Making the Social World : The Structure of Human Civilization

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-01-12
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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This book by the highly influential philosopher John Searle builds on the provocative and original theory that he first developed in his 1995 book The Construction of Social Reality. Searle asks a fundamental question about human beings: how is it that in a universe of physical objects,facts, and laws, we can also have 'facts' like lawsuits, summer vacations, and presidents? Those facts exist, but not in the same way a mountain or a river exists. How do these very real things become facts, compared with the brute facts of objective reality? Searle's highly original viewproposes that these are collective facts, agreed on by all of us, and that we assign existence to these facts by using language -- in effect bringings these facts into existence by declaring them to be true. By doing this we create an institutional reality that allows for the creation ofgovernments, universities, marriages, private property, and everything else that forms the basis of our social reality. This important new expression of Searle's latest views in effect is a big-picture explanation of the success of human beings, and will be highly influential across not onlyphilosophy but the academy in general.

Author Biography

John Searle is the Slusser Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Language, University of California, Berkeley.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
The Purpose of This Bookp. 3
Appendix: Comparison between the General Theory of This Book and the Special Theory of the Construcdon of Social Realityp. 19
Intentionalityp. 25
Collective Intentionality and the Assignment ofFunctionp. 42
Language as Biological and Socialp. 61
The General Theory of Institutions and Institutional Facts: Language and Social Realityp. 90
Free Will, Rationality, and Institutional Factsp. 123
Power: Deontic, Background, Political, and Otherp. 145
Human Rightsp. 174
Appendixp. 199
Concluding Remarks: The Ontological Foundations of the Social Sciencesp. 200
Subject Indexp. 203
Name Indexp. 207
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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