[lit-ideas] Re: Rationality: Popper vs. Grice

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2015 19:04:31 +0000 (UTC)

>I hope that the correction  from "he (Popper) never accepted" to "Popper 
criticised W. W. Bartley, III's  view even after W. W. Bartley, III's death". 
The evidence for that later claim  would surely rest on the writings by 
Popper between the date of W. W. Bartley,  III's death (Feb. 5, 1990) and 
Popper's own death (Sep. 17, 1994). >
When I asked for sources I was hoping for something more specific by way of 
reply than "writings". What specific "writings"?
And what source says Bartley added "passages" to Popper's work in his editorial 
role (as opposed to adding footnotes etc. that are clearly marked as Bartley's 
own editorial)?

     On Wednesday, 11 February 2015, 11:30, "dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" 
<dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

 Never say "never". 

How divergent can  Popper's and Grice's views on rationality be?

How helpful was W. W.  Bartley, III in the interpretation of Popper's view 
of rationality?

How  critical was Popper of W. W. Bartley, III's view even after W. W. 
Bartley III's  death?

These are all fascinating questions, and there are more: Cite  biographers 
(other than W. W. Bartley, III) whose death predated that of their  

Apparently, my divergence with McEvoy's view amounts to an  adage:

"Never say never". I did say 'never', and I shouldn't ("But then,  as Geary 
notes, "Never say never" is self-contradictory; hence the  charm.")

In a message dated 2/10/2015 11:12:07 A.M. Eastern Standard  Time, 
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:
JLS' last post contains a long coda  on [W. W.] Bartley [, III] and Popper 
and stuff. It would interest me to know  the sources for the many varied 
claims in this coda. For example, for the  claims: "Parts of Popper's Realism 
and the Aim of Science, a book that W.  W. Bartley, III, edited, and the 
Addendum to the fourth edition of The  Open  Society and Its Enemies contain 
passages that are commonly  interpreted as  Popper's 
acceptance of Bartley's views. These [passages  in the Addendum] were in 
fact written by W. W. Bartley, III, himself, but this  is controversial." And 
how these claims square with an earlier claim (also  unsourced), "However, 
despite the restored friendship, W. W. Bartley, III's view  -- pace McEvoy -- 
was never accepted by Popper, who criticised it even after [W.  W.] Bartley 
[, III]'s death." The squaring is needed because on the face of it  Popper 
had editorial and authorial final say on his publications, so even if  
Bartley had written in "passages" (itself admitted in the coda to be  
"controversial" a claim) they would not have been published unless Popper  
them; and if Popper accepted them, then how we can say that Bartley's  view was 
"never accepted" by Popper?"

Well, yes, that would be slightly  controversial. Perhaps a rewrite could 
save the situation:

"not accepted  by Popper at a later stage".

I.e. it might well be the case that Popper  did accept the passages at one 
time, but since it is said to be a fact that  Popper did criticise W. W. 
Bartley, III's view after W. W. Bartley, III's  death.

A few dates to consider then:

The date of the fourth  edition of Popper's "Open Society": 1962.

The date of W. W. Bartley,  III's death: Feb. 5, 1990.

The date of Popper's death: Sep. 17.  1994.

So, it may well have been the case that Popper accepted the  passages in 
1962. However, since Popper is known to have criticised W. W.  Bartley, III's 
view after W. W. Bartley, III's death (which occurred on Feb. 5  1990), 
there was this period, between that date and Popper's own death (Sept.  17, 
1994) when Popper may have re-read those passages, and re-read W. W. Bartley  
III's view and come to criticise it.

So the 'never' of the original claim  was hyperbolic. Popper might have 
accepted the passages yet still criticise W.  W. Bartley, III's view (as Popper 
did after W. W. Bartley, III's death).  

Note, for the record, that surely the fourth edition is not the final  one. 
There is now the 

Princeton University Press new one-Volume edition  with a new introduction 
by Alan Ryan and an essay by E. H. Gombrich  edition.

and it would be good to revise the Popper-Bartley contrversy  along the 
years. Especially in view that W. W. Bartley, III's death pre-dated  Popper's 
death, and yet W. W. Bartley, III, left unfinished a biography of  Popper. 
But there may be other cases like that (when the biographer dies before  the 
biographee -- Geary should know about this -- "St Paul seems to be a case in  
point; he died; but his biographee, Jesus, lived on"). 

McEvoy  concludes:

"A memorable line from a review on the dustjacket of Bartley's  book on 
Wittgenstein reads: "a farrago of lies and poppycock". I don't wish to  suggest 
that JLS' coda is a farrago of lies and poppycock (at least not yet) but  
would like to know the sources for the relevant claims - some of which appear 
to  contradict each other, as indicated above."

I hope that the correction  from "he (Popper) never accepted" to "Popper 
criticised W. W. Bartley, III's  view even after W. W. Bartley, III's death". 
The evidence for that later claim  would surely rest on the writings by 
Popper between the date of W. W. Bartley,  III's death (Feb. 5, 1990) and 
Popper's own death (Sep. 17, 1994).  


"On one claim I can offer a sort of corroboration:  "Bartley would 
occasionally lecture in logic in London -- or "at London", as he  said in his 
letters to his family in the USA." [Another unsourced claim]. Rudy  is 4 1/2 
but still uses a similar locution - as in "Is Donal at London?" "Is  it 
raining at London, Donal?" etc.This leaves open the explanation for the  
linguistic similarity, which may of course differ in both cases, and even 
differ  to 
the extent that Rudy's speech patterns offer no corroboration at all to 
what  was said by Bartley in his letters to his family in the USA."

