[lit-ideas] wat

  • From: Adriano Palma <Palma@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2015 14:04:47 +0000

One aspect of the Watkins paper (supplied by Kusturica) hit the corrects key,
with “like to have interesting philosophical thesis and problems etc.

The idea of the “use theory” is the opposite: eliminate intellectual work and
engagement in support of a kind of quietism. The example of what chance is vs
what the word chance is used (we never knew by whom, but here shit like the
“ordinary” will shine light, hence ordinary use is identical with what the
author decides is the so-called meaning of the word chance), once one analyzes
chance in use, one has nothing to say, e.g. both the determinist and the
undeterminist are deprived of any dialecticak spoace.
It is no coincidence that this Flew was brain damaged, met god etc.

From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Omar Kusturica
Sent: 04 April 2015 15:53
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Linguistic Botany

This should suffice to dismiss the so-called paradigm case argument.


On Sat, Apr 4, 2015 at 3:09 PM, Omar Kusturica
<omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx<mailto:omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
The appeal to common usage really seems to be some linguistic version of
argumentum ad populum (common usage = common opinion) and as such it is
probably irrelevant philosophically even when the premises are true. Still, one
cannot always permit the 'ordinary language philosophers' to make the common
usage mean whatever they want it to mean. When Tom says that he saw a table, he
does not thereby mean to subscribe to 'the causality theory of perception.'


On Sat, Apr 4, 2015 at 2:35 PM, Adriano Palma
<Palma@xxxxxxxxxx<mailto:Palma@xxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
I am unable to understand this fetish of “usage”. If there were any basis to
it, when I worry about Omar, for goodness’ sake
I have three worries, Omar, sake and goodness…

And you expect anyone to take this excrement seriously/?

From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Behalf Of Omar Kusturica
Sent: 04 April 2015 13:11
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Linguistic Botany

JL blames Russell for not providing suitable examples of "silly things silly
people say" and goes on to provide some himself, including the so-called
"paradigm-case argument." This purports to refute skepticism by pointing out
examples of common usage such as "I see a table." Briefly, I don't think that
the skeptic is necessarily prohibited from saying that he sees a table. He
might mean by saying this that he has an experience of perceiving a table-like
object, or that he visualizes a table-like image on the retina, or that he is
dreaming a dream table in this particular dream W, or that the Demon presented
him on this occasion with an apparition of a table, or whatever interpretation
is consistent with his version of skepticism. On some versions of skepticism it
might even be possible to assign truth values to such statements, e.g. "I saw a
table" might be false within some skeptical paradigm if the perception of a
table-like image did not really occur and true if it did.

What we have here is another example of 'ordinary language' philosophers
attempting to enlist common usage in their service, only this time not to fight
a war but to support some pet philosophical theories of theirs such as 'the
causal theory of perception.' The common usage of "I saw a table" is not
inconsistent with the casual theory of perception but neither does it entail
such a theory. It is also not inconsistent with skepticism, although it does
not entail it. It is not meant to answer ontological questions, and it doesn't.


On Sat, Apr 4, 2015 at 11:43 AM, Redacted sender
Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx<mailto:Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx> for DMARC
<dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
My last post today!

O. K. was remarking about Urmson's "Parentheticals". I think Urmson's point
is that "I believe", which he contrasts with "I know" is best NOT seen as
a typical Russellian 'propositional attitude', but rather as forming a
scale (a term Urmson uses):

<know, believe>

so that if you consider a proposition, "It might well be snowing in
Northern Canada", the addition of a phrase containing either 'believe' or 'know'
adds to the authority the speaker assumes in uttering the original sentence:
'believe' used for low probability, 'know' for almost certainty: "It might
well be snowing in Northern Canada, I would believe". "It might well, for
all I know, be snowing in Northern Canada". These are parenthetical uses of
'believe' and 'know', which require a different analysis from a
common-or-garden Russellian propositional attitude.

In a message dated 4/2/2015 11:31:49 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx<mailto:omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx> writes:
"Russell did not set out to advocate language change, but to make an
epistemological point. That point is that common usage cannot be trusted
as an
arbiter of truth and knowledge. We don't need to correct the common usage
that 'the Sun raises in the East' ... At fault are the philosophers who
that, because we usually say such or such, this must of necessity be the

When Grice notes that

"No general characterisation of the Method of "Linguistic Botanizing"
carries with it any claim about the truth-value of any of the specimens which
might be subjected to Linguistic Botanizing".

he is having in mind the PCA, that Russell does not care to quote -- the
paradigm case argument.

This type of argument was created by a student of Grice at St. John's, A.
G. N. Flew, and applied to issues of free will.

It also attracted the attention of K. S. Donnellan.

Donnellan interprets the "paradigm-case argument" is a form of argument
against philosophical scepticism found in contemporary analytic philosophy.

Donnellan notes that this argument counters doubt about whether any of some
class of things exists by attempting to point out paradigm cases, clear
and indisputable instances.

The cases are usually collected after some exercise in linguistic botany.

A distinguishing feature of the argument is the contention that certain
facts about ordinary language entail the existence of paradigm cases.

The paradigm-case argument has been used against a wide range of sceptical

A typical example is doubt about our ability to perceive directly material

As in Grice's example:

"Hamlet (and some soldiers) saw the ghost of Hamlet's father."

Donnellan notes:

"Such doubt can be raised by reflection upon the physiological and physical
facts about perception. For example, since seeing involves the
transmission of light waves to our eyes and these waves are what immediately
our eyes, it may appear that we are mistaken in thinking that we see
objects. If anything, we should say that we see light waves. The fact that it
takes a certain amount of time for light to travel from an object to our eyes
lends support to this. How can we see something unless we see it as it is at
the present moment? While considerations such as these show how scepticism
can arise, one striking fact about the paradigm-case argument is that if
it is valid, the sceptic can be refuted directly without the necessity of
examining in detail the reasons behind his position. The first step in the
argument is to make the scepticism bear on particular cases. If we cannot
perceive material objects, then, presumably, we cannot see the table we are
working on or the pen with which we write."

"Next, a situation is sketched in which, ordinarily, no one would hesitate
to affirm just the opposite. If the light is excellent, our eyes open, our
sight unimpaired, the table directly before us, and so on, then we should
ordinarily have no qualms about stating that we see a table. The argument
would be weak if it relied merely on the fact that people would ordinarily
have no doubts in such situations, for it does not follow from this that they
state the truth."

For Donnellan, the argument claims something more for the kind of
situations it describes: "It holds that they are indisputably examples of
seeing a
table because of their relationship to the meaning of the expression "seeing
a table." Typically, this relationship is brought out by saying that such
a situation is just what we call "seeing a table" or that it is just the
sort of circumstances in which one might teach someone the meaning of the
expression "seeing a table." Generalizing and taking the strongest
interpretation of the force of these remarks, one might ask: "If this is just
what we
call X, then in saying that it is X, how can we fail to state the truth? If
this is a situation in which we might teach the meaning of X, then how can
it fail to be a case of X ?" In denying that anyone ever sees a table, the

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