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The Creation of Institutional Reality, Special Theory of Relativity, and Mere Cambridge Change

Hansson Wahlberg, Tobias LU (2019) In Synthese
Abstract
Saying so can make it so, J. L. Austin taught us long ago. Famously, John Searle has developed this Austinian insight in an account of the construction of institutional reality. Searle maintains that so-called Status Function Declarations, allegedly having a “double direction of fit” (i.e. a world-to-word and a word-to-world direction of fit), synchronically create worldly institutional facts, corresponding to the propositional content of the declarations. I argue that Searle’s account of the making of institutional reality is in tension with the special theory of relativity—irrespective of whether the account is interpreted as involving causal generation or non-causal grounding of worldly institutional facts—and should be replaced by a... (More)
Saying so can make it so, J. L. Austin taught us long ago. Famously, John Searle has developed this Austinian insight in an account of the construction of institutional reality. Searle maintains that so-called Status Function Declarations, allegedly having a “double direction of fit” (i.e. a world-to-word and a word-to-world direction of fit), synchronically create worldly institutional facts, corresponding to the propositional content of the declarations. I argue that Searle’s account of the making of institutional reality is in tension with the special theory of relativity—irrespective of whether the account is interpreted as involving causal generation or non-causal grounding of worldly institutional facts—and should be replaced by a more modest theory which interprets the results of Status Function Declarations in terms of mere Cambridge change and institutional truth. I end the paper by indicating the import of this more modest theory for theorizing about the causal potency of institutional phenomena generated by declarations. (Less)
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Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
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in
Synthese
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:85074613121
ISSN
0039-7857
DOI
10.1007/s11229-019-02435-y
language
English
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yes
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ba39c289-f976-41b4-b37d-61cfdc5bd6ab
date added to LUP
2019-11-04 21:39:07
date last changed
2019-11-24 05:41:03
@article{ba39c289-f976-41b4-b37d-61cfdc5bd6ab,
  abstract     = {Saying so can make it so, J. L. Austin taught us long ago. Famously, John Searle has developed this Austinian insight in an account of the construction of institutional reality. Searle maintains that so-called Status Function Declarations, allegedly having a “double direction of fit” (i.e. a world-to-word and a word-to-world direction of fit), synchronically create worldly institutional facts, corresponding to the propositional content of the declarations. I argue that Searle’s account of the making of institutional reality is in tension with the special theory of relativity—irrespective of whether the account is interpreted as involving causal generation or non-causal grounding of worldly institutional facts—and should be replaced by a more modest theory which interprets the results of Status Function Declarations in terms of mere Cambridge change and institutional truth. I end the paper by indicating the import of this more modest theory for theorizing about the causal potency of institutional phenomena generated by declarations.},
  author       = {Hansson Wahlberg, Tobias},
  issn         = {0039-7857},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {10},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Synthese},
  title        = {The Creation of Institutional Reality, Special Theory of Relativity, and Mere Cambridge Change},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11229-019-02435-y},
  doi          = {10.1007/s11229-019-02435-y},
  year         = {2019},
}