Searle and his critics

Steven Lukes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The ensuing articles pose various challenges to Searle's thesis concerning social reality. Some exhibit misunderstandings; others identify inadequacies in the formulation of his thesis and failures to address issues within the limits of his project, notably his inattention to unintended consequences. Searle's project is to distinguish social from biological and physical reality, but that, it is argued, offers a restrictive account of what social scientists study, which extends well beyond linguistically-constituted institutions to include the 'brute realities' of social life and, most significantly, the interactions between the 'institutional' and the 'brute', for example between 'institutional' and 'brute' power. Searle's critique of Durkheim's social ontology is, in part, endorsed but also criticized for focusing on the latter's methodological pronouncements rather than on the ontology implicit in his substantive work. What bearing, in general, does getting social ontology right have on substantive social scientific work? Some suggestions are offered concerning the substantive implications of Searle's theory.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)5-11
    Number of pages7
    JournalAnthropological Theory
    Volume6
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2006

    Fingerprint

    ontology
    critic
    social reality
    social scientist
    interaction
    Social Ontology
    Emile Durkheim
    Misunderstanding
    Ontology
    Social Life
    Physical
    Interaction
    Social Reality

    Keywords

    • Durkheim
    • Institution
    • Intentionality
    • Objective
    • Ontology
    • Power
    • Social facts
    • Social reality
    • Subjective

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology

    Cite this

    Searle and his critics. / Lukes, Steven.

    In: Anthropological Theory, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2006, p. 5-11.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Lukes, Steven. / Searle and his critics. In: Anthropological Theory. 2006 ; Vol. 6, No. 1. pp. 5-11.
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