This book offers a comprehensive reinterpretation of J.L. Austin’s philosophy. It opens new ways of thinking about ethics and other contemporary issues in the wake of Austin’s philosophical work.
Austin is primarily viewed as a philosopher of language whose work focused on the pragmatic aspects of speech. His work on ordinary language philosophy and speech act theory is seen as his main contribution to philosophy. This book challenges this received view to show that Austin used his most well-known theoretical notions as heuristic tools aimed at debunking the fact/value dichotomy. Additionally, it demonstrates that Austin’s continual returns to the ordinary is rooted in a desire to show that our lives in language are complicated and multifaceted. What emerges is an attempt to think with Austin about problems that are central to philosophy today—such as the question about linguistic inheritance, truth, the relationship between a language inherited and morality, and how we are to cope with linguistic elasticity and historicity.
Lectures on a Philosophy Less Ordinary will appeal to scholars and advanced students working on Austin’s philosophy, philosophy of language, and the history of analytic philosophy.
Table of Contents
1. Approaching Austin
2. Approaching Language?
3. Lessons from Sense and Sensibilia
4. A Plea for Phenomenology: On Austin’s Method
5. Testimony and Knowledge
6. All the Locutions
7. Our Word is Our Bond
Niklas Forsberg is Head of Research at the Centre for Ethics as Study in Human Value, University of Pardubice, Czech Republic. He is the author of Language Lost and Found: On Iris Murdoch and the Limits of Philosophical Discourse (2012).
"This book provides the first comprehensive study of Austin’s philosophy as a whole. It is remarkably useful and welcome, at a crucial moment of re-evaluation of ordinary language philosophy as an actual alternative to mainstream analytic philosophy."
Sandra Laugier, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, France