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The Elusiveness of the OrdinaryStudies in the Possibility of Philosophy$
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Stanley Rosen

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780300091977

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300091977.001.0001

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Austin and Ordinary Language

Austin and Ordinary Language

(p.182) Chapter 6 Austin and Ordinary Language
The Elusiveness of the Ordinary

Stanley Rosen

Yale University Press

This chapter raises the question: What is ordinary about ordinary language? In raising this question, the chapter looks at some of the philosophical writings of John Austin. This chapter does not, however, present a detailed study of Austin's philosophy, but uses passages from his texts as authoritative illustrations of the following problem. Despite the very frequent reference in Austin and many other thinkers to “ordinary language” or what is “ordinarily” said, there is virtually no effort to state in a detailed or even general way what is meant by the expression “ordinary language” and how it can be distinguished from the extraordinary variety. On the contrary, ordinary language is presumed to be directly intelligible and accessible not only to the plain man but to the philosopher as well.

Keywords:   authoritative illustrations, John Austin, ordinary language, extraordinary variety, plain man, philosopher

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