodiously through the dark. The flowers grow pale in the twilight. The earth breathes a deep draught of rest and sleep. All longing now will dream: tired people go homewards, so that they can learn forgotten joy and youth again in sleep! Birds sit motionless on their branches. The world is slumbering! It grows cool in the shade of my fir-trees. I stand and await my friend, I wait for him for our last farewell. O friend, I long to share the beauty of this evening at your side. Where do you linger? Long you leave me alone! I wander here and there with my lyre on soft grassy paths. O Beauty! O endless love-life-drunken world!"
He dismounted from the horse and handed to him the drink of farewell. He asked him where he was bound and why it must be so. He spoke, and his voice was muffled: 'You, my friend, Fortune was not kind to me in this world! Where do I go? I am departing, I wander in the mountains. I am seeking rest for my lonely heart. I am making my way to my home, my abode. I shall never stray far away. My heart is still and awaits its moment.'"
The beloved Earth blooms forth everywhere in Spring, and becomes green anew! Everywhere and endlessly blue shines the horizon! Endless... endless...""

"(The last lines were added by Mahler himself.) The singer repeats the final word like a mantra, accompanied by a sparse mix of strings, mandolin, harps, and celesta, until the music fades into silence, "etched on the air" as Benjamin Britten put it."

"The last movement is very difficult to conduct because of its cadenza writing for voice and solo instruments, which often flows over the barlines, "Ohne Rücksicht auf das Tempo" (Without regard for the tempo) according to Mahler's own direction. Bruno Walter related[cite this quote] that Mahler showed him the score of this movement and asked, "Do you know how to conduct this? Because I certainly don't." Mahler also hesitated to put the piece before the public because of its relentless negativity, unusual even for him. "Won't people go home and shoot themselves?" he asked."

Bruno Walter, with Kerstin Thorborg and Charles Kullman, Vienna Musikvereinsaal 1936 (live). (Columbia Records, 78rpm, 7x12" Mahler Society Issue)
Carl Schuricht, with Kerstin Thorborg and Carl Martin Öhmann, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam (October 1939 broadcast concert, live). (Bel Age CD, from acetates.)
Bruno Walter, with Kathleen Ferrier and Julius Patzak, Wiener Philharmoniker (Decca LP LXT 2721-2722).
Bruno Walter, with Mildred Miller and Ernst Haefliger, New York Philharmonic Orchestra (Sony CD SMK 64455).
Jascha Horenstein, with Alfreda Hodgson and John Mitchinson, BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra (BBC Legends BBC 4042).
Hans Rosbaud, with Grace Hoffmann and Helmut Melchert, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden (Vox Turnabout LP, TV 34220S).
Paul Kletzki, with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Murray Dickie, Philharmonia Orchestra (HMV LP SXLP 30165).
Leonard Bernstein, with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and James King, Wiener Philharmoniker (Decca CD 417 783-2).
Eduard van Beinum, with Nan Merriman and Ernst Haefliger, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam (Fontana LP 894 120 ZKY).
Herbert von Karajan, with Christa Ludwig and René Kollo, Berliner Philharmoniker (DGG CD 419 058-2).
Otto Klemperer, with Christa Ludwig and Fritz Wunderlich, New Philharmonia and Philharmonia Orchestras (HMV LP Angel Series SAN 179).
Bernard Haitink, with Janet Baker and James King, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam (Philips LP 6500 831).
Carlo Maria Giulini, with Brigitte Fassbaender and Francisco Araiza, Berliner Philharmoniker (DGG CD 413 459-2).
Daniel Barenboim, with Waltraud Meier and Siegfried Jerusalem, Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Erato CD D-2292-45624-2).
Colin Davis, with Jessye Norman and John Vickers, London Symphony Orchestra (Philips B0000040W8).
Georg Solti, with Yvonne Minton and René Kollo, Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Decca CD 414 066-2).
Pierre Boulez, with Violeta Urmana and Michael Schade, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (DGG, CD E4695262).
Eugene Ormandy, with Lili Chookasian and Richard Lewis, Philadelphia Orchestra (Sony CD SBK 53518).

