[lit-ideas] naming names

  • From: Adriano Palma <Palma@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2015 08:29:50 +0000

Alas Harvard was a person, hence calling Harvard Harvard university is just 
fine and dandy even by the silly gricean maxims. Padua university is called 
padua university exactly because both exists and padua-city got there way 
before the university and its faculties came into being.

-----Original Message-----
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Sent: 15 February 2015 01:02
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Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: The retreat to commitment

In a message dated 2/14/2015 3:51:10 P.M.  Eastern Standard Time, 
jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx writes:
Some day I'm  going to read this piece about Gonville and Caius and I will 
reply  straightaway,  don't you dare doubt that.  

"Don't you dare doubt..."
That reminds me of Cartesian, or 'il dubbio cartesiano', as the Italians call 
Incidentally, there was a misinterpretation in the previous, re: Post's using 
Quine's 'veridical' paradox. Quine was having 'falsidical' as the antonym.
A falsidical paraodox, unlike Post's, establishes a result that not only 
appears false but actually is false, due to a fallacy in the demonstration.  
Thus, the various invalid mathematical proofs -- e.g., that 
1 = 2)
are classic examples of falsidical paradoxes, generally relying on a hidden  
division by zero. Another class of examples include the inductive form of the  
horse paradox, which falsely generalizes from true specific statements (usually 
 about horses).
The case Geary is referring to:
>this piece about Gonville and Caius
is of a different, slightly more complicated -- or as he prefers  Gödelian, 
Take John Ridd.
Possibly having read Nancy Mitford, "U and non-U", he (Ridd) knew that 
'college' should be avoided -- as "University" (in expressions like "Harvard 
University". It is OBVIOUS that Harvard is a university: the addition of 
"University" violates one of Grice's maxims of conversation, "Do not be more 
informative than is required". While Harvard was also a man, "He went up to 
Harvard" only under special circumstances could 'implicate' that he went up to  
see the man (named Harvard). 
Mitford says that also "Hall" should be avoided, when it comes to Stately
Homes: "We visited Keddleston" does -- "We visited Keddleston Hall" is too 
pompous to Mitford's ears, and possibly to those who LIVE at Keddleston.
In any case, John Ridd graduated from Gonville and Caius. And that is  that.
Bartley is a different animal. Perhaps not having read Mitford, "U and Non-U", 
he does use 'College' once in "The retreat to Commitment", and "University" as 
applied to Harvard:
"I am grateful to Harvard University," he writes, "; the United States  
Educational (Fulbright) Commission in the United Kingdom; the Danforth  
Foundation; Gonville and Caius...; and the Hoover Institution, Stanford."

A second occurrence appears in the backcover:
" Bartley's previous appointments include the Warburg Institute of the
ty of London; the London School of Economics and Political  Science; the 
University of California (Berkeley and San Diego); and Gonville  and Caius."
(I have omitted the reference to "College" in both occurrences). 
The use of 'college', besides violating Nancy Mitford's rule of usage, has the 
effect of cancelling any implicature that the complex phrase, "Gonville and  
Caius" might otherwise trigger in the ignoramus.
It's slightly similar to a problem encountered by Sellars and Yeats when they 
wrote their History of England ("1066 and all that"), regarding William and  
"With Edward the Confessor perished the last English King (viz. Edward the 
Confessor), since he was succeeded by Waves of Norman Kings (French), Tudors  
(Welsh), Stuarts (Scottish), and Hanoverians (German), not to mention the  
memorable Dutch King-Williamanmary."
"Williamanmary: England Ruled by an Orange. WILLIAMANMARY for some reason was 
known as The Orange in their own country of Holland, and were popular as  King 
of England because the people naturally believed it was descended from Nell  
Glyn. It was on the whole a good King and one of their first Acts was the  
Toleration Act, which said they would tolerate anything, though afterwards it  
went back on this and decided that they could not tolerate the Scots."
"It was Williamanmary who first discovered the National Debt and had the 
memorable idea of building the Bank of England to put it in. The National Debt  
is a very Good Thing and it would be dangerous to pay it off, for fear of  
Political Economy."
Quine considers all these a falsidical paradoxes.
It is raining and it is windy
---- Therefore, it is windy
Quine calls this 'the elimination of 'and'' (Bartley too) and it's a valid 
But some people disagree. Especially those who don't abide by HPG's teaching. 
Smith likes peaches and cream
---- Therefore Smith likes peaches
Only a Griceian (like Harnish or me -- never mind HPG -- who KNEW) would accept 
that as 'valid' -- the suggestion that Smith likes the 'combo' and that  
therefore it does not follow from his liking peaches and cream that he likes  
peaches is a mere cancellable implicature ("Smith likes peaches; in fact,  
peaches and cream").
Now, if Bartley graduated from Gonville and Caius, it should follow that he  
graduated from Caius.
This is valid, since Gonville and Caius IS [like "United States" we have to  
use the singular here] often referred to, simply, as Caius (which is odd, since 
 Caius refounded Gonville, and renamed Gonville and Caius)
Again, to deduce that since Bartley graduated from Gonville and  Caius, Bartley 
graduated from Gonville, would be misleading (if not  false).
Perhaps to say that he graduated from Caius and Gonville would also be odd, but 
true (cfr. "It is windy and it is raining; therefore, it is raining and  it is 
windy" -- "She only has a black-and-white television set; therefore, she  only 
has a white-and-black television set").
It should be pointed out that, for the record -- but logicians don't care much 
about truth-value when they speak of 'valid' -- cfr. 'valid' vs. 
'correct'  -- Bartley never graduated from Gonville and Caius, even if he was 
affiliated  with Gonville and Caius -- and (very) grateful he was to Gonville 
and Caius, as  he writes in "The retreat to commitment". 
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