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Philosophical Thought

The development of the analytical philosophy of language from the problem of meaning to the theory of speech acts

Nedorezov Vadim Georgievich

ORCID: 0000-0002-9402-3515

PhD in Philosophy

Associate Professor; Department of Philosophy, Cultural Studies and Sociology; Orenburg State University

460018, Russia, Orenburg region, Orenburg, Pobedy Ave., 13, building 20, office 20-806

Pisarchik Leonid Yurievich

ORCID: 0000-0003-2169-5932

PhD in Philosophy

Associate Professor; Department of Philosophy, Cultural Studies and Sociology; Orenburg State University

460018, Russia, Orenburg region, Orenburg, Pobedy Ave., 13, building 20, office 20-806










Abstract: The subject of the study is the development of the analytical philosophy of language in the twentieth century from the problem of meaning, which was central to the logic of G. Frege, in logical positivism and in the philosophy of B. Russell, to the theory of speech acts, that is, the development from semantics to pragmatics. The main attention is focused on such problems as the problem of the essence of language, the problem of meaning and reference, the nature of communication, and the theory of speech acts. The purpose of the study is to identify the features of the concepts of meaning in different representatives of analytical philosophy. A special place is given in this context to the ideas of L. Wittgenstein and H. Putnam's. It is also important to find out the reasons for the transition of analytical philosophy to communication problems. The specific features of the concepts of speech acts by such thinkers as D. Austin and D. Searle are also considered.The article uses such research methods as historical and philosophical analysis, socio-critical, as well as comparative methods. The novelty of the research lies in identifying how philosophers followed the path of updating and deepening the problem of meaning and reference, as well as what the specifics of each solution are. The changes that took place in the philosophy of language in the twentieth century, introduced, first of all, by L. Wittgenstein during the "linguistic turn", are considered. Significant innovations introduced into the descriptive-analytical linguistic theory of speech acts related to the names of D. Austin and D. Searle are also shown. Austin's characterized and classified speech acts, D. Searle's combined the problem of speech communication with the problem of intentionality, as a fundamental ability of human consciousness. A critical flaw in the theory of speech acts is pointed out: in fact, it does not explain the nature of dialogue, since it presents a variety of monologues.


analytical philosophy, logical positivism, language, philosophy of language, mentalism, meaning, reference, communication, theory of speech acts, intentionality

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The relevance of the topic under study lies in the fact that the problems of philosophy of language have access to such sections of philosophical knowledge as ontology, epistemology, philosophy of science. In this regard, it is important to understand how such problems as the essence of language, the problem of meaning and reference, the nature of communication, the essence of speech acts, etc. are solved in modern philosophy of language. It is necessary to take into account which philosopher has priority in solving these problems, as well as what is the specificity of each solution. At the same time, it is also of great importance that specific thinkers have introduced new things into solving the problem of meaning, reference and speech acts. The purpose of this study is to consider significant changes in the understanding of language and the problem of meaning associated with the names of G. Frege, B. Russell and H. Putnam's. At the same time, it shows not just the change of concepts of different thinkers, but the logic of the movement of their thoughts. It is also important to consider the innovations associated with the name of L. Wittgenstein, who proposed a different understanding of the meaning of words (names) from the traditional one. It is also necessary to show the peculiarities of the theories of speech acts. Austin and D. Searle. In the course of the research, such methods as the method of historical and philosophical analysis and the comparative method were used. The novelty of the research results lies in comparing the ideas of different thinkers involved in the analysis of language, and in building a certain logic of development, which can be seen in a detailed examination of the problems. Along with the tendency to transform the philosophy of language from semantics to pragmatics, which previously often became the subject of research, an analysis of the movement of thought of Western philosophers in line with pragmatics itself, that is, in the theory of speech acts by such philosophers as D. Austin and D. Searle, is undertaken.

The problem of meaning

Before proceeding to the consideration of the problem of meaning, it is necessary to consider the question of what an analytical philosophy is. Currently, there is no single concept of analytical philosophy, that is, many approaches and schools exist and develop in it. The key problem that unites these schools is language analysis. The concept of "analytical philosophy" is used in philosophical literature in two senses: firstly, it is the main trend in the philosophy of England and the USA; secondly, the same concept is characterized by a "certain style of philosophical thinking", which consists in the rigor and accuracy of philosophical and scientific reasoning based on a deep logical analysis of concepts and linguistic expressions [1, pp. 11-12].

A close understanding of analytical philosophy is presented in the work of S. V. Nikonenko, who also notes a significant range of opinions in understanding the essence of analytical philosophy. But at the same time, he notes that it is still possible to distinguish what is characteristic in this direction of philosophical thought. A distinctive feature of analytical philosophy is that in it the solution of problems is carried out using the analysis of language [2, p. 4].

