[lit-ideas] Re: Feline Implicature

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2011 04:52:41 EDT

In a message dated 6/29/2011 7:59:18 P.M. ],  jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx 
Cats are killers  

This to contradict Wittgenstein who asks:
Was ist der natürliche Ausdruck einer Absicht? 
Wittgenstein does not answer the question directly but by way of  
Sieh eine Katze an, wenn sie sich an einen Vogel heranschleicht; 
oder ein Tser, wenn es entfliehen will.

So, the idea, for us who know German, is that
a cat, when stalking ('heranschleichen') 
a bird ('fowl', strictly -- 'vogel')
constitutes a 'natural expression' of an 'intention'.
I would not think 'Absicht' translates "intention" directly  --. There are 
possibly alternate translations at play here, by Anscombe,  the original, 
and by P. M. S. Hacker -- who has now retired as Tutorial  Fellow at St. 
John's, Oxford -- the post held by Grice for YEARS. 
--- But it _is_ getting there. Thanks to R. Paul for the quote.
If Geary and Stone are right, the cat stalks the bird but the cat is not a  
killer. So, how do we analyse the 'natural expression' of the intention. It 
has  been said that a pet cat who kills a mouse, since she is not hungry, 
only does  it _for play_ ('a form of life', a 'language game'). And so on. By 
the same  token, if we examine Lord Huntington as he stalks a 'fowl' in his 
hunting  estate, is that the natural expression of an intention. Intention 
to do what?  Oftentimes, the cook would say, "Fowl again? We had that 
yesterday? I was  thinking of having caviar and fish today." Once the fowl was 
killed the fowl had  to be eaten or at least embalmed, and so on.
A beast trying to escape is perhaps an easier scenario. The problem is that 
 they seldom know where to go, as my darling goldfish in the bowl. 
---- I'm not sure if the Wittgensteinan word for 'beast' translates,  
cognately, to English, or other languages (Indo-European).
--- Thanks to Phatic for lovely poem, "Cats sleep anywhere", and to V.  
Calley for comparison with dogs.
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