Accessibility navigation


Incense and insensibility: Austin on the 'non-seriousness' of poetry

De Gaynesford, M. (2009) Incense and insensibility: Austin on the 'non-seriousness' of poetry. Ratio, 22 (4). pp. 464-485. ISSN 1467-9329

Full text not archived in this repository.

To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9329.2009.00445.x

Abstract/Summary

What is at stake when J. L. Austin calls poetry ‘non-serious’, and sidelines it in his speech act theory? (I). Standard explanations polarize sharply along party lines: poets (e.g. Geoffrey Hill) and critics (e.g. Christopher Ricks) are incensed, while philosophers (e.g. P. F. Strawson; John Searle) deny cause (II). Neither line is consistent with Austin's remarks, whose allusions to Plato, Aristotle and Frege are insufficiently noted (III). What Austin thinks is at stake is confusion, which he corrects apparently to the advantage of poets (IV). But what is actually at stake is the possibility of commitment and poetic integrity. We should reject what Austin offers (V).

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Philosophy
ID Code:26193
Publisher:Wiley

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation