[lit-ideas] Re: Donnellaniana

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx" for DMARC)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2015 09:18:20 -0500

In a message omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx writes:
>"And over there [somewhere in Illinois] you have Al Capone, too."
Also: "Actually Ryle in "Systematically misleading expressions" throws some 
 light on the issue of the ever-recurring bald king of France. The king of 
France  is bald = There is such X that is a king of France and bald.
Where the  statement is clearly false for every state of affairs in which 
the king of  France is non- existent. Unfortunately, the issue of the 
non-existing king of  France wearing a wig is not tackled, perhaps because it 
thought too trivial  to address, but I am just guessing."
As O. K. notes, Ryle indeed mentions the king of France. 
For that matter, Ryle also mentions Al Capone.
Ryle writes:

"[The systematically misleading expression] 
'Satan is not a reality', 
from its grammatical form, looks as if it recorded the same sort of fact 
'Al Capone is not a philosopher', 
and so 
was just as much denying a character of a somebody 
called 'Satan' as the latter does deny a character of a 

somebody called 'Al Capone'."
For the record, royalty featured largely in philosophical debates. Here is  
Bradley on the king of Utopia. Bradley writes:

"Socrates may be not sick  because he is well, 
or because there is now no such thing as Socrates. 
‘The King of Utopia did not die on Tuesday’ may be 
safely contradicted. And yet the denial must remain 
ambiguous. The ground may be that there is 
no such place, or it never had a king, or he is 
still living; or, though he is dead, yet he 
died on Monday."
Bradley, like Ryle, were Oxonians, and Oxford philosophy was all the rage  
when Donnellan was teaching at Cornell.

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