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How To Do Things With WordsThe William James Lectures delivered at Harvard University in 1955$
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J.L. Austin

Print publication date: 1975

Print ISBN-13: 9780198245537

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198245537.001.0001

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Lecture IV

Lecture IV

(p.39) Lecture IV
How To Do Things With Words

J. L. Austin

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers another case of infelicity: insincerities and infractions or breaches. Here, the performance is not void, although it is still unhappy. The chapter considers one's feelings, thoughts, and intentions. An example of not having the requisite feeling is: ‘I congratulate you’, said when one did not feel at all pleased, or perhaps was even annoyed. An example of not having the requisite thought is: ‘I advise you to’, said when one did not think it would be the most expedient course. An example of not having the requisite intention is: ‘I promise’, said when one did not intend to keep the promise. The discussion also considers three of the many ways in which a statement implies the truth of certain other statements: entailment, implication, and presupposition.

Keywords:   insincerity, infractions, breaches, feeling, thoughts, intentions, entailment, implication, presupposition

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