[lit-ideas] Re: Cardinals and the Legacy of H. P. Grice

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 13 Jun 2009 21:11:05 -0700

JL wrote

As Grice  noted,

"I want three ice-creams"

is usually taken to implicate that the utterer wants _exactly_ three icecreams.

"Henry VIII had five  wives"

and

"Joan Rivers is in her twenties"

are however  both _true_ (if otiose)

These are not analogous. The tense shift ('Henry VIII had...' 'Joan Rivers is...') is a Gricean card trick. Anyone who says (here and now) that Joan Rivers IS in her twenties) is simply mistaken. There is no implication from 'JR is is almost 73' to 'JR is 20.'

Not even God, who knows everything at once and stands aloof from such temporal nonsense, would allow such an inference, for even he cannot construct a world without logic.

Robert Paul


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