Eva Picardi Philosophy: April, 3, 2009


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Eva Picardi Philosophy: April, 3, 2009

  1. 1. A Successful Dig Remarks on Eva Picardi’s work on Frege Carlo Penco (Università degli studi di Genova)
  2. 2. <ul><ul><ul><li>[1] Translations and Exegesis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>[2] Frege’s Pragmatics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>[3] a Successful Dig </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>[1] Translations and Exegesis </li></ul>
  4. 4. Dummett’s Frege <ul><li>“ calling it [the Italian edition of Dummett’s Frege] ‘reduced and enlarged’ is misleading…the reduction alludes to the omission of eight chapters (half of the original), let alone the mutilation of chapters VI and IX, without counting that the last chapter, deprived of the discussion in the previous two, looks like hanging in the void (…) </li></ul><ul><li>Chapter VIII changes unexpetedly its title, a manoeuvre disputable also from a Fregean point of view. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Dummett’s letter <ul><li> New College 2nd March 1984 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Dear Carlo, </li></ul><ul><li>I was really delighted to receive copies of the Italian translation of my book (…). It looks splendid, and I think that the selection that you made works extremely well…” </li></ul>
  6. 6. who was right? <ul><li>I didn’t dare: </li></ul><ul><li>1st to translate the entire book </li></ul><ul><li>2nd to ask the publisher to publish the entire book </li></ul><ul><li>3rd to believe in the Italian philosophical community </li></ul><ul><li>Eva did dare (something even worse) </li></ul><ul><li>to translate and publish the entire book </li></ul><ul><li>Dummett: the Logical Basis of Metaphysics </li></ul><ul><li>She did well </li></ul>
  7. 7. Translations (and editorial works) <ul><li>L. Wittgenstein, Lectures on the Foundation of mathematics (tr. 1982) </li></ul><ul><li>G. Frege, Posthumous Writings (tr. 1987) </li></ul><ul><li>M. Dummett, Origins of Analytic Philosophy (tr. 1990) </li></ul><ul><li>D. Davidson, Essays on Actions and Events (ed. 1992) </li></ul><ul><li>H. Putnam, Realism with a Human Face, (1995) </li></ul><ul><li>M. Dummett, The Logical Basis of Metaphysics (tr. 1996) </li></ul><ul><li>D. Davidson, Truth and Interpretation , (ed. 1998) </li></ul><ul><li>M. Dummett, The Nature and Future of Philosophy (tr. 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>G. Frege, Philosophical papers [collection 1891-1897] (tr. 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>H. Putnam, The Threefold Cord: Mind, Body, the World (ed.. 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>M Dummett, Thought and Reality (ed. 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>G. Frege, Logical Works (tr. forthcoming ) </li></ul>
  8. 8. a tradition of translations <ul><li>First Italian Translation of Frege: </li></ul><ul><li>L. Geymonat (Einaudi 1948 ) </li></ul><ul><li>First English Translation of Frege: </li></ul><ul><li>Black and Geach (Blackwell 1952 ) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Sinn und Bedeutung <ul><li>Peter Geach and Max Black: “Sense and Reference” </li></ul><ul><li>Eva Picardi: </li></ul><ul><li>for the famous paper… may be it is allright, but… </li></ul><ul><li>discussing hours </li></ul><ul><li>“ senso e significato” (“sense and meaning”) </li></ul><ul><li>Although it appears strange to give reasons for a literal translation.. </li></ul>
  10. 10. “Bedeutung” <ul><li>if we wanted a “theoretical” translation, the best term should have been “semantic value”, but it is too distant from the lexicon used by Frege, and it cannot keep the link with the verb “bedeuten”, (which is used interchangeably with bezeichnen) </li></ul><ul><li>2) it might be useful to translate “Bedeutung” with “reference” in the framework of the contemporary debate, but this choice does not properly work the whole of Frege’s work (especially when the distinction between Sinn and Bedeutung has not yet been given) </li></ul><ul><li>The surrounding philosophical environment of discussion would be cut off translating “Bedeutung” with “reference”, making it difficult - for example - to understand many passages made by Wittgenstein in the Tractatus . </li></ul>
