Quotation by J.L. Austin

Are cans constitutionally iffy? Whenever, that is, we say that we can do something, or could do something, or could have done something, is there an if in the offing—suppressed, it may be, but due nevertheless to appear when we set out our sentence in full or when we give an explanation of its meaning?
J.L. (John Langshaw) Austin (1911–1960), British philosopher. "Ifs and Cans," Proceedings of the British Academy (1956). Philosophical Papers, p. 205, Oxford University Press, second edition (1970).
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