[lit-ideas] Sraffa, Popper, and Grice

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza" for DMARC)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2015 18:55:35 -0500

The "," is what Cantabrigians call "the Oxford comma;" the Oxonians call
it just "the comma," "I hope there is no Cantabrigian one!" (implicature).

Sraffa published in 1960 "Production of Commodities by Means of
Commodities: Prelude to a Critique of Economic Theory."

This was some years after he displayed a VERY RUDE gesture (of Neapolitan
origin) to the philosopher Witters.

By 1960, Grice was writing his "Causal theory of perception" that he read
at Nottingham (where by chance Witters happened to be visiting -- it was the
meeting of the Aristotelian Society), and Popper was doing something else.

Surely Sraffa's book is composed of MORE than Neapolitan gestures. So we
can take his gesture to Witters, with the accompanying rhetorical question,
"What is the logical form of this?" as implicatural in nature. Either
Witters missed it or chose to ignore it.

Popper argues that language serves many functions; the main one is the
argumentative one. For Grice, the main one is 'exhibitive' (A second important
function is 'propreptic', as in "Thou should not kill" -- but surely the
protreptic function -- that the addressee will do as he is told -- is
dependent on his believing that the utterer is exhibiting some important
commitment, and that the utterer will not kill, either).

Sraffa tried to show Witters that 'logical form' does not apply in Naples.

Witters was not convinced -- till he visited the place!



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