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Introduction

On Criticism and Other “Middle Subjects”

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 November 2022

Eric Reid Lindstrom
Affiliation:
University of Vermont
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Summary

The Introduction, “On Criticism and other middle subjects,” presents the argument of J.L. Austin’s (1947–’48) Jane Austen-inspired lectures published as Sense and Sensibilia. Austin sharply criticizes, even satirizes, the dummy presentation of “medium-sized dry goods” in his era’s dominant positivist philosophy of sense data, countering the picture of the world of things as a dry-goods store from an affirmatively critical vantage within the same medium-scale world, in terms of the ready-to-hand. In Sense and Sensibilia, Austin argues that by seeking a single kind of statement about knowledge that is incorrigible (i.e., not subject to doubt or to further challenge, incapable of being proved wrong in any context), the sense data theory of perception seeks not so much knowledge as to eliminate all risk. The chapter situates Austin’s practice of linguistic phenomenology in terms of the near-contemporary construction of the history of literary criticism by I.A. Richards in Practical Criticism as a history of “middle subjects.”

Type
Chapter
Information
Jane Austen and Other Minds
Ordinary Language Philosophy in Literary Fiction
, pp. 1 - 21
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Introduction
  • Eric Reid Lindstrom, University of Vermont
  • Book: Jane Austen and Other Minds
  • Online publication: 04 November 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009206976.001
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  • Introduction
  • Eric Reid Lindstrom, University of Vermont
  • Book: Jane Austen and Other Minds
  • Online publication: 04 November 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009206976.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Eric Reid Lindstrom, University of Vermont
  • Book: Jane Austen and Other Minds
  • Online publication: 04 November 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009206976.001
Available formats
×