J. L. Austin

Siobhan Chapman (University of Liverpool)
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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 26 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 to Balliol College Oxford in 1929. He was awarded First Class honours in 1933 and was

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Citation: Chapman, Siobhan. "J. L. Austin". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 October 2003; last revised 21 June 2021. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=189, accessed 22 February 2024.]

189 J. L. Austin 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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