J. L. Austin, “Other Minds,” and the goldfinch

J. L. Austin was born on 26 March 1911. He was twenty-eight when the Second World War began, and served in the British Intelligence Corps. It has been said that, “he more than anybody was
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J. L. Austin was born on 26 March 1911. He was twenty-eight when the Second World War began, and served in the British Intelligence Corps. It has been said by G. Warnock that, “he more than anybody was responsible for the life-saving accuracy of the D-Day intelligence”. He was honoured for his intelligence work with an Order of the British Empire, the French Croix de Guerre, and the U.S. Officer of the Legion of Merit. Austin returned from service with the conviction that philosophy might be organised so as to replicate the successes of the Intelligence Corps. He hoped that if philosophers focused on specific examples, and the precise, but ordinary, characterisation of those examples, then they might work together to furnish philosophy with a set of agreed starting points. The first fruits of this model of philosophical activity were the reflections on knowledge contained in Austin’s essay, “Other Minds.” The essay comprises a wealth of observations on our ordinary play with the. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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