[lit-ideas] The Multiplicity of World

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2011 13:55:08 EDT

Grice wrote on "The multiplicity of being", so there you go.

In a message dated 7/7/2011 6:18:21 P.M., donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx  writes 
in "Re: Philosophy of Music":
This touches of course on very large and  important areas, so just some 
small points for now..

We are discussing what makes
doh-dah-dah-dah dah-dah-dah-dah dah-daah-daah-dah
the "Derry air" (the 'most beautiful melody I ever heard' -- Yeats)

"It is not merely the "acoustic and auditory levels" but the  metaphysics 
of these levels, which themselves involve further different  "levels", that 
we are considering."
McEvoy uses 'metaphysically' rather otiosely.

The prefix, 'meta-', in Greek, makes no sense ("So, how shall I call  them 
books Aristotle left _by_ the physics books?" ""Meta-physical", of  
course"", was the amanuensis's curt reply.
In Latin, things got worse when they thought 'meta-' had a _sense_, which  
was Latin, "trans-". "Trans-naturalia" became the meta-physical realm. By 
this  realm, Aristotle meant just some ramblings on the pragmatics of the verb 
"is"  (alla Clinton).
"for those "levels" have a physical or World 1 aspect that may be  
distinguished from their World 2 and World 3 aspects. Even if we had the same  
_physical_ acoustics and auditory "levels" of a dog, as a matter of 'sensory  
apparatus', what is music to us might be very different if our cognitive  
apparatus in relation to those acoustics were very different - that is, if our  
World 2 of mental states [both conscious and unconscious] were very different 
 despite a similar sensory apparatus."
This trades on subjectivity, dangerously.
Twain said, 
"Wagner's music is better than it sounds."
---- His point was that in New England, where Wagner was JUST beginning to  
be performed, the _ears_ of the New Englanders were not corrupted, as they 
were  those of the Parisians who had to _endure_ Wagner's deafening sounds 
in,  precisely, Paris.
In other words,
By uttering x ("Parsifal", say), Wagner meant that p.
----- This will be relative to the 'intended' target. He may have meant  
something _for him_ which differed from what he meant it to mean for his wife, 
 who happened, incidentally, to be an Italian (Cosima).
What he meant it as to be 'understood' by his dog (he had one) is still a  
_different animal_ -- metaphorically.
In the case of the "Derry air", the pragmatics are slightly more complex in 
 that the melody was first _heard_ in 1764, from the 'closed mouth' of an 
Irish  "peasant collen", as Johnson described her. 
Graves's father set the melody to music, unsuccessfully. Weatherly tried  
his bit, and did not succeed either. There is something in the "Derry air"  
melody that is NOT meant by words.
(vide Grice, "Studies in the way of words"). That is why Diana, for her  
funeral, had it played "without words", as it originally went, and should 
always  originally or other go.
"We might guess that a person whose sensory apparatus for sound was normal, 
 but who was cognitively impaired in some way, would have a different grasp 
of  music to a person who was not so impaired;"
Verdi complained that Wagner's deafening sound (world III, almost) had a  
causal effect (or 'affect') on, indeed, his own sensory apparatus ("breaks my 
 inner ears", he would complain). A similar scenario was existent for 
Beethoven,  but inverse, in that he (as composer) was deaf himself.
"in addition, response to music depends on learning and exposure -  
engagement with World 3.  Additionally, for Popper, World 3 is only  accessed 
-- or extraterrestrials? (cfr. "Martians, according to Grice" --  
"not by animals (though I doubt he would be dogmatic on this, as he leaves  
it as a fundamental problem that remains very open "To what extent human  
knowledge is continuous or discontinuous with animal knowledge?"). 

I wouldn't care about animals, but when those clever Americans were sending 
 important messages 'overseas', indeed, to the universe, their 'meaning' 
point  was that 
there may be an addresee, somewhere, that may be able to understand
human language, and stuff.
They included, in that space ship, some important items of Popper's world  
III: paintings ("the Mona Lisa" by Da Vinci), and "Ode to Sprig" by Vivaldi, 
as  performed by a celebrated quartette. 
The point was that the extraterrestrial would decode (or infer) the  
'spiritual' value of such stuff -- not its mere material base. This was one  
reason why they refused to include _material_ jewelry (shining pieces of 
and gold, say), since they may be said to have an intrinsic world-1 value, 
as  Elizabeth Taylor was well aware.
"As indicated above, even the "perception of the performance" may involve  
physical as well as mental events, and also World 3 'content' as the object 
that  is grasped by World 2. It is not all one 'level'".
I see. The paradox, for Popper, is that he cannot give ONE example of an  
item of world III that is not 'realised' in world I. 

McEvoy quotes my:
"I follow you there. I agree that if music is psychological, and has  some 
'substance' at the World II level, it should be reduced to a World  I  
and comments:

"Am I right in thinking this should conclude, "it should _not_ be  reduced 
to a World I level"? Otherwise I'm at a loss to how you are  agreeing."
---- I thought, and I may quote you, that you were saying that the  
realisation in World I is a sine qua non. An item in world II must be realised  
world I, and an item in world III must be realised in world II, and  
consequently (transitively) in world I.

"Somewhere afair (I think in his Emory Lectures) he is asked  a similar 
question - about whether ethics should given its own 'world'. He seems  very 
open that we might distinguish any number of 'worlds', and even worlds  within 
worlds, but is sticking to World123 as sufficient for his purposes as far  
as they go in those lectures."
Thanks. This is of course related, but not identical, with Lewis's title of 
 his book,
"The plurality of words" (Blackwell) -- and Griceian parsimony, in  
For Lewis, the point is about the real existence (redundancy) of 'possible' 
 worlds. He uses 'w' to symbolise world, and he means just a Witters-sort 
of  state of affairs.
"it may rain" 
is true if (Ew)(w) It rains.
i.e. if there is a world in which it rains
"There is enough standing in the way of accepting a World123 analysis for  
World123 to be enough to be going on with: but if we accepted at least that  
tripartite division, we might then ask what further divisions or 
sub-divisions  might properly be made."
I see. Again, this was I think first seen by Aristotle, Lovejoy, and  
Nikolai Hartman.

