Research in Language


Goodwin and Innocenti (2016) have contended that giving reasons may be a form of enactment, where a claim is supported by the very activity of making the claim. In my view, the kind of interaction that these authors are considering should be analysed as a form of advocacy, and therefore as an exercitive speech act. In this paper I will suggest that acts of advocating, qua illocutions, institute a normative framework where the speaker’s obligation to justify cannot be redeemed by a mere “making reasons apparent”. In general, giving reasons is part of the procedure in virtue of which the advocate’s authority to exert influence is recognised by their addressees. This illocutionary effect should be distinguished from other perlocutionary consequences.


advocacy, enactment, exercitive speech acts, acts of arguing, Austin


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