Avowals: ‘Grammar’ and Expression

Dorit Bar-On

in Speaking My Mind

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780199276288
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602894 | DOI:
Avowals: ‘Grammar’ and Expression

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This chapter and the next develop a Neo-Expressivist view of avowals, according to which avowals are seen as expressive performances that serve directly to express the self-ascriber’s mental condition, rather than merely to report it. But unlike purely natural expressions (cries, groans), avowals ascribe to the subject the very state the subject expresses. The view is compared and contrasted with Wittgenstein’s ’simple expressivist’ view of avowals, as well as with ethical expressivism.

Keywords: expressive behaviour; expressivism; self-ascription

Chapter.  25288 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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