There is a curious twist to the charge that “what people say is not necessarily what they do.” It implies that what people do is more important, more “real,” than what they say, or that the latter is important only for what it can reveal about the former. […] This one-sided emphasis is curious in light of our everyday ways of dealing with the relationship between saying and doing. […]

The meaning placed on most acts by the participants in any everyday encounter depends upon what they say to one another in advance, concurrently, or after they have acted. Or what they are able to presuppose about what the other would say, given a particular context. […] To those who want to concentrate upon whether what people say predicts what they will do, the only proper answer is that to separate the two in that way is to do bad philosophy, bad anthropology, bad psychology, and impossible law.

– Jerome Bruner, Acts of Meaning (1990)


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