[lit-ideas] Re: The Answering Machine

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2012 10:12:31 -0500 (EST)

Avramides in:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/04/remembering-michael-dummett/
_  

"Park Town is where he raised his family, and he was as much a part of  
Park Town life as he was of university life. Over a cup of tea he would tell a  
story  or make an observation — followed by his infectious giggle. Michael  
once  explained that he made a telephone call only to be put through to the 
 answering  machine. He observed: “They call it an answering machine but  it
’s not. You can  ask it questions, but it won’t give you any  answers.”"

In symbols:
 
--- FALLACIOUS:
 
"Michael once explained that he made a telephone call only to be put  
through to the answering₂machine. He observed: “They call it an  answering₁
machine but it’s not [an answering₁machine]. You can  ask it  questions, but it 
won’t give you any answers₁.”" [Followed by infectious  giggle]. 
 
--- Non-Fallacious:

"Michael once explained that he made a telephone call only to be put  
through to the answering₂machine. He observed: “They call it an  answering₂
machine [but mind:] it’s not [an answering₁machine]. You  can  ask it 
questions, 
but it won’t give you any answers₁[Only  answers₂].”"
 
The idea is to re-analyse the example alla Grice in terms of disimplicature 
 and his [Grice's] 'modified Occam's razor': senses should not be 
multiplied  beyond necessity.
 
McEvoy:
 
>was his point something of a joke based on taking the answer in answer  
machine in the sense of an answer to a question? 
 
Yes. There was a further point to his infectious giggle, or giggle₂, if you 
 mustn't.
 
Incidentally, the title of Dummett's book is "Grammar and style: for  
examination candidates and other", where the other is a Fregean quantifier --  
cfr. Peter Clarke in same link above:
 
"There is no doubt that Michael Dummett made a stunning contribution to  
philosophy and was for many years Britain’s leading philosopher, as well as 
one  of our leading humanitarian activists. I met and talked with him on a 
number of  occasions, largely about his seminal works on Frege, logicism and 
the philosophy  of mathematics in general. These conversations were hugely 
influential on me at  least, though one of them I remember was at the time 
quite terrifying. It  occurred at the Birmingham 1993 Joint Session of the Mind 
Association and the  Aristotelian Society. There was to
be a session lead by George Boolos and Sir  Michael on the origins of the 
Russell paradox and the contradiction in Frege’s  Basic Law Five. I was a 
speaker, Boolos was a speaker and Sir Michael was to  chair."
 
"I was incredibly nervous because I was speaking along with two of the  
world’s leading authorities on Frege, and they were clearly in very deep  
disagreement — Boolos suggesting that Frege’s failed consistency proof in the  
Gründgesetze was just that, while Sir Michael argued that the whole matter 
hung,  in his phrase, 
 
 
-----> “on Frege’s extraordinary insouciance over the second order  
quantifier.” 
 
The clash of the two great minds was somewhat rancorous to say the  least."
 
"The following morning George and I met Sir Michael for breakfast  
accidentally, but the mood had completely changed. Sir Michael was affability  
itself and the conversation about Basic Law Five on the train up to Oxford with 
 
Sir Michael and George Boolos was one of the most enlightening I have ever 
had  the privilege to witness."
 
Cheers,
 
Speranza
 
 
 
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------
To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

Other related posts: