What's Your Game, Bud?
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My purpose in this paper becomes now to display something of the character of Mr. Austin's manner of critical discourse. Austin has given to his own philosophy the title "linguistic phenomenology". I should like to show how far this is a useful device in placing Mr. Austin's philosophical thought in relation to other work which has been done under similar labels. Now, if someone asks me if I would like to play Skat and answers my query as to what Skat is by saying it's a card game, he will have given me several useful bits of information in that simple statement. First, I will know that it is a game; second, that it is a member of the easily recognizable family of games called card games. Then, I can also safely assume it will be played with a certain number of cards in the hands of each player, that the game might require a minimum number of players and have a maximum number as well, that there will be definite rules about beginning the game, that there will be a goal of some kind in the movement of the game, and that there will be rules about what will be considered an advantage in the game and how that will be achieved. The list could be carried out further, but what I have written thus far should illustrate that I can, indeed, gain quite a bit of useful information from such a simple, classificatory statement. However, if I came from a place where the only card games known were variations on Rummy, my expectations about what was going to be played would be much different than if I were acquainted with many forms of card games, and would be, in fact, very largely wrong.