Original version for high and middle voice and piano:
Hermine Haselböck (Mezzosoprano), Bernhard Berchtold (Tenor), Markus Vorzellner (Piano). Recorded 2008 at the occasion of the 100 year jubilee in the Kulturzentrum Toblach, in cooperation with the Gustav-Mahler-Musikweks Toblach 2008 (C-AVI MUSIC 4260085531257).
[edit] Schoenberg and Riehn arrangement
Mark Wigglesworth, with Jean Rigby and Robert Tear, Premiere Ensemble (RCA CD Dig-09026-68043-2).
John Elwes, Russell Braun, Smithsonian Chamber Players & Santa Fe Pro Musica conducted by Kenneth Slowik (Dorian Recordings).
Birgit Remmert, Hans Peter Blochwitz, Ensemble Musique Oblique conducted by Philippe Herreweghe (Harmonia Mundi).
Henry Moss, Miriam Murphy, Royal Academy of Music Chamber Ensemble conducted by Edward Carroll (Royal Academy of Music RAM 010 66108)

1.J. Johnson, 'Mahler and the idea of Nature', in J. Barham (ed.), Perspectives on Gustav Mahler (Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2005), 22ff.
2.Stephen E. Hefling, "Aspects of Mahler's Late Style," in Karen Painter, ed., Mahler and his World, Princeton University Press, 2002, ISBN 0691092443, pp. 199-226, p. 199
3.Cited by James Lyons, 'Sleevenote', Das Lied von der Erde (Vienna Philharmonic, cond. Leonard Bernstein), (Decca CD 417 783-2).
4.Adorno 1960, 1966.
5.John J. Sheinbaum, 'Adorno's Mahler and the Timbral Outsider', Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 2006, Vol. 131 no. 1, pp. 38–82.
6.M. Kennedy, The Dent Master Musicians: Mahler (Dent, London 1974 and 1990), p. 155. 'It voices the aching regret of a man who must soon leave the world', (Blom 1937, p. 4).
7.a b Richard Freed, programme note
8.M. Kennedy and J. Bourne Kennedy (Eds.), The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music (OUP, London 2007).
9.M. Kennedy, The Dent Master Musicians: Mahler (J.M. Dent, London, 1974 and 1990), p. 156.
10.H.J. Wood, My Life of Music (Gollancz, London 1946 edn), 287.
11.D'Hervey de Saint-Denys (1862). Poésies de l'Époque des Thang (Amyot, Paris). See Minford, John and Lau, Joseph S. M. (2000)). Classic Chinese Literature (Columbia University Press) ISBN 978-0231096768.
12.S. Spencer, Wagner Remembered (Faber, London 2000), 213.
13.Teng-Leong Chew, 'Perspectives: The Identity of the Chinese Poems Mahler adapted for 'Von der Jugend',' in The Mahler Archive
14.Theodore W. Adorno, Mahler:Eine musikalische Physiognomik Bibliothek Suhrkamp no 62 (Suhrkamp 1960). See also T. W. Adorno, Wagner - Mahler: Due Studi (Einaudi, Saggi, Torino 1966.
15.Freed, Richard (2003-11-20). "About the Composition: Das Lied von der Erde". John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Retrieved 2007-04-09.

Theodor W. Adorno, Mahler:Eine musikalische Physiognomik, Bibliothek Suhrkamp 62 (Suhrkamp 1960).
Adorno, Wagner - Mahler: Due Studi (Einaudi, Saggi, Torino 1966).
Jeremy Barham, Perspectives on Gustav Mahler (Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2005).
Hans Bethge, Der Chinesische Flöte: Nachdichtungen von chinesischer Lyrik (Leipzig 1907).
Eric Blom, Mahler's "Song of the Earth" (with introduction by Bruno Walter)" (Columbia Graphophone Company, Hayes (Middlesex) 1937).
Teng-Leong Chew, 'Perspectives: The identity of the Chinese poem Mahler adapted for 'Von der Jugend', Naturlaut, Vol 3 no 2, p. 15-17.
Teng-Leong Chew, 'Tracking the Literary Metamorphosis in Das Lied von der Erde'
Teng-Leong Chew, 'Das Lied von der Erde: the Literary Changes'
Henry-Louis de La Grange, Gustav Mahler III: Le Génie Foudroyé (1907–1911) (Paris 1984).
Fusako Hamao, 'The Sources of the Texts in Mahler's Lied von der Erde,' 19th Century Music 19 Part 1 (Summer 1995), 83-94.
S. E. Hefling, Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth)', (Cambridge University Press 2000).
Hans Heilman, Chinsesischer Lyrik Vom 12 Jahrhundert vor Christ bis zur Gegenwart (Munich 1907).
M. Kennedy, The Dent Master Musicians: Mahler (Dent, London 1974 and 1990).
Kennedy (ed.), Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music', (OUP, London 1996 edn.).
G. Mahler, Das Lied von der Erde in Full Score (Dover 1998).
Donald Mitchell, Gustav Mahler: Songs and Symphonies of Life and Death (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1985).
John J. Sheinbaum, 'Adorno's Mahler and the Timbral Outsider,' Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 2006 Vol 131 no 1, 38-82.
Arthur B. Wenk, 'The composer as poet in Das Lied von der Erde,' 19th Century Music 1 Part 1 (1977), 33-47.

