On Some Difficulties Concerning John Searle's Notion of an 'Institutional Fact'. Comment to John R. Searle "Social Ontology and the Philosophy of Society"

Analyse & Kritik 21 (2):251-264 (1999)

John Searle's conception of institutional facts figures centrally in his latest works. It is defective for several reasons: Searle's argument for philosophical realism is inconsistent. Searle's conceptions of consciousness and collective intentionality are problematic. The notion of normativity is indispensable in Searle's system, but cannot be accounted for and makes wide parts of his theory superfluous. It is not clear what entities might be regarded as institutional facts. These problems have a common source: The philosophical basis of Searle's theory, his combination of realism and physicalist monism, clashes with his thesis that both the 'first-person-ontology' and normativity are irreducible
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