[lit-ideas] wholly fully complete bullshit, the so called implicature are or the form: anything [anybody] thinks inferrable from x or random anedcote about Grice who inferred that anything follows, hence the idiocy of the theory

  • From: Adriano Palma <Palma@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 17 Mar 2015 17:07:10 +0000

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Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Hartiana

My last post today!

In a message dated  3/17/2015 9:40:24 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, 
omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx writes:
a  lot of biographical detail about Hart.  

and on a similar note, Palma was questioning the implicature:
i. Hart is a good legal philosopher.
ii. Hart is not a good philosopher.
This was Grice's intuition. He writes,

"When I visit an unfamiliar university and (as it occasionally happens)  I am 
i. This is Dr. Puddle, our man in Legal Philosophy. 
Grice notes the implicature is actually of the disjunctive form. The utterer 
implicates: either
ii. Either Dr. Puddle is being underdescribed (+> in consequence, maligned).
iii. Dr. Puddle is not really good at Legal Philosophy. 
It might be argued that it's not so much a matter of implying (or
implicating) than inferring, but even Jane Austin had problems in using these  
two tricky verbs aright!
Grice's main implicature is that 'philosopher' is not like 'driver' -- and so 
'legal philosopher' triggers different implicatures (or inferences if you  
mustn't) from (or 'than' as Anderson Vanderbilt Cooper prefers) 'rally driver'. 
While Aristotle said, "Philosophy, like virtue, is entire", the Stagirite never 
mentioned rally driving, did he?
>biographical detail about Hart.
Apparently, it is relevant to N. Lacey, who teaches law in London. Lacey finds 
that a few facts about Hart's life (and times, especially) were particularly 
crucial in the informing of his legal philosophy, or philosophy if you must. 
I take O. K.'s point about the intricacies of the singular use ('the law') and 
the plural use ('the laws') and perhaps the generic use ('law'). "The laws"  
suggest that 'law' can be used as what linguists (not philosophers) call NOT a  
mass noun ('sugar' is a mass noun). 
Godehard Link and Manfred Krifka once had a look at this linguists' talk, and 
found that the idea of a 'mass noun' could be given a precise, mathematical 
definition in terms of quantization and cumulativity.
An expression P has cumulative reference if and only if for any X and Y: If  X 
can be described as P and Y can be described as P, as well, then the sum of X  
and Y can also be described as P.
In more formal terms (Krifka 1998):
\for all X \sub-set eq U_p [CUM_p (X) \Left-right-arrow \exists x,y [ X(x) 
\,\wedge\, X(y) \,\wedge\, \neg (x=y)] \;\wedge\; \for all x,y [X(x) \,\wedge\, 
 X(y) \Right-arrow X(x \,\oplus\, y)]]
which may be read as: 
X is cumulative if there exists at least one pair x,y, where x and y are 
distinct, and both have the property X, and if for all possible pairs x and y  
fitting that description, X is a property of the sum of x and y.[
If one collection of cutlery is combined with another, we still have "cutlery." 
Similarly, if water is added to water, we still have "water." 
But if a chair is added to another, we don't have "a chair," but rather two  
With 'law' it depends on one's idiolect. 
For Hart, if a law is added to another, we still have law. (But he added, "This 
is admittedly defeasible").
"Cutlery" and "water" have cumulative reference, while the expression "a chair" 
does not. 
The expression "chairs", however, does have cumulative reference, suggesting 
that the generalization is not actually specific to the mass-count distinction. 
It is possible to provide an alternative analysis, by which mass nouns  and 
plural count nouns are assigned a similar semantics, as distinct from that of 
singular count nouns.
An expression P has quantised reference if and only if, for any X: If X can  be 
described as P, then no proper part of X can be described as P.
This can be seen to hold in the case of the noun house.
No proper part of a house, for example the bathroom, or the entrance door, is 
itself a house. 
Similarly, no proper part of a man, say his index finger, or his knee, can be 
described as a man (or a philosopher such as Hart). 
Hence, house and man have quantised reference (and so did Hart)
However, collections of cutlery do have proper parts that can themselves be  
described as cutlery. 
Hence cutlery does not have quantised reference. 
Notice again that this is probably not a fact about mass-count syntax, but 
about prototypical examples, since many singular count nouns have referents  
whose proper parts can be described by the same term. 
Examples include divisible count nouns like "rope", "string", "stone", and 
"tile", which I'll grant have less of a philosophical relevance than 'law' 
as  per the title of Hart's classic, "The concept of law". 
Hart observed that some expressions are neither quantised nor cumulative. 
Examples of this include collective nouns like 'legal committee'. 
A legal committee might well contain a proper part which is itself a legal 
Hence this expression 'legal committee' isn't quantised. 
But 'legal committee' isn't cumulative, either.
This poses a problem to Hart.
The sum of two separate legal committees isn't necessarily a legal committee. 
In terms of the mass/count distinction, "legal committee" behaves like a count 
By some accounts, the example of a "legal committee" is taken to  indicate that 
the best characterization of mass nouns is that they are  cumulative nouns. 
On such accounts, count nouns should then be characterized as non-cumulative 