In A. F. Gryaznov we find the following understanding of analytical philosophy. In a narrow sense, it is "the dominant trend in the Englishspeaking philosophy of the twentieth century..." [3, p. 13]. In a broad sense, analytical philosophy is a style of philosophical thinking that is characterized by rigor and accuracy of reasoning and the use of terminology, while there is a negative attitude towards speculative reasoning that has a general character. The rigor of reasoning and the accuracy of the results are equally important here [3, p. 13].

Based on the considered options for understanding analytical philosophy, we see in it, on the one hand, the direction of Anglo-American philosophy, which focused on the problem of increasing the rigor and accuracy of scientific language through logical analysis of the meaning of linguistic expressions, and then extended the method of analysis to everyday language; in addition, in this direction of thought, it also showed There is a tendency to naturally expand the research issues from semantics to pragmatics.

M. Dammit considers G. Frege to be the founder of analytical philosophy, since he put the problem of meaning at the center of his logic, which became the cornerstone of all subsequent analytical philosophy. Along with Frege's developments, analytical philosophy received its formalization at the first stage, according to B. Stroud, in the works of B. Russell 1900 1918 [4, p. 160]. J. Moore also made a great contribution to the design of the ideas of analytical philosophy in the first period. Stroud notes that analytical philosophy is most often understood as a struggle with metaphysics, and this did take place, but not in Frege, Russell and Moore, but in the second period of its development the period of early L. Wittgenstein and logical positivism. The third period of the development of analytical philosophy is the period of late Wittgenstein and linguistic philosophy. At this stage, the greatest contribution to the development of analytical philosophy was made by L. Wittgenstein, D. Austin, G. Ryle, W. Quine, N. Goodman, D. Davidson, D. Searle, etc. The general opinion among representatives of analytical philosophy is that the core of analytical philosophy is the philosophy of language, and the philosophy of consciousness, philosophy of history, philosophy of logic, philosophy of action, etc. belong to the periphery [5, p. 5]. Although some of them have a different point of view, for example, D. Searle believes that it is the philosophy of consciousness that underlies the philosophy of language.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, researchers were most interested in semantic problems, that is, the problem of meaning came to the fore. During this period, logicians dealt with the problems of truth, reference (the relation of a word, name and object), the essence of language and its relation to the real world. These problems came to the fore and put linguistic semantics in the spotlight. There has been a transition from syntax (language rules) to semantics (meaning of statements). For G. Frege, it was important to distinguish between meaning and meaning, as well as between truth and falsehood. He proposed his concept of meaning, which became very popular, its core was the famous Fregian semantic triangle: name meaning meaning.

G. Frege rethought the problem of truth, since he did not accept the generally accepted concept of truth as the correspondence of a statement to reality, coming from Plato and Aristotle. The German thinker argues that truth is inherent in the sentence itself, its meaning, and not its correspondence to something else. "When we call a sentence true, we mean, in fact, its meaning" [6, p. 21]. There is no question of Frege's correspondence of thought to external objects. "Thought is something extrasensory, and all sensually perceived objects should be excluded from the area in which the concept of truth applies" [6, p. 22], he writes.

Frege also departed from the classical interpretation of meaning, which had existed since the time of R. Descartes and D. Locke. At that time, philosophers believed that words and linguistic expressions are the expression of our ideas, our thoughts, that is, subjective reality, our inner world is represented in linguistic expressions. This is a classical concept of language, which was generally adhered to by all philosophers of the XVII XVIII centuries. But first J. S. Mill and later G. Frege changed their point of view on the nature of language. They proclaimed that words and names denote objects of external reality, which became a more objective view of the essence of language. Here the function of language changes: if in classical philosophy only the function of expressing thought in a word was emphasized, then Mill and Frege had the function of designating objects of the external world, that is, a significative function. This means that the main function of language, according to Mill and Frege, is the function of designating an object, that is, a statement about an object, as well as about the signs and properties of an object.

Frege has done a lot of work to establish the objective meaning of names. He stated that objects themselves should be put in place of mental images, and showed that, on the one hand, the name denotes the object, and, on the other, it expresses the meaning, the idea of the object. The meaning that relates to the subject is the new mental image. In classical philosophy, a mental image was understood as belonging to a subject. Now the mental image is considered as belonging to both the subject and the object (the content of the image, meaning, information about the subject). Therefore, the mentalism of classical philosophy began to be criticized, Frege began to do this, and then Moore and Wittgenstein continued.

Some subsequent logicians and philosophers nevertheless criticized Frege for his alleged dualism, as if he remained a follower of Descartes. Frege insisted that in linguistic expression, the meaning of the linguistic expression dominates, and not the subject itself, because when we talk about the subject, we do not always see it, do not always represent it and are guided by the information about the subject expressed in the sentence. Subjects can be different external, logical, mathematical, fictional, etc. And the meaning determines its reference, that is, the objective meaning. So, first a person deals with the meaning, and then the "outlines" (logical or sensual) of the object arise. Therefore, Frege's reference is understood as meaningmaking, meaning-making, that is, the referent of a word is not so much the object itself, but what corresponds to the semantic description of the object. From here it is very close to the concept of conventionalism, according to which the subject is understood as what scientists have agreed on.

