[lit-ideas] Grice's Implicature

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2013 13:20:46 -0400 (EDT)

-- in the history of Western philosophy.
By the skin of Grice's teeth
Or the Making of Grice.
How many is "some"?
We are discussing Quine's description of Grice, which McEvoy refers to as  
"polite by omission". It includes:

He was missing some teeth, and --  granted, his clothes interested him 

I objected to Quine's use of  "his". This seemed to me to implicate that 
Grice was interested by other  people's clothes, which I find bizarre.

In a message dated 3/16/2013  6:52:22 A.M. UTC-02, 
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx comments:

>No, because the "his" brings into focus Grice's own sorry state,  which is 
not implicatured from his general 
>lack of interest in fashions.

I don't think we need to bring in  the complex issue of 'fashion'.
Incidentally, it may be difficult to _prove_ that "some of his teeth were  
missing", although this can be falsified. In fact, it is falsified by Colin  
McGinn, in "Memoirs of a philosopher", when recollecting Paul Grice:
"He had one tooth".
"Meeting Grice was an experience in itself."
"He had only one odd, discoloured tooth in his mouth."
"Plus, he had an enormous potbelly." (Colin McGinn, "The making of a  
philosopher", p. 136). 
It may be argue (and I _will_ argue) that 'in his mouth' is _possibly_  
redundant (*) while Quine's "He was missing some teeth" undeniably _vague_ (in 
a  metaphysical sense).
From Speranza's Book of Facts:
Adults have 32 teeth differentiated in 16-16 between the two jaws and are  
categorized in to 4 types i.e, incisors,canines,molar,premolar.. 
This includes the wisdom teeth which are simply a third set of molars. 
It is possible to be born with less than 32 teeth or more than 32 teeth. If 
 a person has had all four of their wisdom teeth removed, they will have 28 
 teeth. If they have also had braces, which oftentimes requires the removal 
of  the four first bicuspid teeth, they will function in life with 24 
teeth.  Children have 20 teeth, once they all come in of course. 
By the age of 2 years most children (including Grice) have all of their  
primary (baby) teeth.
Quine: "He was pretty shabby. His white hair
was very sparse and very  stringy. Plus,
he was missing some teeth.">
McEvoy: "As Grice notoriously could be smelt approaching from several quads 
 away like a roving portaloo escaped from a rock festival, drooled snot 
from  every available orifice, and had a proclivity for booger-eating and (when 
full)  flicking, this is polite by omission. (Almost a full set of his 
missing teeth  were later found in a glass jar in the Zoology Department, 
'Missing  Link's Dentures'.)"

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