Das Lied von der Erde: Free scores at the International Music Score Library Project.
Das Lied von der Erde: The Literary Changes – synopsis of original Chinese poems, Bethge's translations and Mahler's changes
The Lied and Art Song Texts Page: Das Lied von der Erde German texts, with translations into several languages.
Extensive history and analysis by renowned Mahler scholar Henry Louis de La Grange

Monday, July 19, 2010

Die Meistersiger -- "for children"

Grice said.

July 19, 2010
Die Meistersinger at die Proms
Prom 2: The Mastersingers of Nuremberg (concert staging) - Royal Albert Hall, 17 July 2010

"I''m not sure why the BBC went for an English title seeing as this performance was sung in the original German. Perhaps they were worried people might pronounce Die Meistersinger as in "die, Mr Bond"."


"With no props and only a narrow strip of empty stage, the scope for acting was limited."

"The soloists were probably glad to sport the same democratic all-black uniform as the orchestra just inches behind them."

"Their heavy stage costumes would have been torture in the sweltering (as usual) Royal Albert Hall."

"The revelation that without their cunning disguises nearly all the cast were the same age is testament to WNO's wig and makeup artistry in the earlier staged shows."

"Shorn of Richard Jones's superb production (and of supertitles), this version threw the focus squarely on the music."

-------******* AS GRICE WOULD SAY: No implicatures about it!

"Orchestral and choral forces were somewhat undersized - more noticeable in the cavernous Royal Albert Hall than in the Birmingham Hippodrome - and the big moments fell short of tsunami power. But detail was not overlooked - they even pulled in a special harp for Beckmesser's plinky-plunk lute solos (the smaller instrument to the right of the harpist in the photo below)."

----- Adding to the 'for children' effect.

"Without the distractions of choreography and scenery, Lothar Koenigs' gear changes were more obvious, but he has a keen dramatic sense and timed his luftpausen to perfection. The WNO orchestra must now know this opera as well as Koenigs (who mouthed every word) does, and a few split notes aside produced little to quibble with.:

"The singing in general was more notable for its interpretive craft than its technical perfection. Only David Soar, in the small but exposed part of Nightwatchman, sang with real beauty (good to see he's finally getting his ROH debut soon, in Adriana Lecouvreur)."

--------- sang with real "ACOUSTIC" rather than visual beauty.

"As Magdalene, Anna Burford's firm, well-projected tone suited the demanding acoustic. But the Royal Albert Hall has a peculiar way of exaggerating vibrato that flattered few of the others, Terfel included. At some times he sounded suitably world-weary and resigned, at others just tired and overheated. (I loved the way he built his brow-mopping into his characterisation). Dramatically, he has Hans Sachs in the bag. He understands the text"

-- it is FOR children.

"and shapes it to perfection, but the voice just wasn't quite there on this particular occasion."

As implicating that perhaps it was on ANOTHER occasion?

"Christopher Purves was more solid vocally. His Beckmesser is far from the usual comic caricature - not evil, not even bad, just an ordinary man with a thick skin and all his foibles to the fore."

Still for children.

"And why not? Purves craftily squeezed in a few bits of physical comedy that had the audience eating out his hand."

"Amanda Roocroft's Eva seemed to survive the acoustic better than Andrew Tortise's wobbly David and Raymond Very's even wobblier Walther, but I'd be interested to hear how the broadcast version sounds (the whole thing is on the iPlayer for the next few days, with Stephen Fry as guide). I swapped seats at the intervals, moving from the back gradually round to the front, and it was both fascinating and disturbing to note just how much the sound differed from each position - not just the predictable balance issues, but the quality of individual instruments and voices."


Oddly, other people swaped seats moving from the front to the back, and leaving before the thing was done!

---- JL, 'a child at heart'.

"Grice dismissed "Die meistersinger" as 'for children'" knowing he wasn't one."

Die Meistersigner at the Albert Hall -- Grice would not have agreed

From Richardson's obit of Grice in "The St. John's college Records":

"We shared a keen interest in music, which, after
philosophy and cricket, was of importance to him. He played
the piano and composed on it. He thought little of Wagner
and dismissed Die Meistersinger as "for children". Yet he
greatly admired Mahler. There was something in Mahler's music
that spoke directly to him."

