[lit-ideas] Grice, "The General Theory of Context"

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 20 May 2010 12:35:26 EDT

In a message dated 5/20/2010 12:58:21 P.M., palma@xxxxxxxx writes:

Would  anyone be able to provide a precise location and quote of Grice's 
denying  "context" makes any difference, or any philosophical difference 
of any  value?
Sure. It is "The General Theory of Context" and it is quoted pretty  
extensively by S. R. Chapman from archival material in her "Grice" (Palgrave,  
2006). The thing ("The General Theory of Context") is deposited in the Grice  
Collection (at the Bancroft Library, Berkeley). 
He is considering the claim made by SOME philosophers that 'context is  
important'. Grice considers the claim IN CONTEXT as a joke.

He wants to consider it "out of context".

His point being that if the slogan,

"Context is important"
should have some philosophical bearing, it should be a GENERAL claim, thus  
refuting itself. Hence the title, the "General" theory of context.
My good reference here is Balderston, "Out of context", which quotes  
This is vintage Grice, and he is concerned with Austin's flirtings with  
Gardiner and Firth and others who were so boring with 'context of utterance'  
that it ended up boring Grice (and me!, for sure! -- and I use co-text, in 
any  case. I find the 'n' intrusive). 
J. L. Speranza

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