J. L. Austin

1911 - 1960

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John Langshaw Austin, OBE, FBA (26 March 1911 – 8 February 1960) was a British philosopher of language and leading proponent of ordinary language philosophy, best known for developing the theory of speech acts. Austin pointed out that we use language to do things as well as to assert things, and that the utterance of a statement like "I promise to do so-and-so" is best understood as doing something—making a promise—rather than making an assertion about anything. Hence the title of one of his best-known works, How to Do Things with Words. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of J. L. Austin has received more than 777,242 page views. His biography is available in 40 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 39 in 2019). J. L. Austin is the 385th most popular philosopher (down from 350th in 2019), the 743rd most popular biography from United Kingdom (down from 674th in 2019) and the 22nd most popular British Philosopher.

Austin is most famous for his work in the philosophy of language, including his theory of speech acts.

Memorability Metrics

  • 780k

    Page Views (PV)

  • 62.01

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 40

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 7.59

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.14

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of J. L. Austins by language

Over the past year J. L. Austin has had the most page views in the with 85,237 views, followed by Spanish (14,320), and French (12,510). In terms of yearly growth of page views the top 3 wikpedia editions are Spanish (293.30%), Occitan (68.75%), and Catalan (40.37%)


Among philosophers, J. L. Austin ranks 385 out of 1,267Before him are Masanobu Fukuoka, John of Salisbury, Plutarch of Athens, Saadia Gaon, Karl Rahner, and George Santayana. After him are E. H. Carr, Mulla Sadra, Paul Tillich, Peter Singer, Étienne Gilson, and Heinrich Rickert.

Most Popular Philosophers in Wikipedia

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Among people born in 1911, J. L. Austin ranks 50Before him are Richard Baer, L. Ron Hubbard, Bruno Kreisky, Sergey Sokolov, Gustav Wagner, and Cantinflas. After him are Vincent Price, Henri Troyat, Samuel Reshevsky, Robert Taylor, Mahalia Jackson, and Eduardo Frei Montalva. Among people deceased in 1960, J. L. Austin ranks 21Before him are Aloysius Stepinac, Said Nursî, Walter Baade, Victor Sjöström, Héctor Castro, and Ana Pauker. After him are Dimitri Mitropoulos, Henri Guisan, Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia, Clara Haskil, Friedrich Adler, and Felix Kersten.

Others Born in 1911

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Others Deceased in 1960

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In United Kingdom

Among people born in United Kingdom, J. L. Austin ranks 743 out of 8,785Before him are Thomas Mun (1571), H. H. Asquith (1852), William John Macquorn Rankine (1820), Percy Fawcett (1867), Tom Jones (1940), and Alfred Molina (1953). After him are Arthur Cayley (1821), John Macleod (1876), Andrew Huxley (1917), Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (1982), E. H. Carr (1892), and Louise of Great Britain (1724).

Among PHILOSOPHERS In United Kingdom

Among philosophers born in United Kingdom, J. L. Austin ranks 22Before him are G. E. Moore (1873), Thomas Carlyle (1795), Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1855), A. S. Neill (1883), Francis Hutcheson (1694), and John of Salisbury (1110). After him are E. H. Carr (1892), Adam Ferguson (1723), H. L. A. Hart (1907), Antony Flew (1923), Alasdair MacIntyre (1929), and A. J. Ayer (1910).