[lit-ideas] Enough Is Enough: The Implicature

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza" for DMARC)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2015 19:07:16 -0500

If a politician says, "Enough is enough," or a parent, for that matter, the
implicature may vary from that carried by the same utterance as uttered,
say, by a mathematician.

Mathematicians use identities all the time, as assumptions in premises.

"Enough is enough" carries the implicature of the protreptic kind that
something has to be done about whatever was the topic of the conversation where
'enough is enough' occurs.

For Witters, 'Enough is enough' is a tautology, by which he means that the
logical form (to echo Sraffa) is "p v ~p". "Enough is enough" may not
depict a state in the world and remains uninformative at the level of what is
said.

But Witters never even thought of 'implication'; Austin did, even if he
ignored the distinction between what an expression implies and what an utterer
implies.

"Enough is not enough," for Witters, does not depict a state of the world
either; it is a contradiction, whose logical form, again to echo Sraffa,
would be "p & ~p". It may carry an informative implicature, via irony, or
sarcasm, or some such figure of rhetoric. Shakespeare has one character utter,
"Enough is not enough", but since the character is a clown, he souldn't be
taken _that_ seriously (Vide: "Comedy in Shakespeare: the truths behind the
laughter").

And so on.

Cheers,

Speranza

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