[lit-ideas] I Love To Love (But My Baby Loves To Dance): The Implicature

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza" for DMARC)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 22 Nov 2015 08:17:08 -0500

The German Eurodance group La Bouche has a song entitled "I love to love".

In a message dated 11/22/2015 7:43:12 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
the first scene, riding in a car
with River, singing along with a song playing on the radio "I love to
love" and trying to get River, who insists he can't sing (and I gather
the actor Skarsgard really can't; which detracts a little

Well, I see the full title involves one of Frege's (and Grice's) favourite

i. I love to love but my baby loves to dance.

But Helm is right in quoting Beerbohm in a previous note, to the effect
that if you criticise an actor: e.g.

ii. Skarsgard can't sing.

we still hope he can dance!

For Frege, 'but' addes a touch of 'colour' (Farbung), i.e. an implicature
which is conventional and thus not cancellable. Grice's example is oddly
from another (Great War, this time) song:

iii. She was poor but she was honest.

Grice was obsessed with this line, and never got to understand what the
utterer was up to. In logical form, 'but' is merely a conjunction, as if the
title of the above were:

iv. I love to love and my baby loves to dance.

In fact, there is NO SCENARIO where (i) is true but (iv) isn't. So what
does 'but' add -- in terms of 'colour' to the truth-conditions of (iv)?
Nothing, Witters says.

For Grice, it adds a contrast -- but he is careful: is the contrast in
(iii) between poverty in general and honesty in general, or between HER poverty
(specific) and HER honesty (specific). In (i) a further CONVERSATIONAL
(and thus cancellable) implicature seems to be:

v. So, if my baby is my husband we can always claim irreconciliable

McEvoy should know more about this, but a conceptual analysis can be given
alla H. L. A. Hart.

The concept of "irreconcilable differences" (which is based on the concept
of 'difference' -- not 'differAnce' and 'irreconciliable') provides
possible grounds for divorce in a number of jurisdictions, but not in all --
in Mars, as far as we know.

Australian family law uses a no-fault divorce approach, and irreconcilable
differences is the SOLE grounds for divorce, with adequate proof being that
the estranged couple have been separated for more than 12 months.

-- It is NOT required that during these 12 months she kept loving to love
and he kept loving to dance.

(Note that 'loving to dance' IMPLICATES but surely does not entail that my
baby dances).

In the United States, this is ONE of several possible grounds (not the
specific one that one spouse loves to love and the other loves to dance, but
the general concept of 'irreconciliable differences' -- always in the plural,
since spouses are two).

Often, irreconciliable differences are mentioned as justification for a
"no-fault" divorce.

In many cases, irreconcilable differences were the original and ONLY
grounds for "no-fault" divorce, such as in California, which enacted America's
first purely no-fault divorce law in 1969.

California now lists ONE OTHER possible basis, "incurable insanity," on its
divorce petition form -- as if the song were -- but it does not scan:

vi. I love to love but my baby is incurably insane.

Note that the contrasting

vii. I am incurably insane but my spouse loves to dance.

flouts what Quinton marks as a feature in the conceptual analysis of
'madness': the failure to apply to Cartesian cogito: so that the insane cannot
KNOW or THINK that she is insane -- never mind incurable.

Any sort of difference between the two spouses that either cannot or will
not be changed can be considered irreconcilable differences.

"To love to love" possibly cannot be changed, and the implicature seems to
be positive, so why change?

"To love to dance" seems otiose -- and the 'but' implicates that my baby
does NOT love to love the utterer, which is the BIG irreconciliable
difference: one spouses loves the other, but this love is unrequited, and not,
the law prefers, 'requited' (this is legalese).

Some states use different terms for the same concpt: irremediable
breakdown, irretrievable breakdown, or incompatibility -- but this should not
Hart ("Legal philosophers deal with concepts, not with variaties of
legalese!" he would reprimand one especially otiose Harvard student he once

In some states where the official grounds is irreconcilable differences,
the statutory definition of that term may include a waiting period or a
mutual-consent requirement.

Popper possibly found 'statutory definitions' as against the evolution of
the law; but as McEvoy has noted, there is still ground for a still
Popperian problem-solving approach to law that should combine (or in McEvoy's
case, replace) Hart's (infamous, to McEvoy) conceptual-analytic one!



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