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, October 28, 2015

Grice and Goffman on irrationality


Goffman gives the example of

"the case of the mentally hospitalised patient".

He quotes from

M. R. Yarrow, J. A. Clausen, and R. R. Robbins, "The social meaning of mental illness', Journal of Social Issues, vol. XI, 1955, pp. 40-41.

He adds that the essay "provides much useful material on stigma management."

The quote is:

"In interpreting the father's illness to younger children, almost all the mothers attempt to follow of a course of CONCEALMENT. The child is told either that his father is IN A HOSPITAL (without further explanation) or that he is in the hopsital SUFFERING FROM A PHYSICAL AILMENT (he has a toothache, or trouble with his leg, or a tummy ache, or a headache)" (p. 40).

The authors quote from a wife of a mental patient:

"I live in horror -- a perfect horror -- that some people will make a crack about it to Him (child)" (op. cit., p. 34).

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