After Frege, other concepts of meaning arose. His popularity peaked at the beginning of the 20th century, and then, from about 1910, he was eclipsed by B. Russell. In his concept of logical atomism, he initially adopted the "figurative" concept of language, that is, words, in his understanding, are images of things. Each word has its own subject, or rather, not an object, but sensory data (sense data). Moreover, Russell justified this understanding of language with many psychological examples. The problem for Russell was that the language carried a lot of misconceptions and mistakes, and even the language of science was not perfect. Having begun to analyze the language of science, Russell and Whitehead, in their work on the fundamental work "Principia Mathematica" (1910-1913), moved to ensure that the ideal language was completely isomorphic to reality, but at the same time Russell refuses to accept the semantic aspect of words in the Fregian understanding. The ideal language is the language of the logic of statements, and the world is a collection of facts. Russell adheres to the position that a person receives knowledge in interaction with the outside world, in the process of which signification occurs, that is, each object gets its own name. He presented this position in his article "Knowledge-familiarity and knowledge by description" [see: 7, pp. 444-458], as well as in the work "Human cognition: its scope and boundaries". Here he shows that the child's perception of objects is accompanied by the fact that adults tell him the words that denote them (their names). This is how the assimilation of names takes place, in the process of which there is a correspondence of words and objects. More often than not, there are extensive definitions. And the objects that the child learns and the information about them, Russell calls facts. Russell writes: "a word can be associated with some noticeable object of the environment (in general, with one that often appears) and that when it is so associated, it is also associated with what we can call an "idea" or "thought" about that object. When such an association is created, the word designates a given object; the utterance of this word can be called a given object, and hearing it can evoke the idea" of the object. This is the simplest kind of "meaning" from which other types of it develop" [7, p. 76]. N. Griffin notes that B. Russell was in the early period of philosophical activity a proponent of the reference theory of meaning, that is, he believed that "the meanings of words are ontological entities or sensory objects" [8].

In the analytical philosophy of the early twentieth century, there was a struggle of ideas: on the one hand, there was criticism of mentalism and Descartes, on the other, Frege himself turned out to be close to mentalism, although he began with his criticism. Many concepts originate from Frege's research, for example, the concept of the meaning of logical positivism, which was formed on the basis of Frege's approach, as well as the ideas of L. Wittgenstein from the period of the "Logical and Philosophical Treatise". They understood the meaning of the "protocol proposal" in line with what we can fix in experience and what scientists can agree on. That is, the concept of meaning was based on the principles of verification, physicalism and conventionalism. The main thing is verification.

The desire to abandon mentalism required analytical philosophers to abandon attempts to rigidly and accurately fix the meaning of the subject. There should be the object itself, the referent and its name, as well as its verifiable properties obtained in experimental verification, and vague descriptions, semantic shades were now sought to eliminate. The problem is that the meaning cannot be adequately described, formalized, expressed in formulas and symbols. The whole Vienna Circle worked on this, creating the concept of meaning. Therefore, they faced the task of abandoning the Fregian concept of meaning and a fair share of mentalism associated with it. In the first place, they had rigor and accuracy of reasoning.

The logical positivism of the Vienna Circle developed the ideas of B. Russell and L. Wittgenstein. M. Schlick and R. Carnap, first of all, directed their efforts to purify philosophy from metaphysical problems, since they are unverifiable. And in the matter of the essence of meaning, logical positivists have already somewhat deviated from the classical understanding of reference. By meaning, logical positivists do not mean the object itself, as was the case with Frege, but its sensual equivalent, a double. In this regard, the empirical basis of science came to the fore in logical positivism, and the importance of theoretical knowledge was unduly belittled.

The Vienna Circle also had problems with the criterion of value, that is, with verification. K. Popper was the first to criticize logical positivism in this matter, believing that metaphysics should not be eliminated from science, since it is a real cognitive factor contributing to the emergence of new scientific theories [9, p. 39]. Then representatives of analytical philosophy also joined in, in particular X. Putnam. He writes: "The Vienna Circle stated: the meaning of a sentence is the method of its verification" [10, p. 146]. "An obvious reaction to these formulations," writes H. Putnam, it would be objected that the criterion of logical positivism is self-refuting: for in itself this criterion is (a) neither analytical (except, perhaps, analytically false), (b) nor empirically verifiable" [10, p. 147].

