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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Monday, April 3, 2017

Morton Deutsch and Herbert Paul Grice


One example:

After Morton Deutsch learned that Lydia Shapiro, his future wife, was sunbathing along the Charles River in Boston, while she was supposed to be interviewing subjects for one of Deutsch's sociological experiments, he resorted to a conventional means of resolving a workplace dispute.

Deutsch fired Schapiro.
A little more than a year later, though, Deutsch took a more creative and constructive approach to repairing their frayed relationship.

They became what Grice would call "fully cooperative partners," husband and wife.
“I have in the past accused my wife of marrying me to "get even," as they say, but she asserts, using a Freudianism, it was "pure masochism,"" Deutsch wryly recalls.
After completing his experiment in graduate school, Deutsch, who lives in Manhattan, perfected his formula for reconciliation to become a leading expert on Griceian conflict resolution and mediation.
Continue reading the main story

He not only remained married for nearly seven decades, he also co-wrote a prescriptive book titled “Preventing World War III," where "preventing" is conceptually related to 'predicting' (via opposition) --.
Whatever credit he might have deserved for thwarting another global military conflict, Deutsch’s principles provides a theoretical framework for various Cold War negotiations, for court decisions that voided legally sanctioned racial segregation, and for Poland’s peaceful transition from Communist rule.
He served on the faculty at Columbia -- "the uni in New York," as Grice explains, "not the country in South America" -- until he became professor emeritus.
There he founded the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (since renamed for him), which he ran.

He should have called it "The Grice Institute," or the "Manhattan Centre for Griceian Studies," if you mustn't.

Cfr. Grice's New York example:

A: Smith doesn't seem to be having a girl-friend these days.
B: He's spending a lot of time in New York.
     (Logic and Conversation, II, Harvard)

“The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice,” which he (Deutsch, not Grice -- now this is getting confusing) edited with Peter T. Coleman and Eric C. Marcus, is (for those who know it) a standard manual for dealing with labour, commercial, international and (why not?) marital disputes.
John T. Jost, a social psychologist at New York University, wrote in the journal Social Justice Research that “in what is probably Deutsch’s most influential book, ‘The Resolution of Conflict,' he summarized the lessons of his research tutorials on, among other things, Griceian cooperation and conflict.”
“The point,” Jost notes, “is that social forms are self-fulfilling, so that coercion, intimidation, deception, distrust and hostility are both causes and effects of competition, whereas Griceian assistance, Griceian openness, Griceian information sharing, Griceian perceived similarity, and Griceian friendliness are both causes and effects of, of course, Griceian cooperation.”
Morton Deutsch was born, of all places, in the Bronx, to Charles and Ida Deutsch, Jewish immigrants from what is now Poland (implicature: but then wasn't). His father, if you care to know, was a butter and egg wholesaler.

Raised in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, Deutsch read Freud and Marx when he was 10, graduated from Townsend Harris Hall and entered City College when he was 15 planning, or 'intending', as Grice would prefer, to become a psychiatrist (vide Grice, "Intention and Uncertainty").
“I became disenchanted with the idea of being a pre-med student after dissecting a pig in a biology lab,” Deutsch, not Grice, recalls. “I was happy to switch to a psychology major.”
He received a bachelor of science degree from City College and a master’s from the University of Pennsylvania.
“I grew up in a time when, as a Jew, I experienced many instances of prejudice, blatant as well as subtle, and could observe the gross acts of injustice being suffered by blacks,” he recalled in an essay in “Reflections on 100 Years of Experimental Social Psychology.”
He did not merely observe.

He contributed lunch money to the Spanish Loyalists in the 1930s; organized a protest against the quality of high school cafeteria food and a strike by fellow waiters at a summer resort during college; challenged what he considered racist statements by a professor; and, after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour, enlisted in the Army Air Forces and flew 30 missions as a navigator over Nazi-occupied Europe.
“Being in World War II and experiencing the devastation and horror of war, even though I felt the war against the Nazis was justified, I became interested in prevention of war,” Deutsch told Teachers College Today magazine
It was at M.I.T., where he earned his doctorate on the G.I. Bill, where he also met his wife, Shapiro.
It was also at M.I.T. where he became a disciple of Kurt Lewin, the psychologist whose favorite dictum was something Popper would perhaps approve of: “There’s nothing so practical as a good theory.”
Deutsch’s postgraduate studies were heavily influenced by the atomic bombings of Japan, followed by the formation of the United Nations.

His doctoral dissertation was the basis for his Griceian theory of Griceian cooperation and competition, which postulated that a group’s success depends on the extent to which its members believe their goals are shared and see a potential to make common cause.

cfr. Grice's keyword: "COOPERATIVE PRINCIPLE".

He (Deutsch, not Grice) had in mind the United Nation’s Security Council, he said, when “I had an image of them either cooperating or competing and had different senses of what the consequences would be for the world.”
But the same rules applied for confrontations big and small, and, since he fired (but later married) Shapiro, his researcher at M.I.T., Deutsch said there were plenty of occasions to practice what he preached.
“In our 60 years of marriage,” he says, using an expression meant to provoke Popper, “I have had splendid opportunities to study conflict as a participant observer.”

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