‘What is special about human reality?’ That is the question that UC Berkeley’s Slusser Professor of Philosophy John R. Searle challenged his audience to answer on Monday, Nov. 26 at McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium. Searle discussed his 1995 book ‘The Construction of Social Reality,’ which explains how language operates in the construction of social reality.
The lecture, whose topic was ‘Language and Social Ontology,’ was the fourth installment of the Quarterly Lecture Series of Philosophy and Science.
Allowing for the notion that the human species is biologically connected to other animal species, Searle revisited an argument from his book, which states that human reality fits into scientific reality through its ‘capacity to create a class of functional objects that perform function solely on the collective acceptance of their status [functions].’ Using a bill from his wallet as a visual aid to represent status function, he stated that this concept is the glue of institutional reality and operates through the form of collective acceptance.
Searle completed the lecture by stating that ‘all of institutional reality is repeated by a single linguistical maneuver