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By Zeno Vendler

Res Cogitans: An Essay in Rational Psychology

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Extra resources for Res Cogitans: An Essay in Rational Psychology

Sample text

L familiar technical term, proposition, to refer to this common object, and I shall reserve the name thought for such an entity insofar as it is the object of a mental act or state only, that is, insofar as it remains unexpressed in words. Finally, I shall use the word message to denote propositions expressed in words. Toward the end of Chapter II we distinguished two senses of the word scry, the "full" sense and the "weak" sense. To say something in the full sense is to perform an illocutionary actto make a statement, give a promise, issue an order, or what have you.

In the progressive tense. Talking about something is carried on in a process of talking, in producing a patterned sequence of noises. Yet, clearly, the mere utterance of sounds, in no matter · Thoughts' sequence, does not amount lo bIking abou~ anyth~ng. Parrots and dolls may talk in this sense, yet they cannot talk about anything. For, as we remarked above, they cannot say anything in the full sense of the word. And no one can talk about anything without saying something in the process, that is, without performing some illocutionary acts.

Spelled out in full: I order you that you should proceed I advise you that you (should) remain silent. This construction picks out a fairly large class of performatives; a subdivision may help us to see their variety. 20 On Saying Something mand, demand (of or from) and the ambivalent tell (see sec- tion 6, above) are more categorical than requett, ask, urge, counsel, and advise; these, in turn, are stronger than permit and allow. Again, whereas entreat, pray, beseech, and beg appeal to one's kindness, dare and challenge provoke one's courage.

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