J. L. Austin

1911 - 1960

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John Langshaw Austin (26 March 1911 – 8 February 1960) was a British philosopher of language and leading proponent of ordinary language philosophy, perhaps 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 569,301 page views. His biography is available in 37 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 36 in 2019). J. L. Austin is the 300th most popular philosopher (up from 313th in 2019), the 549th most popular biography from United Kingdom (down from 540th in 2019) and the 20th most popular British Philosopher.

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

Memorability Metrics

  • 570k

    Page Views (PV)

  • 72.31

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 37

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 8.70

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.62

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

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Among philosophers, J. L. Austin ranks 300 out of 1,089Before him are Félix Guattari, Uriel da Costa, Aenesidemus, Alcmaeon of Croton, Giovanni Gentile, and Jerome of Prague. After him are Ram Mohan Roy, E. H. Carr, Alfred Schütz, Roscellinus, Paramahansa Yogananda, and Nicolai Hartmann.

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Among people born in 1911, J. L. Austin ranks 32Before him are Maurice Allais, Max Frisch, Ginger Rogers, Jules Dassin, Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark, and Louise Bourgeois. After him are Odysseas Elytis, Milovan Đilas, Samuel Reshevsky, Jean Harlow, Polykarp Kusch, and William Alfred Fowler. Among people deceased in 1960, J. L. Austin ranks 14Before him are Wilhelm Pieck, Walther Funk, Paula Hitler, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia, Fausto Coppi, and Amanullah Khan. After him are Aloysius Stepinac, Igor Kurchatov, Said Nursî, Ethel Voynich, Victor Sjöström, and A. L. Kroeber.

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In United Kingdom

Among people born in United Kingdom, J. L. Austin ranks 549 out of 6,924Before him are Charles Dance (1946), Pope Adrian IV (1100), Marie of Romania (1875), John Edward Gray (1800), Harthacnut I of Denmark (880), and Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York (1473). After him are E. H. Carr (1892), Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868), Jonathan Pryce (1947), Chris Slade (1946), Malcolm Young (1953), and Edmund Spenser (1552).

Among PHILOSOPHERS In United Kingdom

Among philosophers born in United Kingdom, J. L. Austin ranks 20Before him are John Venn (1834), Pelagius (360), William Godwin (1756), Thomas Carlyle (1795), G. E. Moore (1873), and A. S. Neill (1883). After him are E. H. Carr (1892), Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1855), H. L. A. Hart (1907), John of Salisbury (1110), Paul Grice (1913), and Francis Hutcheson (1694).