Given John L. Austin’s Oxonian pedigree, we should expect his discussion of how “to say something is to do something” (1962, 12) to be taken up analytically. However, Austin also offers resources that have been exploited outside of traditional analytic philosophy—think of certain analytic feminist work, for example, or literary critical uses of performativity. For the most part, such work extends and inflects Austin’s notion of illocution and its related concepts of force and performativity for disciplinary-specific ends. This tendency in (...) reading Austin to focus on illocution and its related concepts is understandable. After all, Austin devotes most of his Harvard lectures, assembled in How to Do Things .. (shrink)
Internet Alley is much more a book about regional history than about politics, economics, or history of technology, yet it draws extensively on all of these fields. The book is stronger for its interdisciplinarity, but as a result does not sit comfortably within any traditional historical discourse. Historians of science or technology not dealing with northern Virginia in the twentieth century will find little of help in this book.