On what sort of speech act Wittgenstein's investigations is and why it matters (the philosophical forum , XXVIII, no. 3, 1997)
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophers concerned with speech acts, or Wittgenstein's uses of language , mostly fix their attention on actions done by issuing just a phrase or short sentence (in the appropriate circumstances with the proper qualifications, feeling, intent, uptake, etc.). "Five red apples" is Wittgenstein's paradigm example in his Philosophical Investigations . "There's a bittern at the bottom of your garden" plays a similar role in J. L. Austin's most central and ambitious essay, "Other Minds." Indeed, as Wittgenstein points out, a single word or gesture may do the job perfectly well, just as an illiterate man can make a valid contract by marking an "X" on a piece of paper. And, of course, in all relevant philosophical respects, a speech act may be written rather than spoken: in his leitmotiv example, Wittgenstein..
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