John Langshaw Austin Quotes

Words are not (except in their own little corner) facts or things: we need therefore to prise them off the world, to hold them apart from and against it, so that we can realize their inadequacies and arbitrariness, and can relook at the world without blinkers.

John Langshaw Austin

There are more ways of outraging speech than contradiction merely.

John Langshaw Austin

Let us distinguish between acting intentionally and acting deliberately or on purpose, as far as this can be done by attending to what language can teach us.

John Langshaw Austin

However well equipped our language, it can never be forearmed against all possible cases that may arise and call for description: fact is richer than diction.

John Langshaw Austin

Like 'real', 'free' is only used to rule out the suggestion of some or all of its recognized antitheses. As 'truth' is not a name of a characteristic of assertions, so 'freedom' is not a name for a characteristic of actions, but the name of a dimension in which actions are assessed.

John Langshaw Austin

We become obsessed with 'truth' when discussing statements, just as we become obsessed with 'freedom' when discussing conduct...Like freedom, truth is a bare minimum or an illusory ideal.

John Langshaw Austin

But suppose we take the noun 'truth': here is a case where the disagreements between different theorists have largely turned on whether they interpreted this as a name of a substance, of a quality, or of a relation.

John Langshaw Austin

Faced with the nonsense question 'What is the meaning of a word?' and perhaps dimly recognizing it to be nonsense, we are nevertheless not inclined to give it up.

John Langshaw Austin

It may justly be urged that, properly speaking, what alone has meaning is a sentence.

John Langshaw Austin

In one sense 'there are' both universals and material objects, in another sense there is no such thing as either: statements about each can usually be analysed, but not always, nor always without remainder.

John Langshaw Austin

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