[lit-ideas] Conviviality

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 30 Apr 2009 19:26:51 EDT

In a message dated 4/30/2009 2:14:26 P.M.  Eastern Daylight Time,
wokshevs@xxxxxx writes:
Ursula speaks of "waking up"  while I speak of Socratic seduction in
the pub(lic) space of reasons. A  Symposium requires nothing else. And for
etymological mysteries of the  term "symposium" I must defer to Jl.


Well, Grice uses  'conviviality', I think, in the first page of "The Life
of Opinions of H. P.  Grice". I forget if he says, 'the conviviality' that
nature endowed me with, or  something along the lines. He goes on to say that
'getting together to do  philosophy should be like getting together to make

This is  interesting, since he _was_ an accomplished pianst and S. R.
Chapman reminds us,  he would play in a trio with his father Herbert (at the
violin) and his younger  brother Derek (at the cello).

If he did collaborate, it was with a  couple, mainly P. F. Strawson ("In
defense of a dogma") and J. Baker ("Davidson  on weakness of the will"). Now
the Baker case is an interesting one. Chapman did  interview Baker for
Chapman's bio of Grice and Baker expands on the  'conviviality' (or 'empathy' 
rather say) that she experienced with Grice.  Specifically, and many of us
who have worked through a PhD programme with a  'director' or 'advisor' (it's
not clear what Grice's position vis a vis Baker's  thesis was) may
identify, Baker was _surprised_ at how _closely_ Grice was able  to see the 
'from my perspective' rather than with the intention of  shedding it to
threads as it were.

I regret C. Bruce's outburst, but  understand. And trust he'll reconsider
or that someone may forward this to him  if he has unsubscribed already.

I titled the post,

"Hawkins had  read Wittgenstein only because Theresa had."

because, in working on the  OED, I came up this quote below, led to it via
a previous one I had previously  found interesting ('people with mensa mind
who read Wittgenstein').

I did  say 'literally', so it was never meant as a 'translation'. Bruce
goes on to  mention 'many ways' (or 'more than one way') in which this has been
too much. I  too love Andreas Ramos's running this list and could only wish
he could  contribute more often to it. Let me number the ways...

Anyway, my  rendering of 'gegenstand' as 'again-stand' was meant as a
correction on my part.  R. Paul did share the translation by Ogden, I believe,
where 'objects' occurred.  And this got me in an etymological ramble. But
'gegen-stand' _is_ the equivalent  Germanic term, as I read  from

members.shaw.ca/jgfriesen/Definitions/Gegenstand.html - 69k -

The word ‘Gegenstand’ is often translated as  ‘object.’
It literally means ‘that which stands over  against.’

The author goes on in a post-modern way.  Recommended.

Surely, 'again' is the equivalent for 'gegen' as the OED has  it:

[1. OE. like the cogn. langs.  shows two forms: (1)
oneán, earlier  *onean, oneæn, ongægn, *ongagn, OHG.
in  gagan, cf. ON. gagn n., gagn- adv. pref.; (2) onén, earlier
onen, ongegn, OS. angegin, OHG. in  gegin, in gegini (MHG,
engegene,  engein, mod.G. entgegen),

-- The OED is _not_, alas, an openly  accessible resource, and by my
sharing bits and pieces from it, I hope I show my  interest in serious debate 

As for 'bilden', 'to build',  there is no link for it in the OED, although
the OED has an entry for  'bildungsroman'. Usually when cross-reference is
meant, a different type of  letter is used. But I did find in an online site:

» Synonyme &  Beugungen (Flexionstabelle)
to form
to  frame
to build

So that the things that  stand against (us) 'build' up the substance of the

Does not strike  me as "etc. etc. etc. etc. etc", or meriting one.

1972 Times 2 Nov. 9/4  All participants have mensa minds that have read
1976 J.  CROSBY Nightfall xxxviii. 231 Hawkins had read Wittgenstein only
because Theresa  had. Her books were his orientation course.

Incidentally, I guess I  prefer 'conviviality' (since Grice uses it) to the
more _concrete_ 'symposium'  which is to co-drink, rather. But I'm not sure
the symposium was the place to  _learn_. For one, minors, I dislike their
presence in symposia, but the Greeks  were all for that. The minors were
'cup-bearers', etc. Personally, I think that  drinking (for surely alcohol is
implicated here, in both meanings of  'implicated') is bad for philosophy, or
too much of it.

Grice did held  'convivial' occasions at at least two places (in USA): his
'at-homes' were  pretty popular and they would also gather in an Italian
restaurant in Oakland  where wine flowed free. Chapman recalls that on one
occasion Grice (who kept a  wine cellar in his colonial house in Berkeley) was
at the wine bar of the only  international hotel in Berkeley. A passenger
approached him and said, "May I  know who you are. You look ver distinguished."
Grice, Chapman says, was pleased  with the remark. A Hemingway kind of
look, I would  think.


J. L. Speranza, Esq.
The  Swimming-Pool Library
Villa Speranza,  Bordighera

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