This characterization correctly groups committee together with the  count 
If, instead, we had chosen to characterize count nouns as quantised nouns, and 
mass nouns as non-quantized ones, we would (incorrectly) be led to expect  
"legal committee" to be a mass noun. 
However, as noted above, such a characterisation fails to explain many central 
phenomena of the mass-count distinction.
Many nouns can be used in either mass or count syntax, and in these cases,  
they take on cumulative reference when used as mass nouns. 
For example, one may say that 
"There's apple in this sauce," 
"There's law in this decision"
sounds harsh. 
In "There's apple in this sauce", "apple" has cumulative reference,  and, 
hence, is used as a mass noun. 
The names of animals, such as "chicken", "fox" or "lamb" are count when  
referring to the animals themselves, but are mass when referring to their 
meat,  fur, or other substances produced by them. (e.g., "I'm cooking chicken 
tonight"  or "This coat is made of fox.").
Oddly, the name of "Hart" is an animal -- like some say, 'grice'. 
So "hart" -- and "grice" for that matter -- is a count noun when referring  
to the animal, but a mass noun when referring to the meat. 
"There's hart in this sauce".
"There's Hart in this law".
Conversely, "fire" is frequently used as a mass noun, but "a fire" refers  
to a discrete entity. 
Substance terms like "water" which are frequently used as mass nouns, can  
be used as count nouns to denote arbitrary units of a substance:
"Two waters, please"
but hardly
"Two laws, please". 
-- or of several types/varieties:
Cfr. "waters of the world"
"the laws of the world"
One may say that mass nouns that are used as count nouns are "countified"  
and that count ones that are used as mass nouns are "massified". 
However, this may confuse syntax and semantics, by presupposing that words  
which denote substances are mass nouns by default. 
According to many accounts, nouns do not have a lexical specification for  
mass-count status, and instead are specified as such only when used in a  
Nouns differ in the extent to which they can be used flexibly, depending  
largely on their meanings and the context of use -- not to mention (then why  
mention?) implicature!
For example the count noun "house" is difficult to use as mass (though of  
course logically possible), and the mass noun "cutlery" is most frequently 
used  as mass, despite the fact that it denotes objects.
*There is house on the road. 
sounds harsh.
There is law in England. 
sounds ok. 
*There is a cutlery on the table. 
sounds harsh to some ears (and harsh even if just one fork is on the  
table). But:
There is a law I like.
sounds ok.
You get a lot of house for your money since the recession.
sounds good, as does
You get a lot of law in Germany -- They are a law-abiding people, the  
Germans. In Germany, however, there is no law against a man standing on his  
head in the middle of the road. The idea has not occurred to them.  One of  
these days a German statesman, visiting a circus and seeing acrobats, will  
reflect upon this omission.  Then he will straightway set to work and frame  a 
clause forbidding people from standing on their heads in the middle of the  
road, and fixing a fine. 

French cutlery is my favourite. (type / kind reading)
sounds ok, as does
Roman law is my favourite. 
Some quantifiers are specific to mass nouns (e.g., "an amount of") or count 
 nouns (e.g., "a number of", "every"). Others can be used with both types 
(e.g.,  "a lot of", "some").
Where "much" and "little" qualify mass nouns, "many" and "few have an  
analogous function for count nouns:

How much damage? —Very little.
How much law in that country? -- Very little.

