The Speech Act Fallacy Fallacy

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):509-526 (1982)

Authors
Thomas Hurka
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
Abstract
John Searle has charged R.M. Hare's prescriptivist analysis of the meaning of ‘good,’ ‘ought’ and the other evaluative words with committing what he calls the ‘speech act fallacy.’ This is a fallacy which Searle thinks is committed not only by Hare's analysis, but by any analysis which attributes to a word the function of indicating that a particular speech act is being performed, or that an utterance has a particular illocutionary force. ‘There is a condition of adequacy which any analysis of the meaning of a word must meet,’ Searle writes, ‘and which the speech act analysis fails to meet. Any analysis of the meaning of a word must be consistent with the fact that the same word can mean the same thing in all the different kinds of sentences in which it can occur.' Hare maintains that the word ‘good’ is used to indicate the speech act of prescribing. He maintains that one of the principal functions of this word is to indicate that utterances of sentences containing it have prescriptive illocutionary force, and that an analysis of its meaning must make explicit and ineliminable reference to this force-indicating function. But ‘good’ regularly occurs in sentences utterances of which appear to have no prescriptive illocutionary force.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0045-5091
DOI 10.1080/00455091.1982.10716345
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References found in this work BETA

Meaning.Stephen R. Schiffer - 1973 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 163:478-479.
Ascriptivism.P. T. Geach - 1960 - Philosophical Review 69 (2):221-225.
Conditional Oughts and Hypothetical Imperatives.P. S. Greenspan - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (10):259-276.
Meaning and Speech Acts.R. M. Hare - 1970 - Philosophical Review 79 (1):3-24.
Hare on Meaning and Speech Acts.G. J. Warnock - 1971 - Philosophical Review 80 (1):80-84.

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Geach and Ascriptivism: Beside the Point.Luís Duarte D'Almeida - 2016 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 4 (6).

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