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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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Knowing Knowing (that Such and Such)

Knowing Knowing (that Such and Such)

(p.146) 6 Knowing Knowing (that Such and Such)
The Philosophy of J. L. Austin

Avner Baz

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that one cannot understand Austin’s response to the philosophical problem of other minds without appreciating the centrality to this response of issues concerning the epistemology of testimony, of issues concerning the way in which we acquire knowledge and justification from the word of others. Austin argues that a speaker’s avowals of her own conscious psychological states are speech acts that can serve both to express these states and to provide an audience with a distinctive testimonial reason for believing that the speaker is in these states. He thus takes the philosophical problem of other minds to be motivated in large part by general worries about believing and trusting others, by an inability or unwillingness to believe others and to trust them for the truth about themselves.

Keywords:   J. L. Austin, other minds, testimony, speech act, expression, knowledge, belief, trust

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