Non stiamo considerando una cippa di cazzo. Speranza quando ti fai una bella
From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2016 1:22 AM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Anna Wintour's Implicature
We are considering a passage from Wikipedia:
"Anna Wintour lleft North London Collegiate and began a training program at
Harrods. At her parents' behest, she also took fashion classes at a nearby
school (+> in Knightsbridge). Soon she gave them up, saying (i)."
i. You either know fashion or you don't.
McEvoy wonders if there is Popperian relevance to Wintour's disimplicature (a
refudiation of Popper on "Objective knowledge" -- can Wintour's knowledge of
fashion be objective? And if not, would it qualify for Popper as 'knowledge'.
McEvoy comments (I paraphrase slightly):
"[Wintour's clever implicature] really has next to no bearing on the merits of
Note McEvoy's use of Austin's -- that's J. L. Austin -- favourite word,
'really' ("That's not a real duck, really: it's just a decoy duck hunters use
to attract real ducks"). There is a further disimplicature in McEvoy's choice
(that confused Geary) of the quantificationally complex "next to no". Finally,
there are the merits of Popper's epistemology. Since Popper dedicated a whole
book (or essay, as I prefer, following Plato -- "We don't need no stinking
books," read the gate to the Academy in Athens) to "objective knowledge", that
he placed in what he called W3, and given that Wintour is conscientiously using
'know', one wonders if her clever implicature really has next to no bearing.
The implicature of 'next to no' implicates that it has some, "anyroad," as
Geary would say ("I find that 'road' is semantically less empty than 'way'").
"[Wintour] is all wrong - for starters, being in fashion Wintour would refer to
her 'implicatura' or 'implicaturesse' - and if 'implicaturesse', it might even
Touché. Wintour has gone on record as refudiating Italian fashion, so I'm
doubtful he would use the Italian 'implicatura'. It is a learned Italianism,
anyway, since while in Latin we do have the 'implica-' form it gets corrupted
in Italian as "impiegatura". The so-called French Grice, Oswald Ducrot, used
'implicature', when he was a member of PGRICE, groupe pour la researche de
l'inférence e la comprehension elementaire, based in Paris, and Wintour may
have heard of this group.
J. M. Geary brings new ideas. He finds McEvoy's post not too clear and wishes
to compare Wintour's implicature, from a Popperian perspective, with a
quartette of utterances. To wit:
ii. If I remember correctly, such is the case: you either know fashion or you
iii. If I remember correctly, such isn't the case: you either know fashion or
iv. If I remember wrongly, such is the case: you either know fashion or you
v. If I remember wrongly such isn't the case: you either know fashion or you
It may be argued that Wintour does remember correctly. As she writes in her
"Memoirs", "At my parents' behest, I took classes in Knightbridge. But soon I
gave them up. Either you know fashion or you don't."
Geary is wondering if Wintour remembers correctly. Let us assume she does not.
She may be mistaken that:
a. It was at her parents' behest [we need a Griceian conceptual analysis of
this, for surely Wintour exercised her freewill in enrolling for these classes].
b. The classes were held in some sort of educational institution in
Knightsbridge, and that they were about fashion (rather than, say, Hellenistic
In either case, none of this misremembering disproves her tautology, "Either
you know fashion or you don't."
The implicature is that she KNEW fashion. And since she DOES know fashion, this
only goes to prove that no educational institution in Knightsbridge (of all
places -- it's different in Oxford, when H. P. Grice once gave a seminar at
Hilary on "The implicatures of fashion -- and how to cancel them.") could teach
Wintour what she already KNEW.
Wintour's point is Platonic. For Plato, 'to know' is 'to remind', and he has a
dialogue where Socrates teaches an ignoramus Pythagoras's theorem. The student
first says, "Thanks for teaching me, dude." "No need to thank," Socrates
replied, "Either you know trigonometry or you don't."