Performative contradiction

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A performative contradiction (German: performativer Widerspruch) arises when the propositional content of a statement contradicts the presuppositions of asserting it. An example of a performative contradiction is the statement "I am dead" because the very act of proposing it presupposes the actor is alive.

Example

The statement "Hierarchies do not exist" offers a more subtle example of performative contradiction referring to the very capacity of making a statement, because the statement itself is a hierarchy of semiotic relations of letters (as symbols) formed into words (as signifiers) formed into a sentence (as a statement).

Usage in philosophy

Solipsism is often held to be a performative contradiction if stated. If not stated it is usually considered an example of the normative application of qui tacet consentire videtur carborundum (He who remains silent vigorously consents).[1] Jürgen Habermas and related philosophers point out that statements spoken during justificatory argumentation carry additional presuppositions and so certain statements are performative contradictions in this context. Habermas claims that post-modernism's epistemological relativism suffers from a performative contradiction. Hans-Hermann Hoppe claims in his theory of argumentation ethics that arguing for any political position other than libertarian anarchism results in a performative contradiction.

Jaakko Hintikka more rigorously fleshed out the notion of performative contradiction in analyzing Descartes' famous cogito ergo sum argument, concluding that cogito ergo sum relies on performance rather than logical inference.[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ Bolt, Robert. A Man For All Seasons. 
  2. ^ Hintikka, Jaakko (1962). "Cogito, Ergo Sum: Inference or Performance?". The Philosophical Review. 71 (1): 3–32. JSTOR 2183678. 

Further reading

  • Habermas, Jürgen (1990). "Discourse Ethics: Notes on a Program of Philosophical Justification". In Habermas. Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action. trans. C. Lenhardt and S.W. Nicholsen. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. 
  • Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. "On the Ultimate Justification of the Ethics of Private Property". The Economics and Ethics of Private Property. 


Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Performative_contradiction&oldid=767815930"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Performative_contradiction
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Performative contradiction"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA