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Language, Rules, and Rule: Austin and Wittgenstein on understanding and authority

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Abstract:

The concept of rule presents a problem for democracy: distinguishing between the power to act and the responsibility to bear the consequences of action, rule turns on the separation between ruler and subject. Democracy, as a political order in which 'the people rule', insists that the demos is both ruler and subject, seeming to undermine the essential distinction that makes rule possible. In this paper I approach this problem by offering a conception of rule as a relation of mutual responsiveness. Through a close reading of J.L. Austin, I trace the rigid separation of rulers and subjects in conceptions of rule to a problematic picture of language that masks the dependence of agents or speakers on the understanding and response of listeners. I then draw on Ludwig Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations to sketch a picture of language that acknowledges the interdependence of speakers and listeners, and a concept of rule founded on the mutual responsiveness of rulers and ruled. I close by suggesting that this concept of rule is particularly suited to democracy.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

austin (72), rule (71), mean (69), languag (63), convent (61), wittgenstein (50), one (40), other (39), communic (39), action (36), act (34), word (32), understand (31), utter (29), say (28), perform (27), illocutionari (26), make (26), hobb (25), use (24), speaker (22),

Author's Keywords:

Ordinary language philosophy, authority, responsiveness, rule, Austin, Hobbes, Kripke, Wittgenstein
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Name: MPSA Annual National Conference
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http://www.indiana.edu/~mpsa/


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MLA Citation:

McFadden, Tanner. "Language, Rules, and Rule: Austin and Wittgenstein on understanding and authority" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the MPSA Annual National Conference, Palmer House Hotel, Hilton, Chicago, IL, Apr 03, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-14 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p265727_index.html>

APA Citation:

McFadden, T. J. , 2008-04-03 "Language, Rules, and Rule: Austin and Wittgenstein on understanding and authority" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the MPSA Annual National Conference, Palmer House Hotel, Hilton, Chicago, IL Online <PDF>. 2013-12-14 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p265727_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: The concept of rule presents a problem for democracy: distinguishing between the power to act and the responsibility to bear the consequences of action, rule turns on the separation between ruler and subject. Democracy, as a political order in which 'the people rule', insists that the demos is both ruler and subject, seeming to undermine the essential distinction that makes rule possible. In this paper I approach this problem by offering a conception of rule as a relation of mutual responsiveness. Through a close reading of J.L. Austin, I trace the rigid separation of rulers and subjects in conceptions of rule to a problematic picture of language that masks the dependence of agents or speakers on the understanding and response of listeners. I then draw on Ludwig Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations to sketch a picture of language that acknowledges the interdependence of speakers and listeners, and a concept of rule founded on the mutual responsiveness of rulers and ruled. I close by suggesting that this concept of rule is particularly suited to democracy.

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Associated Document Available MPSA Annual National Conference
Associated Document Available All Academic Inc.
Associated Document Available Political Research Online

Document Type: PDF
Page count: 22
Word count: 7250
Text sample:
Language Rules and Rule: Austin & Wittgenstein on Understanding and Authority* Tanner J. McFadden University of Chicago (Draft. Please do not cite without the author’s permission. Comments and critiques invited at tannerj@uchicago.edu) “But as men (for the attaining of peace and conservation of themselves thereby) have made an artificial man which we call a commonwealth so also have they made artificial chains called civil laws which they themselves by mutual covenants have fastened at one end to the lips
Thomas. Leviathan with selected variants from the Latin edition of 1668. Edited by Edwin Curley. Indianapolis: Hackett 1994. Kripke Saul A. Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language. Cambridge: Harvard University Press 1982. Pitkin Hanna. “Hobbes’ Concept of Representation—I.” American Political Science Review. 58 no. 2 (June 1964): 328-340. _____. “Hobbes’ Concept of Representation—II.” American Political Science Review. 58 no. 4 (December 1964): 902-918. Wittgenstein Ludwig. Philosophical Investigations 3rd Edition. Translated by G.E.M. Anscombe. Edited by G.E.M. Anscombe & Rush


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