Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Alison Jaggar

Second Advisor

Adam Hosein

Third Advisor

Celeste Montoya


This project aims to extend philosophical theories of “uptake” beyond their

currently limited scope, which tend to analyze uptake as an exclusively interpersonal

phenomenon. I draw on two particular theories of uptake, advanced by Nancy Potter

(2000, 2002) and Rebecca Kukla (2014) respectively, to take uptake beyond the

interpersonal, and to situate uptake within the context of communication at the

institutional level. In doing so, I reflect on several failures of uptake at the institutional

level, and use these examples to motivate the need for an institutional level theory of

uptake. Then, I provide such an account, which includes possible degrees of institutional

uptake, as well as adequacy conditions for successful uptake. In other words, I suggest

what is required for institutions to consistently give proper uptake to their interlocutors,

whether individuals or groups. I conclude with suggested ways to carry this work further

in the future.