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The Philosophy of J. L. Austin$
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Martin Gustafsson and Richard Sørli

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199219759

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199219759.001.0001

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Believing what the Man Says about His Own Feelings

Believing what the Man Says about His Own Feelings

(p.114) 5 Believing what the Man Says about His Own Feelings
The Philosophy of J. L. Austin

Benjamin McMyler

Oxford University Press

Inspired by Austin’s ‘Other Minds’, this paper argues that what is said by means of ‘indicative’ sentences featuring ‘know that’ or one of its cognates is inseparable from what is done with them. As opposed to contemporary contextualists who also draw their inspiration from Austin and who argue that the truth conditions (and value) of knowledge ascriptions depend on the context in which they are made, however, this paper argues that in a central range of contexts in which knowledge ascriptions are made the question of their truth and falsity is out of place. In another central range of contexts the question does naturally arise, but in a form that does not fit common contextualist accounts. Forcing the question of truth and falsity unnaturally and from a purely theoretical position, the paper concludes, has prevented both contextualism and invariantism from coming up with a truly satisfying response to traditional scepticism.

Keywords:   J. L. Austin, knowledge, contextualism, invariantism, scepticism

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