The intentionality of questions – a critique of Searle's analysis of speech acts

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Abstract

Searle’s analysis and classification of speech acts entails that one of
the two components of a speech act is a proposition. The first part of the article
demonstrates that the analysis and classification is misleading when applied
to three authentic examples of questions embedded in an everyday activity.
Considerations concerning the situations that give rise to the questions
suggest that the discrepancy is due to assumptions about intentionality and
perception implied by the proposition-based analysis and classification of
speech acts. In the second part of the article, Searle’s theory of intentionality
and perception is compared with cognitive ethnographic observations of the
situations that give rise to the three questions. The comparison shows that
Searle’s theory of intentionality and perception is insufficiently informative
and partly misleading as regards human intentionality and perception in the
performance of an everyday activity. The claim is that the assumptions about
intentionality and perception that form the basis of the proposition-based
analysis and classification of speech acts are insufficient as a basis for a general
theory of speech acts.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftScandinavian Studies in Language
Vol/bind11
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)20-55
Antal sider35
ISSN1904-7843
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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