JL Austin (1911-1960) exercised in Post-war Oxford an intellectual authority similar to that of Wittgenstein in Cambridge. Although he completed no books of his own and published only seven papers, Austin became through lectures and talks one of the acknowledged leaders in what is called ‘Oxford philosophy’ or ‘ordinary language philosophy’. Few would dispute that among analytic philosophers Austin stands out as a great and original philosophical genius. Three volumes of his writing, published after his death, have become classics in analytical philosophy: Philosophical Papers; Sense and Sensibilia; and How to Do Things with Words.
First published in 1979, this book is a collection of critical essays on Austin’s philosophy written by well-known philosophers, many of whom knew Austin personally. A number of essays included were especially written for this volume, but the majority have appeared previously in various journals or books, not all easy to obtain.
Part 1: General Introduction 1. John Langshaw Austin, a Biographical Sketch (GL Warnock) 2. Austin’s Philosophy (JO Urmson) 3. JL Austin, 1911-1960 (Stuart Hampshire with comments by Urmson and Warnock) 4. An Original Philosopher (David Pears) 5. Austin at Criticism (Stanley Cavell) 6. A Symposium on Austin’s Method (JO Urmson, WVO Quine and Stuart Hampshire) Part 2: Philosophical Papers 7. Austin’s Philosophical Papers (Roderick M Chisholm) 8. Austin’s Philosophy of Action (LW Forguson) 9. A Plea for Linguistics (CG New) 10. Ifs and Cans (PH Nowell-Smith) 11. Austin on abilities (Irving Thalberg) 12. Assertions and Aberrations (John R Searle) 13. Mentioning the Unmentionable (Alan R White) Part 3: Sense and Sensibilia 14. A Critical Study of Sense and Sensibilia (RJ Hirst) 15. Austin’s Argument from Illusion (Roderick Firth) 16. ‘Real’ (Jonathan Bennett) 17. Has Austin Refuted Sense-data? (AJ Ayer) 18. Has Ayer Vindicated the Sense-datum Theory? (LW Forgoson) 19. Rejoinder to Professor Forgosson (AJ Ayer) Part 4: How to do Things with Words 20. Critical Review of How to do Things with Words (Walter Cerf) 21. Intention and Convention in Speech Acts (PF Strawson) 22. Austin on Performatives (Max Black) 23. In Pursuit of Performatives (LW Forgoson) 24. Do Illocutionary Forces Exist? (L Jonathan Cohen) 25. Meaning and Illocutionary Force (Mats Furberg)