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Lodz Papers in Pragmatics

Founded by Cap, Piotr

Editor-in-Chief: Chilton, Paul / Kopytowska, Monika


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1898-4436
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Internalism and Externalism in Speech Act Theory

Robert Harnish
Published Online: 2009-04-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10016-009-0001-2

Internalism and Externalism in Speech Act Theory

Internalism (Frege; Searle) and externalism (Putnam 1975; Burge 1979) are related doctrines in the philosophy of language and mind, mostly centered on the role of reference in the individuation of propositions. This debate has recently been extended in speech act theory from content to force. But here the landscape becomes more complicated. It has been recently argued that speech act theory got off the track after Austin by internalizing Austin's "felicity" conditions. In reply it is noted that the issue of internalism and externalism is more nuanced—there are internal and external elements in many theories, and a preliminary categorization is attempted here. Furthermore, internalism also has its virtues, which are largely overlooked, and we attempt to redress that imbalance.

Keywords: Internalism; externalism; proposition; speech act; force; Austin; Grice

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About the article


Published Online: 2009-04-30

Published in Print: 2009-01-01


Citation Information: Lodz Papers in Pragmatics, Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 9–31, ISSN (Online) 1898-4436, ISSN (Print) 1895-6106, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10016-009-0001-2.

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