[lit-ideas] Re: Grice v Grice

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza" for DMARC)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 7 Dec 2015 16:35:08 -0500

The concept of 'hearsay' is formulated in terms of necessary and sufficient
conditions (as it were -- what lawyers, if not philosophers, express as
'if, but only if'. And the analysans includes the concept of 'any matter

The concepts of both 'statement' and 'matter stated' are restrictively
defined at


-- which pertains to, if we may use the plural, "statements" and "matters

(1) In this Chapter references to a statement or to a matter stated are to
be read as follows.


A statement is any representation of fact or opinion made by a person by
whatever means;
and it includes a representation made in a sketch, photofit or other
pictorial form.

(3) A matter stated is one to which this Chapter applies if (and only if)
the purpose, or one of the purposes, of the person making the statement
appears to the court to have been—

(a) to cause another person to believe the matter, or

(b) to cause another person to act or a machine to operate on the basis
that the matter is as stated.

Note again the reliance on what I take to be original philosophicalese ("if
and only if," abbreviated, 'iff', for the logical equivalence) turned
'legalese' (sometimes "if and only if", others, 'if, but only if').

More importantly, whatever new problem the new concept of 'hearsay' is
supposed to solve, the definition or conceptual analysis of these concepts
sounds Griceian to me:

"a matter stated is one to which this Chapter applies if (and only if)


-- the purpose [or M-intention, as Grice might prefer\, or one of the
purposes, of the person [uterer] making the statement [or ⊦p] appears to the
court to have been—


(a) to cause another person to believe [or as Grice would prefer, ψ] the
matter, or


(b) to cause another person to act or a machine to operate on the basis
that the matter is as stated.

-- Conceptual analysis proceeds step by step, by rejecting alleged
counterexamples, refining the 'analysans' in terms of an analysandum which is
constituted of conditions which end up being necessary and sufficient -- 'not
too weak, not too strong' -- hence the 'iff', which in logical terms is the
mere logical consequence

p <---> q


a. Have you got any charley?

There is no matter stated. But even if the telephone call went,

b. I wonder if you have any charley?

it might be argued that the noncontroversiality of the addressee being in
possession of charley makes it hard for a conceptual-analytic philosopher to
concede that in this case the utterer IS TRYING TO HAVE OR MAKE HIS
ADDRESSEE believe that the addressee has any charley, because this common
seems to be the basis of the conversation and not a purpose of any


But, then, what IS to state? Is the LEGALESE compatible with the
philosophicalese? And is a conceptual analysis of either to reproduce or
the ORDINARY CONCEPT, as embedded in ordinary English, of what to state is.

Basically, to state is to ASSERT -- impliedly or not!

"State" has been used like this years before it was associated to 'any
matter', as the following quotations testify.

Just consider those follows by what Austin (and his followers, like Grice)
called a 'that-clause':

In 1655, J. Lightfoot in his well-read, "Harmony New-Test". p. 195

i. He states that the election has obtained, but the rest are blinded.

i.e. he asserts, in an non-implied way, since there is no such thing as an
implied assertion. There IS an assertoric intention behind any statement,
by conceptual analysis and/or definition.

In 1675, G. Harvey, in his Dis. of London, writes:

It may be stated that the intemperament of the blood, which is the parent
of the scorvey, is two-fold.

Harvey is assuming his readers did not know this already, so the
requirement about the utterer EDUCATING his addressee applies.

In 1768, W. Blackstone in his infamous "Comm. Laws Eng." III. 221, notes:

"An assise of nusance is a writ, wherein it is stated
that the party injured complains of some fact done."

again, with the proviso that this is informative and probative, and
indicative of the maker or utterer of the statement's belief in what he is

In 1790, W. Paley in his "Horæ Paulinæ" notes:

The subscription of the first epistle to the Corinthians states that it
was written from Philippi.

This is the matter stated. It is not like the subscription INDICATES that
it was written from Philippi. It is EXPLICITLY STATED, as per its matter,
that this is so.

In 1850, W. E. Gladstone in his biography of "Giacomo Leopardi" in the Q.
Rev. notes:

"We may state that his father was known to be a man of extreme opinions."

Gladstone is assuming the readers of the Quarterly Review did NOT know that
already ("Else why state it?").

In 1866, C. Thirlwall in a letter dated 24 Aug. writes:

"Diego then stated that he was going to the university of Salamanca."

Diego is not a policeman, so he can lie. For all we know, he may have ended
up at Oxford!

In 1915, D. Haig wrote in an entry dated Apr. 2:

Dear Diary,
I received back a letter I had sent to the
CGS stating what I proposed to do in the way of exploding mines.

And Haig never lied. More importantly, he thought his dear diary did not
know that already!

In 1940, in Science for 24 May we read:

Von Baer makes quite clear his reason for stating that Purkinje's vesicle
is absent.

This entails thast Purkinje's vesicle is absent.

(Geary's gloss: "As if anyone would care").

In 2008, A. A. Mosshammer in "Easter Computus and Origins Christian Era"

"Modern reference-works often state that Dionysius dated the Nativity to
December of the year 753 from the foundation of Rome."

Here the implicature seems to be: "but who the hell knows if he was right?"
In fact, the fact that Mosshammer cares to make this part of 'any matter
stated' makes the 'matter stated' (or matters stated) suspicious in the
first place!



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