Philosophical Studies 167 (2):485-495 (2014)

Claudia Bianchi
Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele (Milan)
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
Keywords Speech acts  Indexicals  Illocutionary force  Context  Recordings  Intentionalism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2014
DOI 10.1007/s11098-013-0111-0
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,316
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Thought and Reference.Kent Bach - 1987 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Intention and Convention in Speech Acts.Peter F. Strawson - 1964 - Philosophical Review 73 (4):439-460.
Thought and Reference.Bernard W. Kobes - 1991 - Philosophical Review 100 (3):469.
Putting Humpty Dumpty Together Again.Keith S. Donnellan - 1968 - Philosophical Review 77 (2):203-215.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Three Kinds of Intention in Lawmaking.Marcin Matczak - 2017 - Law and Philosophy 36 (6):651-674.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Three Approaches to the Study of Speech Acts.Maciej Witek - 2013 - Dialogue and Universalism 23 (1):129-141.
Naturalising Illocutionary Rules.Maciej Witek - 2010 - In Marcin Miłkowski & Konrad Talmont-Kaminski (eds.), Beyond Description: Naturalism and Normativity. College Publications.
Context of Utterance and Intended Context.Claudia Bianchi - 2001 - Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2116:73-86.
Failing to Do Things with Words.Nicole Wyatt - 2009 - Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (1):135-142.
‘Nobody Loves Me’: Quantification and Context.Claudia Bianchi - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 130 (2):377 - 397.
Reference and Monstrosity.Paolo Santorio - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (3):359-406.
A Plea for Pragmatics.Jonas Åkerman - 2009 - Synthese 170 (1):155 - 167.
The Semantics of Symbolic Speech.Paul Berckmans - 1997 - Law and Philosophy 16 (2):145-176.
The Forgiveness We Speak: The Illocutionary Force of Forgiving.Glen Pettigrove - 2004 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (3):371-392.


Added to PP index

Total views
107 ( #110,861 of 2,519,512 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #116,789 of 2,519,512 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes