Philosophy of the Social Sciences 43 (3):373-389 (2013)

Frank Hindriks
University of Groningen
Institutions are normative social structures that are collectively accepted. In his book Making the Social World, John R. Searle maintains that these social structures are created and maintained by Status Function Declarations. The article’s author criticizes this claim and argues, first, that Searle overestimates the role that language plays in relation to institutions and, second, that Searle’s notion of a Status Function Declaration confuses more than it enlightens. The distinction is exposed between regulative and constitutive rules as being primarily a linguistic one: whereas deontic powers figure explicitly in regulative rules, they feature only implicitly in constitutive rules. Furthermore, he contends that Searle’s collective acceptance account of human rights cannot adequately account for the fact that people have these rights even when they are not recognized. Finally, It is argued that a conception of collective intentionality that involves collective commitment is needed in order to do justice to the normative dimension of institutions
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0048393111418299
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,489
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

View all 26 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

How Social Objects (Fail to) Function.Frank Hindriks - 2020 - Journal of Social Philosophy 51 (3):483-499.
A Critique of the Status Function Account of Human Rights.Åsa Burman - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (5):463-473.
Against Representations with Two Directions of Fit.Arto Laitinen - 2014 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (1):179-199.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Collective Acceptance, Social Institutions, and Social Reality.Raimo Tuomela - 2003 - American Journal of Sociology and Economics 62:123-166.
The Ramifications of John Searle's Social Philosophy in Economics.Stephan Boehm - 2002 - Journal of Economic Methodology 9 (1):1-10.
A Realer Institutional Reality: Deepening Searle’s (De)Ontology of Civilization.Molly Brigid Flynn - 2012 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (1):43-67.
Making Social Worlds.Andrius Gališanka - 2012 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 6 (1):115-133.
Collective Acceptance and the Is-Ought Argument.Frank Hindriks - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3):465-480.
Sharing the Background.Titus Stahl - 2013 - In Michael Schmitz, Beatrice Kobow & Hans Bernhard Schmid (eds.), The Background of Social Reality. Springer. pp. 127--146.
Social Space and the Ontology of Recognition.Italo Testa - 2011 - In Heikki Ikäheimo Arto Laitinen (ed.), Recognition and Social Ontology. Brill Books (pp. 287-308).
But Where Is the University?Frank Hindriks - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (1):93-113.
An Abstract Status Function Account of Corporations.Julian C. Cole - 2012 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences (1):0048393112455106.


Added to PP index

Total views
239 ( #47,381 of 2,520,788 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #205,225 of 2,520,788 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes