J.L. Austen's "How to do Things with Words" Argumentative Essay

J.L. Austen's "How to do Things with Words"
An analysis of J.L. Austen's "How to do Things with Words" and Kieth Graham's "J.L. Austin: A Critique of Ordinary Language Philosophy".
# 152309 | 3,478 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on Jan 25, 2013 in Language (English: Linguistics) , Philosophy (General) , Linguistics (General)


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Description:

This paper examines J.L. Austin's work, "How to Do Things with Words", where Austin explores whether or not the constantive and performative dichotomy accounts for the ways in which ordinary language is used. This author argues with Austin that the constantive and performative dichotomy does not account for the ways in which ordinary language is used. The paper analyzes the arguments of Kieth Graham in his book "J.L. Austin: A Critique of Ordinary Language Philosophy" but then provides a defense of Austin's methodology.

From the Paper:

"The constantive and performative dichotomy is confounded throughout the later half of Austin's text through the introduction of the key terms locutionary, illocutionary, and perlocutionary. Locutionary acts involve the utterance of certain linguistically discernable form. These acts have "meaning" in that the words and grammar are recognizable but they may not have a conventional form through which a ritual is invoked (120). Illocutionary acts, in contrast, invoke a conventional ritual. The difference between locutionary and illocutionary acts is analogized by Austin as "the distinction between kicking a wall and kicking a goal" (106). One's kicking of a wall is recognizably an act, however, there is no conventional "uptake" as when one kicks a goal (aka the meaning of a locutionary act is not standardized by conventional practice). Perlocutionary acts are non-conventional acts that affect the listener. Convincing someone is a perlocutionary act, as well as locutionary acts that affect a listener in an unforeseen way. Illocutionary acts are distinct from perlocutionary acts by the fact that the successful performance of illocutionary acts "amounts to bringing about the understanding of the meaning and the force of the locution...[and] securing an uptake" (116). An illocutionary act of christening a ship can potentially name a ship whereas the perlocutionary act involves all unforeseen consequences (such as someone being offended by the ship's name)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Austin, J. L. "A PLEA FOR EXCUSES." 302 Found. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 2004. Web. 22 Feb. 2012. <http://sammelpunkt.philo.at/1309/1/plea.html>.
  • Austin, J. L. How to Do Things with Words. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1962. Print.
  • Austin, J. L. Philosophical Papers. Oxford: Clarendon, 1961. Print.
  • Fann, K. T. Symposium on J. L. Austin,. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1969. Print.
  • Graham, Keith. J.L. Austin: A Critique of Ordinary Language Philosophy. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities, 1977. Print.

Cite this Argumentative Essay:

APA Format

J.L. Austen's "How to do Things with Words" (2013, January 25) Retrieved November 22, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/argumentative-essay/j-l-austen-how-to-do-things-with-words-152309/

MLA Format

"J.L. Austen's "How to do Things with Words"" 25 January 2013. Web. 22 November. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/argumentative-essay/j-l-austen-how-to-do-things-with-words-152309/>

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