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Jørn Bjerre

A new foundation for the social sciences? Searle’s misreading of Durkheim

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The aim of John Searle’s philosophy of society is to provide a foundation for the social sciences. Arguing that the study of social reality needs to be based on a philosophy of language, Searle claims that sociology has little to offer, since no sociologist ever took language seriously. Attacking Durkheim head on, Searle not only claims that Durkheim’s project differs from his own, but also that Durkheim’s sociology has serious shortcomings. Opposing Searle, this paper argues that Durkheim’s account of social reality is still viable and that Searle’s attack backfires on his own theoretical project.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophy of the Social Sciences
Volume45
Issue1
Pages (from-to)53-82
Number of pages30
ISSN0048-3931
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • Samfund/samtid

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