  11. 11. and then <ul><li>4) The term “Bedeutung” cannot be assimilated to the notion of “denotation” as used in Russell </li></ul><ul><li>5) A translation has to render also the feeling (tone) of a term; and it is apparent that “Bedeutung”, as used by Frege, gives an awkard sensation which should be preserved. </li></ul><ul><li>6) The literal translation preserves too many good aspects to be abandoned in a translation of his work - although it may be useful in contemporary discussion or in teaching to use the term which is currently used in the debate (be it “reference” or “denotation”). </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>[2] Frege’s Pragmatics </li></ul>
  13. 13. on the background of: <ul><li>Assertibility and Truth. A Study of Fregean Themes (1981) </li></ul><ul><li>Linguaggio e analisi filosofica (1992) </li></ul><ul><li>La chimica dei concetti (1994) </li></ul><ul><li>Le teorie del significato (1999) </li></ul>
  14. 14. a series of papers… <ul><li>“ Compositionality” (2001) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Individualismo semantico e significato letterale” (2006) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Colouring, Multiple Propositions and Assertoric Content” (2006) </li></ul><ul><li>“ On Sense, Tone, and accompanying Thoughts” (2007) </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Context Principle in Frege and Wittgenstein (2009) </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Hyper-simplifying Eva’s ideas </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>J. M. W. Turner, </li></ul><ul><li>The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last Berth to be Broken up, 1838 </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Commemorating the Battle of Trafalgar 1805: </li></ul><ul><li>Twenty-seven British ships led by Admiral Lord Nelson defeated thirty-three French and Spanish ships </li></ul><ul><li>the Finghting Temeraire was fighting near Nelson’s ship: </li></ul><ul><li>a symbol of the great superiority of the British ships </li></ul><ul><li>(and of the end of that period in front of modern times) </li></ul><ul><li>but… </li></ul><ul><li>the ship had been part of the French Navy, and captured in 1759 </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Willmore’s Steel Engraving: The Old Téméraire </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Let us assume - for the sake of simplicity - that </li></ul><ul><li>The fighting Temeraire and The Old Téméraire </li></ul><ul><li>are two different names of the same ship </li></ul>
  20. 20. Frege’s treatment <ul><li>(1) The Fighting Temeraire = (2) the Old Téméraire </li></ul><ul><li>S believes that the Fighting Temeraire is British ship </li></ul><ul><li>S does not believe that the Old Téméraire is a British ship </li></ul><ul><li>S may have consisent beliefs: (1) and (2) have different senses: </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of (1): the British ship symbol of the superiority of Britain </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of (2): the French ship that was captured by the British Army </li></ul><ul><li>Tone/Colouring of (1): proudness, honour, end of the heroic period </li></ul><ul><li>Tone/Colouring of (2): “sic transit gloria mundi” (thinking of Napoleon ) </li></ul>
  21. 21. A suggested solution <ul><li>A proposed simplification (Neale 2001): </li></ul><ul><li>In order to state the idea the proper names have no sense but </li></ul><ul><li>contribute via their reference to the truth condition of a sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Coreferring proper names differ only in “tone” or “colouring </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive differences are explained in a Gricean way </li></ul><ul><li>(1) the Fighting Temeraire was a British ship </li></ul><ul><li>(2) the Old Tèméraire was a British ship </li></ul><ul><li>express the same singular proposition, but have different implicatures </li></ul>
  22. 22. Eva Picardi’s reaction <ul><li>(1) parallelism between Freges conception of tone and Grice implicatures: YES, BUT </li></ul><ul><li>(2) abolishing the Fregean idea of the sense of a proper name: NO </li></ul>
  23. 23. Parallelism: Grice on “but” <ul><li>S, in uttering: </li></ul><ul><li>“ She is poor but honest” </li></ul><ul><li>says: she is poor and honest </li></ul><ul><li>Conventionally implies: typically poor people are not honest </li></ul><ul><li>There is a gap between (a) what the speaker literally says </li></ul><ul><li>(b) what the words literally mean </li></ul><ul><li>What do we gain in separating (a) the saying and (b) the conventionally meant? </li></ul><ul><li>Which is the rationale for this distinction? </li></ul>
