Is Searlean Insincere Promise a Speech Act?

  • Vitaly Ogleznev
Keywords: insincere promise, sincerity condition, speech act, obligation


In this article, I focus solely on the study of the classical definition of the speech act of promising given in the works of John Searle. In the first section, I consider the conditions and rules for the successful performance of the act of promising. The second section includes an analysis of some contradictions in Searle’s approach to the insincere promise. I discuss his basic argument that insincere promises are speech acts. The third section deals with the case of a polite promise. The fourth section presents a refutation of Searle’s claim to recognize an insincere promise as a promise and a speech act. In the last section, I conclude that for the ‘normal’ speech act of promising, the requirement of the sincerity condition ‘S intends to do A’ is necessary; otherwise it is not a promise at all, and thus the Searlean insincere promise is not a speech act.
Epistemology and Morals