Towards a Unified Theory of Illocutionary Normativity

In Laura Caponetto & Paolo Labinaz (eds.), Sbisà on Speech as Action. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 2147483647-2147483647 (2023)
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Speech acts are governed by a variety of illocutionary norms. Building on Sbisà’s (2019) work, this chapter attempts to develop a common framework to study them. Four families of illocutionary rules are identified: (i) Validity rules set conditions for (actual) performance; (ii) Cooperative rules set conditions for cooperative performance; (iii) Illocutionary goals set conditions for successful performance; (iv) Illocutionary obligations set conditions for compliance. Illocutionary rules are often taken to play a constitutive role: speech acts are said to be constituted by the unique set of rules that regulates them. Against this view, it is argued that many illocutionary rules are instead best construed as rationally derivable expectations of cooperation. This alternative paradigm provides fertile ground to reconcile scholarly disagreement between speech act theorists, and yields a promising explanation of how illocutionary norms are learned and evolve through time. 

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Neri Marsili
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia


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