  24. 24. Parallelism: Frege on “but” <ul><li>The sense (thought) expressed by a sentence </li></ul><ul><li>(what is relevant for the truth of a sentence) </li></ul><ul><li>The sense (thought) suggested by a sentence </li></ul><ul><li>“ but” differs from “and” </li></ul><ul><li>“ we use it to intimate that what follows contrasts with what was to be expected from what preceded it. Such conversational suggestions ( Solche Winke in der Rede ) make no difference to the thought” (SuB) </li></ul><ul><li>“ but” indicates an accompanying thought , </li></ul><ul><li>which is suggested , not expressed by the sentence. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Nebengedanke (accompanying thought) <ul><li>Tone or Colouring features (differences in lexicon or syntax) suggest accompanying thoughts which can be separated by </li></ul><ul><li>the truth conditional thought expressed by a sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Tone and coloring features perform three roles </li></ul><ul><li>Give the point of the purpose of the utterance </li></ul><ul><li>Suggest an accompanying thought </li></ul><ul><li>Suggest psychological associations governed by psychological laws </li></ul><ul><li>expecially (c) is reminded of Grice’s conversational implicature </li></ul>
  26. 26. Explaining Grice’s concern <ul><li>“ Frege’s theory provides an excellent background against which Grice’s concerns acquire a point” (“Compositionality”, p. 65) </li></ul><ul><li>The difference: </li></ul><ul><li>In Grice meaning is explained in terms of communicative intentions </li></ul><ul><li>In Frege meaning is defined in terms of truth and compositionality </li></ul><ul><li>The prototypical model of understanding in Grice’s program is an unstructured utterance (a gesture, a drawing) calling for a reaction </li></ul><ul><li>Thr prototypical model of understanding in Frege’s program is given by compositionality: the parts of a sentence are meaningful also because they may occur in other sentences [Evans generality constraint] </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>but…. </li></ul><ul><li> does it really works? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we have a generalied Fregean treatment of implicature? </li></ul><ul><li>Frege 1897 “Logic” </li></ul>
  28. 28. Extending “but” to pejorative terms <ul><li>(1) A dog barked all the night </li></ul><ul><li>(2) A cur barked all the night </li></ul><ul><li>Difference in tone; not affecting truth conditions (Frege 1987) </li></ul><ul><li>A sentence is suggested by the use of the lexicon, but not expressed </li></ul><ul><li>(1) Blacks are better boxers than whites </li></ul><ul><li>(2) Niggers are better boxers than whites </li></ul><ul><li>Are the consequences of using “nigger” </li></ul><ul><li>part ot the thought suggested? part of the thought expressed ? </li></ul><ul><li>(Williamson: implicature) (Brandom: inferential potential) </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of a sentence is its inferential potential ( Bg 3) </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>Muhammed Ali </li></ul><ul><li>Justification of </li></ul><ul><li>refusal to enlist during the Vietnam War </li></ul><ul><li>'I ain't going to fight in Vietnam, </li></ul><ul><li>no Vietnamese ever called me a nigger’ </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>[3] a Successful Dig </li></ul>
  31. 31. Dummett again <ul><li>New College 2nd march 1984 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Have you seen the recently published book by Gordon Baker and Peter Hacker on Frege? To my mind is quite deplorable, and is liable to give rise to widespread confusion (…) I decided to put on four lectures… discussing their very hostile interpretation of Frege” </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>Michael Dummett, 'An Unsuccessful Dig', </li></ul><ul><li>Philosophical Quarterly , 34.2 (1984), pp. 194-226 </li></ul><ul><li>What was the problem? </li></ul><ul><li>Baker and Hacker have done a nice exegetic work on Wittgenstein, but… </li></ul><ul><li>Their work on Frege is partly depending on Wittgensteinian assumptions against the project of traditional semantics </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>Eva Picardi </li></ul><ul><li>President of the </li></ul><ul><li>Italian Society for Analytic Philosophy </li></ul><ul><li>2000-2002 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Wittgenstein today ” </li></ul><ul><li>Bologna 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>(picture by Valerio Mieli) </li></ul>
