[lit-ideas] Re: Hartiana

  • From: Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:23:05 +0200

"A played chess unwittingly" sounds odd because it is  barely credible that
we could ever have anything approaching a good reason for  applying verb
and adverb together.

*Odd, perhaps, but credible enough. One might have played chess when he
believed that he was playing xiangqi, or checkers.

One plays chess" strongly suggests absence of coercion.

To say  there is a playing of chess at gunpoint is to be unwilling to say
"one plays  chess" at all.

*People play chess because someone else feels like playing and persuades
them to co-operate, or if they are professionals they play for money, or
results. During the Cold War there were even political reasons; Fischer was
unwilling to play the match against Spassky (apparently he feared that the
Soviets would try to assassinate him) but Kissinger told him on the phone
to 'take his ass to Iceland" and play. Just because something is called a
game doesn't mean that it is always fun, and that it cannot involve various
forms of coercion.

All this really suggests that, when we don't know what we are talking
about, we tend to rely on rather shallow stereotypes and try to draw some
far-reaching conclusions from them.


On Sun, Mar 29, 2015 at 1:26 PM, Redacted sender Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx for
DMARC <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> McEvoy was referring to Grice's classy neighbours regarding the approach he
>  (Grice) recommends about this and that -- (interpreting Witters).
> In a message dated 3/28/2015 8:46:54 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
> donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes in L'"!x2"dn: "[Witters's] English text
> has
> defects, including some that render the text almost unintelligible in
> parts,
> including some quite crucial parts e.g."
> Oh, I love to provide an  exegesis!
> Witters writes in section 190.
> "It may now be  said."
> The original Teutonic reads: "Man kann nun sagen." "Man" here,  while it
> looks like the English "man", is of course, the indefinite noun, which  one
> has in French as "one" (on) and in Italian as the reflexive "si" ("Si parla
> inglese").
> Witters's focus is on "nun". This, while it looks like a female dedicated
> to the church, is a deictic. Witters's implicature is that it's "nun", as
> opposed to what it may NOT be said yesterday, surely" (or at least as per
> the
>  previous section 189: Witters was very systematic as to what could be said
> up to  a point and not. Note he uses 'may', meaning that it's still merely
> permissible.  Surely one is neither obliged nor obligated to say anything.
> "The way  the formula is meant determines which steps are to be taken".
> Wie die  Formel gemeint wird, das bestimmt, welche Übergänge zu machen
> sind.
> The  way, say, Russell intends the formula to be interpreted, determines
> which  steps are to be taken. He'll go back at the end of the section: the
> steps can  determine, 'in advance' what an utterer means (unless the
> utterer is
> being  Griceian and caring a hoot about those steps -- meaning is more than
> following  steps).
> "What is the criterion for the way the formula is  meant?"
> "Was ist das Kriterium dafür, wie die Formel gemeint ist?"
> Wittesr was fascinated (cfr. fascism) by formulae. A 'well-formed formula"
> is something of a redundancy, because for Grice an ill-formed formula does
> not  quite count as a formula.
> But why the singular, 'criterion'? Hart notably got this  keyword from
> Witters (and turned it into a criterial semantics, so-called),  but Hart
> used 'criteria' in the plural. It sounds so much  better.
> Witters goes on:
> "It is, for example, the kind of way we ALWAYS use the formula, the way  we
> are taught to use the formula."
> "Etwa die Art und Weise, wie wir sie  ständig gebrauchen, wie uns gelehrt
> wurde, sie zu gebrauchen."
> Note that in "Wind in the Willows", a character is criticised for using
> 'learn' to mean 'teach' as a solecism ("The teacher learned me that"). In
> Teutonic it's the rule.
> "We say, for instance, to someone who uses a sign  unknown to us."
> "Wir sagen z.B. Einem, der ein uns unbekanntes Zeichen  gebraucht."
> "unknown" is non-factive, as 'known' is factive. It is well known that the
> earth is not flat ENTAILS that the earth is not flat. With unknown signs
> the  thing is different. Note that the word the Teutonic Witters uses for
> 'sign' is  not 'sign' but the Teutonic cognate of the Germanic "token" as
> when
> we say, "by  the same token". (Applying EF's delightful logic, we should
> note
> that the same  token can be completely DIFFERENT though).
> What is, for Witters, an unknown 'sign'?
> Something like an expression in what Grice calls "Deutero-Esperanto" (a
> variant on Esperanto that Grice deviced: "It does sound like Esperanto,
