[lit-ideas] Grice's Emotions

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2013 09:53:01 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 10/31/2013 5:12:11 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
torgeir_fjeld@xxxxxxxx writes:
How do we distinguish "emotional meaning" from  "word meaning"? 
Grice famously wrote on "Meaning". This paper was meant to be read (only)  
at the Philosophical Club, Oxford. Strawson re-typed it (or typed it), sent 
it  to the Philosophical Review, and got it published, some 9 years later. 
In the paper, Grice is playing with some notes he was tutoring on. In  
particular, he was thinking that Peirce had everything too complicated with his 
'theory' of signs. Instead, Grice started by examining how _he_ use the 
lexeme,  "mean" (not like Peirce). For example, Grice says that words are NOT  
Oddly, Grice does NOT quote Peirce in "Meaning", but Stevenson, who had  
written a volume on "Language and Ethics" (1944). His claim to fame: an  
'emotive' dimension of meaning.
--- Yet, I would think that we should NOT apply 'emotional' as attached to  
T. Fjeld goes on:
"Is meaning in "emotional" hemisphere an alltogether separate language from 
 the world of words -- and, if that's the case, how on earth did the 
resarchers  manage to translate the "emotional" into plain Anglese?
(It says in tidbit  that the "emonional" lingo is "quite independent" from 
the "word"  language.)"
In Grice's theory, which first got credited in 1952, by H. L. A. Hart, in a 
 review of Holloway, "Language and Intelligence", we should NOT concentrate 
on  'language' and 'words' per se. It's ANYTHING that can mean. Grice uses 

T. Fjeld goes on:
"The idea of a "natural" language prior to cultural intervention is age  
old. Only with de Saussure has linguistics established as inherent (to the  
discipline) that meaning (which is to say language) is convention based (and  
/not/ a natural aspect of word -- onomatopoetics nonwithstanding). A meaning 
 established "simply by virtue of their acoustic properties" would be prior 
to  enculturation?"
Grice was aware of Hobbes's distinction between conventional and natural  
signs, but since he avoided talk of 'sign', this did not do much for him.  
Grice's use of 'natural' is NOT natural. He says that in
"He meant to order a tuna sandwich". 
'mean' is used in a 'natural' "sense". He later corrected himself and  
avoided speaking of different 'senses' of 'mean', and prefer 'use'. On top of  
that, he claimed that 'natural' uses are more basic. For surely,
"Those black clouds mean rain'
seems more primitive than
"By uttering, "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?", Shakespeare  
meant-nn (non-naturally) whether he should compare his addressee to a summer's  
Hobbes's idea can be traced back to Cratylus, by Plato, who (Cratylus)  
claims that ALL words are onomatopoetic in origin, and hence that ALL mean  
'naturally'. Socrates is convinced.
T. Fjeld concludes his interesting questionnaire:
"Did the thirty-two adults (who were selected according to what  
[randomization] procedure?) speech thirty two different languages? Or just 
one??  If 
they all spake the same language was that shared with researcher(s)? What  
effect would this languague situation have on the (peception of) natural 
meaning  to various sound (which may or may not have resemblede phonemes in 
first  language)? Gib's auf"
I don't think they spoke the same language. "Language", as Saussure noted,  
is an abstraction. He meant 'speech'. Gardiner saw this when he published a 
very  influential book in Oxford, "The theory of speech and language". 
Grice goes  further and speaks of idio-meaning.
Idio- refers to a particular utterer. It's from idio-meaning that we must  
proceed to a population of individuals. And there are complications.

I can use 'x' meaning thereby that p, just because I know that you, my  
addressee, thinks that 'x' means that p.
His example is his use of a French utterance which means ("This cat is very 
 nice") to mean, "Help yourself a piece of cake"; Grice argues that by 
uttering  the French for "This cat is very nice", the utterer does mean that 
utterer  should help yourself with a piece of cake. Since, what matters, 
are the  intentions by the utterer into influencing his or her addresee in 
particular  views. There is nothing inherently or substantiallly or essentially 
supervenient  attached to 'x' by which 'x' means that p. Or not.
It's different with 'natural' uses: Those dark clouds cannot mean rain if  
it's not gonna rain, or to use a more controversial example by Grice, the  
current government budget cannot meant that we are going to have a hard year 
if  we are NOT going to have a hard year. Or not. 
The title is a pun on "Grice's intentions", Philosophical Studies. 
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