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).
i. See: Jesus's tomb is empty.
Popper once said that in a class to students of physics, he said to them:
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
'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
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,
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”
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
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.
This may remind one of Meinong.
His favourite circle was 'square'. Meinong's
thesis supervisor said, in
i. That's ridiculous!
But Meinong's references to the
'quadratura circuli' impressed him and he
got an A+ on his dissertation
("On the square circle and other Meinongian
"as well as in many another shape,"
Well, triangles tend
to be more boring. The etymythology of the
sandwiches, eaten on Easter, is said to invite the
implicature that their
form symbolises the Trinity, the holy Trinity, that
Meinong's point is a noble one, I'm not sure if refutable. Someone may say:
i. I'm not a
And that's OK.
But if he says:
ii. I'm a
that's not so okay. Because the utterer of (ii) should NOT be taken
disavowal -- unless he is and we end up with Epimenides's paradox.
We are considering now:
One may set the
record straight (cfr. the Biblical origin of 'straight and
narrow' -- the
gate that the camel was supposed to cross --: "[Popper] does
injunction [(iii)] led [the physics graduate] students to query
iv. "Observe what?"
Is 'Observe!' hardly meaningful, or hardly meaningless?
I like 'hardly'. I
would rank it as my third favourite adverb: the
first being 'merely'
and the second being 'utterly'.
"Hardly" sometimes invites the wrong
implicature, sometimes not.
It is sometimes confused with
"Observe!" could barely be made if the injunction were
This may depend on what we apply 'mean' to:
The expression may be meaningless.
B. The utterer may still mean something by
This was Ziff's example to support Grice. His example was, by
succession of phones that sounded meaningless in English (but
meaningful in some native American language), the professor meant
that he was
crazy. Ziff says this follow from Grice's analysis of meaning
in terms of
intention. But Stampe and Paton, "On Ziff on Grice" refudiate
Ziff. For surely,
by uttering "gavagai gavagai gavagai", the professor did
NOT intend this
intention ("I'm uttering something meaningless") to be
professor's whole point was to get his addressee believe
that he (the professor)
was crazy by using something that the addressee
could not make head or
tails of (figuratively)
iv. Observe WHAT, darling?
had been in THAT class, surely I would have provided a neat report:
walls are white, the board is clean and Popper has yet written none of
handwriting on it. There are two big windows overlooking the campus. It
sunny and I wonder what I'm doing here. I've just seen a flock of
flying -- the windows being so big. The windows have no curtains, which I
think in bad taste. The floor is not that clean. My fellow students don't
know what they are doing here either. Now I will concentrate on Popper. His
nose is not big, but it's not small either. He seldom smiles. I see a
spider behind him, but possibly inocuous. The door is closed, and I wonder
we are not LOCKED in here. The desk is a mess, typical. Popper brought
of papers and I expect he won't read them to us. There is a pot with
plant that seems to be in terrible need of water. The roof is,
red. I wonder why I applied to this college. There is a
central lamp on the
roof, hanging. It is so kitch that I have to
concentrate on NOT observing
it, as it totally disconcentrates me. I'm using
a nice pen for writing this,
and I wonder why, because when Popper gave us
back our previous notes, he
used a cheap pencil, rather! Now there is a
little cloud, I can see through
the window, blocking the sun, but it'll
soon pass, I'm sure."
Popper uses some synonym of
discussing this case. And I think it has to do with the
we were considering. I shall have to revise this. Because
Popper seems to
bring back this reminiscences as an answer to the question
observation is theory-laden? Popper seems in his reminiscence to
confuse a few
things, since I think he also brings in, for good measure, G.
A. Paul's problem,
"Is there a problem about sense data?". And so, he is
wondering about the
_what_ in "observe what?". A sense-datum? Or a
'material' object, or a
thing? A phainomenon, or a noumenon?
German, 'Meinung' -- which is cognate with Grice's favourite word,
'meaning' -- may mean 'opine'. It's different from 'sinnlos' (senseless),
I will need to revise what word Popper actually used and which one he
might have been having in mind in his Austrian-speaking mind. There is an
of 'meaningless' where it means something like 'purposeless', or
But I do NOT think Popper is having in mind clever observations
Vendler when he noticed that a waiter leaving the table by
he is being 'meaningless' because enjoyment
cannot be controlled
vi. Will you close that door,
please? Only gypsies who live in tents leave
doors unclosed like that,
vii. Close the door!
"Enjoy!" -- is within the rational control of the addressee.
That's why Ali
viii. Open, Sesame!
is 'otiose' and meaningless, because a
door cannot obey that injunction. It
would be different if Popper were to
give that injunction in a morgue, to
a set of corpses. Because THEY could
not 'observe'. So there are loads of
qualifications to bring in.
