[lbo-talk] Religion: was Re: Christopher Hitchens

Wojtek S wsoko52 at gmail.com
Fri Dec 23 06:13:00 PST 2011

Shag: "I pronounce Wojtek King of England. he is now King of England!

This makes no sense and doesn't seem to be confirmed by any official definition of phatic speech."

[WS:] You seem to dwell on a narrow definition of the term. In a philosophy classes that I took back in the old country - the term was used to denote any act of speech that has an "executive" function as I described. Perhaps it is a translation problem.

In any case, if you do not like to use the term "phatic" in the context that I described - it is fine by me. I do not want to engage in semantic arguments over words - I would rather talk about the social phenomenon that I described. So if you have a better word to describe situations in which acts of speech are used to "make things happen" I would be glad to hear it. If on the other hand you disagree with my characterization and critique of idealistic thinking, please say so instead of criticizing my use of the term.


More information about the lbo-talk mailing list