J. L. Austin

(2543 words)
  • Siobhan Chapman (University of Liverpool)

John Langshaw Austin, known both during and since his lifetime as J. L. Austin, was the leading figure in the generation of young philosophers at Oxford immediately after the Second World War, and a prominent proponent of “ordinary language philosophy”. In linguistics, he is best known for his work on “speech acts”.

Austin was born in Lancaster on 26th March 1911, but moved with his family to Scotland soon after the First World War when his father, returning from war service, abandoned his career as an architect and became Secretary of St. Leonard’s School in St. Andrews. Austin was a high academic achiever, winning scholarships in classics to Shrewsbury public school in 1924 and from there t…

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Chapman, Siobhan. "J. L. Austin". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 October 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=189, accessed 05 July 2015.]