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New Work on Speech Acts$
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Daniel Fogal, Daniel W. Harris, and Matt Moss

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198738831

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198738831.001.0001

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Types of Speech Acts

Types of Speech Acts

(p.123) 5 Types of Speech Acts
New Work on Speech Acts

Peter Hanks

Oxford University Press

Classical speech act theory, in the tradition of Austin and Searle, is based on a picture of propositional content due to Frege. This picture takes propositions to be the primary bearers of truth conditions, and it incorporates a sharp distinction between content and force. In this paper I defend an alternative picture of propositional content, on which the primary bearers of truth conditions are the actions we perform in thinking and speaking about the world. Propositions are types of these actions, and they inherit their truth conditions from them. This picture abandons the distinction between content and force and it leads to a three-way distinction between different kinds of propositions. Here I explore the consequences of this alternative picture for the nature and taxonomy of speech acts.

Keywords:   speech acts, propositions, truth conditions, content-force distinction, Searle

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