“Flanagan and Allen” was a double-act. And then there’s Gopper and Price.
McEvoy was taking up Helm’s challenge – After all, Helm had tried to avoid the
‘System’ -- _sic_ in capitals – after engaging in philosophy with the oeuvre of
Gadamer and Witters (recall Austin, “Some like Witters, but Moore’s MY man.”).
McEvoy takes up Popper:
“Both the early and later Wittgenstein offer an integrated viewpoint,” McEvoy
notes, “and so does Popper throughout his work.”
But did Flanagan and Allen (or Allen and Flanagan, as I prefer) follow a
method? Allen was the ‘straight man’ – so he possibly did follow a method.
Flanagan is the author of “My crazy life,” where he indulges in one of Holden
Caulfield’s favourite adjectives, when he refers to the ‘Phoney War.’ – which
wasn’t phony for Salinger.
“Popper,” to re-phrase McEvoy above, “offers an integrated [i.e. systematic]
viewpoint throughout his work.”
This post is to expand on Grice: “Philosophy, like virtue, is entire.” There is
an implicature to that, which Grice makes explicit: “Or, in other words, there
is only one problem to philosophy; namely, all of them.”
I wonder if this applies to Allen and Flanagan, or Gopper and Price. The fact
that Grice SAYS these two things (“Philosophy, like virtue, is entire,” “There
is only one problem in philosophy; namely: all of them.”) does not mean he
FOLLOWED SUIT. I love the ungrammaticality of his “There is only one problem to
philosophy, namely: all of them.” – The ungrammaticality triggers an
But what about Popper. Popper is best known as a philosopher of science –
Maxwell has just published a new book about him, published by UCL --. Popper
did work on objective knowledge and the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy
of ideas. So we can say he is ‘systematic’ and a ‘methodist’. But would he
agree with Grice that ‘philosophy, like virtue, is entire.”
Grice is being, jocularly, Aristotelian. I don’t believe ALL Grecian
philosophers thought that virtue is entire (‘arete’ is okay for ‘virtue,’ but
what is Greek for ‘entire’? “Holistic”? “Virtus,” for the Romans, was a bit of
a sexist thing – vir-tus, -- cognate with virility, so we can forget that
choice of a noun by Grice. But is Grice right that there is only one problem to
philosophy, namely: all of them? Popper might see this as unrefutable. If Mr. X
is a philosopher, by definition, whatever Mr. X regards as ‘philosophical’
Grice used to reminisce that everytime he was introduced at some Philosophy
Department, with “Mr. Poodle, our man in eighteenth-century Continental
aesthetics,” there was an UNWANTED ‘implication’, and thus NOT necessarily an
implicature, which are intended by their utterers, by definition, that Mr.
Poodle was not good AT eighteenth-century Continental aesthetics. Grice was
against ‘expert systems,’ as it were! But I wonder if Popper was, too!
Perhaps there are Griceian ways to be methodic and systematic, and there are
Popperian ways for same. In which case, the double act should become an
interesting ‘song and dance’ routine. Or not, of course.