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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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‘There’s many a Slip between Cup and Lip’: Dimension and Negation in Austin

‘There’s many a Slip between Cup and Lip’: Dimension and Negation in Austin

(p.204) 8 ‘There’s many a Slip between Cup and Lip’: Dimension and Negation in Austin
The Philosophy of J. L. Austin

Jean-Philippe Narboux

Oxford University Press

The question as to whether our words, as used in a given ordinary situation, satisfactorily engage with that situation or have some meaningful grip on it, has been construed, classically, as a yes‐or‐no question. This chapter argues that Austin’s philosophy contains a systematic attack on the idea that the ‘harmony’ between words and world is an all‐or‐nothing matter conditioning the very possibility of assessment as such and therefore not itself subject to assessment. To the extent that they construe ‘aboutness’ as a relation that either obtains or not, modern notions of the intentionality of language and thought, and of the distinction between sense and nonsense, have their roots into the ‘harmony fallacy’ criticized by Austin.

Keywords:   J. L. Austin, dimension, harmony fallacy, intentionality, negation, sense, nonsense

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