Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
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The idea that speaking a language is a rule‑ (or convention‑)governed form of behavior goes back at least to Wittgenstein’s language-game analogy, and can be found most prominently in the work of Searle and Alston. Both theorists have a conception of illocutionary rules as putting illocutionary conditions on utterance acts. We argue that this conception of illocutionary rules is inadequate — it does not meet intuitively plausible conditions of adequacy for the description of illocutionary acts. Nor are illocutionary rules as so conceived necessary to account for the normative dimension of illocutionary acts. In light of these conclusions we address the question of what a conception of language use not as rule-governed, but still normative, might look like.


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