Gricy actions

It is often assumed that Paul Grice, in one way or another, has made an important contribution to the theory of speech acts} Grice, as far as I can see, never expressly addresses Austin’s theory in his published work. He hardly ever uses the speech act terminology of "illocution", "perlocution", etc.2 So what does the more or less implicit Gricean contribution to the theory of speech acts consist in'? There is more than one good answer to this question. I shall concentrate on a particularly influential one, which goes back to Strawson (1964). It says that Austin, in his account of the nature of illocutionary acts, over-emphasized the role of conventions; that Austin went wrong in characterizing illocutionary acts as acts which are essentially conventional. The Gricean contribution to speech act theory, according to the envisaged answer, is twofold, both diagnostic and therapeutic. First, it helps us see where and why Austin went wrong in taking illocutionary acts to be essentially conventional. Second, it suggests an essentially intentional — instead of an essentially conventional- element in illocutionary acts. In his 1964 paper Strawson tried to bring out, as regards the interplay of convention and intention in illocutionary acts, both what can be conceded to Austin and what must be learnt from Grice. Austin (1962: 115) had said that "the performance of an illocutionaiy act involves the securing of uptake". Strawson (1964: 158 ff) interprets Austin as meani_ng to say that the performance of an illocutionary act involves understanding of illocutionary force. Understanding of illocutionary force involves, according to Strawson, grasping a "compleX [speaker’s] intention" (ib.: 160), and it is here, of course, where he brings Gricean ideas into _Austin’s scheme of what the essence of illocution is. He says.
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