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Philosophical Papers$
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J. L. Austin, J. O. Urmson, and G. J. Warnock

Print publication date: 1979

Print ISBN-13: 9780192830210

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019283021X.001.0001

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How to Talk 1

How to Talk 1

(p.134) 6 How to Talk1
Philosophical Papers

J. L. Austin

J. O. Urmson

G. J. Warnock

Oxford University Press

Concerned with the question of whether descriptions of identity, i.e. describing X as Y, amount to the same as statements of identity, i.e. stating that X equals Y. Austin characteristically tackles this question by investigating into the nature of a number of relevant speech acts, such as ‘calling’, ‘describing’, and ‘stating’. He concludes negatively that none of the speech acts discussed can be safely used in philosophy in a general way. However, the construction of models of speech situations reveals their underlying complexity: such models are plainly too complicated to accommodate the standard subject-predicate or class-membership models that a straightforward answer to the question raised in this paper would depend on.

Keywords:   Austin, class, description, identity, model, predicate, speech act, statement, subject

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