• NOS4A2

    Thanks for the input.

    But the premise of “doing things with words” still stands out as mistaken wherever it is mostly focused on the so-called acts of the speaker, especially given that communication more often than not involves those who are faced with his utterances. It seems to me we're missing out on myriad acts of a listener: what to do with the utterance, how to understand it, read it, consider it, judge it, respond to it, and so on. Austin himself spends an inordinate amount of time doing this, considering utterances, what they might mean, and how one might respond to them. These acts, such as they are, can be explicated in both physical terms and using Austin's nomenclature of "doing things with words", whereas expressing the words seems far less consequential, even inconsequential, given the physics and biology of these interactions and behaviors.
  • Banno
    The Greeks had a term for those who did not think in terms of our commonality,
  • unenlightened
    So from there to the sovereign individuals and from there quite naturally to the automatic right of the sovereign male to usurp the female body for his own gestation and subsequent pleasure and procreation. the sovereign foetus - ideosynchronicity!
  • Banno
    And hence to the idio-cracy of fertility law in 'merca.
  • NOS4A2
    It is certainly true that the Greeks valued civic participation and criticized non-participation. Thucydides quotes Pericles' Funeral Oration as saying: "[we] regard... him who takes no part in these [public] duties not as unambitious but as useless" (τόν τε μηδὲν τῶνδε μετέχοντα οὐκ ἀπράγμονα, ἀλλ᾽ ἀχρεῖον νομίζομεν).[9] However, neither he nor any other ancient author uses the word "idiot" to describe non-participants, or in a derogatory sense; its most common use was simply a private citizen or amateur as opposed to a government official, professional, or expert.[10] The derogatory sense came centuries later, and was unrelated to the political meaning.[11][4][2]


    The Greeks had a word for those who consistently engaged in fallacy, and it wasn’t “philosopher”.
  • Banno
    Curious, that you chose such a cooperative resource as Wikipedia.

    The citations in Wikipedia come down to one source, that noted resource for etymology, the Australian Journal of Political Science, which is paywalled.

    But even if not quite true, it ought be. After all, by your own account, you have not made any statements here. Only thumped your keyboard.
  • AmadeusD
    the word "idiot" to describe non-participants, or in a derogatory sense; its most common use was simply a private citizen or amateur as opposed to a government official

    Seems similar to the use of 'vulgar' in 18/19C philosophy.
  • NOS4A2

    Yes, private persons, the unskilled, laymen and those unconcerned with the state are all idiots. There’s that concern for “our commonality” revealing itself for what it really is.
  • Banno
    You are enjoying the change of subject, I see.

    Yes, not at all dissimilar.
  • NOS4A2

    not my fault. You elicited the response. The force and content animated me.
  • Banno
    Is that your fear here? That you will lose your autonomy?

    I'm sorry, Nos, I genuinely have been unable to follow what it is you see as problematic, nor have I been able to make sense of your account.
  • Antony Nickles

    I agree that an ‘act’ (especially speech) involves not only me, and that that condition is not appreciated enough by philosophy. But he is not focused on what we physically do, nor translating anything into “physical terms”, as if what happens in the body matters in our considering something a threat or a promise. Again, we are not talking about actions, but participating in activities, accomplishing their execution. That there are actions, even speech, in a practice, does not mean that describing how the actions happen explicates our practices. The “acts of saying something” is not a breakdown of how saying works, it is how words are deemed to have achieved something, like a statement or an apology—and in this sense, “doing” something.

    He is describing how these activities, “acts”, work (or fail)—at all. I do not, for example, intend acts, I conduct them (though some do require deliberateness). I may do my best to make a good (or sufficient) act (say, apology) but whether I do is judged by whether my offering meets the criteria (requirements for identity, completion, failure, etc.) inherent in the living practice of seeking forgiveness. These threshold conditions, measures, mechanics, etc., are the external, the codification of the judgment of others (even to myself); they are the “consequences thereafter” that Austin refers to as separate from the physical (e.g., the illocution, the saying). So the occurrence of the other “understanding” what we say is also a matter of judgment, whether they exhibit what is considered important in being understood in that case, which you actually partly draw out in saying “how one takes the words, uses them, and applies them in his conduct….” This is a demonstration and expression that we understand because these are what understanding consists of.
  • Paine
    The Greeks had a word for those who consistently engaged in fallacy, and it wasn’t “philosopher”.NOS4A2

    You are referring, presumably, to the Sophists. Aristotle did criticize their use of logical fallacy but also their misapplication of theory and account to the subject being investigated. Thus observations like the following:

    We must therefore be content if, in dealing with subjects and starting from premises thus uncertain, we succeed in presenting a broad outline of the truth: when our subjects and our premises are merely generalities, it is enough if we arrive at generally valid conclusions. Accordingly we may ask the student also to accept the various views we put forward in the same spirit; for it is the mark of an educated mind to expect that amount of exactness in each kind which the nature of the particular subject admits. It is equally unreasonable to accept merely probable conclusions from a mathematician and to demand strict demonstration from an orator.Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, 1094b

    In the case of your thesis, the subject is unavailable to the reader, a Chesire Cat, grinning derisively from a branch above.
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