It's more like the 'emergence' theory -- hence the idea that the levels  
are three and just three:
----- The third world being the 'objectification' of spirit alla Hegel.  
Note that it's not 'social' level, alla Comte. 
"As indicated, far from offering any such modal argument, Popper is very  
open to increasing the divisions beyond 12&3 as we develop the arguments: he  
is a metaphysical pluralist and comments that Occam's Razor, even if 
accepted,  raises the question of what is _unnecessary_ multiplying of entities 
and what is  not. The World 123 division is a minimum necessary division in 
his view."
Again, the label of 'world' being confusing more than not.
being just fine.
The time-honoured polemic was the distinction between the psychological and 
 the spiritual. English does not distinguish this too well; or if it does, 
it may  trigger the wrong implicature. The use of "soul", for example. Does 
it belong to  World III? I don't think so.
Margot Asquith used to call herself "a soul" -- she meant something  
different -- and perhaps more interesting -- from what Aquinas meant.
is a similar distinction in the Romance languages.
The idea of the third world, in Popper, then, obscures some subtle fine  
distinctions in traditional terminology. Plus, he is not too explicit about 
the  emergence of one world out of the previous one.

re Popper's "materialism" and Eccles:

"I think the influence is much more the other way, and that Eccles  (like 
Medawar) is much less astute than Popper on what is at stake  philosophically 
(as might be expected). "The Self And Its Brain" is another of  his great 
books, worth reading just for Popper's historical survey of approaches  to 
the mind-body problem."
I wouldn't think he would pay much attention to the time-honoured debate in 
 the pages of "Mind", to which H. P. Grice (the early Grice) contributed,
"Personal identity" (Mind, 1941)
but I do. I don't believe in 'split personalities', in that schyzophrenia  
presents a problem for the philosopher (or more than one). Grice  identifies
'the self' (a pretentious word that, like Nowell-Smith, he avoids -- he  
prefers to stick with the use of "someone" as in "Someone was hit by a cricket 
 bat yesterday", "Someone fell from the stairs", "Someone is listening to a 
piece  of music") with memory,
alla Locke and Bergson.
The self offers sufficient problems to the philosopher to want to go and  
analyse 'brain' into the bargain. And why not say that 'arm' and 'tail'  
comprises my self too? (Grice, "Can I have a pain in my tail?").
(For Aristotle, as for Grice, it's the _chest_ that is the see of the  
"And beautifully written. It is a defence of (v. unfashionable) mind-body  
dualism (indeed of World123 interaction) but not of untenable Cartesian 
dualism  with its idea of a mental "substance" and causation by push (that 
cannot be  reconciled: for how can an immaterial substance 'push' a material 
I guess Grice would have been unimpressed in that, and Ryle is to blame  
here, nobody in Oxford was taking Descartes seriously with his  
ghost-in-the-machine category mistake.
"That many philosophers tend to assume that a modern mind-body dualism must 
 be dualism in its Cartesian form is as egregious as if they were to assume 
that  a contemporary physical monism must take the form of asserting, a la 
Descartes,  that there are physical "substances" and that all causation 
between these is by  push, though modern science has
overthrown these Cartesian  assumptions."
I thought you would say "monism" alla Plotinus or Leibniz with his monads.  
I have always been surprised by the fact that American philosophers were 
once so  enamoured with "Monism" that, out of all the possible titles for a 
philosophical  journal, they chose, "The Monist".
"Though it is a deep problem to explain how a mental event could interact  
with a physical one, as Popper points out we do not have a very good 
explanation  for how different physical events interact - for example, how an 
immaterial  force like gravity can affect the behaviour of material objects. 
no one  argues that because we cannot quite explain how this physical 
interaction is  possible, it therefore does not happen - yet, in effect, it is 
of the chief  arguments used against mind-body dualism that we cannot 
explain quite how such  interaction is possible and so we should deny it 
Good point. Indeed, as Grice notes, people (and philosophers) should  have 
taken Hume more seriously and avoid altogether talk of 'cause'.
For Grice, and for me, 'cause' means
"to will".
"The cause of the death of Charles I" was his 'decapitation'. It would  
still be otiose to say that Charles I's decapitation willed his death. Yet, 
this  is what 'aitia' meant in Greek, and causa in Latin.
In Italian, 'causa' gets corrupted to 'cosa'. The Italians,  non-Humeans by 
heart, go on to overuse 'cosa' in every (other) question  they make, "cosa" 
sometimes even replacing the slightly more correct, 'che cosa'  (where 
'che' is more than enough -- 'what do you say?', 'what thing do  you say?', 
"thing do you say?") and so on.
In French, it's even worse with 'chose', which to aggravate things, made a  
philosopher out of Michel Foucault ("les mots et les choses" -- mottoes and 
Grice notes that in Greek,
'a cause'
was a motto for fight.
"a rebel without a cause" is still a rebel.
When the Romans translated the 'causative' case in Greek, they got all  
There is nothing of an 'accusation' in
Peter killed Paul.
The killing of Paul is the _effect_ of Peter's killing Paul. The Greeks saw 
 this as involving 'aitia' -- but Cicero, for one, got confused, and  
thought some Legalese was involved. And the rest is misunderstanding.
What is 'accusative' about _me_ that is not accusative about "I", to  bring 
the topic back to personal identity?
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