John Searle and the Construction of Social Reality

Overview

"In 1995 John Searle published The Construction of Social Reality, a text which promises not only to disclose the institutional backdrop against which speech takes place, but also to initiate a new "philosophy of society." Since then The Construction of Social Reality has been subject to a flurry of criticism. While many of Searle's interlocutors share the sense that the text marks an important breakthrough, he has time and again accused critics of misunderstanding his claims. Despite Searle's characteristic crispness and clarity there remains
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Overview

"In 1995 John Searle published The Construction of Social Reality, a text which promises not only to disclose the institutional backdrop against which speech takes place, but also to initiate a new "philosophy of society." Since then The Construction of Social Reality has been subject to a flurry of criticism. While many of Searle's interlocutors share the sense that the text marks an important breakthrough, he has time and again accused critics of misunderstanding his claims. Despite Searle's characteristic crispness and clarity there remains some confusion, among both philosophers and sociologists, regarding the significance of his proposals." This book traces some of the high points of this dialogue, leveraging Searle's own clarifications to propose a new way of understanding the text. In particular, Joshua Rust looks to Max Weber in suggesting that Searle has articulated an ideal type. In locating The Construction of Social Reality under the umbrella of one of sociology's founding fathers, this book not only makes Searle's text more accessible to readers in the social sciences, but also presents Max Weber as a thinker worthy of philosophical reconsideration. Moreover, the recharacterization of Searle's claims in terms of the ideal type helps facilitate a comparison between Searle and other social theorists such as Margaret Gilbert.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Joshua Rust (Ph.D., University of California at Riverside) was a student of John Searleā€™s at U.C. Berkeley. He is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Stetson University, USA, and is the author of John Searle and the Construction of Social Reality (Continuum, 2005).

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Table of Contents

Introduction Ch. 1: Creating Institutional Reality: Dreyfus on Searle Ch. 2: Institutional Atomism: Hacking on Searle Ch. 3: Two criticisms of Institutional Atomism Ch. 4: The Structure of Social Scientific Revolutions: Kuhn and Weber Ch. 5: Searle and Weber: applications of the constitutive formula Ch. 6: Searle and Weber: the constitutive formula Bibliography Index.

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