Word and Object

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Austin’s Self

March 22nd, 2008 · No Comments

J. L. Austin’s Theory of Performatives conceals a robust notion of “self.” A speaker uttering (an author writing) a performative intends to change (or describe a change to) a state of affairs in the world. Such modification might not happen, and probably wouldn’t, unless the speaker uses the performative. The speaker is an individual, performative-deploying […]

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Speech Acts with Legal Consequences

October 25th, 2006 · No Comments

This is yet another note precipitated by re-reading J. L. Austin’s famous paper, “A Plea for Excuses,” see previous post. As I described, Austin originated the concept of “speech acts,” which are the things one does, or accomplishes, by uttering words. Examples are activities such as promising, commanding, evaluating, describing, etc. Now, there’s a significant […]

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Legal “Excuses”

October 24th, 2006 · No Comments

I was thinking some more about J. L. Austin (see previous post, “Comments on ‘A Plea for Excuses,’” and it occurred to me that lawsuits, and litigation, are the ultimate example of an aberration, something going wrong. Now, I dislike lawyers as much as the next guy, but stay with me here, like Dante with […]

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Comments Regarding “A Plea for Excuses”

October 23rd, 2006 · No Comments

Our subject today is a paper by a philosopher named J. L. Austin. Austin was a professor at Oxford. He actually died comparatively recently, in 1960. He is not to be confused with another English philosopher named John Austin, who was a famous scholar of jurisprudence, or I suppose we could say a “jurisprude,” back […]

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