[lit-ideas] Re: There's no such thing as a free cremation

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 16:31:18 -0800

Julie wrote:

My favourite false performative is the last page of the phone bill -- it is
entirely blank except for one sentence in the middle.  It always  reads:
"This page is intentionally blank."

I'm not sure how this is a performative. It seems simply false. 'This is the
only sentence on this page,' would be true (if it were the only sentence on the
page) but not too helpful. Sentences of the form 'This page is blank' destroy
the blankness the page might otherwise have. 'If this sentence were not here,
this page would be blank,' seems OK, if the sentence is the only sentence on
thee page. Etc. My cousin had to go to a philosopher once. He was in pretty bad

Robert Paul
Department of Semantic Introspection
Mutton College

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