Attention to the conversational role of alethic terms seems to dominate, and even sometimes exhaust, many contemporary analyses of the nature of truth. Yet, because truth plays a role in judgment and assertion regardless of whether alethic terms are expressly used, such analyses cannot be comprehensive or fully adequate. A more general analysis of the nature of truth is therefore required – one which continues to explain the significance of truth independently of the role alethic terms play in discourse. We (...) undertake such an analysis in this paper; in particular, we start with certain elements from Kant and Frege, and develop a construct of truth as a normative modality of cognitive acts (e.g., thought, judgment, assertion). Using the various biconditional T-schemas to sanction the general passage from assertions to (equivalent) assertions of truth, we then suggest that an illocutionary analysis of truth can contribute to its locutionary analysis as well, including the analysis of diverse constructions involving alethic terms that have been largely overlooked in the philosophical literature. Finally, we briefly indicate the importance of distinguishing between alethic and epistemic modalities. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it aims at providing an account of an indirect mechanism responsible for establishing one's power to issue biding directive acts; second, it is intended as a case for an externalist account of illocutionary interaction. The mechanism in question is akin to what David Lewis calls presupposition accommodation: a rule-governed process whereby the context of an utterance is adjusted to make the utterance acceptable; the main idea behind the proposed account is that (...) the indirect power-establishing mechanism involves the use of imperative sentences that function as presupposition triggers and as such can trigger off the accommodating change of the context of their utterance. According to the externalist account of illocutionary interaction, in turn, at least in some cases the illocutionary force of an act is determined by the audience's uptake rather than by what the speaker intends or believes; in particular, at least in some cases it is the speaker, not her audience, who is invited to accommodate the presupposition of her act. The paper has three parts. The first one defines a few terms — i.e., an “illocution”, a “biding act”, the “audience's uptake” and an “Austinian presupposition” — thereby setting the stage for the subsequent discussion. The second part formulates and discusses the main problem of the present paper: what is the source of the agent's power to perform binding directive acts? The third part offers an account of the indirect power-establishing mechanism and discusses its externalist implications. (shrink)
In the classic Linguistic Communication and Speech Acts,Kent Bach and Robert M. Harnish advocated the idea that to perform an illocutionary actoften just means to express certain attitudes. The underlying definition of attitudeexpression, however, gives rise to serious problems because it requires intentions of a peculiarkind. Recently, Wayne Davis has proposed a different analysis of attitude expression whichis not subject to these difficulties and thus promises a more plausible account of illocutions.It will be shown, however, that this account is (...) too weak since it does not exclude cases wherethe utterer merely pretends to perform an illocutionary act. Davis' analysis also callsinto question a weaker doctrine widely held among speech act theorists by suggesting that, inorder to perform an illocutionary act, it is not even necessary to express mental states. (shrink)
As is shown in the introduction of the book, the notion "illocutionary act" is used with quite a number of essentially different meanings; consequently, it is quite unclear what an "illocutionary act" is actually supposed to be. This problem is the starting point of the thesis. An argument is stated, to the effect that the introduction and use of scholarly terms like, for instance, "illocutionary act", or "performative sentence", is not entirely arbitrary. It is argued that technical (...) terms should not be re-defined without a reason, but in the absence of reasons to the contrary should be used in the way in which they have originally been introduced. This argument is applied to the notion "illocutionary act". John L. Austin is the one who introduced this notion. Consequently, his conception of these acts should be adopted unless there are good reasons to the contrary. Therefore the book provides a detailed analysis of Austin's account, and his original conception of these acts is reconstructed. The most popular alternative account of "illocutionary acts" is John R. Searle's. Therefore, secondly, the book provides an analysis of Searle's famous account of "illocutionary acts" - the first really detailed one available, including Searle's own work. It is shown that what Searle presents is in fact extremely sketchy, and can certainly not be viewed, as it often is, as an elaborated theory. It is further argued that the fundamental assumptions about language which Searle intends to illustrate with his account of "illocutionary acts" are mistaken, so that in general a theory following the lines Searle suggests is doomed to failure. Finally it is shown that Searle's account of "illocutionary acts", as far as it goes, is not an adequate adoption of the conception Austin introduced. Hence Searle's account is no reasonable alternative to Austin's account. (shrink)
"ifs", Apart from counterfactuals, Are considered in the context of illocutionary acts. First, Austin's distinction between normal/causal "ifs" and stipulative "ifs" is amended to: normal/causal "ifs" contrapose within the context of the illocutionary act, Stipulative "ifs" do not. Using this criterion, Normal/causal "ifs" are found only in the contents of austin's classes of verdictives and expositives, And in some behabitives; stipulative "ifs" are found in exercitives and commissives and in some behabitives. But all types of illocutionary act (...) may contain the "if" of material implication, When the "if" can be rendered equally well in terms of disjunction. (shrink)
In this paper I consider the concept of an illocutionary rule - i.e., the rule of the form "X counts as 7 in context C" - and examine the role it plays in explaining the nature of verbal communication and the conventionality of natural languages. My aim is to find a middle ground between John R. Searle's view, according to which every conventional speech act has to be explained in terms of illocutionary rules that underlie its performance, and (...) the view held by Ruth G Millikan, who seems to suggest that the formula "X counts as Y in context C" has no application in our theorizing about human linguistic practice. I claim, namely, that the concept of an illocutionary rule is theoretically useful, though not explanatorily basic. I argue that using the formula "X counts as Y in context C" we can classify illocutionary acts by what Millikan calls their conventional outcomes, and thereby make them susceptible to naturalistic explanation. (shrink)
The original definition of a technical term, the paper argues, should not be altered without a good reason. This notion is applied to the conception of illocutionary acts suggested by Alston, which markedly differs from the conception originally introduced by John L. Austin. Alston appears to agree with the argument; at least, he does attempt to justify his re-definition. The paper argues, however, that the reasons he gives fail.
