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Unfair to Social Facts: John Searle and the Logic of Objectivity’

Smith, Simon (2014) Unfair to Social Facts: John Searle and the Logic of Objectivity’ Balkan Journal of Philosophy, 6 (1). pp. 33-42.

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John Searle's Making the Social World addresses a question that is as central to philosophy in general as it is to Social Ontology. It concerns the involvement of human beings in the creation of seemingly objective facts. The facts in which Searle is interested are ‘institutional’ facts. Such facts are objective; they are also, Searle argues, ‘created by human subjective attitudes’. It is my contention that this apparent paradox arises from a misconception of 'subjective' and 'objective'. For Searle, these terms are synonymous with 'mind-dependent' and 'mindindependent'. Following the scientist and philosopher, Michael Polanyi, I argue that 'objectivity' is better understood as 'theoretical' and therefore worthy of universal recognition by rational agents. Being a matter of reason, objectivity contrasts, not with mind-dependence, but immediate experience. It follows that Searle's paradox is a function of the contradictory terms in which it is stated.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Library and Learning Support
Authors :
Date : 2014
OA Location : 10.5840/bjp2014615
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s)2014
Uncontrolled Keywords : Searle; Polanyi; Objectivity; Institutional Facts; Theoreticity; Open Texture
Depositing User : Jane Hindle
Date Deposited : 25 Jul 2017 08:54
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 18:54

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