[lit-ideas] Re: Rortyana

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx" for DMARC)
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  • Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 08:36:18 -0500

Rorty thought that there was a 'linguistic turn'. He forgot to say around  
In this, it contrasts with rock around the clock --said to be written in  
1953 (before Rorty's "turn"), but documents uncovered by historian Jim Dawson 
 indicate it (i.e. "Rock around the clock") was in fact written in late 
It may be argued that Rorty is using 'turn' alla Henry James.

When  we speak of a turn of the screw we implicate something different from 
(but still  similar to), say, "turn to the left".
This title's meaning -- the turn of the screw (Cfr. Rorty, "linguistic  
turn") is exposed on the very first page of "The turn of  the screw", after 
hearing a ghoulish tale in which a child is menaced  by some ghostly terror, 
someone suggests that the fact that the story's  protagonist was a child is 
what gives a certain "turn of the screw" – that is,  it tightens the dramatic 
It can be argued that Rorty implicates in a double way, when he uses 'turn' 
 as applied to 'linguistic'. Similarly, James' story offers a SECOND "turn" 
 by introducing a horror story about two children instead of one. 
This is an oddly mechanical way of describing the construction of a horror  
story – that is, a story that cranks the audience's stress level way up – 
and it  keeps one of James's primary concerns, the craft of writing, in the 
back of the  reader's mind at all times. 
Or Rorty may have a third implicature in mind, as James did.
The title, "The turn of the screw" also takes on another implicature  as we 
near the end of the story; the protagonist uses the  phrase, 'turn', to 
describe taking control of her mental and emotional  capabilities in 
preparation for a challenge.
And surely you need to be in control of your emotional capabilities when  
confronting what Rorty labels, rather superficially, 'the linguistic turn'. 
Vide: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_turn
McEvoy is right that in the musical, "I am what I am", God's dictum is  
perhaps taken slightly out of context, and turned 'gay'. 
It is difficult to think God's implicature when he uttered the  tautology:

I am what I am.
he was abiding by Grice's commentary attending the utterance of such patent 
 tautologies like

War is war
Women are women
(Grice CAN be slightly sexist on Thursdays -- if not a war-monger on  
Wednesdays) -- but he is 'quoting' the utterance, not USING them.

In a message dated 2/28/2015 4:03:56 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx quotes from Geary:
>>God is the IS of isness as He Himself says of 
>>Himself and He is much too busy ising Himself into   being  
[cfr. I like the sound of ising]

and comments:

Perhaps we're on the verge of a major philosophical  breakthrough - "The Is 
The implicature seems to be that God and Geary are contrasting the above  
with Heidegger
"Das Nichts selbst nichtet" -- The nothing noths itself.
"The Is ises".
But what _is_ to "is". And why can we drop the quotes in 'is', when we turn 
 this into a noun, 'the is'.
For Grice 'is' is ESSENTIAL predication.

His example,
Socrates is human.
Grice notes that a better spelling is 
Socrates izzes human.
On the other hand, to use one of Aristotle's examples,
Socrates is white.
Socrates is ill.
In both cases Grice would have that, rather
Socrates has white.
Socrates has ill.
Since Grice grants that these may sound grammatical, he introduces the  
two-place operator, "to izz" and "to hazz" to symbolise the utterances
Grice made up the verb “to IZZ” for Kantotle's idea of essential  
So, Grice would express the fact that y is predicated essentially of x by  
saying that x IZZes y. 
Grice uses the verb “to HAZZ”, on the other hand, for Kantotle’s idea of  
accidental predication.
So Grice would express the fact that y is predicated accidentally of x by  
saying that x HAZZes y. 
Note that ‘IZZ’ and ‘HAZZ’ are regular verbs.
Whis is what motivates Geary to say that God is ising. 
“I IZZ, you IZZ, she IZZes, …, I HAZZ, you HAZZ, he HAZZes, …” etc..
So SAID OF and IZZ are converses: x is SAID OF y iff y IZZes x. 
Likewise, IN and HAZZ are converses: x is IN y iff y HAZZes  x.

Notice that nothing ever IZZes what it HAZZes or HAZZes what it IZZes.  
Callias IZZes human, but he does not HAZZ human.
Callias HAZZes bravery, but he surely does not IZZ bravery. 
What God is ising, as Geary adds, "God knows" -- "In Memphis, among the  
Egyptians, "God knows" is usually mean to implicate: "Nobody around here  
Note too that IZZing is not identity.
Human IZZes animal, but human ¹ animal. Identity might be defined, however, 
 as reciprocal IZZing:

x = y iff x IZZes y & y IZZes x

Note, too, that the logical properties of IZZing and HAZZing are  different.
 IZZing is transitive—if x IZZes y and y IZZes z, then x IZZes z. 
If Callias is human and a human is an animal, then Callias is an  animal.
If something belongs to a species, it belongs to every genus under which  
that species falls.
But HAZZing is not transitive.
("Unless you make it transitive," Geary adds -- He thinks that most verbs  
which grammarians usually call 'intransitive' reflect on the grammarians'  
inability "to deal with this, hmm, intransitive verbs.")
Callias HAZZes bravery, but he does not HAZZ all of bravery’s accidental  
attributes—e.g., the attribute of having been exemplified at the battle of  
Likewise, IZZing is reflexive (for every x, x IZZes x) but HAZZing is  not—
Callias does not HAZZ Callias, nor does bravery HAZZ bravery.

The reason why Callias IZZes animal is that he IZZes human, and human  
IZZes animal. 
So we may generalize and say that when x IZZes y, it follows that x IZZes  
something that IZZes y. 
In other words, if x IZZes y, then Ez (x IZZes z & z IZZes y.
Likewise, the reason why Callias HAZZes virtue is that he HAZZes bravery,  
and bravery IZZes virtue. 
The idea that “bravery HAZZes bravery” is often attributed to Plato (and  
called the “literal self-predication” of Platonic Forms). But Grice does 
not  care since he is following Kantotle, rather. 
Again, we may generalize and say that when x HAZZes y, it follows that x  
HAZZes something that IZZes y. 
In other words, if x HAZZes y, then Ez (x HAZZes z & z IZZes  y).

Notice an important upshot of this.

Every predication, even accidental predication, implicitly involves  some 
kind of essential predication (i.e., classification). 
In “Callias IZZes human” it is there explicitly. 
But in “Callias HAZZes bravery” it is there implicitly.
Callias HAZZes something that IZZes bravery. 
In Geary's theological analogue: "Briefly put, we all pertain in God"  
(Memphis Metaphysical Ministry, Lecture 76). 
That is, Callias is (accidentally) brave because something that happens to  
inhere in him is (essentially) an instance of bravery. 
To put the point another way: when we predicate human of Callias, we are  
classifying him by means of an essential predicate of his. 
And when we predicate bravery of Callias, we are classifying one of his  
qualities by means of an essential predicate of that quality.


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