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  • From: palma <palma@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 17 May 2009 08:57:40 -0400 (EDT)

with due respetc, Quatch (M. Dietrich)
in Italian it is perfectly standard to say
LW muore di cancro il 29 di aprile del 1951'

best regards

On Sun, 17 May 2009, Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx wrote:

In a message dated 5/16/2009 1:55:36 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, rpaul@xxxxxxxx writes: when we say, e.g., 'Plato says a polis is a soul writ large,' we're using the literary present, ------

In the case of the historical present as applied to 'he dies' or 'he is
born', I would think that, at least in Italian, 'mori' (preterite) versus
'muore' (present), there seems to be a need for a contextual indication --
usually mentioning the exact date (day, month, year).

      "Wittgenstein [mori]" ... would _also_  be followed or qualified by
accompanying words ('after a long illness", "in a  room in Cambridge",
etc.). But I would be surprised that if the 'present  historical' is used in 
Italians would call "recitativo secco".

               "Wittgenstein dies".

I'm pleased the 'famous last words' have the

       "Ed tu, Brute"

as uttered by Caesar. As Strawson would say, "The death of Caesar" can
_then_ be employed hyperbolically to refer to other things:

      "The assassination of Caesar meant the  end of the Republic"

cfr. Grice on "Caesar's passing of the Rubicon" (in "Actions and Events",
PPQ 1988).

But the logical form, alla Davidson (and Grice rejected the analysis) would
show some difference:

     (Ex) Dc    ---  There is  an event, which is the dying of Caesar
     (Ex)  Rc          There is an event  which is the passing of the
Rubicon by Caesar.

In the case of 'the death of Caesar' is _not_ an event ("Death is not an
event of life. We do not live to experience death").

Oddly Grice quotes out of the blue Wittgenstein at length _once_ in (1991)
without attributing the thing, That's why: "Internal thoughts require
behavioural manifestation" or words to that effect. We discussed this with R.
Paul before.



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