--- where 'spoke' is meant metaphorically unless we 'hear' German.


His favourite was K. Ferrier, the song of the earth.

Mine is "La donna e mobile".

The sign said, 'Fine for parking here,' and since it was fine, I parked there.

J reports in "Who's afraid of the big big Equivocality?"

""The sign said "Fine for parking here", and since it was fine, I parked there.""

Apparently, the words are cognate.

'Fine' and 'fine' both come from Latin 'finis'.

If something is 'fine', it means it's near the end (Latin 'finis') and that is, in the highest level of excellence.

Similarly, an amount of money is related, surely, to some 'end' -- why are they collecting it.

J quotes:

"The sign said "Fine for parking here","

Surely the sign didn't 'say' -- but 'read':

The logical form seems to be:

There exists an x, such that x is a fine". This is the consequent. The antecedent being, binding the 'x': "If you park (your car, rather than yourself) here" -- where 'here' is deictic and applies to what is in front of the sign, not to the universe.


J continues to quote:

"and since it was fine, I parked there.""

This seems to involve a flout of modus ponendo ponens.

The sign notably didn't read, that it WAS fine. Only that if you PARKED there, it was (a) fine.

So, it seems that the conclusion does not really follow.


A way to interpret the 'saving' of the 'rational' face here is:

"if you park here, there is a fine"
"There is a fine (weather).


Here the logical form is

p ) q

But surely from the posing of the consequent we cannot draw ANY inference. This is a fallacy, but not of equivocation. It's the fallacy of affirming the consequent.

Affirming the consequent, sometimes called converse error, is, however, a formal, not an informal fallacy, committed by reasoning in the form:

1.If P, then Q.
3.Therefore, P.

As wiki notes, an argument of this form is invalid, i.e., the conclusion can be false even when statements 1 and 2 are true. Since P was never asserted ("you park the car"), as the only sufficient condition for Q ('it is (a) fine (day)'), other factors could account for Q (while P was false), surely.

Usually, plus, the weather has nothing to do with you parking the car here (or there).

The name affirming the consequent derives from the premise Q, which affirms the "apodosis" clause of the "if" premise.

One way to demonstrate the invalidity of this argument form is with a counterexample with true premises but an obviously false conclusion. For example:

If Bill Gates misparks his Rolls Royce, it is fine.
It is fine. (What?)
Therefore, Bill Gates misparks his Rolls Royce.

BUT: Misparking one's Rolls Royce is not the only way to be 'fine'. There are any number of other ways to be 'fine' (or 'fined').

Arguments of the same form can sometimes seem superficially convincing, as in the following example:

The sign read, "It is a fine, if you park your car here"
I park my car here.
Therefore, it is a fine.

But surely misparking your car is not the only (if one at all) cause of a fine (day), since many other factors -- metereological, etc. -- may intervene.

The following is a more subtle version of the fallacy embedded into conversation.

A: Fine if you DON'T park.

B: Fine?

B attempts to falsify A's conditional statement ("if you don't park") implicating: how can I NOT park? -- and providing evidence he believes would contradict the conversational implicature. However, B's question ("fine?") does not really contradict A's statement, which says nothing about questions. What would be needed to disprove A's assertion are examples of ways in which you cannot park.

However, if claims P and Q express the same proposition, then the argument would be trivially valid, as it would beg the question.

If P, then P.
Therefore, P.
This is also the case for definitions. For example.

If a man is a bachelor, then he's an unmarried male
John is an unmarried male.
Therefore, John is a bachelor.

In everyday discourse, however, such cases are rare. Note the rewrite:

If you miskpark, you mispark
you mispark
--- Therefore you mispark.


If it's fine, there's a fine.
--- there's a fine
--- Therefore, it's a fine (day).

The validity of such definitions is due to the fact that definitions can be expressed as an if and only if (see below).

Clearly if the definition of "fine" is "an amount of money" (rather than, say, 'a fine day') then the propositional statement: "Fine for parking here" if and only if "it is a fine day", must be true. But in normal speech it is awkward to use the phrase "there is a fine", to mean, 'it is a fine day'. So we substitute the valid but less complete "if", giving the conventional form which is similar to the form of the formal fallacy.

The reason the conclusion of an argument that affirms the consequent does not follow is the lack of a unique cause for "you mispark". However, if it is explicitly stated that the consequent could only have one cause (known as an "if and only if" statement or biconditional), the argument becomes valid. For example:

If he's not inside, then he's outside.
He's outside.
Therefore, he's not inside.