This paper is an attempt to give a general explanation of pragmatic aspects of linguistic negation. After a brief survey of classical accounts of negation within pragmatic theories (as speech act theory, argumentation theory and polyphonic theory), the main pragmatic uses of negation (illocutionary negation, external negation, lowering and majoring negation) are discussed within relevance theory. The question of the relevance of negative utterance is raised, and a general inferential schema (based on the so-called invited inference) is proposed and (...) tested for the main uses of negation discussed in the paper. (shrink)
There are propositions constituting the content of fictions—sometimes of the utmost importance to understand them—which are not explicitly presented, but must somehow be inferred. This essay deals with what these inferences tell us about the nature of fiction. I will criticize three well-known proposals in the literature: those by David Lewis, Gregory Currie, and Kendall Walton. I advocate a proposal of my own, which I will claim improves on theirs. Most important for my purposes, I will argue on this basis, (...) against Walton’s objections, for an illocutionary-act account of fiction, inspired in part by some of Lewis’s and Currie’s suggestions, but (perhaps paradoxically) above all by Walton’s deservedly influential views. (shrink)
Rae Langton and Jennifer Hornsby argue that there may be a free-speech argument against pornography, if pornographic speech has the power to illocutionarily silence women: women's locution ‘No!’ that aims to refuse unwanted sex may misfire because pornography creates communicative conditions where the locution does not count as a refusal. Central to this is the view that women's speech lacks uptake, which is necessary for illocutionary acts like that of refusal. Alexander Bird has critiqued this view by arguing that (...) uptake is not necessary for the illocutionary act of refusal. The Hornsby-Langton view, then, is philosophically indefensible. Here I defend the philosophical cogency of the Hornsby-Langton approach. (shrink)
I argue that john r searle's speech-Act theory of meaning violates his own requirement that such a theory specify a set of conditions for the performance of a certain illocutionary (speech) act which does not include the performance of any other illocutionary act. For the "propositional act" mentioned in searle's analysans is in actuality an illocutionary act. Then I show that any speech-Act theory must include a subsidiary speech act in the analysans. Since the analysans must not (...) contain such an act, Such an analysis is impossible. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to evaluate which context determines the illocutionary force of written or recorded utterances—those involved in written texts, films and images, conceived as recordings that can be seen or heard in different occasions. More precisely, my paper deals with the “metaphysical” or constitutive role of context—as opposed to its epistemic or evidential role: my goal is to determine which context is semantically relevant in order to fix the illocutionary force of a speech act, (...) as distinct from the information the addressee uses to ascertain the semantically relevant context. In particular I will try to assess two different perspectives on this problem, a Conventionalist Perspective and an Intentionalist Perspective. Drawing on the literature on indexicals in written texts and recorded messages, I will argue in favor of the Intentionalist Perspective: the relevant context is the one intended by the speaker. Bringing intentions into the picture, however, requires qualification; in particular, I will distinguish my Weak Intentionalist proposal from a Strong Intentionalist one. I will show that the Weak Intentionalist Perspective is flexible enough to deal with cases of delayed communication, but not so unrestricted as to yield counter-intuitive consequences. (shrink)
Speech-Act analyses of words like 'good', 'true', 'know' and 'probable' were criticised by j.R. Searle in "speech acts". I have tried to show how his criticisms can be met by an analysis in terms of operators on speech acts which 'transform' them into other speech-Acts. I conclude, Not that speech-Act analyses are correct, But that they survive searle's criticism.
