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Author: Jerry H. Gill
Words, Deeds, Bodies by Jerry H. Gill concentrates on the interrelationships between speech, accomplishing tasks, and human embodiment. Ludwig Wittgenstein, J. L. Austin, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Michael Polanyi have all highlighted these relationships. This book examines the, as yet, unexplored connections between these authors’ philosophies of language. It focuses on the relationships between their respective key ideas: Wittgenstein’s notion of “language game,” Austin’s concept of “performative utterances,” Merleau-Ponty’s idea of “slackening the threads,” and Polanyi's understanding of “tacit knowing,” noting the similarities and differences between and amongst them.
In: Words, Deeds, Bodies: L. Wittgenstein, J.L. Austin, M. Merleau-Ponty and M. Polanyi
In: Words, Deeds, Bodies: L. Wittgenstein, J.L. Austin, M. Merleau-Ponty and M. Polanyi
In: Words, Deeds, Bodies: L. Wittgenstein, J.L. Austin, M. Merleau-Ponty and M. Polanyi
In: Words, Deeds, Bodies: L. Wittgenstein, J.L. Austin, M. Merleau-Ponty and M. Polanyi
Normativity and Variety of Speech Actions embraces papers focused on the performative dimension of language. While all texts in the volume recognize speech primarily as a type of action, the collection is indicative of the multifaceted nature of J.L. Austin’s original reflection, which invited many varied research programmes. The problems addressed in the volume are discussed with reference to data culled from natural conversation, mediated political discourse, law, and literary language, and include normativity, e.g. types of norms operative in speech acts, speaker’s intentions and commitments, speaker-addressee coordination, but also speech actions in discursive practice, in literal and non-literal language, performance of irony, presupposition, and meaningful significant silence.

Contributors are: Brian Ball, Cristina Corredor, Anita Fetzer, Milada Hirschová, Dennis Kurzon, Marcin Matczak, Marina Sbisà, Iwona Witczak-Plisiecka, Maciej Witek, and Mateusz Włodarczyk.

In this paper we present results of the experiment on reinforceability of conversational implicatures and presuppositions. Within–subject analysis of variance (anova) was used for statistical analysis. Four different presupposition triggers were used in the experiment: factive verbs, implicative verbs, change of state verbs and temporal clauses. Mean score of 3,31 on the redundancy scale for sentences with reinforced indirect messages linked with implicative verbs suggest that in contrast to presuppositions carried by other triggers, those indirect messages (or assumptions) can be reinforced without producing a sense of anomalous redundancy. We argue that the results can be explained using the notion of accommodation and that assumptions linked to implicative verbs could be treated as default meanings rather than presuppositions.

In: Normativity and Variety of Speech Actions
Author: Brian Ball

This paper aims to illuminate the notions of commitment and obligation, as well as their explanatory role, in the theory of speech acts. I begin () by arguing in support of the view that assertion involves a commitment to the truth; and, building on Williamson’s () account of this act, I suggest that we can understand such commitment in terms of an obligation to ensure. I then argue () that this foundationalist account of the commitment involved in assertion is preferable to the discursive coherentism of Brandom (). Next (), I propose that MacFarlane’s () taxonomy of views of the nature of assertion should be simplified, so that there is just a broad division into those that understand the act in descriptive, vs those that understand it in normative, terms. And finally, I show () how we can understand the normative view I favour through a comparison with Stalnaker’s () descriptive account of assertion which, I hope, reveals the role played by obligation in the characterization of this act.

In: Normativity and Variety of Speech Actions
Author: Maciej Witek

My aim in this paper is to develop a model of the coordinative function of language conventions and, next, use it to account for the normative aspect of illocutionary practice. After discussing the current state of the philosophical debate on the nature of speech acts, I present an interactional account of illocutionary practice (Witek ), which results from integrating Ruth G. Millikan’s (; ) biological model of language conventions within the framework of Austin’s () theory of speech acts. Next, I elaborate on Millikan’s idea that the proper function of illocutionary conventions is coordinative and put forth a hypothesis according to which conventional patterns of linguistic interaction have been selected for the roles they play in producing and maintaining mental coordination between interacting agents. Finally, I use the resulting model of coordination to develop a naturalistic account of the so-called sincerity norms. Focusing my analysis on assertions and directives, I argue that the normative character of sincerity rules can be accounted for in terms of Normal conditions for proper functioning of speech acts understood as cooperative intentional signs in Millikan’s () sense; I also discuss the possibility of providing a naturalistic account of the normative effects of illocutionary acts.

In: Normativity and Variety of Speech Actions

The aim of this paper is to analyse, from an interactionalist and normative point of view, an actual case of re-assignation of force to a public statement, in which the original intentions of the speaker were correctly identified but not accepted as determinative of the illocutionary force of his statement. The case under study, one of parodic irony in a personal blog, brought about a longer sequence of interaction and ended up with the initiator being held accountable for the straight, “literal” meaning of his words. Yet the uptake and normative stance on the part of the addressee have to be completed with a third turn-taking on the part of the initiator himself, who acknowledged the addressee’s interpretation and thus agreed with the re-assignation of force to his own statement. I will contend that there is a need in the interactionalist account to be complemented with an account of the initiation-response-evaluation sequence that jointly contribute to fix the meaning and force in communicative interaction.

In: Normativity and Variety of Speech Actions