Logic and Conversation

  • Siobhan Chapman


As Grice’s enthusiasm for ordinary language philosophy became increasingly qualified during the 1950s, his interest was growing in the rather different styles of philosophy of language then current in America. Recent improvements in communications had made possible an exchange of ideas across the Atlantic that would have been unthinkable before the war. W. V. O. Quine had made a considerable impression at Oxford during his time as Eastman Professor. Grice was interested in Quine’s logical approach to language, although he differed from him over certain specific questions, such as the viability of the distinction between analytic and synthetic statements. Quine, who was visiting England for a whole year, and who brought with him clothes, books and even provisions in the knowledge that rationing was still in force, travelled by ship.1 However, during the same decade the rapid proliferation of passenger air travel enabled movement of academics between Britain and America for even short stays and lecture tours. Grice himself made a number of such visits, and was impressed by the formal and theory-driven philosophy he encountered. Most of all he was impressed by the work of Noam Chomsky.


Sense Data Causal Theory Ordinary Language Conversational Implicature Linguistic Meaning 
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© Siobhan Chapman 2005

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  • Siobhan Chapman

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