Michael Lambek's Toward An Ethics Of The Act

Decent Essays

In Michael Lambek’s Toward an Ethics of the Act, Lambek discusses the ethics of performance and practice rituals through perlocution and illocution. Anthony Gidden’s talks about the duality of agency (action) and structure and argues that that’s two cannot exist without each other. These two compare and contrast in analyzing social actions. In Toward an Ethics of the Act, Lambek uses the speeches that are also know as performatives that “utter a performance is to do something” . Illocution and perlocution are two of the performatives of speech that Lambek discusses in his work that are derived from J.L. Austin’s philosophy. According to Lambek, Illocution is “doing something in saying something” . Perlocution on the other hand, is “doing something by saying something” . Lambek uses the terms felicitous and infelicitous from Austin’s philosophy to define the illocution and perlocution of an act. In other words, felicitous is good or fortunate and infelicitous is bad or …show more content…

Gidden’s argues that agency and structure cannot exist without each other. Agency is the individual’s ability to make free choices in society. These choices that they make are not guided by anything but their own desires, needs and wishes to fulfill. The concept of the agency is free will and the ability of an individual to make decisions in their world that they want to make as an individual choice. Another way Giddens sees agency is that it is “not a combination of separate acts, but a continuous flow of conduct” . Structure on the other hand, is social forces that exist outside of the individual thoughts that influence the decisions that people make. The structure has a bigger influence on the individual than the individual can on the structure of society. The structure has a big role in the choices individuals make in their

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