# THE LARGER LOGICAL PICTURE

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2 2 Commissives resemble directives in having locutionary components that are plans, although the commissive plans are first-person while the directive plans are second-person. Commissives resemble assertives in that both kinds of act may have addressees, but addressees are not required. Someone can make an assertion or a decision when she is alone. But addressees are essential for directive acts. Searle has argued for the non-importance of locutionary acts, either because they don t exist or because they are mere abstractions as opposed to the complete concrete illocutionary acts. Locutionary acts certainly exist, as I illustrated by writing The square root of 2 is a rational number. But Searle is right that, ordinarily, locutionary acts are abstract components of illocutionary acts. However, this doesn t mean that locutionary acts are of no importance. For example, statements and features of statements are the focus of attention for most standard theories of deductive logic. Actual language acts are performed by particular people on particular occasions. But different people can perform language acts that are essentially similar to one another. This makes it convenient to consider those different people to be performing the same acts, as when we say that each of us can make the statement that the square root of 2 is rational. But while different people can make the same statements, they can t perform the same illocutionary acts. Each person s illocutionary acts are uniquely her own. 2. ARGUMENTS AND DERIVATIONS Three kinds of argument or derivation are associated with each of the three categories of illocutionary acts. To explain these, I will begin with assertive acts. Assertions, denials, and suppositions are fundamental kinds of assertive acts. Someone s assertion is constituted by her making a statement and accepting that statement as representing what is the case. Denials reject statements for failing to represent what is the case, and suppositions either temporarily accept statements or temporarily reject them. A person makes suppositions in constructing an argument, and suppositions are frequently discharged in the course of that argument. An assertive locutionary argument is an ordered pair whose first member is a set of statements, the premisses, and whose second member is the conclusion statement. Locutionary arguments are abstractions which we can represent and evaluate, but they are not arguments that a person can actually make or address to someone else. An assertive locutionary argument is valid iff its premisses entail or imply the conclusion. It is common to show that a locutionary argument is valid by constructing a deductive derivation tracing truth conditional connections from some premisses to the conclusion of the argument. Although such derivations are often called arguments, or proofs, I prefer the term derivation. Locutionary arguments and deductive derivations are distinct from illocutionary arguments, in which a person reasons from premisses which are illocutionary acts to an illocutionary act conclusion. Assertive illocutionary arguments are the real life arguments that someone uses to explore or extend her own knowledge and belief, or to convince someone else to

4 4 Since plans and sets of plans can entail other plans, there are locutionary arguments from plan premisses to plans as conclusions. Consider this directive locutionary argument: <{Mark, get up from your seat and close the door}, Mark, get up from your seat.> (The ordered pair notation is what marks this as a locutionary argument.) This is valid, because the premiss strongly entails the conclusion. But this is not an argument addressed to Mark. The premiss does not give Mark a reason to implement the conclusion. We focus on arguments like this in order to investigate entailment relations linking some plans to others. We should notice that the premisses of directive locutionary arguments can include statements as well as plans. The following is an example: <{Mark, if it rains, close the windows, It is raining}, Mark, close the windows.> To evaluate this argument, we need to consider both truth conditions and implementation conditions, and we need to provide an account of conditional plans and their impact on implementation. Since truth conditions and implementation conditions are both satisfaction conditions, we should probably define validity in terms of satisfaction. This most recent locutionary argument might easily be confused with an argument whose premisses give Mark a reason to implement the conclusion. But that would be to regard the locutionary argument as an illocutionary argument. As well as considering directive locutionary arguments, it should also be possible, though perhaps not very interesting, to carry out deductive derivations tracing truth and implementation condition connections linking premisses of directive locutionary arguments to their conclusions. If an assertive locutionary argument is valid, and someone knows or believes the premisses of that argument, then that person should be able to construct a deductively correct assertive illocutionary argument from those assertions to the assertion of the locutionary argument s conclusion. The situation is different with directive arguments. A speaker cannot so easily transform a strongly valid directive locutionary argument like this: <{Rachel, water the lawn every day next week}, Rachel, water the lawn next Thursday.> into a deductively correct directive illocutionary argument. For such an argument should begin with assertions, and make clear to the addressee who accepts the asserted statements that she is already committed to implement the conclusion s plan. An example is the following: Rachel, you have agreed to water the lawn every day next week. So be sure to water the lawn next Thursday. The premiss is an assertion, and the conclusion is a directive illocutionary act.

6 6 I have promised to close the windows if it rains while I am at home. It is raining, and I am at home. So I will close the windows now. the premisses show to the addressee that she has a prior commitment to close the windows, while in this argument: I will close the windows if it rains while I am at home. But it is raining, and I am at home. So I will close the windows now. it is the commissive premiss together with the assertive premiss which give rise to the commitment to close the windows. Commissive illocutionary arguments, both deductive and non-deductive, are used to carry out practical reasoning. In all three of the categories of illocutionary acts that we are considering, there are three associated types of argument/derivation The locutionary arguments are valid or not, the deductive derivations are sound or not, and the illocutionary arguments are deductively correct or not. Deductive correctness depends in one way or another on rational commitment. Although I have been focusing on deductive arguments and derivations, there are three analogous types of nondeductive arguments and derivations. In actual practice, or real-life situations, only illocutionary arguments play important roles. For illocutionary arguments are the arguments that occur outside of logic books and logic classes. It is clear that locutionary acts are important primarily because of the illocutionary acts they are used to constitute, and that locutionary arguments and deductive or semantic derivations are important because of their relevance for illocutionary arguments. It is unfortunate that illocutionary arguments have received so little attention. But the conceptual framework that has been articulated here highlights some tasks that remain to be carried out, and provides some guidance as to how this can be done.

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