[lit-ideas] Kd

  • From: Adriano Palma <Palma@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2015 13:51:31 +0000

Donnellan also shared the letter 'e' with Grice's name, which is the main 
reason of his intellectual acuity, what shall I read if Speranza moves into 
fishmongering and whaling?

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Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Donnellaniana

In a message dated 2/21/2015 8:14:03 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, rpaul@xxxxxxxx 
of "[Speranza]'s account".
Further on Donnellan: he lived among good horses and fine wines.
His alma mater was College Park, Maryland, but was soon transferred to Cornell. 
MA dissertation on The Platonic theory of negation, PhD dissertation on  the 
foundations of necessary truth (in the work of C. I. Lewis). While at  Cornell, 
Grice visited and gave a seminar with the material that would become his 
implicature theory. Grice's stalking horse there was, not surprisingly, 
Malcolm! -- and of course, Strawson. During the same  semester, Donnellan 
taught logic, using two textbooks: Quine's Method of Logic  and Strawson's 
"Introduction to Logical Theory". This is interesting  because when Strawson 
wrote the 'Introduction' to his "Philosophy of  Logic" volume for G. J. 
Warnock's series of Oxford readings in philosophy,  he only cared to quote from 
that "Methods of Logic" _and_ Grice.
When Grice went back to Oxford, Donnellan started to criticise Strawson's "On 
referring". Not long after, Grice would credit Donnellan, but instead of 
'referential' vs. 'attributive', Grice preferred to speak of the 
identificatory/non-identificatory distinction. Grice proposes an informal  
notation for this:
THE Psi is Phi -- identificatory
_the_ Psi is Phi ---- non-identificatory 
Grice had further doubts about the conclusions that Donnellan drew from the  
existence of such distinction. Interestingly Donnellan's "Reference and 
Definite  Descriptions", like Grice's "Meaning", was submitted to "The 
Philosophical  Review". Grice's "Meaning" was submitted by Strawson (as typed 
by Anne  Strawson). Donnellan's "Reference and Definite Descriptions" was 
submitted by  himself (Donnellan) in 1964, but rejected, and only published in 
-- but he  also gave 1964 as the date of the thing (Similarly Grice always gave 
1948 as the  date of 'Meaning', since it was only in 1956 -- after co-authoring 
"In defense  of a dogma" with him (Grice) that Strawson submitted "Meaning" to 
PR -- coming  out in 1957.
Interestingly, Donnellan's MA work was on the theory of negation; similarly, 
Grice's very first essay was on negation -- with a nod to Plato, too. 
Donnellan's work was compiled in a volume with Oxford, along with a sort of  
tribute, with essays by different philosophers. Donnellan's compilation manages 
 to quote Grice three times. The references are to "Putting Humpty Dumpty  
together again". So, we can say that his account of implicature theory was  
_first hand_ (dating from the Grice Cornell seminar).
Both Grice and Donnellan lived in 'northern' California, as we may call it. 
 And both have both first and middle interesting names: Herbert Paul Grice (but 
 he preferred to go by H. Paul Grice -- the "Herbert" he inherited from his  
father), and Keith Sedgwick Donnellan. (Grice's mother's maiden: 
[Mabel] Fulton;  Donnellan's mother's maiden name: [Louise] Nucholls). One 
hailed from the heart  of England (so-called); the other from Washington, DC. 
Both have solid  philosophical intuitions and an eye for examples. 
Both Grice and Donnellan smoked -- as someone said, it seemed to have been 
almost mandatory to make "Philosophers smoke" a necessary truth alla C. I. 
Lewis  (on whom Donnellan wrote his PhD dissertation).
When a colloquium was organised for Donnellan after he had retired, and to 
which he drove from his paradise of good horses and fine wines, he was 
surprised  that the 'audience' was using high-tech terminology (like 'rigid 
designation' --  vide Donnellan's polemic with Kripke), while he remained 
faithful to ordinary  usage, much alla Grice!
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