You mispark
You mispark -- you'll get fined (or it is a fine day).
-- Therefore, you mispark (iff it's a fine day).

The above argument may be valid, to some, but only if the claim "it's NOT fine if you get fined" follows from the first premise. More to the point, the validity of the argument stems not from affirming the consequent, but affirming the antecedent.

Such if and only if statements often make their way into detective mysteries.

Only if the suspect came in through the window, would he leave no marks in the hall.
No marks were found in the hall.
The cigar ends show he was in the room.
Therefore, he used the window.
Here, P is "entering through the window" and Q is "leaving no marks in the hall".

No such subtlety in "The sign said, 'Fine if you park here'". Surely if a potential criminal is going to produce a 'crime', he will not be reading 'signs' -- let alone respecting what they say or read.

Use of the fallacy in science, especially quantum physics (as NOT practiced by quantum physicists).

Although affirming the consequent is an invalid inference, it is defended in some contexts as a type of abductive reasoning, sometimes under the name "inference to the best explanation".


It is not fine (to park here).
I park
---- I AM, however, fined.

That is, in some cases, reasoners argue that the antecedent is the best explanation, given the truth of the consequent -- that the reasoner gets fined.

For example, someone considering the results of a different scientific experiment may reason in the following way:

Theory P predicts that we will observe Q.
Experimental observation shows Q.
Therefore theory P is true.
For example,

Some computer models show CO2 from automobile exhaust will warm the planet,
Data shows warming has occurred,
Therefore, the warming was caused by automobile exhaust.

Or, more to the point:

Only if you mispark, it is 'fine' (i.e. there is a fine for that).
It is NOT fine.
--- Therefore, you parked well.

However, such reasoning is still affirming the consequent and logically invalid (e.g., Let P = you mispark your car and Q = you get a fine (day)). The strength of such reasoning as an inductive inference depends on the likelihood of alternative hypotheses, which shows that such reasoning is based on additional premises, not merely on affirming the consequent.

The complete conversational implicature treatment is best seen if we consider, 'Post hoc ergo propter hoc', taking into account any implicature that may arise from 'fine'. Some Griceans call this the "ELIZA effect" (after a famous logician).

A Gricean Analysis of Common Puns: "Fine for parking there -- and since it was fine, I parked there"

J reports:

"The sign read, "Fine for parking there; and since it was fine, I parked there."


The problem is not really tangential to Grice's "Equivocality" thesis, it seems. Let's check etymologies.

Oops. The come from the same root. As per below. So it's not a pun. It's a perfectly valid syllogism.

Q. E. D.



c.1300, from O.Fr. fin "perfected, of highest quality," from L. finis "end, limit" (see finish); hence "acme, peak, height," as in finis boni "the highest good." In French, the main meaning remains "delicate, intricately skillful;" in English since mid-15c. fine is also a general expression of admiration or approval, the equivalent of Fr. beau (cf. fine arts, 1767, translating Fr. beaux-arts). Related: Finely; finer; finest. Fine print "qualifications and limitations of a deal" first recorded 1960. Fine-tune (v.) is 1969, a back-formation from fine-tuning (1924), originally in reference to radio receivers.
fine (n.)
c.1200, "termination," from O.Fr. fin "end," from M.L. finis "a payment in settlement, fine or tax," from L. finis "end"

Grice The Hangman

From the online etymological dictionary. We are considering that 'hang' is NOT polysemous, but rather 'aequi'-vocal.


"a fusion of O.E. hon "suspend" (transitive, class VII strong verb; past tense heng, pp. hangen), and O.E. hangian (weak, intransitive, past tense hangode) "be suspended;""

-- Why! If that is a fusion, I wouldn't know what they would think of MOLECULAR fusions!

"also probably influenced by O.N. hengja "suspend," and hanga "be suspended.""

To suspend and be suspended seem to mean the same thing to me (cfr. 'the ship sank', 'the ship sank ANOTHER ship').

"All from P.Gmc. *khang-, from PIE *keng- "to waver, be in suspense" (cf. Goth. hahan, Hittite gang- "to hang," Skt. sankate "wavers," L. cunctari "to delay;" see also second element in Stonehenge)."

So -- I am supposed to go to Wiltshire to check this? Oops. I see the second element in the "Word" "Stonehenge").

"Hung emerged as pp. 16c. in northern England dial., and hanged endured only in legal language (which tends to be conservative)"

as L. J. Kramer will remind us.

"and metaphors extended from it (I'll be hanged)."

