When Language Breaks

A Heideggerian Analysis of Grice's Cooperative Principle

  • Peter Heft
Keywords: philosophy, language, heideggerian, grice


In “Logic and Conversation,” H. P. Grice posits that in conversations, we are “always-already” implying certain things about the subjects of our words while abiding by certain rules to aid in understanding. It
is my view, however, that Grice’s so-called “cooperative principle” can be analyzed under the traditional Heideggerian dichotomy of ready-to-hand and presentat-hand wherein language can be viewed as a “mere” tool that sometimes breaks. Ultimately, I contend that the likening of language to a tool allows for a more robust understanding of it and conversational failures, while ontologically recategorizing language as an object of sorts.

How to Cite
Heft, P. (2018). When Language Breaks: A Heideggerian Analysis of Grice’s Cooperative Principle. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal, 11(1), 22-33. Retrieved from https://openjournals.bsu.edu/stance/article/view/1949