Subsections

3. Notes on Grice and Others


3.1 Frege

The connection between Grice and Frege is only recently being developed, mainly due to efforts by Beaney and L. Horn. Much of the subtler writings by Frege on 'tone', 'colour' and 'force' can be given proper Gricean interpretations.

Frege was of course one of the inspiring models for Carnap. For Grice the Frege influence came much later. There is one single ref. to Frege by Grice in his "Prejudices and Predilections" and this only in connection with the idea of the Fregean 'sense' - he writes, "in something like a Fregean sense". Grice is considering, however, one of his 'metaphysical' routines. His Humean projection is supposed to deliver concepts alla Fregean senses. E.g. the concept of negation, the concept of value, the concept of - you name it.

Grice on Frege. Frege was of course one of the inspiring models for Carnap. For Grice the Frege influence came much later. There is one single ref. to Frege by Grice in his "Prejudices and Predilections" and this only in connection with the idea of the Fregean 'sense' - he writes, "in something like a Fregean sense". Grice is considering, however, one of his 'metaphysical' routines. His Humean projection is supposed to deliver concepts alla Fregean senses. E.g. the concept of negation, the concept of value, the concept of - you name it.


3.2 Hardie

Hardie was the philosophy don at Corpus Christi, Grice's alma mater. Corpus had a reputation for the classics, and it was indeed as a classics scholar that Grice had come straight from Clifton. He would develop a friendship with Hardie - who taught him not just to argue but to play golf as well.

Corpus had its minus, though. It was NOT regarded as `in' - and the fact that it catered for `boys from the provinces' was enough to have Grice never `hearing' of the Thursday evening group that met at the more prestigious All Souls. So we can say that Grice between the wars was a lonesome Grice. He managed to balance it with captaining the football team at Corpus and edit the college philosophy journal, ``The Pelican''. And of course he obtained a first cum laude in Lit. Hum. BA which he later turned onto a MA - which was, as it should be, his maximal degree.


3.3 Hempel and Reichenbach

Grice cites Hempel and Reichenbach re: atomistic metaphysics in his "actions and events" PPQ, 1986. Grice on Quine, Grice on Chomsky. While Carnap would write, "The men who had the strongest influence on my philosophical thinking were Frege and Russell" in that order, Grice could be more irreverent. A 1913-born man finds the strongest influence in a linguist born in the 1930s: Noam Chomsky and the Vienna Circle refugee: Quine. -"I have to admit" Grice writes (or words), that what "I admired in them is their method - never their ideas, which I never respected, really". Grice's choice is particularly agonistic: in the sense that it provokes sheer agony in us: "for I never ... over the fact that these two genii never agreed ON ANYTHING". And they lived so close!


3.4 Kant

The double influence. The influence of Kant on Grice was a later one. As an Oxonian, Kant was not really taken too seriously. In this respect, Carnap's education was more traditionally philosophical (His PhD which Grice never attained, was published in Kant Studien). Grice first came to the proximities of Kant via Abbott's translation, and thus he was more of a minor Kantian than Carnap was, who could savour Kant in the vernacular! - In 1966, Sir Peter Strawson, Grice's former student, published his "Bounds of Sense" which brought Kant to the Oxonian map. Grice will later be invited to deliver the Kant Lectures at Stanford. But importantly for the present conversation: while it was Kant's 'theoretical' reason that only influenced Carnap, Kant's influence on Grice was just as strong on the theoretical if not MORE in the practical realm. Grice, unlike Carnap, looked for the UNITY of reason and justification in all our attitudes: not just doxastic, but notably boulomaic. THis is a strong contrast with Carnap. His neo-Kantianism was theoretical in nature: aimed at epistemological problems concerning space/time coordinates as Carnap found had to be 'vamped out' to deal with discoveries by Einstein, etc. - But Carnap remained an irrationalist in matters of value and ethics. Grice on the other hand possibly had with Kant the insight of the categorial imperative: the dark starry night sky above us.


3.5 Quine and Morris

The connection here is pretty interesting. While every schoolboy knows that Quine was THE logical positivist in the USA, Morris also visited both Vienna and Prague.

The connection with Grice here is more indirect. But typically Gricean rather than triggered, as poor Grice often was, by Strawsonians whims. Grice had read Stevenson's Ethics and language (1944), which was an offshot of Morris's teaching.

In 1948, Grice lectured publicly for the Oxford Philosophical Society on "Meaning": he is opposing some simplified accounts of things he found in STevenson - but which he in private lectures at Oxford - had extended to cover Morris, and still earlier, Peirce.

The project of the unified science which was so Morrisian and Carnapian is less easy to detect in Grice. HIs treatment of the ethical views of Stevenson, however, shows his sympathy with a philosophy that is at least ready and willing to be able to discourse on both matters alethic and practic.

1935 Philosophy and Logical Syntax - the text of three lectures given in London in 1934

-- where. etc.

-- This Grice must have been aware of. He was in his early 20s, then, but I would think Ayer would have made the thing known in Oxford. Grice was VERY concerned with what Austin was doing - before the Phoney war.

1929 Abriss der Logistik - An Introduction to Logic giving special attention to the theory of relations and its applications.

-- Grice expands on the pirots that karulise elatically.

This can potch and cotch and fed.

Fed is a variable for a relation ship. in Carnap's sense.

Grice made this public in the Lectures on Language and REality in a memorable summer symposium in Irvine in 1971. etc.


