The Intention Of J. L. Austin 's Philosophical Papers

947 Words Apr 5th, 2016 4 Pages
The intention of J. L. Austin 's Philosophical Papers was to clearly demonstrate the power of using language analysis to begin to clarify traditional questions of philosophy. First and foremost, I believe that he thoroughly achieved this goal. His work illustrated to its readers a new way to think about philosophical concepts in a very intellectual and witty manner. Much like Wittgenstein, it is extremely clear that Austin possesses an appreciation of the fact that there are meanings behind words. The articles are of differing degrees of complexity, but Austin is never obscure and he has a delightful turn of phrase. Chapters 1 and 3 study how a word may have different, but related, senses. Chapters 2 and 4 discuss the nature of knowledge, focusing on performative utterance. Chapters 5 and 6 study the correspondence theory; where a statement is true when it corresponds to a fact. Chapters 6 and 10 concern the doctrine of speech acts. Chapters 8, 9, and 12 reflect on the problems that language encounters in discussing actions and considering the cases of excuses, accusations, and freedom. While Austin 's writing is generally straightforward, a clearer organization of the chapters would be beneficial in my opinion. Regardless, the analysis of the ordinary language to clarify philosophical questions is the common element of the 13 papers. More specifically, Chapters 2 and 4 discuss the nature of knowledge, focusing on ‘performative utterances’. The doctrine of ‘speech acts’,…

Related Documents