John Searle's Speech Acts made a highly original contribution to work in the philosophy of language. Expression and Meaning is a direct successor, concerned to develop and refine the account presented in Searle's earlier work, and to extend its application to other modes of discourse such as metaphor, fiction, reference, and indirect speech arts. Searle also presents a rational taxonomy of types of speech acts and explores the relation between the meanings of sentences and the contexts of their utterance. The book points forward to a larger theme implicit in these problems - the basis certain features of speech have in the intentionality of mind, and even more generally, the relation of the philosophy of language to the philosophy of mind.
'[The essays] are written with typical Searlean vigor, clarity, and originality. The result is a volume that deserves more than a mealy-mouthed speech act issuance of the 'You ought to read it' sort, which could be countered without inconsistency with 'But don't bother if you are busy.' Instead, I issue a straight directive: Read it!' Language in Society 'Expression and Meaning collects some characteristically forthright and provocative essays on outstanding topics.' John McDowell, The London Review of Books 'As one would expect, this is a stimulating collection. Searle is sensitive to detail, but I am most stuck by his penchant for bold distinctions and explanations. And he is systematic; the book considerably enlarges the earlier theory.' Brian Loar, The Philosophical Review 'There is a great deal of meat in Searle's treatment of metaphor, as elsewhere in his book, giving it an important place among the steadily increasing works that are developing the foundations, implications and applications of act theory.' Monroe C. Beardsley, International Studies in Philosophy