J.L. AUSTIN READING QUESTIONS.
1. According to the editors, what idea about language does Austin share with Saussure?
2. What’s the motive in paragraph one of Austin’s text? Considering what the editors teach us about Austin’s response to logical positivism, why does he use this motive?
3. How is naming a ship an example of a performative utterance? Identify an example of your own that does not appear in Austin’s initial set of four.
4. What’s the difference between truth/falsity and felicity/infelicity?
5. When is a “countersignature” required for the felicity of a performative utterance?
6. How does “I am sorry” complicate Austin’s classification of performative utterances? (How does it represent the “bogging down” he tells us to expect as his essay proceeds?)
7. At the conclusion of Austin’s essay he admits that the distinction between the performative and the statement “is considerably weakened, and indeed breaks down” (1441). In response to this realization, he adds a new category to his analysis of speech acts. What’s the term, what’s it mean for Austin, and how does it suggest a solution to the weakness of the performative/statement distinction?