By Angela Esterhammer
The Romantic Performative develops a brand new context and technique for examining Romantic literature through exploring philosophies of language from the interval 1785-1835. It unearths that the concept that of the performative, debated through twentieth-century theorists from J. L. Austin to Judith Butler, has a miles larger relevance for Romantic literature than has been learned, given that Romantic philosophy of language used to be ruled through the concept anything happens whilst phrases are spoken. by way of proposing Romantic philosophy as a idea of the performative, and Romantic literature by way of that idea, this e-book uncovers the old roots of twentieth-century principles approximately speech acts and performativity. Romantic linguistic philosophy already serious about the connection among speaker and hearer, describing speech as an act that establishes either subjectivity and intersubjective relatives and theorizing fact as a verbal build. yet Romantic theorists thought of utterance, the context of utterance, and the positions and identities of speaker and hearer to be even more fluid and not more strong than glossy analytic philosophers are inclined to lead them to. Romantic theories of language accordingly yield a definition of the "Romantic performative" as an utterance that creates an item on the planet, instantiates the connection among speaker and hearer, or even founds the subjectivity of the speaker within the second while the utterance happens. the writer lines the Romantic performative via its various improvement within the ethical, political, and criminal philosophy of Reid, Bentham, Kant and the German Idealists, Humboldt, and Coleridge, then explores its value in literary texts through Coleridge, Godwin, Hölderlin, and Kleist. those readings display that Romantic writers fastened a deeper research than formerly learned into the best way the act of talking generates subjective identification, intersubjective family, or even target truth. The venture of the publication is to learn the language of Romanticism as performative and to acknowledge between its achievements the old founding of the discourse of performativity itself.
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Additional resources for The Romantic Performative: Language and Action in British and German Romanticism
Either through sympathy with Hume's argument, or through disagreement with it, philosophers were motivated to find new ways of discussing the promise, and often other speech acts along with it. Hume sets out to show that "the rule of morality, which enjoins the performance of promises, is not natural"-, rather, "promises are human inventions, founded on the necessities and interests of society" (516, 519). In proving this claim, he does not yet treat the promise as a performative utterance, but instead seeks the "act of the mind" expressed by the "certain form of words" that we call a promise.
These questions, equally relevant to late-eighteenthung in die Geschichte der Pragmatik" 415; Nerlich and Clarke, Language, Action, and Context 99-100). Of Promises, Contracts, and Constitutions 33 century philosophical and political thought and twentieth-century speech-act theory, may in fact constitute the historical link between the two. THOMAS REID: ILLOCUTIONARY ACTS IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY Reid, the leading philosopher of the Scottish "Common Sense" school, advanced a theory of utterance as social action during the later eighteenth century.
Rather than taking the status of the speaker for granted, a Romantic speech-act theory considers utterance as an event that before all else shapes the subject's consciousness, determines the subject's relationship to the world and the hearer, and changes the environment that surrounds, and includes, the one who speaks. Yet Austin and Searle are not the only twentieth-century philosophers with whom Romantic linguistics can be brought into dialogue, and Con- 14 Introduction: Locating the Romantic Performative tinental European approaches to linguistic pragmatics maintain a closer affiliation with the phenomenologically oriented theories of the Romantics.