[lit-ideas] Re: Biological Altruism: A Griceian Perspective

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx" for DMARC)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 26 May 2014 14:37:26 -0400 (EDT)

Or how pirots karulise elatically: some simpler ways.

In a message  dated 5/26/2014 1:10:12 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, 
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx  writes:
Nothing in this examination contradicts my own post.
Good. I also enjoyed the author's (S. O.) examination of the idea of  
The author writes:
"As West et al. (2007) note, such behaviours are sometimes termed  ‘
co-operative’, but this usage is not universal."

Indeed, Grice preferred 'helpfulness' in his Oxford lectures on  
implicature in 1964, and only later used the technical 'cooperative' idea.

"Others use ‘co-operation’ to refer to behaviour that boosts the  fitness 
of others irrespective of its effect on self."

"While still others use ‘cooperation’ as a synonym for altruism."

Grice didn't!

He says A helps B if A honours B's goal.

It's a matter of temporarily identify with your partner's goal.

You co-operate.

The syntax varies:

A cooperates with B.
Or A and B co-operate towards a common goal G (which results from A's  
honouring B's goal). Conversations are not zero-sum games.


The intersection of A's goal and B's goal is never null.

The idea of reciprocal altruism, while Griceian in nature, may require some 
 refinement when it comes to cross-specific cases. Grice dealt mainly with 
human  pirots, although he talked to his cats (he named them after the 
places where he  would find them: Sausalito, Oakland, Moraga.
But with humans, reciprocity may involve a self-referential clause, where  
intentions play a full role:
A's intention I is that B forms a belief to the effect that A holds  
intention I.
B's intention I' is that A forms a belief to the effect that B holds  
intention I'.
This may be more difficult to attain with non-human pirots -- however 'a'  
-- The author (S. O.) prefers 'selfish' versus 'altruistic', but I prefer to 
use  'e' and 'a', for the Greco-Roman counterparts (ego and alter).
A reciprocal intention may be at the core of the 'common goal' that we  
require for any helpful analysis of helpfulness or cooperativeness.
GRICE, H. P. Logic and conversation, 1964, Oxford. On principles of  
candour, brevity, and clarity, aiming al helpfulness.
GRICE, H. P. Logic and conversation, 1967, Harvard. On the 'cooperative  
GRICE, H. P. Method in philosophical psychology: from the banal to the  
bizarre. Repr. in Conception of Value.
GRICE, H. P. Unpublications. The Grice Papers. Bancroft Library,  

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