Volume 22, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Searle’s (1963/1991) account of the communicative intentions in speech acts purports to be an advance over that of Grice (1957), in acknowledging the ineliminable role of the linguistic (usage) rules in enabling the hearer to recognize the speaker’s communicative intentions. In this paper we argue that, given some plausible assumptions about ordinary speech exchanges, Searle’s insight on this score is incompatible with his (1983) commitment to internalism in the philosophy of mind. As a result, Searle cannot have it both ways: either he must give up his core insight regarding the ineliminable role of linguistic (usage) rules in the hearer’s recognition of a speaker’s communicative intentions, or he must give up his commitment to internalism the philosophy of mind. We conclude by arguing that this lesson is generic: the forced choice is one that theorists must face, insofar as we theorize about the role of language in the communication of thought through speech.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Bach, K. , & Harnish, R
    (1979) Linguistic Communication and Speech Acts. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Burge, T
    (1989) Individualism and the mental. Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 4(1), 73–121. doi: 10.1111/j.1475‑4975.1979.tb00374.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4975.1979.tb00374.x [Google Scholar]
  3. (1986a) Individualism and psychology. The Philosophical Review, 95(1), 3–45. doi: 10.2307/2185131
    https://doi.org/10.2307/2185131 [Google Scholar]
  4. (1986b) Cartesian error and the objectivity of perception. In S. Merril (Ed.), The Contents of Thought. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Dretske, F
    (1997) Naturalizing the Mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Grice, P
    (1957) Meaning. The Philosophical Review, 66, 377–388. doi: 10.2307/2182440
    https://doi.org/10.2307/2182440 [Google Scholar]
  7. Kaplan, D
    (1978) Dthat. Syntax and Semantics, 9, 221–243.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Kripke, S
    (1980) Naming and Necessity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Millikan, R
    (1984) Language, thought, and other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism. Cambridge: MIT press.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. (2005) Language: A Biological Model. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/0199284768.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/0199284768.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  11. Putnam, H
    (1975) The meaning of meaning. Reprinted in H. Putnam (Ed.), Mind, language and reality: Philosophical papers Volume 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1976 DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511625251
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511625251 [Google Scholar]
  12. (1996) Introduction. In A. Pessin & S. Goldberg (Eds.), The Twin Earth Chronicles: 20 Years of Reflections on Hilary Putnam’s “The Meaning of ‘Meaning’.” New York: M. E. Sharpe.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Searle, J
    (1963/1991) What is a speech act?Reprinted in S. Davis (Ed.), Pragmatics (pp.254–264). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. (1975/1991) Indirect speech acts. Reprinted in S. Davis (Ed.), Pragmatics (pp.265–277). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. (1983) Intentionality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139173452
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139173452 [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error