Marcel on ‘Performatives’ and the Self (Kierkegaardian Subjectivity and Austinian Performatives 2)

When I say that my act commits me, it seems to me that it means just this:  what is characteristic of my act is that it can later be claimed by me as mine; at bottom, it is as though I signed a confession in advance:  when the day comes when I will be confronted by my act, whether through my own agency or that of another…I must say:  yes, it is I who acted in this way, ego sum qui fecit; what is more:  I acknowledge in advance that if I try to escape, I am guilty of a disownment.  Let us take a specific example.  The clearest, the most impressive example, is doubtless that of promising, to the extent that promising is not “mere words,” just words.  I promise someone that I will help him if he gets into difficulty.  This amounts to saying:  “I acknowledge in advance that if I try to escape when these circumstances occur, in thereby disavowing myself I create a cleavage within myself which is destructive of my own reality.”

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