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New Work on Speech Acts
Columbia University
September 27-29 2013

Details about times and venue can be found at the conference website, where a full schedule will be posted in the coming months:

Important recent work in philosophical sub-fields as wide-ranging as epistemology, metaethics, metaphysics, and political philosophy has involved nontrivial commitments regarding the nature of speech acts. The aim of this conference is to bring these discussions, along with more traditional discussions within the philosophy of language, into a single conversation about the nature, foundations, and potential applications of speech act theory.

Some questions that could use attention:

• How does the view that assertion is constituted by an epistemic norm ramify through the rest of speech act theory?

• What are the implications of contemporary expressivism for speech act theory?

• What view of speech acts is required by act-theoretic theories of propositions?

• How would a compositional semantics that took expressions’ se- mantic values to be types of acts work?

• How does Grice’s saying/meaning distinction interface with speech act theory?

• What are the foundational commitments of recent work in political philosophy on the speech acts of silencing and subordinating?

• Most broadly: can speech acts do all of the explanatory work that contemporary philosophy asks them to?

It is our hope that a conversation aimed at answering at least some of these questions will help to illuminate both the nature of speech acts and the inquiries in which speech acts have recently been appealed to.


Kent Bach (SFSU)
Elizabeth Camp (Rutgers)
Mitch Green (UConn)
Peter Hanks (Minnesota)
Rae Langton (Cambridge)
Sarah Murray (Cornell)
Stephen Neale (CUNY)
Craige Roberts (Ohio State)
Stephen Schiffer (NYU)
John Searle (Berkeley)
Robert Stalnaker (MIT)
Jason Stanley (Yale)
Will Starr (Cornell)

Organizing Committee:
Daniel Fogal (NYU)
Daniel Harris (CUNY)
Matt Moss (Columbia)

For more information about the New York Philosophy of Language Workshop, please visit:


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