[lit-ideas] Re: Can, logically, there be any such thing as a "performative contradiction"?

  • From: palma <palma@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 30 May 2009 12:23:25 -0400 (EDT)

yes, the best cases are Moore-paradoxes

you may want to see the work by L. Horn on the matter


On Sat, 30 May 2009, Donal McEvoy wrote:

Of course, it may depend how far or little we stretch the idea of a "performative" and a 

But taking as a central case of a performative utterance those statements that lawyers admit as 'original evidence' e.g. "I 
do" in marriage, "I accept" in contract. Such out-of-court statements are not hearsay of accepting the marriage or 
other contract but are constitutive of that acceptance - hence they are "performative" utterances. In this sense of 
"performative", how could such an utterance ever be a "contradiction" (or at odds with itself), where this 
would seem to imply that it at once constituted and did not constitute the relevant act of acceptance?

The utterance "I do because father-in-law-to-be has a shotgun at my back" , or "I 
accept because otherwise Luca Brasi will ensure it is my brains on the contract", do not 
constitute genuine acceptance and so do not, in any strict sense, amount to a performative 
contradiction - rather they are imperfect or counterfeit or surrogate, or whatever, performatives.
They fall short of being genuine performatives and so cannot amount to a 
"performative contradiction".

Too much time on my (F.A.Cup watching, if you must) hands
Aware W.O. was perhaps being humourously playful in his previous use of "performative 
contradiction" and/or deploying a widened concept of "performative" and 
"contradiction"; and hoping he took only an acceptable level of offence at my previous 
Final whistle - o, god..
Next on this weary day - Britain's Got Talent

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