[lit-ideas] Witters's Pseudo-Problem

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx" for DMARC)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2015 09:05:01 -0400

In a message dated 8/28/2015 8:47:35 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
But I had no credibility being
The one who voiced the criticism.
“Bring me solutions not problems”

Oddly, Witters's claim to fame was to discover that some philosophers are
concerned NOT what he (in Austrian) calls a "problem", but a
"pseudo-problem". The implicature being that a pseudo-problem is not a
problem. But is
that so? It may be argued, alla Grice, that if U thinks that P is a problem
(while Witters thinks it's a pseudo-problem), P *is* a problem to U and a
pseudo-problem to W. It's different with pseudo-Apollodoro (although similar:
The author of the "Bibliotheca" was thought for centuries to be Apollodoro,
until some pedantic classicist said, "No: it was written by

Now, Witters's thesis is that a pseudo-problem cannot be solved. But is
that true? It may be argued, alla Grice, that a pseudo-problem allows for a
pseudo-solution. And again, if U (if not Witters) thinks that S SOLVES P --
whatever Witters might have think -- P GETS solved.

J. L. Austin found that Witters's hobby was to minimise Moore (of "Here is
one hand; and here is another" fame) as an expert in providing
pseudo-solutions to pseudo-problems, and Austin was aware that Witters's infame
growing in Oxford. Growing enough for him to phrase a motto: "Some may like
Witters; but Moore's MY man."

It's all different with Popper.


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