Charming.  W. W. Bartley, III, was never as specific. 

i. It is raining at  London.

may be subdivided into:

ii. It is raining at W1.  

iii. It is not raining at W2.



iv. McEvoy is at London.

might be subdivided into

v.  McEvoy is at W1.

vi. McEvoy is at W2.

In case this is confusing  for Geary, I append the codes in ps. 

(I append the references to the  other claims in ps.ii  below)





W1A  PO boxes & Admail codes in W1[7] non-geographic
W1B  Portland Place,  Regent Street Westminster
W1C  Oxford Street (west)  Westminster
W1D  Soho (south east); Chinatown, Soho Square  Westminster
W1F  Soho (north west) Westminster
W1G  Harley  Street Westminster
W1H  Marylebone Westminster
W1J  Mayfair  (south), Piccadilly, Royal Academy Westminster
W1K  Mayfair (north),  Grosvenor Square Westminster
W1S  Hanover Square, Savile Row  Westminster
W1T  Fitzrovia, Tottenham Court Road Camden
W1U  Marylebone Westminster
W1W  Great Portland Street, Fitzrovia  Westminster
W2  Paddington head district: Paddington, Bayswater, Hyde  Park, Westbourne 
Green, Little Venice (part), Notting Hill (part) Westminster,  Kensington 
and Chelsea
W3  Acton district: Acton, West Acton, North  Acton, South Acton, 
Gunnersbury Park, East Acton (part) Ealing, Hounslow,  Hammersmith and Fulham
W4  Chiswick district: Chiswick, Gunnersbury,  Turnham Green, Acton Green, 
Bedford Park Hounslow, Ealing, Hammersmith and  Fulham
W5  Ealing district: Ealing, South Ealing, Northfields(part)  Ealing
W6 Hammersmith district: Hammersmith, Ravenscourt Park Hammersmith and  
Fulham, Hounslow
W7  Hanwell district: Hanwell, Boston Manor (part)  Ealing
W8  Kensington district: Kensington, Holland Park (part)  Kensington and 
W9  Maida Hill district: Maida Hill, Maida Vale,  Little Venice (part) 
Westminster, Brent, Camden
W10  North Kensington  district: North Kensington, Kensal Town, Ladbroke 
Grove (north), Queen's Park  (part) Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, 
Hammersmith and Fulham,  Brent
W11  Notting Hill district: Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove (south),  Holland 
Park (part) Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Hammersmith and  Fulham
W12  Shepherds Bush district: Shepherds Bush, White City,  Wormwood Scrubs, 
East Acton (part) Hammersmith and Fulham
W13  West  Ealing district: West Ealing, Northfields (part) Ealing
W14  West  Kensington district: West Kensington, Kensington Olympia, 
Holland Park  Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea

ps.  ii.
Ankerberg,  John and John Weldon. Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs:  The New 
Age Movement.  Eugene OR: Harvest House Publishers. 
Anonymous,  Obituary of William W. Bartley, III, Research Fellow. New York 
Artigas, M. The Ethical Nature of Karl Popper's Theory of  Knowledge.
Bartley, W. W., III. The Retreat to Commitment.
-- Morality and  Religion.
-- Lewis Carroll's Symbolic Logic.
-- Wittgenstein,  Philadelphia, Lippincott. 
-- Ludwig Wittgenstein e Karl Popper: maestri di  scuola elementare.
-- Come demarcare la scienza della metafisica.
--  Werner Erhard, The Transformation of a Man: The Founding of est.
-- The Fatal  Conceit: The Errors of Socialism, (editor, with F. A.  Hayek)
--  Rehearsing a revolution – Karl Popper: A Life.
-- Unfathomed Knowledge,  Unmeasured Wealth.
Caldwell, B. Review of "Friedrich Hayek: A Biography." The  Independent 
Ebenstein, A. Investigation: The Fatal Deceit. Liberty  19. .  
Gardner, M. The Universe in a Handkerchief: Lewis Carroll's  Mathematical 
Recreations, Games, Puzzles, and Word  Plays. New York:  Springer
Grice, H. P. Aspects of reason and reasoning, The Kant Lectures,  Stanford.
Grice, H. P. Aspects of reason and reasoning, The John Locke  Lectures, 
Grice, H. P. Aspects of Reason. Oxford,  Clarendon.
Grice, H. P. "The life and opinions of Paul Grice", in  Philosophical 
Grounds of Rationality: Intentions, Categories, Ends.
Kresge,  S. On the Passing of W. W. Bartley III. Popper  Letters.
Madigan, T. The  Uses and Abuses  of Philosophical Biographies. Philosophy 
Miller,  D. Bartley. Critical Rationalism.
Radnitzky, G. William W. Bartley III  Popper Letters.
Popper, K. R. On the Sources of Knowledge and of Ignorance.  Proceedings of 
the British Academyr, eprinted in Conjectures and  Refutations.
Popper, K. R. and W. W. Bartley, III. A discussion of The  Burghers of 
Calais, Stanford. 
Popper, K. R. Karl Popper, a Centenary  Assessment Vol. 1: Life and Times, 
and Values in a World of Facts.  
Tachibana, K.  Mails exchanged between Prof. Tachibana and Prof. Agassi  on 
 the Kyoto Prize Workshop. 
Popper Letters
Rowbottom, D. Popper's  Critical Rationalism: A Philosophical 
Investigation. New York: Routledge.  .
Wettersten, J. Karl Popper and Critical  Rationalism. Encyclopedia of  

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