josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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12 Feb '16 11:53:31 PM

'Two other features of Frege's logical notation provide further grounds for calling the standard reading into doubt. First, it includes a sign, the judgment stroke, to distinguish those judgeable contents that are acknowledged to be true from those that are not. Such a sign is needed in logic, Frege argues, because inferences can be drawn only from premises acknowledged to be true. "In presenting an inference, one must utter the premises with assertoric force, for the truth of the premises is essential to the correctness of the inference. If in representing an inference in my conceptual notation one were to leave out the judgment strokes before the premised propositions, something essential would be missing… What is essential to an inference must be counted as part of logic" (Philosophical and Mathematical Correspondence 79). A judgment stroke is not, however, essential to an inference in standard quantificational logic. In our logics the truth of the premises is irrelevant to the correctness of an inference; what matters is only whether the conclusion is true on the assumption that the premises are true. Yet Frege persisted in his "error" of defending the inclusion of a judgment stroke in his logic even after Wittgenstein had pointed out that the judgment stroke has no place in logic, at least in logic as Wittgenstein understands it. Again we must ask, was Frege unaccountably blind to this point, or is his conception of logic different from the conception we inherit from Russell and Wittgenstein?'

12 Feb '16 11:39:01 PM

'… der Möglichkeit, die es in unserer Sprache gibt, jeden Behauptungssatz in der Form zu schreiben »Es wird behauptet….«'

12 Feb '16 09:40:18 PM

'You're not saving for a nice and shining future, you're steeling yourself against doom.'

10 Feb '16 03:36:32 AM

Command lines

8 Feb '16 10:39:31 PM

(I now also think that my way forward with my 'belief-in' essay has been blocked because I wasn't laying enough emphasis on 'myth' in Part Four of Claim. Not that Cavell is any help with that; but it's clear that 'living my skepticism' and 'no longer living the myth', i.e. not believing (in) it, have to be related as part of any account of Cavellian belief in others (whatever that might be). I suppose I had been trying to exclude 'myth' from my account as much as possible—thus depriving myself of a belief-mediating element of the account—just because this seemed to be condoned by Cavell's attempt to work up a form of skepticism about others that could be stated in independent terms, 'naturalized' as it were, apart from any basis in or confounding by whatever 'fragments of a myth' about others that happened to crop up. Perhaps so; but the problem as reformulated after the 'shallow' views about the depth of the soul, the depths of our denials of others, etc., have been critiqued in the initial sections of Part Four has its roots in this 'no longer living the myth' phenomenon. A related question, then, would be why, for the philosopher, belief in God or in the world's existence do not at first seem to require the same sort of interposition of a 'believable' term between believer and the object of belief.)

8 Feb '16 06:33:59 AM

Musil on diaries, in his diary: 'the most convenient, the least disciplined form'.

6 Feb '16 08:28:10 AM

'Only those can work in it who have their own convictions about what it is.'

5 Feb '16 09:24:44 AM

'… and connect / The landscape with the quiet of the sky.'

3 Feb '16 11:09:12 PM

I never did like oranges. Juice, yes, oranges, no; too sticky, too hard to do. A hassle, to be given an orange. But the little ones, mandarins or clementines, are somehow suddenly attractive. No shortage of work to get the fruit free of the peel and the strands of pith, not much less sticky, but doable, simple. Something meditative about eating two or three, accumulating the remains in a pile.

I had a student who couldn't stand the smell of oranges in the classroom. They handed them out in jail, he said. To eat the fruit, then to use the peels to freshen the air in the cells.