> only I
>  managed to change all the meanings, to confuse my potential addressee",
> Grice  writes).
> Witters:
> "If with "x!2" you mean "x2", you get this value  for "y", but if you mean
> "2X", you get that one."
> Wenn du mit "x!2"  meinst "x2", so erhältst du diesen wen für y, wenn du
> mit "x!2" meinst "2x"  damit meinst, jenen."
> Note that in German, unlike English, you mean  something WITH an
> expression, rather than BY an expression. The correct Griceian  grammar
> for this is:
> "By uttering an expression, one utterer means this or that."
> J. L. Austin thought this was too per-locutionary, and preferred:
> "IN uttering an expression, one utterer means this or that" and confronted
> Grice with that: "You confuse the perlocution with the illocution," Austin
> said  rather losing his Lancashire discreet temper. Grice, who was more
> open, and  always ready with the right reply, retorted: "Darling, I might
> be
> MISTAKEN --  never confused". They used 'darling' ironically.
> Oddly, in Grice's Deutero-Esperanto, the numerals have changed meanings,
> too. As an example:
> 7 + 5 = 13
> "7 + 5 = 12" is an example, for  those in the know, by Kant, of a synthetic
> a posteriori truth. By using a  variant of this example, Grice proves his
> genius.
> Grice's Deutero-Esperanto provides notational devices for the two types of
> arithmetical operations Witters is concerned with here: multiplication and
> square (when a number is multiplied the same number of times). Surely the
> square  of x is different from two times x -- although not necessarily in
> Deutero-Esperanto.
> Witter concludes:
> "Now ask yourself."
> "Frage dich  nun."
> The 'nun' again, unrelated to the English word for a female  professionally
> involved with the church.
> "Ask yourself" (as used by Witters) allows for two readings, as Geary
> explains: "If you keep asking yourself questions ALOUD, you are crazy; if
> Witters meant in St. Augustine's symbolic silent language, he is my
> saint!"
> Witters goes on:
> "How does one, with "x!2", the one thing or the other mean?
> "Wie macht man es, mit "x!2" das eine, oder das andere meinen?"
> Note again the impersonal 'man' for 'any man'. In Old German, 'man' did
> mean 'man', and it was, of course, personal. By the time Witters was using
> German, 'man' had lost its personality and become 'impersonal', as French
> 'on',  or Italian 'si'. Witters means Witters anyway.
> Witters concludes:
> "So can also the meaning the steps in advance  determine."
> "So kann also das Meinen die Übergänge zum voraus  bestimmen."
> The formula is
> x!2
> In Griceian  terms,
> By uttering "x!2" the utterer means that p.
> The formula can  mean either
> x2 -- the square of x --
> or
> 2x.
> The  pupil, when confronted with this expression, desires to learn the
> meaning of it  in order to be able to use it.
> However, Witters claims, the meaning is not within the rule or its
> expression anymore than, to use another of his examples, the rules of
> chess  are
> determined by the intention to sit down and play a game of chess.
> Witters rather suggests that it is the pupil's training--the fact that  he
> has been told to perform function x2 (rather than 2x) when he sees the
> formula "x!2" that indicates that the pupil correctly uses what the
> teacher has
> meant by uttering the formula.
> This raises the question of 'following a rule correctly'. R. M. Hare was
> once using the expression, and Warnock confronted him: "What would you
> think
> is  the difference between playing cricket properly and playing cricket
> correctly?"  It took a whole week for Hare to come up with an answer, but
> then
> the Saturday  morning meetings WERE held weekly (on Saturdays, as their
> name
> implies -- and  they were strictly 'by invitation' from Austin).
> "These and other insights of modern linguistic philosophy are I think  of
> permanent value" Hart writes (1983, p. 4). He goes on "Much of what
> Wittgenstein and Professor Austin had to say about the forms of language,
> the  character of general concepts, and of rules determining the structure
> of  language, has important
> implications for jurisprudence." Even if Witters is  merely using an
> example from simple arithmetic.
> In other words: one way to distinguish Hart from Grice is their love or
> lack thereof for Witters. Hart, even though he tried to hide it, LOVED
> Witters.  It is not false to say that Grice perhaps hated Witters. The
> cause was
> Hart was  older than Austin and couldn't care less ('or could care less',
> as
> Grice  corrects) about what Austin said. And Austin said, "Some like
> Witters,
> but  Moore's MY man". This was enough for Grice to start LOVING Moore.
> Hart  is all full of Witters in "The Concept of Law". McEvoy once counted
> the  citations, as a proof that perhaps Witters's influence on Hart had
> been
> "overestimated". But it has not!
