[lit-ideas] Re: The Three Grices -- or Grice's Adventures in Popperland

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2013 11:36:18 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 10/29/2013 11:13:01 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes as per below in a graciously entitled post,  
The Three Grice" (a clever pun on the Oxford philosopher, H. P. Grice)  
seeing that Popper sees things tri-dimensionally). I will or shall  comment.
"[E]ven the poet ... should beware taking this research as having important 
 implications for [him] [I take it [he is] already well aware that language 
 has “emotional meanings”]."
Grice's favourite poet, like Leavis, was William Blake. Grice is not sure  
'emotional meaning' is what we need.
Grice provides an analysis of the implicature of 
Never seek to tell thy love 
Love that never told can be 
For the  gentle wind does move 
Silently invisibly
I told my love I told my love  
I told her all my heart 
Trembling cold in ghastly fears
Ah she doth  depart
Soon as she was gone from me 
A traveller came by 
Silently  invisibly 
O was no deny 
Grice notes that, in symbols, 
"love that never told can be"
can be understood using quantificational logic:
Love, never when told, can exist.
The other symbolisation is to use 'be' as attached to 'told':
There is no such thing that is a love that CAN-BE-TOLD.
There is little emotion here ('logic should suffice'). As Grice once  
reprimanded Strawson:
 "If you can't put it in symbols, it's not worth saying."
(Grice was not pleased when they reported to him that Strawson, on the way  
out of Grice's tutorial room at St. John's, had groaned, "If you can put it 
in  symbols, it's not worth saying.")
McEvoy continues:
"Indicating the potentially complex of interplay of W1-W2-W3 in explaining  
the “emotional meaning” of sounds, also indicates that the authors are 
being  naïve in writing: “The findings suggest that strings of phonemes (the 
sounds  that comprise words) have an emotional quality of their own, quite 
separate from  any word meaning or the tone or volume of an utterance. This 
emotional meaning  is conveyed purely by the acoustic properties of the word as 
the sound  frequencies change from one phoneme to the next.”"
----- I think there was a reference in this list to J. L. Borges's lectures 
 in English (yes, in English) as delivered in Harvard when Grice was 
delivering  his own, 1967). In one of those, Borges speaks of the word,
"thunder" in Anglo-Saxon
which is cognate with "Thor", the god of the hammer.
Borges wants to say that there is something MAGICAL in the, to use Austin's 
 parlance, use of phones, "THOR" or "thunder". 
This is what Phatic means by 'emotional power' of sounds. Cfr.  
"Even if we accept phonemes have an “emotional quality” “separate from  
[their] word meaning or the tone or volume of [their] utterance”, that would 
not  mean the explanation for that “emotional quality” was a purely W1 level 
of  explanation [“conveyed purely by…sound frequencies”]: where a ‘
nail-scraping  sound’ is merely a W1 entity, it does not follow that the “
emotional meaning” of  that sound is also merely a W1 entity – it may depend on 
and W3 factors. It  would not mean that the “emotional quality” was “of 
their own” in the sense that  it was inherent or intrinsic to that W1 entity 
qua merely that W1 entity –  rather than as an entity with W2 and W3 ‘
effects and affects’, where those  ‘effects and affects’ may not be explained 
purely in terms of W1."
Emotional surely belongs in W2.
W3 is a different 'world' and some say that in fact qualia -- e.g. the  
sense datum of perceiving a different 'tone' to the utterance of 'thonner' --  
can only be 'reduced' (via supervenience) to a world-3 concoction, in a  
somewhat artificial way. As the poet say,
"a kiss is just a kiss"
 --- but a world-3 description of the emotional impact of the 'noise'  
(phone?) in kissing is "not just a kiss". Or not.
thunder (n.) Old English þunor, from Proto-Germanic *thunraz (cf. Old Norse 
 þorr, Old Frisian thuner, Middle Dutch donre, Dutch donder, Old High 
German  donar, German Donner "thunder"), from PIE *(s)tene- "to resound, 
(cf.  Sanskrit tanayitnuh "thundering," Persian tundar "thunder," Latin 
tonare "to  thunder"). Swedish tordön is literally "Thor's din." The intrusive 
-d- is also  found in Dutch and Icelandic versions of the word.
Thor: Odin's eldest son, strongest of the gods though not the wisest,  
c.1020, from Old Norse Þorr, literally "thunder," from *þunroz, related to Old  
English þunor (see thunder).
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