Werner Gephart/Jan Christoph Suntrup (Eds.): The Normative Structure of Human Civilization

Readings in John Searle's Social Ontology

Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann 2016

John Searle´s social ontology seels for nothing less than the fundamental "structure of human civilization". By trying to reconcile the description of the world by the natural sciences with our self-understanding as free, rational and conscious beings, he points to the core of meaningful social life with its institutions, rules and normative expectations.

Searle´s often provocative project of explaining "the exact role of language in the creation, constitution, and maintenance of social reality" manifested in his book "Making the Social World" (2010) and outlined in this volume, is taken on by philosophers and social scientists in a critical encounter. Among the large range of topics discussed in these articles are Searle´s concept of collective intentionality, the status of social facts, the social acceptance of institutions, the magic of speech acts as well as Searle´s excursion into the world of power and human rights. Not least, these reflections help to clarify the sometimes conflict-laden relation of philosophy and social theory.

About the Authors

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Werner Gephart is a legal scholar, sociologist and artist. He is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bonn, Ancien Professeur de l'Institut d'Étdes politiques de Paris and Director of the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities "Law as Culture" in Bonn, which he has founded.

Dr. Jan Christoph Suntrup is a political scientiest. He works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Käte Hamburger Centerfor Advanced Study in the Humanities "Law as Culture" in Bonn.