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Balkan Journal of Philosophy

Volume 6, Issue 1, 2014

Social Ontology

Romulus Brâncoveanu
Pages 49-58

Language, Subjective Meaning and Nonlinguistic Institutional Facts

This article comparatively explores Searle’s conception of society, which prioritizes language and intentionality in producing social things and Max Weber’s conception of social action as human behavior, in which the acting individual attributes subjective meaning to his or her behavior by orientation to the behavior of others. My aim is to show that the “nonlinguistic institutional facts” which in Searle’s terms seem to emerge in the absence of any constitutive rule linguistically expressed can be described in Weber’s terms of attaching a subjective meaning to individual behavior. In this way, we may add a minimal sociology to Searle’s conceptual apparatus in order to grasp contingent and historical dimensions of the functioning of institutions.

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