[lit-ideas] Re: Context Is Everyting

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 18:22:27 -0400 (EDT)

Grice writes:

"Philosophers often say  that context is very important. Let us take this 
remark seriously. Surely, if we  do, we shall want to consider this remark 
["context is very important", or as  hyperbolically McEvoy puts it re: "My 
name is Mickey Mouse" -- context is  everything] not merely in its relation to 
this or that problem [e.g Mickey  Mouse], i.e. in context, but also in 
itself, i.e. out of context. If we are to  take THIS seriously, we must be 
systematic, that is, thorough and orderly. If we  are to be orderly we must 
start 
with what is relatively simple. HERE, though not  of course everywhere, to 
be simple is to be as abstract as possible; by this I  mean merely that we 
want, to begin with, to have as few cards on the table as we  can. Orderliness 
will then consist in seeing first what we can do with the cards  we have; 
and when we think that we have exhausted
the investigation, we put  another card on the table, and see what that 
enables us to do."

In  this context:

A: What is your name?
B: My name is Mickey  Mouse.

presents a problem in that the question may be facetious (e.g. as  made by 
a 'cop'). Note that in Cole Porter, "You're the top", 

You're  Mickey Mouse

works differently from your common-or-garden metaphor (a  categorial 
mistake -- alla "You are the cream in my coffee".

It's still  different with

"I'd like a cup of mud" -- (a line in a crowded  theatre).

---- 

At words poetic, I'm so pathetic 
That I always  have found it best, 
Instead of getting 'em off my chest, 
To let 'em rest  unexpressed, 
I hate parading my serenading 
As I'll probably miss a bar,  
But if this ditty is not so pretty 
At least it'll tell you 
How great  you are. 

You're the top! 
You're the Coliseum. 
You're the top!  
You're the Louver Museum. 
You're a melody from a symphony by Strauss  
You're a Bendel bonnet, 
A Shakespeare's sonnet, 
You're Mickey Mouse.  

---
You're the cream in my coffee
You're the salt in my  stew
You'll always be my necessity
I'd be lost without you
You're the  starch in my collar
You're the lace in my shoe
You'll always be my  necessity
I'd be lost without you
Most men tell love tales
And each  phrase dovetails
You've heard each known way
This way is my own  way
You're the sail of my love boat
You're the captain and crew
You'll  always be my necessity
I'd be lost without you
You're the sail of my love  boat
You're the captain and crew
You'll always be my necessity
Like a  restaurant with a recipe
You're the lace in my shoe
I'd be lost without  you

Cheers,
Speranza


Ref:

Grice, "The General Theory  of Context" 

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