The happy truth: J. L. Austin's how to do things with words


Authors
Alice Crary
The New School
Abstract
This article aims to disrupt received views about the significance of J. L. Austin's contribution to philosophy of language. Its focus is Austin's 1955 lectures How To Do Things With Words . Commentators on the lectures in both philosophical and literary-theoretical circles, despite conspicuous differences, tend to agree in attributing to Austin an assumption about the relation between literal meaning and truth, which is in fact his central critical target. The goal of the article is to correct this misunderstanding and to show that Austin is deeply critical of a picture of correspondence between language and the world which nearly half a century after he delivered his lectures continues to structure philosophical discussions of language.
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DOI 10.1080/002017402753556616
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References found in this work BETA

Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language.John R. Searle - 1969 - Philosophical Quarterly 20 (79):172-179.
How to Do Things with Words.John L. Austin - 1962 - Mind 75 (298):262-285.

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Citations of this work BETA

J. L. Austin and Literal Meaning.Nat Hansen - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 22 (4):617-632.
How to Silence Content with Porn, Context and Loaded Questions.Alex Davies - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (2):498-522.

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