The Vienna Circle took as a basis the ideas of L. Wittgenstein's "Logical and Philosophical Treatise", which ontologized the structure of the language of propositional logic. For the Austrian thinker, the world seemed to be a logical construct. The totality of atomic facts combined into a combination of molecular facts is the world. Wittgenstein's language is a collection of sentences. The structures of the language and the essence of the logical subject coincide. Wittgenstein's logization of the world proved to be very useful for logical positivism. But at the same time, the representatives of the Vienna Circle did not take into account the fact that Wittgenstein's logical nature of the worldview is adjacent to the statement that it correlates with reality. So Wittgenstein did not ontologize logic entirely, and, apparently, the reason for this was that he left a window into metaphysics through this, in particular, he left an exit to the problem of values. Wittgenstein notes: "2.1. We create pictures of facts for ourselves. 2.11. The picture represents a certain situation in a logical space, represents the existence and non-existence of co-existences. 2.12. The picture is a model of reality" [11, p. 8]. This view was inherent in the early Wittgenstein. The later Wittgenstein moved away from this understanding of reference and developed a new concept of meaning, in which words no longer corresponded to objects.

Logical positivism focused on the problem of meaning for the reason that for it the most important problem was the demarcation of scientific and non-scientific knowledge. Scientific knowledge in logical positivism was recognized only as verified, empirically confirmed knowledge. As a result, logical positivists have replaced the object with the theory of the object, while the latter should fully correlate with the language of observation. As a result, theoretical knowledge was underestimated, theory was reduced to empiricism. "And since the status of science was assigned only to empirically justified or proven statements, the central methodological problem (as a direct expression of the neo-positivist criterion of demarcation) was the problem of substantiation, and not the discovery of new knowledge" [12, pp. 21-22]. K. Popper pointed out this flaw in the concepts of logical positivists.

The main epistemological principles of logical empiricism are the following provisions: 1) knowledge is only what is given in sensory perception; 2) what is given in sensory perception is absolutely reliable; 3) knowledge, in fact, boils down to the description of sensory perceptions [13, pp. 14-15]. In such an interpretation of human cognition, there is no place for explanation, understanding, prediction, etc. This epistemological system is characterized by a rejection of the outside world, it does not appear in these constructions, since a new ontology is being created here the ontology of language.

L. Wittgenstein, in turn, also criticized the concept of meaning by B. Russell, who laid the basis for the emergence of meaning by ostensive definitions having the form "this is so-and-so". Wittgenstein, in Philosophical Studies, came to the conclusion that the meaning of a word in a sentence is established not in its relation to the subject, as Frege, logical positivists and Russell believed, but according to its place in the sentence. His formulation is known: "the meaning of a word is its use in language" [14, p. 99]. We remember that Wittgenstein did not analyze scientific language, like Russell, but everyday language, like Moore. He understands language as living forms of communication and changes in its rules. The meaning of words may vary depending on their usage. And then Wittgenstein's concept of "language as a game" grows from here. Here we see a turning point in the development of the analytical concept of language, when the transition began from the classical concept of meaning to Wittgenstein's, which can be called an instrumental concept, since language is an instrument, an instrument.

Subsequently, new theories of reference appeared. M. Dammit, H. Putnam, D. Searle and others dealt with these problems. Representations of X. Putnam's views on this issue are as follows. Putnam is one of the representatives of the philosophy of consciousness, but he did not come to the problem of consciousness immediately. At first, he studied the philosophy of language, in particular, the problem of reference. He presented his semantic concept, which is based on a realistic philosophy [see: 15]. Realistic philosophy proceeds from the principle of the inseparable unity of subject and object. Realists not only take into account external objects, but also consider logical and mathematical objects as existing, moreover, they consider them as entities. That is, the real world itself is expanding due to this, as it were, filled with new content. And the subject from this world is irreplaceable, since the world is, ultimately, the experience of man and humanity, without it the picture of the world is incomprehensible, and it is also unclear how all knowledge about the world is constructed and what the world itself is. After all, man knows the world and it is he who gives meaning to the world, representatives of realistic philosophy believe.

H. Putnam, in his concept of reference, reinforces the anti-fundamentalist attitude. He does not agree with traditional epistemology, that is, with its understanding of the problem of reference, and believes that mental images cannot determine the reference of words, that is, their relationship to certain subjects. The American philosopher proposes to present meaning as a kind of vector that has a direction and is formed under the influence of various factors, firstly, syntactic, since the rules of language influence the formation of meaning. Secondly, the semantic factor must also be taken into account in the process of forming meaning, since the subject must be described, its purpose and characteristics must be understood. That is, semantics (information about the subject) as it were, it forms an extensional (an object designated by a given name). Speaking about the subject, we are, as it were, inside this information. Intensive is the meaning, the information about the subject. According to Putnam, in fact, work is underway on how to relate the extensional to the intensional. All analytical philosophers, starting with Frege, have been thinking about this.