3.6 Russell

Russell has to be the lingua franca Carnap/Grice. Russell's influence on Carnap, which was actually two-way, was invaluable. Carnap was the Russelian par excellence.

The influence of Russell on Grice is much more roundabout. Grice got an interest in Russell's modernism, as he calls it, after Strawson had challenged it in Intro to logical theory (1952), which was as influential in Oxford as Carnap's Intro to Semantics had been in the USA.

1939 Russell @ Chicago lecturing on meaning and truth

Grice's attitude towards Russell is ambivalent. The most provocative Grice could get was in his "Definite descriptions in Russell and the vernacular", - 1970. Grice was ambivalent because Russell himself was. He had attacked Grice's student publicly ("Mr. Strawson on referring", 19-??. Mind. While Grice disagreed with Strawson over details, he was of course going to align with Strawson against Russell who was giving the Oxford school of ordinary language philosophy some good press that actually worked very well for Grice's professional life. So he had to be careful. His sympathies were for a formalistic approach to langugages alla Russell and as evidenced in his System G. But his 'pro-attitude' was institutional and he felt he NEEDED to self-present as an ordinary-language philosopher, even if with very big caveats.

1940-41 takes visiting professorship at Harvard where Russell was giving the William James lectures.

Take the FL vs NL. Grice is clear in the ideology behind this. There's what he calls Modernism and Neo-Modernism. This is Russell and the heirs of PM. This INCLUDES, almost by antonomasia, CARNAP. But then there's neo-Traditionalism, and earlier, Traditionalism. By this Grice means Aristotelian logic (made respectable by Lukasiewicz) and Strawson's and indeed Oxonian ordinary-language philosophical logic.

- the idea that '&', 'v', -$>$ - the connectives in the syntax of FL - do not correspond to the vernaculars of NL 'and', 'or', 'if'. Vide Carnap on this for a formalist (vs informalist) view. Grice came to prefer the modernism-traditionalism distinction to his earlier formalim-informalism. The important thing here is not so much the labels for these sorts of betes noires, but Grice's own brand: the way he saw or presented himself "in society"

- and what he called the longitudinal history of philosophy: "a foot in each camp", he jokes. But in essence, that's the aptest description of his position. For his System G- complete with a pragmatics, allows to maintain that the alleged divergences between NL and FL are a matter of 'implicature' rather than logical form. At the end of the Gricean day, Grice's attitude towards Russell is ambivalent. The most provocative Grice could get was in his "Definite descriptions in Russell and the vernacular", - 1970. Grice was ambivalent because Russell himself was. He had attacked Grice's student publicly ("Mr. Strawson on referring", Mind. While Grice disagreed with Strawson over details, he was of course going to align with Strawson against Russell who was giving the Oxford school of ordinary language philosophy some good press that actually worked very well for Grice's professional life. So he had to be careful. His sympathies were for a formalistic approach to languages alla Russell and as evidenced in his System G. But his 'pro-attitude' was institutional and he felt he NEEDED to self-present as an ordinary-language philosopher, even if with very big caveats.


3.7 Tarski

"Tarski was invited to Vienna in February 1930 and lectured on metamathematics, which introduced Carnap to the use of formal metalanguages. Discussions with Tarski and with Gödel helped Carnap towards his theory of logical syntax. He disagreed with Tarski on the analytic/synthetic dichotomy, which Tarski thought a matter of degree. Carnap visited Warsaw in November 1930, giving lectures to the Warsaw Philosophical Society, talking privately to Tarski" you wrote.

Tarski. The influence of Tarski on Grice is much more roundoubt. Again, the trigger was his rebel student, Strawson. In a famous talk at Bristol, much much later revisited by Warnock ("Bristol Revisited", in refs.) Strawson opposed Austin's correspondence theory of truth. Strawson argued that 'is true' was illocutionary in nature. This puzzles historians of philosophy as it would have been natural to to think AUSTIN would have embraced such a view. Yet, Austin, like Grice, were traditionalists in these. Grice dedicates a whole section of his third William James lecture to a discussion of Tarski. Grice ends up endorsing a neo-Tarskian view. The sentence of Tarski becomes an utterance in Grice, but the basic Tarskian idea of 'satisfactoriness' is retained by Grice -. He even goes on to propose some implicatural solutions to formal problems having to do with blind uses of the metalogical predicate 'true' in NL: "What the policeman said was true". Much later, when generalising what he now called "alethic satisfactoriness", he introduces special apparatus to his System G to deal with satisfactoriness in realms other than the alethic, notably the practical.


3.8 White

In 1961 Grice participated in a symposium with A. R. White - as second symposiast - organised by the Aristotelian Society in Cambridge (Braithwaite was the Chair) and which got published in the Proceedings.


3.9 Wittgenstein

“Not my man”. Wittgenstein, or Witters as the more irreverent Grice would have it. Again, Carnap's contact was literally first hand. Grice was a closet Wittgensteinian. One reads his "Method in philosohical psychology" and finds whoe passages verbatim from Witters without a recogntion (well, once). Grice would often quote from Witters. He is listed as an A-philosopher against which Grice reacts in the William James lectures.

First Wittgenstein, Last Wittgenstein, Middle Wittgenstein. The refinements of Witters' philosophy are important for our reconstruction of the Griceland of Carnapcopia. -- The first Wittgenstein falls squarely in the FL project of Modernism3.1. The middle Wittgenstein is the critical ie. crisis - Witters. The later Wittgenstein possibly had a stronger influence on Grice than on Carnap.

Roger Bishop Jones 2016-01-07