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The Debate in the Philosophy of Language

  • Daniel González Lagier
Chapter
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Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 67)

Abstract

In an essay published some years ago, Eduardo Bustos wrote that „these are good times for pragmatics, as a theory about actions people perform through language, as well as for those who study pragmatics“. He goes on to explain that pragmatics has undergone a drastic change of reputation, from being considered the ‘garbage can’ or ‘wastebasket’ for phenomena that could not easily be accomodated in other branches of linguistics, to a respectable discipline practiced by scholars who are organized in associations and publish their own solid periodicals.2

Keywords

Language Game Constitutive Rule Chapter Versus Illocutionary Force Pragmatic Conception 
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References

  1. 1.
    Some writers distinguish between ‘philosophy of language’ and ‘linguistic philosophy’. According to John Searle, for instance, the former is the study of certain general features of language whereas the latter is a method for the solution of philosophical problems concerning the study of ordinary language. Cf. Searle 1969, p. 4. Here, we will be dealing with the philosophy of language in Searle’s sense.Google Scholar
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  11. 11.
    Cf. below, in this subsection.Google Scholar
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    Searle performs this turn towards the theory of mind in his book Intentionality (1983).Google Scholar
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    Searle 1983, pp. 165 f. In works published after Speech Acts (1969), Searle proposes to replace that ‘communication intention’ by a‘representation intention’ as the key notion for understanding the meaning of an utterance. That ‘representation intention’ is prior to the communication intention and consists of the speaker’s intention to make his utterance express or represent a certain mental state (belief, desire, etc.) and certain conditions that are necessary for the success of the illocutionary act. Thus, a description represents a belief and a situation of the world with which the utterance stands in a words-to-world direction of fit; an order represents a desire and a situation of the world with which the utterance stands in a world-to-words direction of fit, etc. (ibid., pp. 163 ff.). With this strategy, Searle wants to explain how it is possible that we sometimes make fully meaningful utterances without wonying about the reactions of the audience (nor about whether there is an audience at all), as when we simply ‘think aloud’.Google Scholar
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    This is clearer in Searle’s theory than in Austin’s who seems to suggest the possibility of non-intentional illocutionary acts. Cf. Austin 1976, p. 106.Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    Cf. above, sect. 4.2.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel González Lagier
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AlicanteAlicanteSpain

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