How does the formation of social realities take place for Searle?June 27, 2021
Searle stated the following as two main issues in the ontology (existentiality) of social phenomena; An incomprehensible event in social reality is a reality that exists only because you think it exists.
“It’s an objective reality that a $20 bill in my hand is a piece of paper, whether I’m a British citizen or the New York Giants baseball team beats a game 3–2. All these are objective realities that do not depend on my thoughts. When I think the opposite of that, I’m wrong. However, these objective realities are formed only by common acceptance or approval.” Searle’s goal is to understand how there can be objective realities in the world that depend on people’s acceptance, and how these realities are formed.
Searle tried to explain the philosophical tools he developed in “Philosophy of Mind” and “Philosophy of Language”. In particular, the concepts of orientationism and fundamental rule formed the focus of Searle’s “Philosophy of Society”. Searle explained the formation of social realities through three basic processes:
1) Collective Orientation: It is a common idea and behavior ability. For example; an instrument of the orchestra, like football in team sports.
2) Function Loading: Loading a function that does not exist in an entity. For example, installing a chair function on a tree stump, using a stone as a hammer.
3) Basic Rules: These rules are the result of collective orientation and function loading. A function can be attributed to an object not only because of its physical properties, but also by accepting it as something else due to its different properties. For example, a wall can function as a boundary within its physical property. But once the limit is universally accepted, this function can also serve as a line. Thus, this boundary is established through a social rule.