[lit-ideas] Why Popper Loved Buehler

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx" for DMARC)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2015 16:46:07 -0400

Well, perhaps he wouldn't say 'love' (lieben), and perhaps he would have
the umlaut instead of the 'ue', but my hypothesis is that Popper, like
Grice, is a systematic philosopher ("was" a systematic philosopher, Geary
corrects, "unless you are using the historical present"), and as such loved a
philosopher who theorised on the functions of language.

In a message dated 9/4/2015 3:33:14 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx writes:
Language exists to create feelings and to share feelings and to bury
feelings. Language is thoughts and feelings made flesh. Language is the human
of human existence. It is as much meant to be played with as used to work
with. In fact, I proclaim that FUN is its first purpose. Second, I say, is
to communicate feelings, third to create humor that makes our souls
sparkle, fourth and non-finally, to communicate ideas.

I think Randolph Quirk quotes from an Englishman who attempted a similar
classification of the uses or functions of language, the last of which was
"to amuse others".

But anyway, this is Buehler's serious trichotomy taken even more seriously
by Popper:

B├╝hler identified the following three communicative functions:

the Expressive Function (Ausdrucksfunktion)
the Representation Function (Darstellungsfunktion)
the Conative Function (Appellfunktion, i.e. appealing function).

Let us give some simple examples:

-- The expressive function. As when you hit your own finger with the
hammer, and you utter "Ouch". This is cross-linguistic and multicultural. There

are not known cultures where "Ouch" will not be understood as an expressive
function of 'pain'.

-- The representative function. You are in a jungle and a lion approaches.
You say to your companion: 'Miaow'. This is cross-linguistic and
multicultural. The implicature: there is a cat (+>big cat) approaching, and
you may
want to do something about it." "Miaow" represents a big cat.

-- The conative function. You say "Pass me the sugar" you are appealing to
your co-conversationalist to pass you the sugar. Searle focused mainly on
this function. ""Pass me the sugar"", he says, "can sound rude, hence the
implicature, "Can you pass me the sugar?", where surely the utterer KNOWS
that the addressee CAN pass the sugar. But an imperative can hurt, while a
question can merely be left unanswered: ask no questions and you'll be told no

What Popper did what all this was corpuscularian in spirit.


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