McEvoy was wondering if implicatures can run amok, I think it's the term he
used, and the answer was that, if "read" is taken 'figuratively,' they can.
Today's NYT caption on p. A17 (yes, that's weird, a number with a letter, but
that means first supplement) reads:
i. Senator Graham says he is not worried about his e-mail being hacked, "since
I've never sent one."
Indeed, the quote of the day goes to show that Graham thinks he is, "like,
ahead of [his] time." And he is -- He is also a Griceian. Consider the logical
form of (i).
ii. There is an e-mail message that belongs to Graham (hence "his") -- and
Graham says he is not worried about it (i.e. his e-mail message) being 'hacked'.
The implicature, so far, seems to be
iii. There are more serious things to be worried about.
-- This is incidentally, Graham, not Grahame, the author of "Wind in the
Willows" --. But Graham goes on to CANCEL that conversational implicature (iii)
iv. I've never sent one (+> one e-mail message).
Graham is sticking to Leibniz's Law:
v. a = a.
It can be paraphrased in terms of a paradox. Put generally, without reference
to Graham, the paradox may be formulated as:
vi. An e-mail message cannot be hacked if it does not exist.
This is precisely Grice's point re: Strawson's
vii. The king of France ain't bald.
viii. Since France is a republic.
ix. (vii) is false.
For Strawson, (vii), rather, displays a 'truth-value gap,' but then Strawson
loved Quine (Quine coined 'truth-value gap').