Rehabilitating Austin, Reassessing Grice: The Case of Cancellability

Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 100 (4):470-491 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This paper assesses Grice’s work on conversational implicature in the light of one of its early targets: Austin’s claim that we cannot isolate the meaning of an expression from the context in which it is used. Grice argues that we can separate the literal meaning of many utterances from their pragmatic implicatures through the mechanism of explicit cancellation. However, Grice’s conception of cancellation does not account for the fact that an explicit cancellation must be uttered, and that its utterance involves further implicatures that undermine the attempted cancellation. What Grice calls explicit cancellations are better understood as utterances that resolve ambiguities, and hence apply only in cases where there exists an ambiguity that needs resolving. If Grice’s work does not undermine Austin, we are in a position to reassess an Austinian form of philosophical criticism that emphasizes the ordinary usage of expressions deployed in philosophical arguments.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,420

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-12-01

Downloads
62 (#256,665)

6 months
18 (#192,829)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

David Egan
Hunter College (CUNY)

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references