Popper had a problemm, it seems, with the phrase 'probabilistic affair' (as
in Susan is having a probabilistic affair with Richard?).
In a message dated 9/13/2015 5:56:50 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
To describe something which is inevitable as merely 'probable' would be
unusual or a mistake or confusing in ordinary life (e.g. it is not merely
'probable' that each of us shall die), and we must therefore be clear that
when we speak of 'p = 1' we are not referring to what we normally refer to in
terms of probabilities but to what we might normally refer to in terms of
Well, not for you know who (Grice). He restricts 'certainty' and
incertainty to his British Academy annual philosophical lecture (after all he
FBA 1966). In 1961 he refers exactly to McEvoy's point, only opposing it.
Grice writes in "The Causal Theory of Perception" (and I'm fascinated that
D. F. Pears spends much of his ingenious introduction to Russell's lectures
on logical atomism) to the 'causal theory' of this and that):
"The issue with which I have been mainly concerned may be thought rather a
fine point, but it is certainly not an isolated one."
"There are several philosophical theses or dicta which would I think need
to be examined in order to see whether or not they are sufficiently parallel
to the thesis which I have been discussing to be amenable to treatment of
the same general kind."
"Examples which occur to me are the following."
"(1) You cannot see a knife as a knife, though you may see what is not a
knife as a knife."
-- from Witters. Wrong. Of course you can see a horse as a horse. In fact,
ceteris paribus you see a horse as a horse.
"(2) When Moore said he knew that tl-re objects before him were human
hands, he was guilty of misusing the word "know"".
Wrong. Just because Plato was overestimating 'know' it doesn't mean WE
"(3) For an occurrence to be properly said to have a cause, it must be
something abnormal or unusual."
Wrong -- and this should have been more obvious than it is to Hart and Tony
Honoré -- Oxonians, alas -- when they wrote about 'causation' and the law.
"(4) For an action to be properly described as one for which the agent is
responsible, it must be the sort of action for which people are condemned."
Wrong, and thus what recent philosophers were publishing in the pages of
"Philosophy" -- the organ of the Royal Philosophical Society -- about the
justification of punishment -- are wrong, too.
"(5) What is actual is not also possible."
THIS IS THE ONE THAT RELATES TO MCEVOY'S POINT ABOVE.
"(6) What is known by me to be the case is not also believed by me to be
Wrong, because this is cancellable: "I believe, if not know, that it is
raining," "the addition, "But I don't believe it, if not know it", by Moore,
can only DISIMPLICATE."
"I have no doubt that there will be other candidates besides the six which
I have mentioned. I must emphasize that I am not saying that all these
examples are importantly similar to the thesis which I have been criticizing,
only that, for all I know, they may be. To put the matter more generally,
the position adopted by my objector seems to me to involve a type of
manoeuvre which is characteristic of more than one contemporary mode of
philosophizing. I am not condemning this kind of manoeuvre; I am merely
that to embark on it without due caution is to risk collision with the facts.
Before we rush ahead to exploit the linguistic nuances which we have
detected, we should make sure that we are reasonably clear what sort of nuances
Which Popper doesn't. He keeps saying that "we" don't want to say that a
free rational choice decision is a 'probabilistic' affair. Cfr.
(5) What is actual is not also possible.
WRONG. What is actual IS possible.
p = 1: may be a correlate for 'what is actual' (e.g. one of Schroedinger's
cat -- the one to the left).
p = 0 -- what is NOT actual. What is impossible.
But what is actual IS possible.
To hold, "What is actual is not also possible" is a philosophical mistake,
and an affront to Aristotle's Square of Opposition. Horn knew this when he
referred to Aristotle as "Greek Grice" (but he says he meant it as a joke
on "Greek rice" -- similarly when Horn delivered a lecture in Milano he
entitled it "Grisotto alla milanese").
Risotto alla Milanese
Servings 6 to 8
Time 1 hour
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
3½ to 4 cups chicken broth
7 Tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
1 large onion, chopped
1½ cups uncooked risotto rice (plump, medium grain rice that contains a
lot of starch, the types Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano are traditionally
best. Other rices that work well are Maratelli and Roma.)
½ cup dry white wine
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh parsley, fresh parsley sprig and tomato slices for garnish
Crush saffron in mortar with pestle to a powder. Place saffron in glass
Bring broth to a boil in small saucepan over medium heat; reduce heat to
Stir ½ cup broth into saffron to dissolve; set aside. Keep remaining broth
Heat 6 tablespoons butter in large, heavy skillet or 2½-quarts saucepan
over medium heat until melted and bubbly.
Cook and stir onion 5 minutes or until onion is soft.
Stir in rice; cook and stir 2 minutes.
Stir in wine, salt and pepper.
Cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat 3 to 5 minutes until wine has
evaporated, stirring occasionally.
Measure ½ cup hot broth; stir into rice mixture. Reduce heat to
medium-low, maintaining a simmer throughout adding broth.
Cook and stir until broth has absorbed. Repeat, adding ½ cup broth 3 more
times, cooking and stirring until broth has absorbed.
Add saffron-flavored broth to rice and cook until absorbed.
Continue to add remaining broth, ½ cup at a time, cooking and stirring
until rice is tender but firm and mixture has slight creamy consistency. (Not
all broth may be necessary. Total cooking time of rice will be about 20
Remove risotto from heat.
Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter and cheese.
Garnish, if desired.
Tips, Notes, and Variations:
May substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth.
Often served with Osso Buco
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