Illocutionary Acts and Sentence Meaning
By (author) William P. Alston
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Illocutionary Acts and Sentence Meaning by William P. Alston
Book DescriptionWhat is it for a sentence to have a certain meaning? This is the question that the distinguished analytic philosopher William P. Alston addresses in this major contribution to the philosophy of language. His answer focuses on the given sentence's potential to play the role that its speaker had in mind, what he terms the usability of the sentence to perform the illocutionary act intended by its speaker. Alston defines an illocutionary act as an act of saying something with a certain "content." He develops his account of what it is to perform such acts in terms of taking responsibility, in uttering a sentence, for the existence of certain conditions. In requesting someone to open a window, for example, the speaker takes responsibility for its being the case that the window is closed and that the speaker has an interest in its being opened. In Illocutionary Acts and Sentence Meaning, Alston expands upon this concept, creating a framework of five categories of illocutionary act and going on to argue that sentence meaning is fundamentally a matter of illocutionary act potential; that is, for a sentence to have a particular meaning is for it to be usable to perform illocutionary acts of a certain type. In providing detailed and explicit patterns of analysis for the whole range of illocutionary acts, Alston makes a unique contribution to the field of philosophy of language-one that is likely to generate debate for years to come.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780801436697
(229mm x 152mm x 27mm)
Imprint: Cornell University Press
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publish Date: 16-Mar-2000
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author William P. Alston
Beyond 'Justification', Paperback (October 2006)
Much of the writing in Anglo-American epistemology in the twentieth century focused on the conditions for beliefs being "justified." In a book that seeks to shift the ground of debate within theory of knowledge, William P. Alston finds that the...
Realism and Antirealism, Paperback (October 2002)
Throughout the past century, a debate has raged over the thesis of realism and its alternatives. Realism-the seemingly commonsensical view that all or most of what we encounter in the world exists and is what it is independently of human thought-has...
Realist Conception of Truth, Paperback (April 1997)View all books by William P. Alston
One of the most important Anglo-American philosophers of our time here joins the current philosophical debate about the nature of truth. William P. Alston formulates and defends a realist conception of truth, which he calls alethic realism (from...
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