This book offers a concise and accessible introduction to his work and thought, ideal for students coming to his philosophy for the first time. John Searle is one of the most important and influential analytic philosophers working today. He has made significant contributions to the fields of the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. This concise and accessible book provides a critical review of Searle's philosophical themes. While Searle began his career as a philosopher of language, this book proceeds thematically, starting with a review of Searle's general ontological commitments. His conception of the mental is then located within that general framework. A theory of intentionality sets the stage for Searle's accounts of action, rationality, freedom, language, and social reality. Searle weaves together this broad array of topics by means of a set of theoretical and methodological assumptions. Part of the task of this book is to articulate some of those unifying tendencies, while locating Searle within the history of analytic philosophy.
In addition to comparing Searle's views to those of his interlocutors, the book also attempts to identify changes in those views, as articulated over the course of Searle's career. "The Continuum Contemporary American Thinkers" series offers concise and accessible introductions to the most important and influential thinkers at work in philosophy today. Designed specifically to meet the needs of students and readers encountering these thinkers for the first time, these informative books provide a coherent overview and analysis of each thinker's vital contribution to the field of philosophy. The series is the ideal companion to the study of these most inspiring and challenging of thinkers.
Joshua Rust (PhD, University of California at Riverside) was a student of John Searle's at Berkeley in the mid-1990s. He an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Stetson University, USA and is the author of John Searle and The Construction of Social Reality.
Introduction; 1. Fundamental Ontology: External Realism and Scientific Naturalism; 2. Consciousness and Materialist Theories of Mind; 3. Intentional Mental States; 4. Reason and Action; 5. From Acts to Speech Acts: the Intention to Communicate; 6. From Sounds to Words: the Intention to Represent; 7. On the Meaning of Meaning: Critical Remarks; 8. The Construction of Social Reality; 9. Topics Concerning Institutional Reality: Language, Politics, and the Background; Bibliography; Index.