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Moore's Paradox

 
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 12:54 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;138647 wrote:
Why not then say "I have lost." or "I am no longer a player in that game." It is more to the point. It seems if someone says "I am dead" they are speaking more metaphorically than metaphysically. Is there more to saying "I am dead" in Wittgenstein's language games than this? I guess what I'm asking is why did you use the word "metaphysically" instead of "metaphorically"?


It's very common to say, "I am dead" after dying in a video game. Of course, the phrase is being using metaphorically. The metaphor is X (you) is Y (the character in the game).

Blue, I think, just meant "literally" by "metaphysical frame"
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 01:00 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;138650 wrote:
It's very common to say, "I am dead" after dying in a video game. Of course, the phrase is being using metaphorically. The metaphor is X (you) is Y (the character in the game).

Blue, I think, just meant "literally" by "metaphysical frame"


Blue? Not sure where that came from? W's Blue Book? Or do you mean feeling blue? Still not following the distinction between metaphorical and metaphysical. Is "metaphysical frame" the frame of the language game in which words have a "literal" meaning though they may have a different meaning outside of that frame?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 01:01 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;138650 wrote:
It's very common to say, "I am dead" after dying in a video game. Of course, the phrase is being using metaphorically. The metaphor is X (you) is Y (the character in the game).

Blue, I think, just meant "literally" by "metaphysical frame"


"I am dead" might be true. So the truth conditions for that statement might obtain. But the assertability conditions for that statement cannot obtain. Or, to put it into plain English, it may be true, but it cannot be asserted. Never mind language games, and the rest.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 01:05 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;138658 wrote:
"I am dead" might be true. So the truth conditions for that statement might obtain. But the assertability conditions for that statement cannot obtain. Or, to put it into plain English, it may be true, but it cannot be asserted. Never mind language games, and the rest.

So the paradox arises from the fact that some true statements cannot be asserted.
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 01:06 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;138658 wrote:
"I am dead" might be true. So the truth conditions for that statement might obtain. But the assertability conditions for that statement cannot obtain. Or, to put it into plain English, it may be true, but it cannot be asserted. Never mind language games, and the rest.


If you use the phrase literally, you are correct.

---------- Post added 03-11-2010 at 02:08 PM ----------

Deckard;138659 wrote:
So the paradox arises from the fact that some true statements cannot be asserted.


Moore's paradox forces us to look at phrases which would never be seriously asserted, but that may be true. "It's raining outside, but I don't believe that it is" is an example because it may be true that it is raining and the person not believe it (for instance, they haven't checked the forecast for the day), but no one would ever say this without being absurd. Similarly, "I (someone) am dead", may be true, but no one can assert this without being absurd. It's impossible for it to be asserted and the phrase be literally true at the same time.
0 Replies
 
Pyrrho
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 01:09 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;138656 wrote:
Blue? Not sure where that came from? W's Blue Book? Or do you mean feeling blue? Still not following the distinction between metaphorical and metaphysical. Is "metaphysical frame" the frame of the language game in which words have a "literal" meaning though they may have a different meaning outside of that frame?


You were responding to someone with the name "bluemist". Zetherin shortened that to "Blue". Although online names are not real names, ignoring them leads to confusion.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 01:09 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;138659 wrote:
So the paradox arises from the fact that some true statements cannot be asserted.



Yes. And, more importantly, it points to the distinction between truth conditions and assertability conditions.
0 Replies
 
Ahab
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 01:23 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;138646 wrote:
Where did Barbie come from? Ken says, "It is raining, but I don't believe it" There is no assertion that it is not raining. "I don't believe it is raining" does not assert that it is not raining, if that is what you happen to mean.


That is precisely what I mean. To say that something like "I believe the cat is on the mat." or "I believe it is not raining." is to make an assertion.

I brought in Barbie to highlight the difference between an ascription of belief and an expression of belief.

An expression of belief is an assertion.

And that was why in my first post I pointed out that Moore has simply joined two contradictory assertions together.
Egregias
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 01:27 pm
@Ahab,
Ahab;138671 wrote:
An expression of belief is an assertion.

Yes. It is an assertion about your beliefs. It is not an assertion about the thing believed.
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 01:36 pm
@kennethamy,
Ahab wrote:

And that was why in my first post I pointed out that Moore has simply joined two contradictory assertions together.


The first conjunct is an assertion about the world, the second conjunct is an assertion about your belief.
Ahab
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 02:18 pm
@Egregias,
[QUOTE=Egregias;138674]Yes. It is an assertion about your beliefs. It is not an assertion about the thing believed.[/QUOTE]

No, I believe you are wrong. But that is a natural assumption to make.

If I tell you I believe that the cat is on the mat, then it makes no sense for you to ask me where the cat is. That is because you now know where I stand on the question of where the cat is at.
If someone were to then ask you whether or not I believed the cat was on the mat, you could tell them. And because you are making an assertion about my belief in your ascription of that belief to me, it would make sense for that person to then go on and ask you where you stand on the perplexing question of where the cat is at.