---- You see, it's a conversational implicature (like Grice's "You are the lemon in my tea, I'll be hanged!")

"Teen slang sense of "spend time" first recorded 1951;"

------- Usually with 'out' -- since who wants to hang IN?

"hang around "idle, loiter" is from 1830, and hang out (v.) is from 1811."

Oops, I was wrong. It irritates me how something logical can post-date something not so logical. Who cares for dates? I so feel like Grice sometimes ("I don't give a hoot what the dictionary says" -- only I say Richard, not Dick.).

"Hang fire (1781) was originally used of guns that were slow in communicating the fire through the vent to the charge. To get the hang of (something) "understand" is from 1845."

I think it was Susan. A woman called Susan who first used it.

"To let it all hang out "be relaxed and uninhibited" is from 1970."


"Senses should not be multiplied beyond necessity". So what was Benjamin Franklin thinking?!?

Grice's Equivocality Thesis

--- Generalised.

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

Grice wants to say:

Senses-0 should-1 not-2 be-3 multiplied-5 beyond-6 necessity-7.

His example:

"You must-1 know it by now"
"It must-2 rain soon"
"You must-3 pay back what you owe"

J. M. K. argues (online) that 'ontological' necessity is really 'epistemic' necessity or the other way round. She is a linguist, so typically she couldn't care less!

Grice is mainly interested in getting his Grice Pudding and eating it with his big Hume Fork. So he speaks, quoting from Von Wright, of

"alethic" 'must'


"practical" 'must'.

Strictly, 'practical' opposes 'theoretical'. There's NOTHING that opposes 'alethic'.

But really, he is into psychology. So he wants to speak of

'doxastic' -- "I believe that circle cannot be square"
'boulemaic' -- "I want 2 + 2 to be 4"


In both cases, as J. M. K. notes, Grice uses "accept". You 'accept' things in the 'alethic' realm of 'pure' reason and in the 'practical' realm of, er, practical reason.


Why Grice fought for 'equivocality' should be obvious (to him!).

My use of "Who's afraid of Equivocality?" is a pun on "Who's afraid of the Big Big Woolf?".

If we 'generalise' the equivocality thesis to most things, we win.

E.g. "and" and "&" are NOT different things. The 'and' of informal logic and the 'and' of formal logic mean the same thing. They are the same 'vox'.

In fact, the adj. Generalised is otiose, so I'm dropping it!.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Equivocating Grice

[PDF] Aspects of Reason contrib ...
His favoured name for this is the 'Equivocality thesis', and .... in response to his having got a bit further with the equivocality thesis, ... - Similar

Equivocal Grice

Aspects of Reason, by Paul Grice, edited with an introduction ...
Reason, Grice notes, is the faculty which enables us to recognize and operate ... equivocality thesis). He assumes a non-cognitive understanding of ... - Similar

Who's Afraid of Equivocality?

[PDF] Aspects of Reason contrib ...
in response to his having got a bit further with the equivocality thesis,. Grice imagines telephoning Kant 'at his Elysian country club in order to ... - Similar

Grice's Equivocality Thesis and its Enemies

Oxford Scholarship Online: Aspects of Reason
Grice then proposes an 'Equivocality Thesis', arguing that a structural representation can be given for justificatory (normative) reasons that allows for ... - Similar

More on Grice's Equivocality Thesis

[PDF]Aspects of Reason
For example, Grice's earliest uses of 'Equivocality Thesis,' are not noted; and 'Univocality. Thesis,' 'conditional reasoning,' and 'derivation' are not ... - Similar

Grice's Equivocality Thesis

[PDF]Vol. 80, No. 3; September 2002 381
Details aside, something is right about Grice's Equivocality Thesis. In many languages besides. English, the same words express both practical and alethic ... - Similar

Equivocation qua Fallacy and Grice on aequi-vocality

As J notes, there are fallacies of equivocation. J quotes from Ambrose Bierce.

Indeed, 'fallacies' are a good thing to consider. I think it is in the first Kant lecture on reasoning (I would need to doublecheck) that Grice says that philosophers should spend more time studying fallacies ("Aspects of Reason"). This was 1977. Since then, philosophers have been TOO preoccupied with fallacies. If you get to a philosophy department which is into 'informal logic' it is very likely that any undergraduate course in logic will include a big section on fallacies.

I'm not sure what Grice would say about equivocation qua fallacy, since he was so cautious as to not multiplying the meaning of words.

Take equivocality. He applies this -- 'the equivocality thesis', he calls it in the Kant lecturest -- to "must".

Necessity (as realised by 'must') is, Grice realises, 'univocal'. He wants to say 'aequivocal' in that the same ('aequi-') voice ('must') is used for two different realms which he refers to as the 'practical' and the 'alethic'. Etc.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Grice unbowlderised

When I was reading Schiffer's book, "Meaning", which transpired from his DPhil Oxon under Strawson on Grice's 'vagaries', I was amused by the anecdote that Grice meant his William James lecture example to go unbowlderised.

The example reads:

Grice is wanting to refute Searle on the "American officer kept by Italian troops who says, "Kennst du das land wo die Zitronen bluhen" to mean, 'I am a German officer"". Grice writes:

"Consider the following example. The propietor
of a shop full of knicknacks"

---- the madam of a brothel in the non-bowdlerised version reported by Schiffer --

"for tourists is standing in his [her] doorway
in Port Said, sees a British visitor, and in
dulcet tones and with an alluring smile says to
him the Arabic for 'You pig of an Englishman'. I should
be quite inclined to say that [she] had meant
that the visitor was to come in, or something
of that sort"

-------- Why, you ARE a stud!


"I would not, of course, be IN THE LEAST inclined
to say that [she] had meant by the WORDS which
[she] uttererd that the visitor was to come in."


(So, Grice concludes, "To point out that the German LINE means not 'I am a German officer' but 'Knowest thou the land where the lemon trees bloom?"' is NOT relevant").

"the other Oxford"

In a remark apparently to provoke (not me!), Grice referred to the Athens of Socrates (and Plato, and Aristotle) as 'the other Oxford'. I would agree, but find the three spaces -- Socrates-Plato-Aristotle -- and knowing Oxford well -- rather a stretch!

This vis a vis J:

"That's their [the philosophers'] ...predictament in a sense: neither scientists, nor hip-literatteurs (tho a few have been)

the philosopher's one of the
most anachronistic creatures

on the planet."

He is writing in 2010, so I presume he means 'anachronistic today'. Hence this review of 'the other Oxford' back in the day.

Socrates was possibly pretty confused. For one, he loved an agora, if not a 'category' (If words HAVE different senses, I would grant that to get the Aristotelian/Gricean meaning, 'category' out of 'agora' IS a stretch).

There is a play, "Footlose... and fancyfree". No, that's another. I mean, "Barefoot in Athens". It's about Socrates. When my mother once browsed an illustrated history of philosophy she said, "I wouldn't have thought that someone should dedicate so much of their time to someone who did look like a beggar. Plato, on the other hand, WAS an aristocrat".

So, Socrates perhaps didn't exist. Plato did. But he moved FROM "the Other Oxford" (Athens) soon enough -- to this lovely grove 'without a city wall' -- the Hekademia (M. Chase told me that the best spelling variant for Akademos is Hekademos in more archaic Greek).

Aristotle surely got his education there -- and for FREE! But trust capitalism to go its ways. Soon enough, he was opening a different 'academy' (Plato objected on patent grounds and Aristotle had to call his thing after a "wolf" in the area where he wandered up and down (peripatetic) -- the place was small.

This is the WRONG part of Athens.


Matter of fact, the best episode in Greek philosophy took place in the villa which received the freesh breezes from the Piraeus harbour. And this is the "Symposion".

So, people overrate, "Athenian" dialectic and the "other Oxford". No such thing!

Oxford bears NO comparisons!

A Reluctant Griceian

J signed off his commentary, "Get thee to a [brothel] and ask for the 'abbess'":

"J, the reluctant Hegelian (like his maestro Aristotle, Hegel allowed for great literature, music, etc."

- Had to use that!

Once, M. Silcox wrote on The Geach point (about torturing one's cat). I replied at length and he replied to my reply. I entitled my thing, "The reluctant cannibal". I always loved the word 'reluctant', and I was quoting from Flanders/Swann, my super-heros.

Equivocality: a good word

As J notes, philosophers can be the grandest equivocators.

I thought 'equivocality' was ALL-ways a wrong word. Till I got hold of Warner's reprint of Grice's Kant Lectures.

Grice's handwriting left a lot to be desired (by those who read it).

When Warner typed the thing, he used the italic-cum-non-italic type. I.e. a word which is italic in part, but not in OTHER part(s).



Grice handwrote in such a way that in Warner's reprint it becomes or comes out as:



Most philosophers (before Grice, notablly Hocke and Lobbes) disparaged equivocality. Grice and I are not sure these two philosophers would have disparaged 'AEQUIvocality'. (I prefer the spelling 'ae-').