> The 'semantics' that Hart works with is  Wittgensteinian in spirit, if not
> letter (Hart could not read German, or hear  it, for that matter --
> 'understanding it'). The one to blame here was Waismann,  who had settled
> in England
> and was full of Witters himself. Waismann started to  speak of POROSITAET,
> which Hart translated as 'open texture'. Legal concepts  have POROSITAET.
> Nothing can get MORE Wittgensteinian than THAT!
> Grice,  on the other hand, lumps Hart and Witters as among the
> A-philosophers (others  are J. L. Austin and P. F. Strawson) who wouldn't
> recognise a
> conversational  implicature even if it were slapped on their faces!
> Hart appreciates the  social nature of some predicates (such as "is a
> contract") and he appreciates  that this social nature changes what
> attitudes we
> (or Paul McCartney, say) may  adopt toward it.
> That is, how we may predicate it in the meta-language  -- or Paul
> McCartney's metalanguage -- Meta-Scouse: "The contract does not  satisfy
> me, and I'm
> not obliged to sign it, am I?" "No, you are merely  obligated".
> "A social term may be introduced by the role it plays in the  social
> policies, the defeasible rules, that mention it, and may play no other
> role --
> cf., Hart's Wittgensteinian discussion of what it means to be a "trick"
> in a
> card game like 'bridge' in Hart, 1983 (1953), p. 33.
> And cfr.  Popper's distinction between
> "x is a trick."
> vs.
> "A trick is x."
> Again, Hart quotes from Wittgenstein’s §621 of Philosophical
> Investigations,
> "What is left over if I subtract the fact that my arm  goes up from the
> fact that I raise my arm?"
> and reformulates  it:
> "What is left over if I substract the fact that I was obligated from  the
> fact that I was obliged? Nothing for John Austin!"
> Oddly, Hart had a  thing for left-overs, as Rachel Ray.
> Like Witters and Paul Grice,  Hart loved games -- although one is not sure
> if what Hart loved about games was  the rules about them.
> There is nothing conceptually odd, it is claimed,  about saying "He is
> playing chess, although he’s being forced to do so at  pistol-point"
> "A played chess unwittingly" sounds odd because it is  barely credible that
> we could ever have anything approaching a good reason for  applying verb
> and adverb together.
> This is very different from cases like  "He made a contract unwittingly",
> where the machinery of defeasibility comes  into being.
> There is, after all, a conventional connection between  playing chess and
> being liable for any punishment for doing so is  tight.
> S tight, that one is reluctant to say one without the other.
> "One plays chess" strongly suggests absence of coercion.
> To say  there is a playing of chess at gunpoint is to be unwilling to say
> "one plays  chess" at all.
> The Griceian imperative to be not misleading dampens the  willingness to
> say that there is chess being played.
> This is consistent  with Hart’s insistence that it is the principal
> function of the type of  utterances he discusses.
> A Wittgenstein encomiast might say that in this  way, all language games
> are like cricket.
> Hart nearly says as much in a  different example, pertaining to driving:
> Hart writes:
> "Whenever  we have an active verb like "drives", this implies, as part of
> its meaning, the  existence of a minimum form of conscious muscular
> control."
> (Hart, 1968 (1960),  p. 109)
> Hart would allow "He played chess" at the same time as "He played  chess at
> gunpoint."
> The defeasibility, in this case, is not about  ascribing action, the
> playing of chess, but ascribing responsibility for the  playing.
> "He hit her"
> normally ascribes responsibility at the  same time that it describes an
> act.
> But the two are still separable, in  the presence of good counter-argument:
> "He hit her accidentally."
> Hart is all about ascription of responsibility, after all, not about
> ascription of action.
> This requires some re-interpretation of another of  Hart’s example, that of
> murder.
> Murder is not the kind of action that can  be inadvertent and still be
> murder.
> Hart’s discusses "to murder" (what  Hart qualifies as a 'condemnatory verb'
> cfr. his writings on Nurenberg) in  analogy with "to play chess" which
> perhaps was not a good one (analogy, I mean).
> Not all of the ways to defeat putative ascriptions of murder are also  ways
> to defeat putative ascriptions of exhaling or of chess-playing, and Hart
> knows this.
> This is consistent with a careful interpretation of Hart's  type of
> conceptual analysis.
> Hart expands on these points in his essay,  "Acts of will and
> responsibility".
> Hart writes:
> "A layman might  say that in these cases the man’s movements were
> "involuntary" or "not under his  control" and if we call these "actions"
> it is only
> in the thinnest of all  "senses" of that wide word, i.e., the sense in
> which
