John Searle

Princeton, N.J.: Routledge (2000)
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Abstract

Direct, combative and wide-ranging, John Searle's philosophy has made fundamental and lasting contributions to thinking in language, mind, knowledge, truth and the nature of social reality. His account of language based on speech-acts, that mind is intentional, and the Chinese Room Argument, are just some of his most famous contributions to philosophical thinking. In this - the first introduction to John Searle's philosophy - Nick Fotion provides clear and assured exposition of Searles' ideas, while also testing and exploring their implications. The book begins by examining Searle's work on the philosophy of language: his analysis of speech acts such as promising, his taxonomy of speech acts and the wider range of indirect speech acts and metaphorical uses of language. The book then moves on to cover the philosophy of mind and outlines Searle's ideas on international states. It introduces his notions of 'background' and 'network', his claims for the often unrecognized importance of consciousness, and examines his attacks on other philosophical accounts of mind, such as materialism, functionalism and strong AI. The final section examines Searle's later work on the construction of social reality and concludes with more general reflections on Searle's position vis-a-vis ontology, epistemology, scepticism and the doctrine of 'external realism'.

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