[lit-ideas] Re: Berkeleyiana

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza" for DMARC)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2015 12:08:42 -0400

In a message dated 9/24/2015 10:22:29 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
or to use Geary's words "as far as I'm concerned")

Right. I think we might have discussed this with McEvoy. As I recall, one
of McEvoy's favourite phrases was, "as far as I know". As Grice would say,
"As far as I know, not far I fear". As I recall, McEvoy was referring to the
colloquial use of the phrase, "as far as I know" to prove that Popper is
right (as per "Objective Knowledge") that you can KNOW false things.

I'm less sure 'concern' and 'know' compare, but they should!

I think Grice distinguishes between:

i. as far as I know
ii. so far as I know

but I should revise this.

I see that in WoW (Way of Words) Grice writes:

iii. So, at least, so far as I can see (not far, I think), there is as yet
no reason not to accept Modified Occam's Razor.

and this may serve.

For we have

iv. So far as I can see (not far, I think).

But back to Geary:

v. as far as I'm concerned.

And let's suppose we add Grice's caveat. We would have a pretty soft form
of Berkeleyianism:

As if Berkeley were to say, not alla Geary:

v. Without me perceiving nothing would exist, not as far as I'm concerned


vi. Without me perceiving, nothing would exist, not so far as I'm
concerned anyway (not far, I think).

It does sound odd, and anti-Berkeleyian, but as Helm says, it's best to let
Geary clarify the issue.

J. O. Urmson would call, freely, Geary's "not so far as I'm concerned
anyway", with or without the "not far, I think", a parenthetical. And it may
well be that, in the LOGICAL FORM of Geary's claim, or Berkeley's claim, the
parenthetical can be turned into part of the CONTENT, and not a mere
post-fix, as it were. We would get something like:

viii. Without me perceiving, so far as I'm concerned, nothing exists.

Geary uses 'would' but this often triggers the wrong 'implicatures', as in

ix. I would live in Japan.

It would be odd for McCreery to utter (ix) because he DOES live in Japan.
So the implicature of the

x. Nothing would exist.

seems to be that

xi. Something does exist.

So far as Geary is concerned, which goes far, we expect?




Dowling, L. "Berkeley", in the Stanford Encyclopedia.

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