New games! PlayTrivia andBirthle.


J. L. Austin

1911 - 1960

Photo of J. L. Austin

Icon of person J. L. Austin

John Langshaw Austin (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 name of one of his best-known works How to Do Things with Words. Austin, in providing his theory of speech acts, makes a significant challenge to the philosophy of language, far beyond merely elucidating a class of morphological sentence forms that function to do what they name. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of J. L. Austin has received more than 683,980 page views. His biography is available in 39 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 37 in 2019). J. L. Austin is the 354th most popular philosopher (down from 300th in 2019), the 674th most popular biography from United Kingdom (down from 548th 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

  • 680k

    Page Views (PV)

  • 62.36

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 39

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 7.56

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.04

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of J. L. Austins by language


Among philosophers, J. L. Austin ranks 354 out of 1,081Before him are Wang Yangming, Hermann Cohen, Pietro Pomponazzi, Richard Rorty, Daniel Dennett, and Judith Butler. After him are Pompeia Plotina, Wilhelm Windelband, Euclid of Megara, René Girard, Nachmanides, and Uriel da Costa.

Most Popular Philosophers in Wikipedia

Go to all Rankings


Among people born in 1911, J. L. Austin ranks 42Before him are Jean Harlow, Sergey Sokolov, Milovan Đilas, Herta Oberheuser, Richard Baer, and Trygve Haavelmo. After him are Bernard Katz, Odysseas Elytis, Niels Kaj Jerne, Cantinflas, Louise Bourgeois, and Vincent Price. Among people deceased in 1960, J. L. Austin ranks 18Before him are Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia, Igor Kurchatov, Fausto Coppi, Aloysius Stepinac, Said Nursî, and Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia. After him are Victor Sjöström, Ana Pauker, Ernst von Dohnányi, Héctor Castro, Archduchess Elisabeth Amalie of Austria, and John D. Rockefeller Jr..

Others Born in 1911

Go to all Rankings

Others Deceased in 1960

Go to all Rankings

In United Kingdom

Among people born in United Kingdom, J. L. Austin ranks 674 out of 7,765Before him are Robert Carlyle (1961), John Gurdon (1933), William Ewart Gladstone (1809), Macbeth, King of Scotland (1005), Stirling Moss (1929), and Thomas Chippendale (1718). After him are Amélie of Orléans (1865), John Harrison (1693), Jude Law (1972), Ian McEwan (1948), Princess Charlotte of Wales (1796), and Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales (1473).

Among PHILOSOPHERS In United Kingdom

Among philosophers born in United Kingdom, J. L. Austin ranks 22Before him are Thomas Carlyle (1795), William Godwin (1756), G. E. Moore (1873), Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1855), A. S. Neill (1883), and E. H. Carr (1892). After him are H. L. A. Hart (1907), John of Salisbury (1110), Francis Hutcheson (1694), Paul Grice (1913), Alan Watts (1915), and Adam Ferguson (1723).