How many mistakes? —Very few.
How many laws in that country? -- Very few. 
Whereas "more" and "most" are the comparative and superlative of both  
"much" and "many", "few" and "little" have differing comparative and 
 (fewer, fewest and less, least). 
However, suppletive use of "less" and "least" with count nouns is common -- 
 "too common" for Hart --  in many contexts, some of which attract 
criticism  as nonstandard or low-prestige.
This criticism dates back to at least 1770.
The usage dates back to Old English.
Tesco (not an Old English company) changed supermarket checkout signs  
"Ten items or less" 
after complaints that it was bad grammar.
It switched to "Up to ten items" rather than "Ten items or fewer" at  the 
suggestion of the Plain English Campaign.
"Ten laws or fewer" 
is perfectly ok, though. ("That's all he knows -- and just the letter of  
them, never mind the spirit"). 
There is often confusion about the two different concepts of collective  
noun and mass noun -- and where 'law' fits. 
Generally, collective nouns are not mass nouns, but rather are a special  
subset of count nouns. 
However, the term "collective noun" is often used to mean "mass noun" (even 
 in some dictionaries), because users conflate two different kinds of verb 
number  invariability: 
(a) that seen with mass nouns such as "water" or "furniture", with which  
only singular verb forms are used because the constituent matter is  
grammatically nondiscrete (although it may ["water"] or may not ["furniture"] 
etically nondiscrete); and 
(b) that seen with collective nouns, which is the result of the metonymical 
 shift between the group and its (both grammatically and etically) discrete 
"Law" is possibly etically discrete. 
Some words, including "mathematics" and "physics", have developed true  
mass-noun senses despite having grown from count-noun roots -- but the inverse  
seems to occur with 'law'. "He is a professor of mathematic" or "physic" 
sounds  simplistic, whereas Hart was Chair of Jurisprudence which was partly 
run by the  Faculty of Law sounds ok -- whereas "Faculty of the Laws" sounds 

Indeed, 'law' at Oxford can be a trick when it comes to conceptual  
analysis, and if you're into 'history'.
There were, allegedly, two faculties -- one of Civil Law and another of  
Canon Law in the medieval University of Oxford (but the records are old).
During the Reformation, Henry VIII prohibited the teaching of Canon Law,  
so, in the words of Popper, that 'solved a problem'. 
Instead Henry VIII founded the Regius Chair of Civil Law, one of the  
oldest Professorships at the University of Oxford. 
Note that it's 'civil law', not 'civil laws'. 
From then, until the 19th century, Oxford University awarded the Bachelor  
of Civil Law and the Doctor of Civil Law, through The Faculty of Civil Law 
--  where 'Civil' is sometimes disimplicated (or dropped in conversation). 
It was William Blackstone, an alumnus of Pembroke, and later a Fellow  of 
All Souls, who was appointed the inaugural Vinerian Professor of English Law  
in 1758.
Again, 'English law' -- not 'English laws'. 
Blackstone was the first professor at Oxford to teach the common law,  and 
is famous for his sophisma: "Is the Common Law Law?"
Incidentally, Blackstone's lectures form the basis for his  "Commentaries 
on the Laws of England", a definitive source of and case for the  study of 
the English common law -- whose witty epigraph reads (in Latin) --  tr.
Is the Common Law Law?
It was not until 1873 that Oxford offered a degree in English law, the BA  
in Jurisprudence -- that was not earned by Hart (but then he never applied 
for  it). 
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there were prominent professors  
in Oxford such as Frederick Pollock, William Anson, and Albert Dicey. 
The emergence of a large community of legal philosophers, too, in  
twenty-five colleges can be dated from the 1920s and 1930s, but the development 
consolidated in the 1950s and 1960s.
The Oxford law school flourished through the operation of the resulting  
internal market, and through the brilliance of H. L. A. Hart.
In the twentieth century, the BCL became a master's level degree; and, by  
the 1973, Oxford developed a large graduate programme in law. 
The DPhil in Law, which dates to the 1912, became popular at that time  
particularly in international law, comparative law, and legal philosophy -- but 
 Hart never earned it (but then he never applied for it). 
After the 1973,, the areas of research pursued in the doctoral programme  
broadened to make it a general training ground for "legal academics", 
so-called,  including some legal philosophers.

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  • » [lit-ideas] wholly fully complete bullshit, the so called implicature are or the form: anything [anybody] thinks inferrable from x or random anedcote about Grice who inferred that anything follows, hence the idiocy of the theory - Adriano Palma