“So one might, in the end, be faced with the alternatives of either reverting to their theoretically unambitious style or giving up hope altogether of systematizing the linguistic phenomena of natural discourse. To me, neither alternative is very attractive.”
Paul Grice, Studies in the way of words, Prolegomena, p. 4, Harvard University Press, 1989.
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 08-03-2009. Good intentions, but as usual no follow-through. Anyway, these are the origins of quadrialectics.]
I have decided to re-read Grice after completing my reading of Davidson. I think it more and more likely that some kind of “stepping stone theory of language” – as per my not (yet?) published thesis on common sense reasoning – might just be the sort of alternative that Grice would have found attractive. Continue reading
“Nos yeux doutent d’eux-mêmes, tant que les autres ne nous ont pas aidés à établir en nous la réalité de ce que nous voyons. Notre conscience s’égare: car cette conscience, que nous croyons être notre bien le plus intime, n’est que la présence des autres en nous. Nous ne pouvons nous sentir seuls.” Pirandello, ‘Un, personne et cent mille’, p. 149, L’imaginaire de Gallimard, 1930.
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 27/09/2008. Let’s see what we got ;-]
[Amateuristic English translation: “Our eyes doubt themselves, as long as others have not helped to establish in us the reality of what we see. Our conscience dissipates: because this conscience, that we take to be our most intimate asset, is nothing else than the presence of other is us. We can’t feel alone.”]
It is the last certainty: our self, our individuality, our personality. Few ventured to boldly go where the self evident simplicity of the self is no longer an unspoken premise. Pirandello was one of the first. Many have put nuances, almost nobody dares to get so bold as to attack the first pillar of dualism: the “I”.