[lit-ideas] Show and Tell

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2012 09:37:49 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 3/21/2012 10:22:34 A.M.  UTC-02, 
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:
W is not suggesting that there is  anything very mysterious or difficult 
for us in grasping a sense of language  that depends on grasping what can only 
be shown not said.  

At one point, I think, Grice considers, "tell":
 
"Telling" is, indeed, indexed in WoW (Way of Words, Harvard,  1989) -- the 
reference to his locus classicus, "Meaning" (1948):
 
"What we want to find is the difference between,
for example, "deliberately and openly letting someone
know" and "telling" and between "getting someone
to think" and "telling". 
 
He goes on to use 'show':
 
(1) Utterer shows (to Mr. Y) a photograph of Mr. X displaying undue  
familiarity to Mrs. Y.
(2) Utterer draws (rather than doodles) and shows (to Mr. Y) a picture of  
Mr. X displaying undue familiarity to Mrs. Y. 
 
Grice wants to say that only the second case counts as 'mean'.
 
This may relate to the points raised by McEvoy on Wittgenstein on show/say. 
 (And cfr. Stampe, "Show and Tell"). 
 
McEvoy: "W is not suggesting that there is anything very mysterious or  
difficult for us in grasping a sense of language that depends on grasping what  
can only be _shown_ not *said*" (my emphasis).
 
It may do, then, to keep on comparing the 'grammar' of "show" and  "say". 
Consider above Grice on "tell" (that) and "show" (that), or  deliberately 
letting someone KNOW and getting someone to think. I.e.  here the distinction is
 
a) "getting someone to think", which may be unintentional. Peter got Paul  
to think that it rained.
 
vs.
 
b) "Peter deliberately and openly let Paul know that it rained."
 
We should stick with simple 'propositional complexes' (ouch) like "p" for  
"it is raining". Grice of course elaborated at great lengths, as 
Wittgenstein  didn't, on "say (that)", so Grice can come up with a schema for 
the 
necessary  and sufficient conditions for things like:

Utterer said that it was  raining.
 
As opposed to Utterer, say, IMPLIED (or implicated) that it was  raining.
 
When it comes to 'show', some distinctions seem relevant, and I'm not  
surprised Witters did not think it mysterious, as McEvoy grants, that there may 
 
be a level where it just doesn't matter how 'p' gets communicated (via 
either  showing or saying, but not both). A second step would be to 
reconstruct, 
if  possible, why Witters was so obsessed with the ineffability (if that's 
the word)  of "p" in this or that realm (notably, 'logic and philosophy'). 
 
And so on.
More later, perhaps.
 
Cheers,
 
Speranza
 
 
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