Next Meetup

Meeting 51: Philosophy of Language
Columbia philosophy PhD candidate Jake McNulty will lead this meeting. ] Reading: Austin "Performatives" http://www.uvm.edu/~lderosse/courses/lang/Austin(1979).pdf The topic of this session is the philosophy of language in the Anglophone Analytical tradition. We will focus on the pioneering work of J.L. Austin, whose famous book _How To Do Things With Words_ revolutionized the subject. Austin's unprecedented insight was that words not only function to describe the world, but to act upon and change it, e.g., when I declare "I now pronounce you man and wife," thus performing the marriage. Austin called these utterances "performatives," and held that they were ubiquitous in human life. Promises, commands, threats -- all are examples of the type of "speech act" Austin has in mind. We will delve into the nature of these so-called "speech acts," and may even consider their relevance to politics and the law.

Justine's apartment

47 East 88th Street · New York, NY

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    This group will meet one Sunday per month. Participants will discuss a philosophical issue/problem at each meeting. No prior experience with philosophy is required. We will be a mix of people, most with no background in philosophy, some who have had some exposure to philosophy (such as those who majored in philosophy in college), and a few philosophy scholars (philosophy grad students and professors).

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