Professor Maciej Witek
Maciej Witek is a Professor and the Director of the Institute of Philosophy and Cognitive Science at the University of Szczecin, and is a Fulbright Scholar among his other research experiences.
Maciej Witek is a Professor and the Director of the Institute of Philosophy and Cognitive Science at the University of Szczecin. He studied philosophy at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. In 2001, he obtained his doctoral degree in Philosophy from the University of Zielona Góra, Poland. In 2012, he received his habilitation degree in Cognitive Studies and Social Communication from Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland. He conducted research at several prestigious institutions, including the University of Arizona, where he served as a Fulbright Scholar at the Department of Philosophy (2008-2009), the University of Glasgow, where he was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience (2010), and the University of Edinburgh, where he was a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (2012). He is currently the coordinator of the Cognition & Communication Research Group at the University of Szczecin, Poland.
His main area of interest is philosophy of language. For several years, he has been developing a normative model of discursive practice that integrates elements of the John L. Austin’s theory of speech acts within the score-keeping framework originally proposed by David Lewis and subsequently developed by Rae Langton. The central idea behind his model is that language use is a norm-governed and socially-constituted practice of performing speech acts, which are conversational moves that modify the network of normative relations between participants in social life. He has used the Austinian framework to account for various discursive phenomena, including linguistic underdeterminacy, meaning negotiation, presupposing, presuming, expressing the self, establishing authority, and ironizing.
His current project, carried out at Clare Hall and the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, focuses on employing the Austinian framework to shed light on covert speech actions, aiming for a better understanding of their underlying mechanisms and manipulative potential.
- Witek, Maciej, An Austinian alternative to the Gricean perspective on meaning and communication, Journal of Pragmatics 201, 2022, 60-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2022.09.010
- Witek, Maciej, Sara Kwiecień, Mateusz Włodarczyk, Małgorzata Wrzosek, Jakub Bondek, Prosody and specificity-bias in recognizing dialogue-specific functions of speech acts. Evidence from Polish, Language Sciences 93, 2022, 101499. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langsci.2022.101499
- Witek, Maciej, Irony as a speech action, Journal of Pragmatics 190, 2022, 76-90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2022.01.010
- Witek, Maciej, Illocution and Accommodation in the Functioning of Presumptions, Synthese 198, 2021, 6207-6244. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-019-02459-4
- Jaszczolt, Kasia M., Maciej Witek, Expressing the Self: From types of de se to speech-act types, in: Minyao Huang, Kasia M. Jaszczolt (Eds.), Expressing the Self: Cultural Diversity and Cognitive Universals, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2018, 187-221. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198786658.003.0010
- Witek, Maciej, An Interactional Account of Illocutionary Practice, Language Sciences 47, 2015, 43–55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langsci.2014.08.003
- Witek, Maciej, Linguistic Underdeterminacy: A View from Speech Act Theory, Journal of Pragmatics 76, 2015, 15–29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2014.11.003
- Witek, Maciej, Mechanisms of Illocutionary Games, Language and Communication 42, 2015, 11–22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langcom.2015.01.007
- The Fulbright 2008-2009 Senior Advanced Research Grant (September 2008 — May 2009, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA).
- The Bednarowski Trust Grant (April — May 2012, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK). The Bekker Grant from the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (October 2023 — July 2024, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK).
Maciej’s homepage: https://kognitywistyka.usz.edu.pl/mwitek/