Organon F

Volume 28, May 2021, Issue 2, Pages 420–457

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article

Conclusions of Practical Argument: A Speech Act Analysis

Marcin Lewiński


Conclusions of theoretical reasoning are assertions—or at least speech acts belonging to the class of assertives, such as hypotheses, predictions or estimates. What, however, are the conclusions of practical reasoning? Employing the concepts of speech act theory, in this paper I investigate which speech acts we perform when we’re done with an instance of a practical argument and present its result in a linguistic form. To this end, I first offer a detailed scheme of practical argument suitable for an external pragmatic account (rather than an internal cognitive account). Resorting to actual examples, I then identify a class of action-inducing speech acts as characteristic conclusions of practical argument. I argue that these speech acts—promises, orders, pieces of advice, proposals, and others—differ chiefly depending on the agent of the action induced (me, us, you, them) and their illocutionary strength.


Illocution; practical argument; practical reasoning; speech acts.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Marcin Lewiński 


Nova Institute of Philosophy, Nova University of Lisbon


Campus de Campolide – Colégio Almada Negreiros 1099-032 Lisboa, Portugal.


About this article


19 June 2019


21 April 2020

Published online

23 March 2021


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as


Lewiński, M. (2021). Conclusions of Practical Argument: A Speech Act Analysis. Organon F28(2), 420–457.


Lewiński, Marcin. 2021. "Conclusions of Practical Argument: A Speech Act Analysis." Organon F 28 (2): 420–457.


Lewiński, M.  (2021). Conclusions of Practical Argument: A Speech Act Analysis. Organon F, 28(2), pp. 420–457.

Copyright information

© Marcin Lewiński

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