En el presente artículo se defiende que el estudio de una familia particular de actos de habla, los actos ilocucionarios hostiles, nos da la clave para reexaminar cuatro importantes cuestiones fundacionales de la teoría de los actos de habla: la distinción ilocucionario/perlocucionario, la noción de infortunio, la cuestión de la primacía de la primera sobre la tercera persona en el estudio de la fuerza, y la cuestión de la posibilidad de una teoría general y sistemática del fenómeno de la fuerza. (...) /// In this paper I argüe that the study of a particular family of speech acts, the hostile illocutionary acts, gives us the key for the re-examination of four important foundational questions in speech act theory: the illocutionary/perlocutionary distinction, the notion of infelicity, the question of the primacy of first versus third person perspective in the study of forcé, and the question of the possibility of a general and systematic theory of the phenomenon of force. (shrink)
Rae Langton and Jennifer Hornsby have argued that pornography might create a climate whereby a woman’s ability to refuse sex is literally silenced or removed. Their central argument is that a failure of ‘uptake’ of the woman’s intention means that the illocutionary speech act of refusal has not taken place. In this paper, I challenge the claims from the Austinian philosophy of language which feature in this argument. I argue that uptake is not in general required for illocution, nor (...) is it required for refusal in particular. I conclude with remarks on the relationship between illocutionary and perlocutionary speech-acts. (shrink)
Recently, several philosophers have recast feminist arguments against pornography in terms of Speech Act Theory. In particular, they have considered the ways in which the illocutionary force of pornographic speech serves to set the conventions of sexual discourse while simultaneously silencing the speech of women, especially during unwanted sexual encounters. Yet, this raises serious questions as to how pornographers could (i) be authorities in the language game of sex, and (ii) set the conventions for sexual discourse - questions which (...) these speech act-theoretic arguments against pornography have thus far failed to adequately answer. I fill in this gap of the argumentation by demonstrating that there are fairly weak standards for who counts as an authority or convention-setter in sexual discourse. With this analysis of the underpinnings of a speech act analysis of pornography in mind, I discuss a range of possible objections. I conclude that (i) the endorsement of censorship by a speech act analysis of pornography competes with its commitment to the conventionality of speech acts, and, more damningly, that (ii), recasting anti-pornography arguments in terms of linguistic conventions risks an unwitting defence of a rapist's lack of mens rea - an intolerable result; and yet resisting this conclusion requires that one back away from the original claim to women's voices being 'silenced'. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is an account of the semantics and pragmatics of exclamation. I focus on two key observations: first, that sentence exclamations like Wow, John bakes delicious desserts! and exclamatives like What delicious desserts John bakes! express that a particular proposition has violated the speaker’s expectations; and second, that exclamatives are semantically restricted in a way that sentence exclamations are not. In my account of these facts, I propose a characterization of illocutionary force of exclamation, a (...) function from propositions to speech acts of exclamation. The difference in meaning between sentence exclamations and exclamatives has consequences for the type of violated expectation. I end with a comparison to some previous approaches and a tentative extension of parts of the analysis to other constructions. (shrink)
In this paper an argument by l j jost against the use of j o urmson's concept of central illocutionary force to support a speech act analysis of meaning is rejected on the grounds that jost misinterprets urmson's concept, but it is further argued that the concept correctly interpreted is still of little use because it provides no way of picking out the word whose meaning it explicates.
This paper deals with the explanation the maxim of relevance provides for the way utterances in argumentative discourse follow each other in an orderly and coherent fashion. Several senses are distinguished in which utterances can be considered relevant. It is argued that an utterance can be considered relevant as an interactional act, as an illocutionary act, as a propositional act, and as an elocutionary act. These four kinds of relevance manifest the rational organization of discourse, which is aimed at (...) bringing about mutual alignment between the participants, enabling them jointly to work out certain interactional outcomes that are acceptable to both of them. (shrink)
An argument can be taken as an operation of justification or as the product of this operation. But what about a counter-argument? This article is based on the hypothesis that there exists an operation of argumentative negation, which is both the argumentative and the negative equivalent of the operation of justification. Justification and argumentative negation necessarily act on assertions, for they are active at the level of the epistemic modalities of statements. As an operation, a counter-argument can thus be described, (...) as the application of an argumentative negation; as a product, it can be described as an argument the conclusion of which shows traces of negative modality. Two uses of argumentative negation are distinguished here: counter-argumentation and calling into question. The former can lead only to assertive conclusive statements, but the latter can also lead to directives or commissives. This leads the authors to introduce the notion of pseudo-argument, besides those of argument and counter-argument. It is shown in particular that when a pseudo-argument is rejected, argumentative negation has the effect of making evident an underlying argument. With respect to the latterit functions as a counter-argumentation, whereas with respect to the illocutionary act accomplished by the conclusive statement, it functions as a calling into question of a condition of satisfaction for this act. This article also defines certain characteristics of argument, proposes criteria for identifying argumentative negation in polemical conversations, and distinguishes four modes of counter-argumentation. (shrink)
Employs speech-act theory (a) to support the notion that biblical authors (not just their texts) are inspired and to (b) to make some points about how we ought to react to scripture—in a nutshell, scriptural passages vary in their illocutionary force, so appropriate responses will vary as well.
The standard form of act-consequentialism requires us to perform the action with the best consequences; it allows choice between moral options only on those rare occasions when several actions produce equally good results. This paper argues for moral options and thus against act-consequentialism. The argument turns on the insight that some valuable things cannot exist unless our moral system allows options. One such thing is the opportunity for individuals to enact plans for their life from among alternatives. Because planning one’s (...) life has value, and because it requires moral options, a world governed by a moral system that admits of options is better than one governed by act-consequentialism. The paper argues that these facts entail that morality admits of a significant number of moral options; act-consequentialism is false. (shrink)
The American regulatory model of corporate governance rests on the theory of self-regulation as␣the most effective and efficient means to achieve corporate self-restraint in the marketplace. However, that model fails to achieve regular compliance with baseline ethical and legal behaviors as evidenced by a century of repeated corporate debacles, the most recent being Enron, WorldCom, and Refco. Seemingly impervious to its domestic failure, Congress imprinted the same self-regulation paradigm on legislation restraining global business behavior, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. This (...) anti-bribery initiative prohibits unethical and illegal payments made to foreign public officials in an effort to eradicate bribery as a rational-choice global market entry strategy. However, this paper illustrates, using newly complied statistics from 1977 to 2008, that the FCPA has not had a dramatic impact on U.S. global corporate behavior despite its recent high profile coverage and the tough regulatory rhetoric about corporate compliance. The paper also extends the prior Cragg and Woof FCPA efficiency study and provides current empirical evidence to resolve several unanswered questions raised by that earlier study. (shrink)
Building on the work of Peter Hinst and Geo Siegwart, we develop a pragmatised natural deduction calculus, i.e. a natural deduction calculus that incorporates illocutionary operators at the formal level, and prove its adequacy. In contrast to other linear calculi of natural deduction, derivations in this calculus are sequences of object-language sentences which do not require graphical or other means of commentary in order to keep track of assumptions or to indicate subproofs. (Translation of our German paper "Ein Redehandlungskalkül. (...) Ein pragmatisierter Kalkül des natürlichen Schließens nebst Metatheorie"; online available at http://philpapers.org/rec/CORERE.). (shrink)
Logic and psychology overlap in judgment, inference and proof. The problems raised by this commonality are notoriously difficult, both from a historical and from a philosophical point of view. Sundholm has for a long time addressed these issues. His beautiful piece of work [A Century of Inference: 1837-1936] begins by summarizing the main difficulty in the usual provocative manner of the author: one can start, he says, by the act of knowledge to go to the object, as the Idealist does; (...) one can also start by the object to go to the act, in the Realist mood; never the two shall meet. He is himself inclined to accept the first perspective as the right one and he has eventually developed an original version of antirealism which starts, not from considerations about the publicity of meaning, in the manner of Dummett, but from an epistemic standpoint, trying to search in a non-Fregean tradition of analysis of judgement and cognate notions a way of founding constructivist semantics. The present paper ploughes the same field. We concentrate on the significance, for Sundholm’s program, of the perspective that has been opened by Twardowski in his important essay on acts and products (1912. (shrink)
This paper develops an account of consciousness in action. Both consciousness and action are related to knowledge. A voluntary action is defined as a volition, or something intentionally effected by means of such volitions. Volitions are conscious mental acts whose proper function is to make their content true. A mental act is the exercise of a power of mind and a conscious mental act is identical with knowledge of its own phenomenal character. This set of definitions elucidates the relations between (...) consciousness, action and knowledge. (shrink)
Talking about action comes easily to us. We quickly make distinctions between voluntary and non-voluntary actions; we think we can tell what intentions are; we are confident about evaluating reasons offered in rational justification of action. Berent Enc provides a philosopher's sustained examination of these issues: he portrays action as belonging to the causal order of events in nature, a theory from which new and surprising accounts of intention and voluntary action emerge. Philosophers and cognitive scientists alike will find How (...) We Act a provocative and enlightening read. (shrink)