<semantics, linguistics>, <philosophy of language, analytic philosophy> J.L. Austin (1911-1960) was born in Lancaster and educated at Oxford, where he became a professor of philosophy following several years of service in British intelligence during World War II. Although greatly admired as a teacher, Austin published little of his philosophical work during his brief lifetime. Students gathered his papers and lectures in books that were published posthumously, including Philosophical Papers (1961) and Sense and Sensibilia (1962). In "A Plea for Excuses" (1956), Austin explained and illustrated his method of approaching philosophical issues by first patiently analyzing the subtleties of ordinary language. In How to Do Things with Words (1961), the transcription of Austin's James lectures at Harvard, application of this method distinguishes between what we say, what we mean when we say it, and what we accomplish by saying it, or between speech acts involving locution, illocution (or "performative utterance"), and perlocution. Recommended Reading: Primary sources: J.L. Austin, How to Do Things with Words (Harvard, 1975); J.L. Austin, Philosophical Papers, ed. by J. O. Urmson and Geoffrey J. Warnock (Oxford, 1990); J.L. Austin, Sense and Sensibilia, ed. by Geoffrey J. Warnock (Oxford, 1962). Secondary sources: G.J. Warnock, J.L. Austin (Routledge, 1991). Additional on-line information about Austin includes: Jennifer Hornsby's article in The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Also see: analytic philosophy, constatives, English philosophy, linguistic acts, linguistic philosophy, the linguistic turn, ordinary language and philosophy, and Oxford philosophy. The article in the Columbia Encyclopedia at Bartleby.com. The thorough collection of resources at EpistemeLinks.com. Warren Hedges's notes on key concepts from Austin. Brief entries in Oxford's Concise Dictionary of Linguistics on Austin, speech acts, illocutionary, locutionary, perlocutionary. A short article in Oxford's Who's Who in the Twentieth Century. A brief entry in The Macmillan Encyclopedia 2001.
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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