L.B. Makeeva notes that Putnam considered the concept of G. Frege and criticized the understanding of the meaning of the German logician, seeing mentalism in him [16, p. 36]. Since there was a rejection of classical philosophy's ideas about mental images in realistic and analytical philosophy, it was necessary to develop a new mechanism of reference, which Putnam did. He formulated the basics of understanding this mechanism: "the reference of these expressions is established due to external non-mental factors" [16, p. 39].

Indeed, according to Putnam, reference is established on the basis of two factors: social and natural [17, p. 74]. He explains his idea as follows: the reference is formed under the influence of socio-cultural influences on the understanding of objects and phenomena with which a person deals, these influences include the conditions in which the scientific community, the system of communication and communication works. Linguists, linguists, and philosophers work in different environments, they are native speakers of different languages and representatives of different scientific schools. Finally, the natural factor also influences the formation of reference, that is, natural forces, species of animals, plants, etc. This also affects the importance we attach to the name of the object.

Putnam puts forward a sociolinguistic hypothesis according to which different native speakers use different aspects of the meaning of words in their work. These values do not always fit together, although people work in the same science, so this phenomenon is called an extralinguistic factor in science. Then R. Rorty will defend approximately the same ideas when he talks about the essence of philosophy and scientific rationality. People of different cultures have different meanings and meanings in mind in the process of communication, so philosophy should act as an intermediary in the dialogue of cultures. In this regard, the question arises of how to neutralize this extralinguistic factor and come to an understanding in a dialogue. Putnam believes that this should be done by specialists, experts whose task is to find common points and differences, eliminate difficulties and discrepancies and bring the study to a common denominator. In turn, Rorty proposed not just a solution to the problem of the mechanism of reference, but a new understanding of philosophy, whose task is to analyze and compare cultural discourses and develop a mutually acceptable understanding of the problems [see: 18].

Because Putnam recognized the influence of natural factors on the formation of reference, he was accused of essentialism. One of the most prominent representatives of essentialism was Aristotle, who said that essence precedes existence, essence (essentia) generates existence. Thus, the developers of the theory of reference in the twentieth century moved away from Descartes' attitudes (with his dualism and mentalism), but came, paradoxically, to the essentialist attitudes of Aristotle, on whose ideas Descartes essentially relied.

The theory of reference was also developed by S. Kripke, who also came to essentialism. Putnam and Kripke were accused of returning to Locke and Aristotle. Putnam continued to develop problems of realism, the theory of reference, and the problem of truth. He wrote the book "Reason, Truth and History" (1981), in which he deepens his antifundamentalism and abandons the fourth factor that forms meaning - stereotypes. Four factors, according to Putnam, influence the formation of meaning: 1) the subject itself, 2) socio-cultural factors, 3) natural factors, 4) stereotypes. Stereotypes are something like T. Kuhn's concept of "paradigm".

Putnam's rejection of stereotypes occurred because they are close to the realm of the mental. His position also changes in understanding the meaning, he comes to an interpretation close to Wittgenstein's: the meaning is formed not in the head of the researcher or even in the head of the speaker (a person using a language), but in a sentence. The fact that Putnam, in his theory of meaning, departed from the principle of classical epistemology, according to which the meaning of a word is the object it denotes, was nevertheless a significant loss for both the philosophy of language and epistemology.

Signs are used situationally, according to Wittgenstein. A name is a simple sign, and a sentence is a complex one [11, p. 12]. The name (word) takes on meaning in the sentence. Putnam came to the same conclusion. Trying to avoid accusations of essentialism, he argues that before we begin to deal with any scientific problems, we use or develop a conceptual scheme that has a theoretical character. He took this understanding of the problem from the Dugem-Quine theorem. This theoretical scheme guides our research and therefore it is not necessary to talk about a significant impact on the course of research of direct experience, empiricism.

Putnam's theory of meaning clearly shows the influence of sociocultural factors on language, and from here it is one step to the problem of communication. Thus, it can be said that the study of language in analytical philosophy has been steadily moving towards the study of the problem of communication, speech communication. Linguistic philosophy moves from semantics to pragmatics. In its mainstream, researchers are engaged in the functioning of language in communication processes. The consequence of this was the overcoming of the idea of designation as the main function of the word. But this process was not without losses, which consisted in the loss of the objective content of knowledge, since the correlation between words and objects was no longer recognized. Such an understanding of knowledge was accompanied by a wide spread of conventionalism.

Theory of speech acts Austin and D. Searle

After Wittgenstein, John Austin, along with others, developed linguistic philosophy. He also conducted an analysis of everyday language and, like Wittgenstein, did not consider it imperfect. The Oxford philosopher came to the conclusion that there are different types of statements, and first of all he began to distinguish between "constatives" and "performatives" [19, pp. 23-24]. Austin also proceeded from Wittgenstein's understanding of language as a tool by which any actions are performed. Focusing on this, Austin came to the conclusion that the main purpose of statements is not to describe reality, as it was understood in the traditional understanding of language. At the same time, statements are not always true or false. He believes that statements describing facts can be called "constatives", since they describe reality, state a certain situation, point to objects, facts of reality. In this case, the constatives are divided into true and false. Constatives include, for example, the statement: "Oxford is 60 miles from London."