Grice applies 'aequi'-vocality to the famous Kant pair. As is well known, Kant wrote two books. One he originally entitled,

"Critique of pure reason"

The other, less originally,

"Critique of practical reason".

Grice found that they should be two parts of the same book -- by Kant, sure. But he fails Kant is not emphatic enough about 'reason' meaning the SAME thing in the titles of the two (rather disparate) books. This is VERY anti-Humean.


So Grice wants to say that if you say,

"It must snow in January".

--- i.e. "It is necessary that it will snow in January".

------ or, if you prefer, "that a circle should not be square".


the MEANING of 'must' is the same as when we say,

---- 'Every Englishman must do his duty'.

------- or something less vacuous if you must! (I thought Nelson should have defined what an Englishman should do in less 'circular' terms, since I find, 'to ought to do one's duty' such a redundancy that it hurts ALL of Grice's maxims!).


So there!

Shakespeare is no Blake

From an online source:

"Specialists in Shakespeare's bawdy language are fond of noting that "nunnery" was common Elizabethan slang for "brothel," and that therefore Hamlet's command is ironic and even more despairing than it seems. The pun would accord with the paradoxical nature of the prince's speech, but there is little evidence elsewhere in the scene that Hamlet intends a double entendre."

This reminds me of Grice's ONLY analysis of 'literary' ambiguity:


It is Blake:

Never seek to tell thy love,
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind does move
Silently, invisibly.

I told my love, I told my love,
I told her all my heart;
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears,
Ah! she did depart!

Soon as she was gone from me,
A traveler came by,
Silently, invisibly
He took her with a sigh.


Grice notes that

"Love that never told can be"

flouts the maxim,

"avoid ambiguity"

He notes that this must be intentional because Blake is a 'sophisticated' poet.


He compares this with Shakespeare, Sonnet 20

1 A woman's face with nature's own hand painted,
2 Hast thou the master mistress of my passion,
3 A woman's gentle heart but not acquainted
4 With shifting change as is false women's fashion,
5 An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling:
6 Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth,
7 A man in hue all hues in his controlling,
8 Which steals men's eyes and women's souls amazeth.
9 And for a woman wert thou first created,
10 Till nature as she wrought thee fell a-doting,
11 And by addition me of thee defeated,
12 By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
13 But since she pricked thee out for women's pleasure,
14 Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure.

Grice quotes from lines 13 and 14

"But since she" --- surely "Nature", Grice notes,

"pricked thee", 'thee being the recipient of the poem -- a woman, except that he is referred somewhere else as bearing a 'goatee beard' -- implicating that he was perhaps a man -- H. Wriothesley --.

"out for women's pleasure"

Grice is interested in the ambiguity



---------- "a state or emotion".
---------- (b) "an object of emotion".


back in Blake's line, "love that never told can be" --


--- Is Blake meaning, "love that cannot be told", or
-------- "love that, IF told, cannot continue to exist"?

He thinks Blake is possibly sophisticated enough to mean both (via implicature -- only implicature allows these things -- 'senses' cannot be held in contradictory disjunction like that).

He then compares that with the use of the same ambiguity (at least relating I) in Shakespeare's last two lines of the Sonnet 20 then,

-- which Grice glosses:

"But since she", viz. Nature, "pricked thee [whoever he or she is] out for women's pleasure,"

"14 --- Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure."

"Thy love be mine"


"Let thy love's use BE their treasure"

--- with 'their' meaning 'women', obviously.


"This is very difficult to formalise".

The presence of the imperative mode (and subjunctive) -- "Never seek to tell thy love, Love that never told can be"; "mine be thy love, and thy's love use their treasure" --

Grice glosses the thing in the indicative:

"To avoid the compliations introduced by the presence
of the indicative [mode], I shall consider the
related sentence,"

-- also varying "Thou" for "I" and "thy" for 'my': rendering -- in the preterite that Grice found more perspicuous:

"I sought to tell my love, love that never told can be".

He notes that the implicture subsists -- unchallenged.

In the case of Shakespeare,

"But since she pricked thee out for women's pleasure,
Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure."

that Grice quotes (WoW:34) he notes that

an extensive analysis of this couplet
would diverge the present course of the
William James philosophical lectures
aimed at a reconsideration of Strawson's
bold comments about formal logic being
unable to reflect ordinary language

into such a tangent
that it would hurt

---- and would mean that Grice would have had to stay in Harvard for more than the appointed two weeks. (He had a cricket match to attend back in the North Oxford Cricket Club -- which he was presiding at the time).