Popper's point about the pov (a favourite acronym with Popperians) is well
taken, and indeed, when I read that reminiscence by Popper I was reminded,
naturally of Grice's first Immanuel Kant lecture (at Stanford) on reason
reasoning. Because he says that to say things like
have 2 hands.
If I had 3 more hands, I would have 5 hands.
If I were to
have double 5, I'd have 10 hands.
If 4 hands were removed, 6 hands would
Therefore, I would have 4 more hands than I
Grice finds the reasoning 'brilliant, if otiose at heart'
Should we use 'observation' in scare quotes?
checking I see Popper claims:
x. Clearly, the instruction "Observe!" is
Now let's see what synonyms in German we have for "absurd". The
the word to mean 'meaningless':
xi. Credo, quia absurdum
---- INTERLUDE ON Popper's "absurd".
Popper is using 'absurd'
figuratively, i.e. metaphorically. The Romans used
it literally to mean 'out
of tune'. But figurative usages are already
found, qua implicaturae, in
Roman speech. Of persons and things, 'absurdus',
'absurda' and 'absurdum'
meant irrational, incongruous, _absurd_, silly,
ratio inepta atque absurda, Terenzio Ad. 3, 3, 22:
pravum, ineptum, absurdum atque alienum a vitā meā videtur, id. ib. 5,
carmen cum ceteris rebus absurdum tum vero in illo, Cicerone Mur. 26:
illud quam incredibile, quam absurdum! id.
Sull. 20: absurda res est
Balb. 37: bene dicere haud absurdum est, is not inglorious, per
for, is praiseworthy, glorious,
Sall. C. 3
absurdus, a man who is fit or good for nothing: sin plane
Cicerone, de Or. 2, 20, 85:
absurdus ingenio, Tacito, H.
3, 62; cf.:
sermo comis, nec absurdum ingenium, id. A. 13, 45.
Cicerone. Phil. 8, 41; id. N. D. 1, 16; id. Fin. 2, 13.—Sup., Cic.
1 Lit., discordantly: canere, Cic. Tusc. 2, 4,
2 Fig., irrationally, absurdly, Plaut. Ep. 3, 1, 6; Cic. Rep. 2, 15;
id. Div. 2, 58, 219 al.—Comp., Cic. Phil. 8, 1, 4.—Sup., Aug. Trin. 4
It may be a typical Roman expression, not a Hellenic one, for
--- END OF INTERLUDE.
A 'decade' of Popperian discussion is usually ambiguous in usage if not
The Romans used 'decade', literally, "ten parts", of anything
(that had ten
parts), originally in reference to the books of Livy -- which
in ten parts to faciliate its reading by Roman students.
Well, this is a trick. The apparently rhetorical
rather than yes/no question, as usually rhetorical
questions go) is used to
invite the implicature (cancellable) that the
agent having done action A may
be found among those who have something to
gain, usually inviting the
extra-implicature that this is done, with an eye
toward _financial_ gain.
In fact Cicerone, who discusses 'absurdum' in
his Rhetoric, in his speech
"Pro Roscio Amerino" attributed the first use
of "cui bono" (the Romans lack
the interrogation sign, but they did raise
the intonation, grave as their
reputation has passed to be) to the Roman
consul and censor Lucius Cassius
Longinus Ravilla, if you heard of him (His
mother called him just "Lucy")
L. Cassius ille quem
populus Romanus verissimum et sapientissimum iudicem
putabat identidem in
causis quaerere solebat 'cui bono' fuisset.
(Rougly translated: "The
famous Lucius Cassius, whom the Roman people used
to regard as a very
honest and wise judge, was in the habit of asking, time
and again, 'To
-- By using "time and again," Cicerone is inviting the
For the record, another example of
Cicerone using "cui bono" is in his
defence of Milo, in the Pro Milone. He
even makes a reference to Cassius: "let
that maxim of Cassius
If Cicerone had known of Grice he would not have said, "Let that
Grecian maxim apply," but "Let that wise Griceian maxim
So let us apply to resurrection. "Observe," the apostle said:
"The tomb is
empty". "Surely he resurrected". "Does that follow?," the
asked. "Cui bono?" To the everlasting glory of God, of
Indeed, the first element we encounter in the framework of the
events is the empty tomb.
