[lit-ideas] Re: How To Become A Griceian In Five Easy Lessons

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza" for DMARC)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2015 12:05:32 -0500

In a message dated 11/4/2015 11:45:48 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx comments on a variation of a theme by O. K.: the five

easy lessons:

"1. Lesson 1: implicature
2. Lesson 2: implicature
3. Lesson 3: implicature
4. Lesson 4: implicature
5. Lesson 5: disimplicature"

He notes "two problems" about these five easy lessons:


"Surely (a) 2, 3 and 4 follow from 1 by implicature"


"[Surely] (b) 2, 3, 4 thus offend the principle of parsimony?"

possible solution for problem 1:

"To follow by implicature" is a vague, fuzzy, notion. Grice's example:

WARNOCK: How is your tutee doing at collections?
GRICE: He has beautiful handwring ("it follows by implicature that he
'sucks' at philosophy").

But surely Grice can cancel that:

GRICE: He has beautiful handwriting: I don't want to give you the
impression, Warnock, that my tuttee lacks philosophical talent: but THAT
handwriting has a mystifying appeal on me.

So a solution to Problem 1 is: 'as far as it follows by mere cancellable
implicature, in the words of Alfred Neumann, 'why worry'.

Re Problem 2:

Again, 'to follow by implicature' is not a good criterion since everything
that follows from implicature can also be claimed NOT to follow by
implicature. Grice felt the need to 'coin' "implicatura" for these cases of
implications which are cancellable in nature. It's a defining attribute of a
conversational implicature that it is cancellable.

A different type of solution would be to provide a second variation on a
theme by Omar K.:

1. Lesson 1: implicature -- how it's rooted in meaning
2. Lesson 2: implicature -- how conversational implicature is not
conventional implicature
3. Lesson 3: implicature: how it's rooted on a principle of rationality
4. Lesson 4: implicature: how it's cancellable
5. Lesson 5: disimplicature: how implicature is not as central as it sems

One further problem I dub


Can Grice become a Griceian?



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