  34. 34. A Wittgensteinian Eva <ul><li>Wittgenstein against Frege? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eva Picardi: a rare case where Frege and Wittgenstein scholarship are put together in an unified manner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> “ Il principio del contesto in Frege e in Wittgenstein” (2002) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Concepts and primitive Language Games” (2008) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Wittgenstein and Frege on Proper Names” ( forthcoming ) </li></ul>
  35. 35. A central Point <ul><li>According to Wittgenstein </li></ul><ul><li>the same sentence can make very different assertions </li></ul><ul><li>NOT ONLY as in standard pragmatics: </li></ul><ul><li>because of different contexts of utterance </li></ul><ul><li>BUT ALSO </li></ul><ul><li>because of different grammar </li></ul><ul><li> (different types of language games ) </li></ul>
  36. 36. example <ul><li>“ X is lighter than Y” </li></ul><ul><li>(1) In the L-Game of reporting greater lightness or darkness of bodies </li></ul><ul><li>(2) In the L-Game of stating the relationshp between the lightness of certain colours </li></ul><ul><li> Remarks on Colors §131: In (1) the report is temporal; not in (2) </li></ul>
  37. 37. What Baker and Hacker reject <ul><li>Should relativity to language games apply to proper names? </li></ul><ul><li>Baker and Hacker are very happy with language games </li></ul><ul><li>but very dissatisfied with Wittgenstein’s treatment of proper names </li></ul><ul><li>in the Philosophical Investigation </li></ul><ul><li>- Wittgenstein seems too similar to a Fregean approach </li></ul><ul><li>- This would make it difficult to make W. a forerunner of social theories of reference (as Wettstein would like him to be) </li></ul>
  38. 38. <ul><li>Substantial departure from Frege: according to Wittgenstein </li></ul><ul><li>there is no uniform account of the semantic role of proper names </li></ul><ul><li>Deep agreement when the focus is changed </li></ul><ul><li>From </li></ul><ul><li>the problem of determination of the referent: </li></ul><ul><li>How do we get the reference of a proper name? </li></ul><ul><li>To </li></ul><ul><li>the problem of communication of the thought expressed: </li></ul><ul><li>How do we succeed in proper communication using proper names? </li></ul><ul><li>Detailed analysis of “Der Gedanke” and of Frege’s Nachlass </li></ul>
  39. 39. Frege’s context principle in W <ul><li>“ We may say: nothing has so far been done when a thing has been named. It has not even got a name except in the language-game [of naming]. This was what Frege meant too, when he said that a word has meaning only in the context of an utterance.” (Wittgenstein) </li></ul><ul><li>many kinds of language games: naming, calling for help, describing, … </li></ul><ul><li>1) using proper names of ordinary people </li></ul><ul><li>2) using names of famous persons (Moses) </li></ul><ul><li>3) using names of fictional objects </li></ul>
  40. 40. Context sensitivity strikes back <ul><li>For communication to succeed </li></ul><ul><li>Not enough that speaker and hearer refer to the same individual, </li></ul><ul><li>but also they must be aware to do so </li></ul><ul><li>Sense as background information </li></ul><ul><li>Pieces of information that may fluctuate allow us to understand whether people are talking to the same person or not - or are realizing they are doing so </li></ul>
  41. 41. <ul><li>“ Gustav Lauben” = dr. Lauben </li></ul><ul><li>the dear old man the famous doctor </li></ul><ul><li>I meet everyday who discovered </li></ul><ul><li>at the market a rare disease </li></ul>
  42. 42. Rediscovering old stuff <ul><li>(1) “Gustav Lauben has been wounded” </li></ul><ul><li>(2) “Dr. Lauben has been wounded” </li></ul><ul><li>Although they refer to the same semantic (truth conditional) content </li></ul><ul><li>may fail to communicate the same information </li></ul><ul><li>In fact </li></ul><ul><li>they express different procedures (information flow) to get the same individual </li></ul><ul><li>hence </li></ul><ul><li>they express different assertoric contents, different thoughts </li></ul>
  43. 43. understanding a sentence <ul><li>We speak of understanding a sentence in the sense in which it can be repaced by another which says the same; </li></ul><ul><li>But also in the sense in which it cannot be replaced by any other. </li></ul><ul><li>In the one case the thought in the sentence is something common to different sentences; </li></ul><ul><li>in the other, it is something that is expressed only by the words in these positions. </li></ul>
  44. 44. <ul><li>The End </li></ul>