> it embraces anything we can  say by putting together a verb with a personal
> subject."
> The involuntary correlate of the condemnatory 'murder' is 'kill' -- with
> 'hit' there is no such distinction, but 'murder intentionally' does sound
> redundant, while a storm can kill.
> Hart relates this to his gunman scenario. "I am forced one day, as I walk
> down High Street, by a mugger." "While I may later, on arriving home,
> answer, in  response to my wife, "Where is your wallet?", "Sorry, dear,
> but I was
> obliged to  yield it to a mugger" -- without further cancellation, it's
> different with a  storm.
> If the weather is very stormy, one may just decide NOT to walk down High
> Street. And we can say that the storm obliged Hart to stay indoors. In the
> passive: Hart was obliged to stay indoors by the storm.
> If Hart was thinking about his children when the mugger was OBLIGING him to
>  yield his wallet, it may still be adequate, without much of a
> cancellation, that  Hart was indeed OBLIGATED to yield his wallet, if not
> by the mugger,
> by the fact  that Hart realised that he had ties to his children ("I would
> not have given the  crook a dime in the past, but then I was a father, and
> a
> father has certain  responsibilites").
> Hart goes on to analyse verbs like 'yielding your wallet', 'hit', 'murder',
>  and 'kill'.
> "The layman, like the lawyer, would wish to distinguish  tumbling
> downstairs from walking downstairs as not "really" an action at all.
> (Hart, 1968
> (1960), p. 92)
> "It might well be said that he drove the  vehicle… "in his sleep" or "in a
> state of automatism.""
> Can one be obliged "in one's sleep". This would be contradictory for Hart,
> because 'oblige' makes a reference to a psychological state in the person
> that  is obliged and one good thing about sleeping is that one need not be
> ascribed  such a state. On the other hand, even when sleeping, Britons are
> 'obligated' by  the law, i.e. by anything the Queen enacts in Parliament.
> This
> is non-factive,  or more precisely, it makes no reference to any
> psychological state on the part  of the alleged subject who is ascribed as
> being
> 'obligated'. Note that when we  speak of 'legal persons' (like England),
> they can
> be obligated, but the use of  'oblige' to mean 'force' is generally
> metaphorical in nature -- (unless of  course it isn't -- all legal
> concepts are
> defeasible).
> Hart goes on: "Such cases can certainly occur" even if they are often prone
>  to be disimplicated on occasion (Hart, 1968 (1960), pp. 109- 110).
> Hart quotes from Hill v. Baxter:
> "After he has fallen asleep he is no longer driving" (Hart, 1968 (1960), p.
>  110)
> -- as evidence that his linguistic botany (which he took from both J. L.
> Austin and Epicurus's letter to Herodotus) was running 'along the right
> tracks'.
> Hart adds: "The question of responsibility is settled simply by  reference
> to the question whether or not the accused’s conduct could, in  accordance
> with English usage, be described as "driving"" (Hart, 1968 (1960), p.  110)
> Hart concludes: "Of course not all the rules in accordance with  which, in
> our society, we ascribe responsibility are reflected in our legal code  nor
> vice versa, yet our concept of an action, like our concept of property, is
> a
>  social concept and logically dependent on accepted rules of conduct. It is
>  fundamentally not descriptive, but ascriptive in character; and it is a
> defeasible concept to be defined through exceptions and not by a set of
> necessary and sufficient conditions … . (Hart, 1951, pp. 161-2)
> After  this, to say that Hart failed to appreciate a Wittgensteinian
> semantics, as some  have, is to be wanting to explain Waismann’s influence
> on
> Hart, since Waismann  was a "follower" of Wittgenstein (Even if he did not
> follow him, fortunately, to  Cambridge!).
> When Hart came back from Harvard, he wrote a 'thank you' note to Morton
> White (he called him "Morty") and knowing that Grice was heading for
> Harvard,
> added a ps. Hart describes Grice as a 'marvellous dialectician', 'much
> better  than anyone of us here'. The implicature was that Morty should try
> to miss  any of the lectures that Grice was going to give at the most
> prestigious of all  American universities, and he didn't! (Morty brought
> Albritton
> with him, too,  for good measure -- and all in all Grice was delighted for
> the company. By the  record, Morty had met Grice at Hart's house, and had
> reviewed favourably in the  book "The nature of metaphysics" ONLY the
> contribution by Grice. "When I told  this to Hart, he said that, except
> for Grice's
> contribution, the book was not  perhaps the best that had ever been
> published, implicating thereby that he had  not liked it THAT much
> _except_ for that
> specific contribution."
> Cheers,
> Speranza
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