An observational statement if ever
there was one.
xii. Jesus's tomb is
surely is NOT what Grice would have as "a direct proof" or
loved Peirce's 'technocrypticisms') of
Surely, the absence of Christ's body from the tomb could be
Ask Hanson, and consider his explorations on
'inference to the best
explanation'. Is abductive reasoning at play here,
if we don't want to offend
Popper by overusing an empiricist idea of
Even if not an index -- i.e. we wouldn't say
Jesus's tomb's being empty means-n that Jesus resurrected.
nonetheless, the empty tomb was seen or observed (perhaps, granted, by
those who were displaying 'theory-laden' observation -- still an essential
sign for all those concerned with this particular tomb.
discovery (a favourite word with Popper and Hanson) of the emtpy tomb
Jesus's disciples was the first step toward recognizing the very "fact"
the Resurrection, or state of affairs (to use Wittgensteinian parlance --
"The world is all that is the case."
This was the case, first with
the holy women, and then with St. Peter (as
he then wasn't).
disciple "whom Jesus loved", i.e. Peter, affirmed that when he (Peter)
entered the empty tomb and discovered "the linen cloths lying there", "he
saw and believed".
Popper would have observed and perhaps
DISbelieved, but that is neither
here nor there.
Joe Orton wrote,
"What the butler saw" (to be staged this year on the
What Peter saw was an empty tomb. He "believed" he said,
not that the tomb
was empty (that would be otiose -- cfr. 'seeing is
believing'). Rather he
believed that Jesus had resurrected.
By "seeing and believing", Peter is
implicating that he realized from the
empty tomb's condition that the
absence of Jesus' body could NOT have been
of animal (e.g. jackal) or human
doing and, furthermore, that Jesus had not
simply returned to earthly life
as had been the case with Lazarus.
Mary Magdalene and the holy women who
came to finish anointing the body of
Jesus, which had been buried in haste
because the Sabbath began on the
evening of Good Friday, were allegedly the
first to see the Risen One.
"See" is factive. So if we say that
Magdalene (Strawson was a fellow of
Magdalen, not to be confused with
Cambridge's Magdalene) saw the risen one,
the risen one was there to be
seen (cfr. Grice, "Macbeth saw Banquo.") --
unless we 'disimplicate' and
The women were the first messengers of Christ's
Resurrection for the
The apostles were the
next who saw the resurrected Jesus appears.
First Peter, then the
remaining eleven (it is after this tradition that
English football has 11
players on each team, since Peter was the first).
Peter had been called
to strengthen the faith of his "brothers", and so
"sees" the Risen One
It is on the basis of Peter's eye-witness testimony that
exclaimed in unison: "The Lord has risen indeed, and has
The invited implicature is
xiv. Peter =
-- where "Peter" is Jesus's wise use of "Petros", masculine of
(stone, feminine in Latin), seeing that Peter was
"Blessed are you, Simon, for this was not revealed to you by flesh
blood, but by my Father in heaven.
And I tell you that you are
Peter ("Petros"), and on this rock ("petra") I
will build my
-- the rest is St. Peter's in Rome.
Later, by means of
touch and the sharing of a meal, the risen Jesus
establishes direct contact
with his disciples.
Jesus invites them in this way to recognize that he
is NOT a ghost.
The example interested Grice ("Macbeth saw Banquo") to
the point of coining
'disimplicature'. "If we say that Hamlet saw his
father, when all he saw
was the GHOST of his father, we are not therefore
misusing 'see' which
ENTAILS that what is seen is OUT THERE to be seen,
precisely. Rather, I would
like to introduce as term of art
'disimplicature', for those occasions,
unlike implicature, where we mean
more than we say, but where we mean LESS than
we say: we merely drop the
entailment that 'what is seen' needs to be out
there to be seen; and we are
not necessarily engaged in a sloppy or loose
use of 'see' that LACKS this
So Jesus was not a ghost (but cfr. "Holy Ghost" -- cfr.
Above all, Jesus invites his apostles to verify (to use Ayer's
word) that the risen body in which he appears to them is the SAME
had been tortured and crucified, for it still bears the traces of
There is a famous painting by Caravaggio on this.
Grice was of course interested. Because by 'body', Jesus is making an
indirect reference to Grice's theory of personal identity. For
xv. I fell from the stairs.
means 'my body' fell from the
xvi. I was hit by a cricket ball in the head.
"Personal identity"). But
xvii. I am thinking of joining the navy
-- Grice was writing this in 1939 -- it is not Grice's body, but
So Jesus's authentic, real body possesses, and this is
mystery', if you will, the new properties of a glorious body
-- something the
materialist Descartes will find hard to conceive: a body
not limited by space
and time (res extensa) but able to be present how and
when he wills.
Jesus's humanity can no longer be confined to earth, and
only to the Father's divine realm.
It is only for
this eschatological reason too that the risen Jesus enjoys
freedom of appearing as he wishes: in the guise of a gardener
or in other
forms familiar to his disciples, precisely to awaken their
invites the implicature (Platonic in nature) that the faith was
there to be
A happy Griceian Easter, all implicatures invited!