Speech as an Intersubjective Act


ACLS Fellowship Program




Telling someone something is at once a form of self-expression and a social act; that is, not only an act that takes place in a social context but one requiring the joint participation of others. Speaking to another person is at once an effort to make oneself understood, to communicate some fact independent of oneself, and to engage in a social institution involving other people who must play their complementary roles. In this way, ordinary verbal communication is a form of intersubjective relation that is both social, epistemological, normative, and psychological. This project seeks a unified philosophical account of the interrelated dimensions of this fundamental form of human relationality, one that shows how one person’s verbal act can count as a reason for the person being addressed.