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Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Griceian Easter


The Romance Languages (unlike, say, English) use a root for "Easter" that 
is actually Hebrew, and supposed to mean 'transition'. The first Christians 
found it difficult to apply the SAME conceptual analysis for 'transition'
in the  Old Testament to 'transition' in the New Testament, but the Apostles
(twelve of  them, see Quine, "Methods of Logic", for the logical form of
"The Apostles were  twelve") constantly made this reference to 'pasqua'-1 as
used in the Old  Testament and 'pasqua-2' as used in the New Testament. They
were being Griceian,  of course ("Do not multiply the sense of 'pasqua'
beyond necessity"). To specify  the _Christian_ way of using, a collocation is
needed, and 'pasqua' "of  resurrection" is used. English is a completely
different animal here.

Since Grice was C. of E., the English roots for "Easter" and the invited 
implicatures of "Happy Easter!" (cfr. "Buona pasqua!") need to be  explored.

We are considering not just Grice (C. of E.) but Popper (not C. of E.). The
empty tomb, did it prove that Jesus had resurrected? Does

i. Jesus's tomb is empty.


This Griceian Easter! (And we skipped, the
problem-solving strategies vs. conceptual analyses used by  Patrick to banish
the serpents not long ago).

I would take

i. Jesus's tomb is empty.

as observational. It is, granted, negative in essence, and the use of  "~"
needs to be used. Umberto Eco would say more about this, but he forbade to 
speak of him for some years! ("Jesus's corpse was eaten by jackals; he
didn't  resurrect," some sceptics then claimed).

Mutatis mutandis,

i. See: Jesus's tomb is empty.

Popper once said that in a class to students of physics, he said to  them:

ii. Observe!

Popper says that (ii) is meaningless. "My students wanted to know WHAT to 
observe." Popper invites with this the implicature that observation is 
theory-laden (to speak figuratively).

Hence my point as to (i) can become a falsifier.

Tertuliano once said that he believed that p because he found that p was 
absurd. And Aquinas, an Italian, later would say that philosophy is merely
the  'ancilla' of philosophy. So this is serious!

And I met one theologian who said schatology is a science (Cfr. Grice, 
"Philosophical Eschatology -- from Genesis to Revelation").

But (i), "Jesus's tomb is emtpy" is OBSERVATIONAL, if not theory-laden. 

Well, the theory here is the theory of resurrection. Let's symbolise it as 
Tr. Why did Ayer, a logical positivist, thought that all theological
discourse  was unverifiable? And would Popper go on to say that, as per McEvoy's
'witch  ducking stool', it is irrefutable, and thus essentially and
ultimately  metaphysical?

'Empty' in analysing 
'Jesus's tomb is empty'
may be a trick.

As in eschatology. Because there may be various explanations why (i) is 
true -- Jesus's tomb is empty, say, not because he resurrected but because his
corpse was eaten by jackals.

Do not multiply the uses of 'scientific' beyond necessity? Why is 
theological eschatology not a science in Popper's view? Why is even Grice's 
PHILOSOPHICAL eschatology (the study of transcategorial predication) not 
'scientific' in Popper's use of the adjective? After all, "eschatology" ends in
"-logy", which most linguistic botanists (including Grice and Geary) take
it as  the CRITERION of science.

Grice loved ichthyology, and laughed at the idea, when analysing the 
concept of 'necessity', that we need 'ichthyological necessity'. But with 
'eschatological' we are in a safer terrain, we hope.

Bede -- whose work is published by the  celebrated Loeb Classical Library
of Graeco-Roman literature, wo Bede is a bit  of a Roman there, says the the
originally heathen Anglo-Saxon, after becoming  Christians -- which, in the
words of Sellars and Yeatman, was a good thing,  'since England was bound to
be C. of E.' -- "before that time, the natives  worshipped odd gods by the
name of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday") --  adopted "Aurora"'s
name (since "easter" is cognate with 'aurora', as deriving  from a common
Indo-European verb meaning 'to shine' especially as the dawn or  the Roman
'aurora' shines). And not only the name, Bede adds, the Anglo-Saxons,  once
Christian, adopted many of the celebratory practices for their own mass of 
Christ's resurrection. Almost all (implicature: but not ALL all) neighbouring 
languages use a variant of Latin "Pascha" to name this holiday (see "paschal"
--  and USE 'paschal' if you want to invite a further implicature -- Grice's 
conversational category of Modus or perspicuity -- 'be perspicuous [sic]', 
'avoid obscurity of expression'). 

Bede is right. Why would the Anglo-Saxons draw from Hebrew, anyway. The 
Romans did, though. "pascha" is the mere Greek translation -- remember  that
every aristocratic Roman boy had a Greek slave that taught him the  lingo --
'paidagogos' -- of "πάσχα", which is the Greek way of interpreting  some
obscure Hebrew terminology.

The Romans, when uttering

i. Pascha

if we are to credit Grice and Putnam ('causal theory of naming) referred to
the feast of the passover, or this "easter" (as Bede notes):

sollennibus Paschae, Tertuliano ad Uxor. 2, 4:
lege dedit pascham, id. in Carm. adv. Marc. 2, 80:
pascharum dies, Symm. Ep. 10, 77:
dominicum pascha celebrare, Hier. Ep. 96, n. 20:
post sanctum pascha, Aus. Ep. 10, 17:
paschate vicino, Hier. in Matt. 26, 3:
per tria paschata, id. in Dan. 9, 24.—

If Quine uses the example of "Gavagai" to mean 'rabbit' (in some 
native-American language), it should be noted that if a Roman said,

ii. Pascha!

he could well be meaning, in a Griceian way, the paschal lamb -- such is 
the use of "pascha" in the Vulgata 1 Cor. 5, 7; cf. id. Marc. 14, 12.

