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Why We Need Ordinary Language Philosophy$
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Sandra Laugier

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226470542

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226037554.001.0001

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To Speak, To Say Nothing, To Mean to Say

To Speak, To Say Nothing, To Mean to Say

Chapter Nine (p.97) To Speak, To Say Nothing, To Mean to Say
Why We Need Ordinary Language Philosophy

Sandra Laugier

Daniela Ginsburg

University of Chicago Press

This chapter is concerned with the commonalities between Austin and Wittgenstein. Both philosophers subscribe to a form of realism that one hardly dares call realism, since it is precisely what is forgotten or rejected by philosophy today and in the debates over realism. The difficulties in ordinary language philosophy's reception are not new, and Cavell's first texts showed particularly well the accumulated misunderstandings of Wittgenstein's work and, to a lesser degree, of Austin's. Cavell, in Must We Mean What We Say?, goes against the dominant theory of the time, emotivism— a doctrine that still plays a determining role in thought today. This doctrine derives from the idea that only cognitive statements, which represent “states of affairs,” are veritable statements endowed with “meaning,” and other statements therefore cannot express anything except an emotive attitude regarding such statements.

Keywords:   realism, austin, wittgenstein, ordinary language philosophy, cavell, emotivism

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