(no subject)

  • From: palma@xxxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2007 10:31:15 -0500 (EST)

this is an interesting view: why don't you count logic as philosophy?
Mon, 19 Nov 2007 Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx wrote:

> McEvoy:
> "philosophy was taught at
> Oxford only via Classics or Greats - so only  people who already had a
> linguistic turn in dead languages (Ancient Greek  being dead now, I think)were
> allowed to touch the subject"
> --- Thank you for your recollections, and am sorry you had a bad time at
> Oxford with the philosophy of mind -- and ...? -- what other course?
> Philosophy of Mind is quite a clique at Oxford. Since they only have TWO
> chairs: Metaphysics and Morals -- I don't count LOGIC as Philosophy -- they 
> to have Readerships. Gareth Evans was thus Wilde Reader in Mental Philosophy,
>  etc.
> And if you're into mental, you're not into metaphysical, and all  that.
> But, as I wrote in my Little Go and Great Go, indeed, "Classic" was the  gate
> to Philosophy, but I'm not so sure that was a bad thing.
> I can speak as an Indo-European speaker. Latin and Greek are Indo-European,
> and so, not such a torture to learn, as if I were, say, Japanese -- McCreery
> may  inform us as to how Philosophy is taught in Tokyo.
> So, it's more like a mental exercise, and linguistic turn, yes, I like the
> idea -- by McGee that it was the first turn of the screw, as it were. Grice
> admits that in a passage I've quoted elsewhere about the stonewalls of 
> Oxbridge
> being protrected by this 'sensibility of linguistic usage', etc.
> If you think of it, life is pretty long, so having, say 5 years -- as the
> Greats programme Grice engaged in was -- into Classics and Philosophy via the
> Classics, you still have a lot of life to develop other subjects.
> I think part of this is the idea that Oxford is so old and medieval, that  it
> would be a pain if you were to go through philosophy without being able to
> grasp, say, William of Ockham's Summa Totius Logicae in the original -- given
> that English translations are a murder.
> Ditto for the Greeks.
> Also, when you've 'imbued' in the Classics -- and they tend to be VERY
> repetitive -- you realise that, say Locke, is fighting, struggling, to get a
> philosophical idiom in the Vernacular.
> It would be a pity if Oxford types were only taught ENGLISH philosophy
> written in English, so as a foreigner for whom English is not a native 
> language,  I
> welcome that kind of xenophilic affiliation with the Classics. But I _am_
> biased.
> It's also the English personality; because you won't see in Oxford
> philosophers an overwhelm of quotations of Classical authors, as you would 
> find  in
> France if somebody had done that curriculum -- Think Michael Chase.
> The Classic curriculum was something they had to undergo, and kept it  silent
> and for themselves, without need to quote.
> What the Classic background may explain is their idea to provide the same
> kind of syntactic analysis for English idioms,
> When you say, 'moving the arm', 'my arm moved'. I can picture an Etonian --
> and Austin and Grice were public school boys -- who had mastered Latin and
> Greek  already in the 6th form, and who thus therefore had more time to 
> explore
> philosophy per se --unlike students coming from other backgrounds where the
> Classic language requirement would be more like a 'filter' --.
> And I can picture the tutor or classics master having the student translate
> into English the idiomatic phrase in Greek or Latin. This had the big drawback
>  that ENGLISH grammar was underestimated and only the Categories of LATIN
> grammar  were seen as useful.
> Classics were never taught _per se_ but as a mental exercise to have the
> students aware of their English language background, etc.
> It's interesting that Grice taught Classics for a year at Rossall just upon
> getting his MA from Oxford. Apparently he did not like it, and came back to
> Oxford as a post-graduate student with Merton (Harmondsworth Fellow) -- and
> finally obtained his fellowship at St. John's.
> It's misleading to think of a school, too, when one has been in Oxford, and
> see the distance of it all. A whole city dedicated to philosophy, and things
> pretty far away from each other. I can imagine Grice at his study at St.
> John's  not really having to SEE Pears at Christ Church.
> And the figure master of the 'Oxford school' of the playgroup was really  not
> Ryle, as we know, but Austin. The man was so distant, that nobody (surely
> Grice included) considered him his friend. He would spend Saturday afternoons,
> and Sundays gardening in his rather country retreat --.
> If you think of it, it's just as well, because it must be pretty boring to
> think that one philosopher's FRIEND has to be a philosopher!
> What is also very abstract is that the idea of "University of Oxford" is so
> abstract. There are so many loyalties at play. Your alma mater, the
> Sub-Faculty  of Philosophy, the Ockham Society, the Jowett Society, the 
> Philosophy Club,
> etc.  The different colleges (although they don't say 'college').
> Plus the thing is a TOWN -- and I did detect a sort of resentment on the
> part of the GOWN that High Street is SO BUSY! And noisy!
> Still, I think it would be the best place -- especially if you are  attending
> for the Spring of 1946 -- to engage yourself in the serious study of
> philosophy.
> Think of it also in political terms. Austin had fought in the War, and so
> had Grice, Strawson, and most of them. So:
> (1) They were pretty sceptical about human progress in general, and would
> rather never again see a riffle.
> (2) They wanted to be left alone doing what they wanted. And what they
> wanted is TALK, in ways that examined what they were saying. Rather than  
> building
> big systems and castles in the air.
> Cheers,
> JL Speranza
>       Argentine Society for Philosophical  Analysis
>          Buenos Aires,  Argentina
>               Author of "The History of Grice".
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