Lecture VIII

J. L. Austin

in How To Do Things With Words

Published in print September 1975 | ISBN: 9780198245537
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680861 | DOI:
Lecture VIII

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This chapter describes the distinctions between the phonetic act, the phatic act, and the rhetic act. The phonetic act is merely the act of uttering certain noises. The phatic act is the uttering of certain vocables or words, i.e. noises of certain types, belonging to and as belonging to, a certain vocabulary, conforming to and as conforming to a certain grammar. The rhetic act is the performance of an act of using those vocables with definite sense and reference. The discussion holds that the illocutionary act and even the locutionary act, too, involve conventions. The perlocutionary act always includes some consequences, as when one says ‘By doing this, I was doing that’.

Keywords: locutions; explicit performative; illocutionary act; phonetic act; phatic act; rhetic act

Chapter.  3972 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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