Marco Mazzone

Performativity and its constraints. The «ideological stage» in the symbolic animal

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Keywords: Pragmatics; Performativity; Ideology; Politically Correct; Self.

Austin's theory of performatives has recently inspired much literature on political correctness, based on the idea that they can be essential for the individuals' identity construction, but also for oppression and offence. In this paper I intend to analyze the power but also the limitations of performatives: we should refrain from attributing them magical efficacy, insofar as their power is actually constrained by objective conditions. This invites a revision of post-modern theories according to which any speech creates its own «regime of truth», without any chance for an objective analysis of ideology.

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