However, not all statements come down to this. Some of them inform us about the commission of a certain action by a person (speaker). Here the action is not characterized, but is performed. Austin gives an example of such a statement: "I call this ship Liberty" or "I bequeath my watch to my brother." He calls such statements "performatives." They do not carry the meaning of truth/ falsity, but have the character of successful / unsuccessful, doable / impossible. Austin set the task for the entire linguistic philosophy: "it seems to me that today we need a new, complete and accurate theory of what a person does when he says something ..., that is, what I call a speech act here..." [19, p. 34].

Austin's introduction of the division of utterances into three main speech acts: locative, illocutionary and perlocutionary was very productive [20, pp. 83-92]. Austin eventually realized that very often performatives are difficult to distinguish from constatives. Therefore, he was faced with the task of developing a theory in which language expressions would appear in a clearer form. His theory of speech acts became such a theory. Speech, according to Austin, is the simultaneous implementation of three acts. A locative act is speech as such, the utterance of words and sentences that matter. For example, "The cat is lying on the mat" or "She has beautiful hair." But in speech, we always assure someone, warn, announce solutions to someone, ask, answer questions, that is, we produce an illocutionary act in which words are directed, addressed to someone, and they have communicative power. For example, "I warn you that...", "I promise not to do this." Finally, by saying something, a person can produce an effect on people, can influence people's feelings, thoughts and behavior, change them, that is, the speaker means "a calculated, intentional, purposeful effect." This is a perlocative act. Example: "He convinced me that...". Moreover, Austin established that the perlocative act can take place not only in a performative utterance, but also in a constative one. What remains unchanged is that constatives report facts, and performatives emphasize illocutionary force.

Austin did not have time to complete the systematization of his theory. He continued to implement the task set by Austin to create the theory of speech acts by D. Searle. He focuses on the illocutionary logic of language, that is, it is not just a statement with some meaning, but a statement that is more focused on communication, it contains a request, advice, promise, etc. In such a speech act, the relationship between the subjects, participants in communication is established. Searle considers an illocutionary act, not a word or sentence, to be the unit of verbal communication. He added another propositional act to the illocutionary act, which contains an indication of the object and a characteristic of this object. A feature of Searle's understanding of the illocutionary act is the indication that all illocutionary acts carry, among other things, a propositional function [21, pp. 60-62].

Searle gives the following classification of illocutionary acts: representations (statements), directives (requests, orders), commissaries (promises), expressives (expressions of gratitude or sympathy), declarations (declaration of war, for example). D. Searle improved the theory of speech acts. Austin, in particular, their classification by introducing criteria for such classification.

The American philosopher came to the conclusion that all sentences of a language are somehow always included in an illocutionary context. In this regard, Searle raises an important problem about the attitudes of the speaker, about his intentions, since the one who asserts something pursues a certain goal: to communicate some truth, convince of something, call for something, prove something, etc. This is the illocutionary context that leads Searle directly to the problem of intentionality. He connects the speech act with the fundamental property of human consciousness with intentionality. First, he worked out the problem of the speech act, then develops the problem of intentionality in his own way. He considers the philosophy of language as subordinate to the problematic of the philosophy of consciousness, that is, the philosophy of language is, as it were, a special case of the philosophy of consciousness.

The representational ability of speech acts stems, according to Searle, from a more fundamental ability of human consciousness from its intentionality. In the phenomenology of E. Husserl, who developed this problem, intentionality, as is known, refers to the orientation of our consciousness towards any objects and processes. Searle believes that mental states have an intentional character, and for him, intention is the orientation of mental states to practical tasks, to solving practical issues, it is a choice among several options in solving problems. An intention is a focus on real human actions. Searle wants to get away from dualism, so his intentionality prepares a person's actions, his behavior. He understands intentionality as a regulatory concept that reflects a person's solution of some tasks. Thus, he brings intentionality closer to analytical philosophy [see: 22].

Searle believes that intentionality is at the heart of the speech act, but it needs to be investigated not psychologically, but analytically. Intentionality is important for analytical philosophers in the sense that it is the criterion for distinguishing between a mental state and a physical one. Searle shows the connection between speech acts and mental states and talks about intentionality as a factor uniting them [see: 22].

The theory of speech acts is very important in itself, since "it became essentially the first holistic concept in which an attempt was made to systematically take into account the pragmatic aspects of language" [23, p. 196]. But let's return to the illocutionary context. Wittgenstein's context was the whole "language game", this was his advantage, but Searle narrowed the context to a certain set of illocutionary acts. And another drawback is pointed out by researchers in the theory of speech acts: in fact, it does not explain the nature of dialogue, since it presents a variety of monologues. However, Searle also has an important advantage over other analytical philosophers this is the inclusion of the problem of intentionality in the theory of speech acts, which allows us to explain the intentions of the speaker, and this is the way to establish a real mutual understanding in the communication process.

Summing up the consideration of the development of the analytical philosophy of language, we can briefly show the logic of this development. This logic appears more clearly if we make a schematic comparison of the development of the philosophy of language with the history of epistemology. In the history of philosophical thought, Plato and Aristotle laid the foundations for the concept of absolute knowledge, for the sake of which, in their opinion, the process of cognition is carried out. In subsequent epochs, the philosophers of the Middle Ages, Modern Times, and German classical philosophy, in the person of Hegel, continued this tradition. The thinkers who represented these epochs wrote that our mind comprehends the highest truths. Representatives of early analytical philosophy were still associated with this tradition and partially preserved metaphysics, but the main thing was that they accepted the concepts of truth (except Frege) the classical concept of Plato and Aristotle, and the concept of coherent truth by G. V. Leibniz. They needed to rely on objective knowledge, which is the basis of science. And the problem of meaning was the understanding of the word (name) as an object designation.

However, in the transition to the second period of the development of analytical philosophy, L. Wittgenstein and logical positivism no longer relied on the concept of absolute knowledge, which they considered purely metaphysical, but on empiricism, which does not recognize absolute truth, but only probabilistic knowledge obtained using the inductive method. Their first and main task is not to search for the truth, but to establish a demarcation between scientific and nonscientific knowledge. Their second task is to test their knowledge expertly. It is these two tasks that the verification method solves. This transformation was reflected in L. Wittgenstein's "Logical and Philosophical Treatise" and in the principle of verification of logical positivism, as well as in their concepts of meaning. In this state of affairs, language no longer correlates with the world of objects, but is an instrument, and philosophy is an action.

The efforts of Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein and the logical positivists had a positive meaning the language of science became much stricter and more precise. And the field of speculative metaphysical constructions was also limited, and somewhere it was completely eliminated. But there were also negative consequences, since philosophical ontology was unreasonably narrowed only to the analysis of language. In addition, many real problems of philosophical knowledge were eliminated from consideration due to their metaphysical nature, which impoverished philosophy.

The further development of analytical philosophy also had dual consequences. The concept of meaning was enriched by the developments of X. Putnam's. But at the same time, the tendency to strengthen relativism inevitably increased, which becomes the basic principle in the philosophy of R. Rorty and H. Putnam's. They no longer relate linguistic expressions to the world of objects, and language is not a carrier of absolute knowledge. In epistemology, the principle of fundamentalism was replaced by the principle of probabilism, and in the philosophy of language the pluralism of H. Putnam's "conceptual schemes". Therefore, according to analytical philosophers, language is not a means of advancing to the truth, but becomes, at best, a means of eliminating difficulties. In our opinion, this is a great loss both in the philosophy of language and in epistemology.

Finally, the emergence of the theory of speech acts (D. Austin, D. Searle) demonstrates the transition to understanding language as an action. This transition is explained by the fact that the concept of language gradually includes an understanding of the socio-cultural aspects of its functioning and development, since language does not develop in a vacuum, but in society. On this basis, linguistic pragmatics developed, which became a valuable new section of the philosophy of language.


Analytical philosophy in the twentieth century made a great contribution to the development of problems of meaning, reference and speech communication. At first, philosophers understood language as a representation of objects. G. Frege did a particularly great job here, overcoming the classical understanding of language as an expression of thoughts. B. Russell partially accepted Frege's point of view in the part that words denote objects, but rejected Frege's idea that a name has a certain meaning. L. Wittgenstein corrected this position by putting forward the position that language shows us the logical structure of the world. These thinkers, and the logical positivists who continued to develop their views, believed that by analyzing the problems of the language of science or everyday language, they contribute to solving traditional ontological problems. They also made a significant contribution to the criticism of mentalism, which had a positive effect and deepened language research. And although Wittgenstein developed an extremely productive concept of "language as a game", nevertheless, he considered language as a tool in the spirit of an instrumental approach. The problem of communication in analytical philosophy was not considered at all until a certain time.

However, by the middle of the twentieth century, a number of philosophers had come to understand that language is not a "nomenclature of things", but a system characterized by various functions signification, communication and, finally, action. Analytical philosophy moved from semantics to pragmatics. The theory of speech acts, developed by D. Austin and supplemented by D. Searle, has become extremely popular, which is explained by the opportunity inherent in it to better understand the essence of language, the laws and rules of human speech communication. Going in this direction, analytical philosophy in recent decades has addressed the problems of hermeneutical understanding, which has become the subject of research by K.O. Apel and Yu. Habermas.

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The reviewed article is generalizing in nature, the author tries to present in a form accessible to a wide range of readers the changes that occurred in the understanding of language in the last century in the movement of modern philosophy, which in recent years has been commonly referred to as "analytical philosophy". Unfortunately, a number of points in the presentation prompt critical comments, without which the publication of the article seems impractical. Thus, the review nature of the article requires explaining to the reader what "analytical philosophy" is in general. Although this concept has long been a technical term, even experts in the field have not yet been able to clearly articulate the "hallmark" of this very broad movement. The need for such an explanation is also exacerbated by the fact that the author himself mentions thinkers who, even with the most "free" understanding of this expression, still hardly fit into its framework, for example, F. De Saussure. Further, most of the text is descriptive, the author provides a lot of information that is contained in dictionaries and encyclopedias, it is hardly correct to include them in the text of the article, even if it is introductory in nature. The author himself claims that he sought to present the "logic of the development of thought", but in many parts of the text logic is viewed just with difficulty, there is a listing of names, works, well-known facts. I think the text of the article can be significantly shortened, and the mentioned "logic" is presented more clearly. A number of private remarks of a meaningful nature can also be made. Thus, it is hardly legitimate to associate the emergence of interest in language among philosophers who focused on positivist ideas about the role of philosophy in culture only with the emergence of quantum mechanics. It is well known that the "linguistic turn" mentioned by the author historically preceded the emergence of quantum mechanics, and the "biographical" approach to the formation of the teachings of certain philosophers is unlikely to be able to identify the corresponding correlations. Another thing is that the revival of interest in the problem of the language of describing reality is associated with the general trend of complicating scientific knowledge and the problematization of the usual worldview that accompanied this process, but quantum mechanics has already made it clear to those who were not interested in this topic that the world does not consist of "things" and their inherent "properties", that reality is immeasurably more complicated and contradictory, therefore, the usual subject-predicate structure of statements, which perfectly serves us in describing everyday experience, no longer "works" in the practice of real scientific knowledge. The text as a whole is designed quite competently, however, some stylistic, semantic and punctuation errors still remain, and they also need to be eliminated before the article is published in the journal. For example, the expression "... became more active as a result of their own logic of development..." is clearly unsuccessful, the necessary commas are missing in places ("there has been a so-called "linguistic turn" and analytical philosophy begins ..."), etc. It seems that the article has certain prospects for publication in a scientific journal, but it should be finalized in accordance with the comments made.

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The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

The article presented for consideration "The development of analytical philosophy of language from the problem of meaning to the theory of speech acts", proposed for publication in the journal Philosophical Thought, is undoubtedly relevant due to the fact that it is necessary to understand how such problems as the essence of language, the problem of meaning and reference, and the nature of communication are solved in modern philosophy of language The relevance of the topic under study lies in the fact that the problems of philosophy of language have access to such sections of philosophical knowledge as ontology, epistemology, philosophy of science. It should be noted that in the study the author considers both the theoretical basis of the problem field concerned and the practical problems. The purpose of this study is to consider significant changes in the understanding of language and the problem of meaning associated with the names of G. Frege, B. Russell and H. Putnam's. At the same time, it shows not just the change of concepts of different thinkers, but the logic of the movement of their thoughts. The research was carried out in line with modern scientific approaches, the work consists of an introduction containing the formulation of the problem, the main part, traditionally beginning with a review of theoretical sources and scientific directions, a research and a final one, which presents the conclusions obtained by the author. Structurally, the article consists of several semantic parts, namely: introduction, literature review, methodology, research progress, conclusions. The article presents a research methodology, the choice of which is quite adequate to the goals and objectives of the work. The author turns, among other things, to various methods to confirm the hypothesis put forward. This work was done professionally, in compliance with the basic canons of scientific research. We note the scrupulous work of the author on the selection of material and its analysis. The bibliography of the article includes 23 sources, among which both domestic and foreign works are presented in translation into Russian. However, like any major work, this article is not without drawbacks. First, let's pay attention to the quality of the bibliographic list. Thus, the article does not contain references to fundamental works such as monographs, PhD and doctoral dissertations. A greater number of references to authoritative works, such as monographs, doctoral and/or PhD dissertations on related topics, which could strengthen the theoretical component of the work in line with the national scientific school. Secondly, it is unclear why the author neglects the generally accepted principle of compiling a list, it is the alphabetical principle of building a bibliographic list that is not respected by the author. However, these remarks are not essential and do not relate to the scientific content of the reviewed work. In general, it should be noted that the article was written in a simple, understandable language for the reader, typos, spelling and syntactic errors, inaccuracies in the text of the work were not found. The work is practice-oriented, representing the author's vision of solving the issue under consideration. The article will undoubtedly be useful to a wide range of people, philologists, undergraduates and postgraduates of specialized universities, as well as students of philosophical faculties. The article "The dialogical concept of meaning in the Development of analytical philosophy of language from the problem of meaning to the theory of speech acts" is recommended for publication in the journal from the list of the Higher Attestation Commission.