Alex Peek blog

List of posts    Blog archive    About


Friday, August 31, 2018

P. F. Strawson and the conceptual framework

P. F. Strawson (1919-2006) was a British philosopher best known for his contributions to the philosophy of language. Philosopher Jane O'Grady said,


"Strawson, first gained philosophical fame at the age of 29 in 1950, when he criticised Bertrand Russell' renowned theory of descriptions for failing to do justice to the richness of ordinary language." (Obituary Sir Peter Strawson, 2006)


Wikipedia says,


"In his book Individuals (1959), Strawson attempts to give a description of various concepts that form and interconnected web, representing (part of) our common, shared conceptual scheme. In particular, he examines our conceptions of basic particulars, and how they are variously brought under general spatio-temporal concepts." (Wikipedia: P. F. Strawson, 8.14.21 UTC 20:52)


The rest of this post is some quotes from Strawson.




"There is a massive central core of human thinking which has no history - or none recorded in histories of thought; there are categories and concepts which, in their most fundamental character, change not at all... It is with these, their interconnexions, and the structure that they form, that descriptive metaphysics will be primarily be concerned." (Individuals, 1959)


"Part of my aim is to exhibit some general and structural features of the conceptual scheme in terms of which we think about particular things." (Individuals, 1959)




"Neither Aristotelian nor Russellian rules give the exact logic of any expression of ordinary language; for ordinary language has no exact logic." (On Referring, 1950)


"It remains to mention some of the ways in which people have spoken misleadingly of logical form. One of the commonest of these is to talk of 'the logical form' of a statement; as if a statement could never have more than one kind of formal power; as if statements could, in respect of their formal powers, be grouped in mutually exclusive classes, like animals at a zoo in respect of their species." (Introduction to Logical Theory, 1952)