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Tentative Sprechakte

Zur erstaunlichen Entfaltbarkeit von Hintergründen beim Formulieren

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This paper introduces speech acts that I denote as tentative, which means they do not make sense as single propositions. The meaning they make depends on the attempt to formulate something which seems difficult to put in words. There is no finished intention, feeling or idea to be represented; neither can one construct whatever one wants to say. Tentative speech acts make sense by literally speaking into a felt complexity, as Eugene Gendlin demonstrates. What needs to be understood in regards to these speech acts is a development of meaning occurring during the formulation and not the ontological status of inner entities. A happy outcome of tentative speech acts is a clarification of some aspect of a situation, problem, puzzlement or vague idea, at times involving complex implicit contexts, backgrounds and what Dilthey termed “Lebenszusammenhänge”. In order to speak of these kinds of complex points of reference, John Dewey introduced the term of the „quality of a situation“ and Eugene Gendlin the term „felt sense“. The paper explores ways to approach these speech acts and to consider their philosophical relevance.


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Published Online: 2018-4-20
Published in Print: 2018-4-2

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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