John Searle gives two different interpretations to Austin’s view on truth: ‘the propositional interpretation’ and ‘the stating interpretation’. The former identifies what is true or false with the locutionary meaning, and the latter with the illocutionary act of stating. In this article, I argue that both interpretations are inaccurate, and I introduce a fresh interpretation that identifies what is true or false with the whole speech act.
According to J.L. Austin, in analysing utterances we need to distinguish between a locutionary act and an illocutionary act. The locutionary act is “the utterance of certain noises, the utterance of certain words in a certain construction, and the utterance of them with a certain ‘meaning’” (Austin 1975: 94). This contrasts with the illocutionary act.
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