[lit-ideas] for the greatest stroke of fortune 1967 is gone, hence 1 is false 2 is false 3 is not much debated

  • From: palma <palmaadriano@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2014 16:14:17 +0200

On Fri, Mar 28, 2014 at 4:11 PM, <Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx> wrote:

> From: palmaadriano@xxxxxxxxx
> Reply-to:  lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Sent: 3/28/2014  5:47:27 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
> Subj: [lit-ideas] just in case heidgeger  the greatest living philosopher
> that
> 1. there is him (false)
> 2. that he  is living (false)
> 3. that he is a philosopher (debatable)
> the sentences by  grice are of the form
> santa claus is the most generous immortal human with  sleds
>
> ----
>
> We have to recall that Grice uttered,
>
> "Heidegger is the greatest living philosopher"
>
> in Spring Term (Harvard, 1967). At that time,
>
> ii. Heidegger is living.
>
> is true.
>
> I'm somewhat (but only somewhat) puzzled by 'great'. We have another great
> philosopher, Grosseteste, or Greathead, as he was called in Oxford.
>
> Robert Grosseteste (/ˈɡroʊstɛst/ grohs-test) or Grossetete (/ˈɡroʊsteɪ
> t/  grohs-tayt; c. 1175 – 9 October 1253) was an English statesman,
> scholastic  philosopher, theologian, scientist and Bishop of Lincoln. He
> was born of
> humble  parents at Stradbroke in Suffolk. A.C. Crombie calls him "the real
> founder of  the tradition of scientific thought in medieval Oxford, and in
> some ways, of the  modern English intellectual tradition".
>
> It may be argued that, in his day, Grosseteste was also the greatest living
>  philosopher.
>
> Note that in this case, 'great' is 'ambiguous' (never polysemous). 'Great'
> may apply to his head or that of his antecessor (in the family). With
>
> Heidegger is the greatest living philosopher.
>
> the adjective 'greatest' need be compared with the more colloquial version
> of this:
>
> Heidegger is the biggest living philosopher.
>
> Note that in German, 'grossest' would be used, triggering yet further
> implicatures -- or not.
>
> Grice died in 1988. His Studies in the Way of Words was published in 1989.
> The utterance, "Heidegger is the greatest living philosopher" occurs on p.
> 18 of  the book. A point was made by Harvard University Press about
> footnoting the  point: "Grice is writing this when Heidegger is (still)
> alive", but
> it was "best  left to be understood (as implicated). It was argued that
> working the point  could unintentionally trigger disimplicatures about the
> meaning of [sic] "great"  and "life".
>
> Cheers,
>
> Speranza
>
>
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