Chapter

The Rational Significance of Conversation

Anthony Simon Laden

in Reasoning

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199606191
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741081 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606191.003.0004
The Rational Significance of Conversation

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The social picture of reasoning treats reasoning as a species of conversation. This chapter characterizes and investigates casual conversation. Casual conversation is not directed at an end, and it has no built-in stopping point. Participants in a casual conversation can be playful, but this requires them to take responsibility for what they say. Finally, while it does not have an end, what we say in conversation has a point, and it is the establishment and maintenance of our relationships through attunement. The difference between statements having a point and an end is discussed by way of Stanley Cavell’s analysis of passionate utterances and J. L. Austin’s category of perlocutionary effect.

Keywords: conversation; attunement; speech-act theory; perlocutionary effect; Cavell; Austin; Deborah Tannen

Chapter.  10714 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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