Not happy with the 'noun', trust the Romans to suffix. Hence 'pascha' 
becomes adj. 'paschalis', to mean, in a Griceian way, 'of or belonging to the 
Passover or to Easter,' i.e. paschal.

paschale tempus, Cod. Th. 9, 35, 4: dapes, Sedul. init.:
liber, that treats of the Passover, Hier. Ep. 99, n. 1.

A Griceian Roman utterer was possibly confused. There he is in Rome, 
conversing in Greek with his Greek slave, about "πάσχα" (The Romans loved the 
Greek letters -- since, as Seneca says, "they are so difficult to carve on 

The 'paidagogos' -- a slave Roman boys used to learn Hellenic -- use use 
this word to mean the Hebrew Passover. The 'paidagogos', being cultivated,
would  know it is from "pāsa[hudot ] 'pass over'" -- and it is THIS which the
original  Griceian meaning is ("Do not multiply the senses of 'pasqua'
beyond necessity").  This was Paschal feast, LXX Ex.12.48, etc., and also applied
to the paschal  supper, Ev.Matt. 26.17, 19,al., and as in Roman, to the
paschal lamb (θύειν τὸ  π. LXX Ex.12.21, al. ; “τὸ π. ἐτύθη Χριστός”
1 Ep.Cor.5.7.).

The Anglo-Saxons need NOT be confused by using "Easter". After, all, the 
Christian practices on this day (and Grice and Oxford are Christian -- he was
fellow of "St. John's" -- what can be more Christian than that?) are
usually  interpreted in terms of baptism at "the pasch" (Easter), for which
compare  Tertullian, but the text does not specify this season, only that it was
done on  Sunday, and the instructions may apply to whenever the baptism was
to be  performed.

So, feel free to use "pasch", or "the pasch".

What MAY confuse the travelling Englishman (Grice visited Italy once after 
graduation from Oxford) is that 'Aurora' is usually depicted in Italian 
frescoes. And Aurora is Easter.

So, by uttering

iii. Aurora.

we may mean yet different things, Griceianly.

Ēostre or Ostara -- in Old English: Ēastre, Northumbrian dialect Ēostre, 
cognate with Old High German: *Ôstara (reconstructed form)) is a  Teutonic
divinity (of the type Wagner would worship) who, by way of the  Germanic
month bearing her name (Northumbrian: Ēosturmōnaþ; West Saxon:  Ēastermōnaþ;
Old High German: Ôstarmânoth), is the namesake of the festival of  Easter.

The next thing is to explore why the Romans, whose calendar was so full, 
never seemed to have a special day to worship 'Aurora' ("unless they did,"
Geary  warns us).

Ēostre is attested solely by Bede in his 8th-century work "The Reckoning of
Time". In this apparently unrelated essay, Bede (who, like Sting, was from
Northumbria -- in those days, there was no "Tyne & Wear" -- this is
pre-1974  administrative postal changes and re-distribution of the territory of
the old  shires of old England) states that during "Ēosturmōnaþ" as the
equivalent of  "Aprilis", the heathen Anglo-Saxon held heathen feasts in Eostre's

INTERLUDE ON "Aprilis --:

Ā̆prīlis, is qs. contr. from aperilis, from aperio; cf. Varr. L. L. 6, 33,
p. 86 Müll.; Cincius ap. Macr. S. 1, 12; Serv. ad Verg. G. 1, 43 (orig.
adj.;  sc. mensis), m.,
I the month of April (as the month in which the earth opens  and softens):
Sex ubi luces Aprilis habebit, Ov. F. 4, 901.—With mensis  expressed: mense
Aprili, Cic. Phil. 2, 39, 100: Qui dies mensem Veneris marinae  Findit
Aprilem, Hor. C. 4, 11, 15.—Adj., of or pertaining to April: Nonarum  Aprilium,
Cic. Fam. 3, 11, 8; 1, 9, 8: Datis mane a. d. Id. April. Scriptis  litteris,
id. ad Brut. 2, 4, 1: Apriles Idus, Ov. F. 4, 621.

-- end of interlude.

Bede notes that, by his time (and a fortiori, by Sting's time), this 
heathen tradition had 'died out' (he uses the figurative expression) and 
replaced by the Christian Paschal month, a celebration of the resurrection of 

What may confuse an Englishman, even a Griceian one, is that by uttering 
"Easter" he is NOT meaning "east", although "Easter" IS cognate with "east".
The  addition of "-er" allows us here to say that we can multiply senses,
because we  have two lexemes. We should not multiply the senses of 'east'
beyond necessity.  But 'easter' is not strictly the same as 'east'.

Loeb found out that bringing Bede in Latin was good enough. What Bede says 
may confuse the modern Englishman (including Sting, even if he is, like
Bede,  from Northumbria)

Eostur-monath, qui nunc Paschalis mensis interpretatur, quondam a Dea 
illorum quæ Eostre vocabatur, et cui in illo festa celebrabant nomen habuit: a 
cujus nomine nunc Paschale tempus cognominant, consueto antiquæ
observationis  vocabulo gaudia novæ solemnitatis vocantes.

A happy Griceian Easter, all implicatures invited!

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