Re: Saying that

From: mjmurphy (
Date: Sun Oct 27 2002 - 12:41:45 GMT

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    J.L wrote:

    > Grice then goes on to propose (in that same opening section) a definition
    > of "saying-that" in terms of "doing something with x"... (And note Grice's
    > remark re: "troubles about the quoted variable, 'p' will be in direct
    > speech and so cannot be a quotation of a clause following 'U meant

    Interesting distinction drawn here between quotation and indirect speech.
    Traditionally (Church, for example, in his discussion of Carnap's
    "sententialism", but also Austen and many many others including Grice in
    this passage), quotation is said to report the utterance, while indirect
    speech (`said that' or `meant that') is supposed to report the statement
    expressed or the proposition made by the utterance.


    1) "Snow is white," Tom said.

    ...reports Tom's utterance.

    2) Tom said that snow is white.

    ...reports the proposition Tom expressed. 2) may be true if Tom actually
    uttered "la neige est blanche"; 1) is not.

    In several papers available on his website,, E. Lepore takes issue with the
    notion that indirect speech reports report a proposition expressed by a
    sentence (being a Davidsonian, he is down on propositions). He makes use of
    examples like the following. Suppose gClinton ives a 45 minute long speech
    where he never makes use of the word "little guy" or "social programs". It
    may be correct, for some community of speakers, to report him as follows:

    3) Clinton said that he would save social programs and fight for the little

    Now, I think the same kind of examples can be used to discredit the idea
    that quotation reports or must report the utterance made. For example, in
    the same example above, it might be correct, for some community of speakers,
    to report Clinton as follows:

    4) Clinton said, "I'm going to save social programs and fight for the little



    The shapes of things are dumb.
    -L. Wittgenstein

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