I hereby ask this, a question in the form of a performative utterance
March 13, 2005 10:07 AM Subscribe
I've been fascinated for a while by actions that we can take simply by saying that we're taking them. I recently found out these are called "performative utterances"; the classic examples are firing someone by saying "You're fired", or getting married by saying "I do (take him/her to be my...)". These things pop up all the time in mathematics (in fact one might say that mathematics consists almost entirely of such statements). What are some other arenas where they arise naturally? Are there other parts of life that are almost completely performative in this sense? Any favorite examples?
posted by gleuschk to Religion & Philosophy (71 answers total)
I've found a few discussions such things online, but they tend to be hardcore philosophical or linguistical -- are there others that you know of?