The Chinese rune argument

Philosophical Explorations 4 (2):66-74 (2001)

Authors
Barry Smith
State University of New York, Buffalo
Abstract
Searle’s tool for understanding culture, law and society is the opposition between brute reality and institutional reality, or in other words between: observer-independent features of the world, such as force, mass and gravitational attraction, and observer-relative features of the world, such as money, property, marriage and government. The question posed here is: under which of these two headings do moral concepts fall? This is an important question because there are moral facts – for example pertaining to guilt and responsibility – which hover uncomfortably close to the boundary between the observer-relative and the observer-independent. By means of a thought experiment involving an imagined Chinese society in which guilt is determined by the random throwing of sticks, I seek to show that moral concepts threaten the foundations of Searle’s philosophy of social reality.
Keywords observer-relative facts  recognitional rationality  language games  belief-dependence
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Reprint years 2000, 2001
DOI 10.1080/10002001058538709
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References found in this work BETA

How to Derive "Ought" From "Is".John R. Searle - 1964 - Philosophical Review 73 (1):43-58.

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Citations of this work BETA

Reasons as Premises of Good Reasoning.Jonathan Way - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (2).
How Does Coherence Matter?Niko Kolodny - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt3):229 - 263.
The 2015 Paris Climate Conference.Marcin Lewiński & Dima Mohammed - 2019 - Journal of Argumentation in Context 8 (1):65-90.
The Myth of Practical Consistency.Niko Kolodny - 2008 - European Journal of Philosophy 16 (3):366-402.

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