In the pleasure gardens at Blackpool before the war you could pay sixpence to see a five-legged calf, a two-headed hen, midgets and the Rector of Stiffkey, in cages. Apart from the clergyman, who had been involved in a lurid court case, these exhibits are exactly the sort of thing it would be appropriate to cite if one were seeking to explain the meaning of the expression lusus naturae (sport of nature) by examples.


Fairy Tale Material Thing Empirical Concept British Academy Logical Grammar 
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  1. 1.
    G. E. M. Anscombe, ′Times, Beginnings and Causes′, in Proceedings of the British Academy, 1974; reprinted in her Collected Papers, Vol. II, p. 151.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    R. F. Holland, ′The Miraculous′, A.P.Q., 1965; reprinted in Against Empiricism, p. 182.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. L. Austin, ′Other Minds′, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. 1946; reprinted in Philosophical Papers, p. 56.Google Scholar
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    Charles Williams, poet and novelist, 1886–1945; author of Many Dimensions and The Place of the Lion. Google Scholar
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    Peter Winch, ′Ceasing to Exist′, 1982; reprinted in Trying to Make Sense (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987).Google Scholar
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    Wittgenstein, On Certainty, trans. Denis Paul and G. E. M. Anscombe (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1979).Google Scholar
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    , ′Peter Winc′Eine Einstellung zur Seele′, Proceedings of theAristotelian Society, 1980–1; reprinted in Trying toMake Sense. Google Scholar
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    Schlick, Causality in Life and Science; reprinted in Readings in Philosophical Analysis, ed. Feigl and Sellars, p. 522.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    The idea of bringing these in was suggested to me by Geoffrey Hunter.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    I am not suggesting for one moment that the thing could be on the cards; but please do not take my meaning to be therefore that it is not on the cards. It is neither on the cards nor not on them. Expla-nation of this gnomic saying must await a further occasion.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Z. Phillips and Peter Winch 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. F. Holland

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