The most common and natural way to express a belief that p is the simple assertion of p. So if you ask me where the cat is and I believe the cat is on the mat I will simply say "The cat is on the mat."
I could preface that with "I believe that" if I also recognized that I could be wrong about the cat being on the mat.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 02:47 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;138676 wrote:
The first conjunct is an assertion about the world, the second conjunct is an assertion about your belief.


kennethamy;138664 wrote:
Yes. And, more importantly, it points to the distinction between truth conditions and assertability conditions.


Cases that point to the distinction between truth conditions and assertability conditions

1) Assertions about the world in conjunction with assertions of the speaker's belief
e.g. "It is raining, I don't believe it."

2) Assertions about the world that are impossible for the speaker to mean literally.
e.g. "I am dead."

3) ?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 03:11 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;138693 wrote:
Cases that point to the distinction between truth conditions and assertability conditions

1) Assertions about the world in conjunction with assertions of the speaker's belief
e.g. "It is raining, I don't believe it."

2) Assertions about the world that are impossible for the speaker to mean literally.
e.g. "I am dead."

3) ?


Both 1 and 2 are statements that are true, but cannot be understood literally. Since neither case can be asserted, neither is an assertion. I can think of other examples, if that is what you mean. For instance, "I cannot speak a word of English"; "I don't exist" etc.
Egregias
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 03:14 pm
@Ahab,
Ahab;138684 wrote:
No, I believe you are wrong. But that is a natural assumption to make.
If you read the early posts in this thread, I believe you will find me agreeing with you, but I have been convinced otherwise.
These two statements are not contradictory:

"The cat is on the mat"
"Ahab does not believe the cat is on the mat"

If I say the above, no problem. If you say it, there is a problem, but it's not that the two statements are contradictory -- they aren't.

---------- Post added 03-11-2010 at 02:33 PM ----------

kennethamy;138700 wrote:
Both 1 and 2 are statements that are true, but cannot be understood literally. Since neither case can be asserted, neither is an assertion. I can think of other examples, if that is what you mean. For instance, "I cannot speak a word of English"; "I don't exist" etc.

They can be understood, but they can't be believed, nor can a listener belive the speaker is sincere. They are intended not to be believed. I'm still uncomfortable with saying they are not assertions.
Ahab
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 04:27 pm
@Egregias,
Egregias;138701 wrote:
If you read the early posts in this thread, I believe you will find me agreeing with you, but I have been convinced otherwise.
These two statements are not contradictory:

"The cat is on the mat"
"Ahab does not believe the cat is on the mat"

If I say the above, no problem. If you say it, there is a problem, but it's not that the two statements are contradictory -- they aren't.


I don't think they are contradictory either. But please note that the first one is an assertion that the cat is on the mat. The second one is an assertion that Ahab does not believe the cat is on the mat.

In the second assertion a belief is being ascribed to me..
When I say,"I believe the cat is not on the mat." I am expressing my belief. I am not ascribing that belief to myself.
We need to differentiate between an ascription of belief and an expression of belief.
0 Replies
 
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 05:22 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;138700 wrote:
Both 1 and 2 are statements that are true, but cannot be understood literally. Since neither case can be asserted, neither is an assertion. I can think of other examples, if that is what you mean. For instance, "I cannot speak a word of English"; "I don't exist" etc.

Is there anything more to say about Moore's paradox then? How about what do we call such utterances? Don't just say meaningless. I think this peculiar type of utterance should have a name.
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 06:09 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;138752 wrote:
Is there anything more to say about Moore's paradox then? How about what do we call such utterances? Don't just say meaningless. I think this peculiar type of utterance should have a name.


Perhaps we can just call this set of utterances, "The set of utterances in which Moore's paradox arises"?
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 06:14 pm
@Zetherin,
Deckard;138693 wrote:
Cases that point to the distinction between truth conditions and assertability conditions

1) Assertions about the world in conjunction with assertions of the speaker's belief
e.g. "It is raining, I don't believe it."

2) Assertions about the world that are impossible for the speaker to mean literally.
e.g. "I am dead."

3) ?


Zetherin;138766 wrote:
Perhaps we can just call this set of utterances, "The set of utterances in which Moore's paradox arises"?


How about "MP utterances"? That will have to suffice until a better name is found. At this point I was wondering if we could make further distinctions within that set. Subsets of the set of MP utterances.

I thought that there might be some important difference between example 1 and example 2 that would warrant the creation of such subsets.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 06:23 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;138752 wrote:
Is there anything more to say about Moore's paradox then? How about what do we call such utterances? Don't just say meaningless. I think this peculiar type of utterance should have a name.


Well, there are its implications for arguing from what we can or cannot assert, to what is true. No, I cannot think of any good name for such utterances. But, I haven't tried.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 06:27 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;138773 wrote:
Well, there are its implications for arguing from what we can or cannot assert, to what is true.


I can see that there are implications but I question how often they actually come up in actual arguments. I guess I'd like an example that better illustrated the implications. Some argument involving a personal belief in God perhaps?
 

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