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John Searle and His Critics ([Philosophers and their critics) Hardcover – December 13, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0631156369 ISBN-10: 0631156364 Edition: 0th

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

For more than three decades John Searle has been developing and elaborating a unified theory of language and mind. What has emerged is an impressive and detailed account of intentionality embracing both mental states and linguistic behaviour. Though the developing theory has been presented in a steady stream of books and articles over the last thirty years, two items stand out as major landmarks: the publication of Speech Acts in 1969 and of Intentionality in 1983. Both of these seminal books offer structural theories; that is, they analyze the items within their domains (speech acts and mental states) as having a structure which allows for variation along a number of parameters.

John Searle and His Critics proceeds from an analysis of the importance and influence of these two works to an overall assessment of Searle's impact in the philosophy of language, of mind, of social explanation, and of reference and intentionality. Each of the chapters has been newly commissioned from a leading scholar in the relevant field and each section concludes with a summary and response from Searle himself.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Searle is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley.

Ernest Leport is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University and editor of both Actions and Events (with Brian McLaughlin) and Truth and Interpretation: Perspectives on the Philosophy of Donald Davidson. Robert van Gulick is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Syracuse Univeristy in New York.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: [Philosophers and their critics (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Blackwell Publishers (December 13, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631156364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631156369
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,482,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Reader on April 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Published in 1991 and edited by Lepore and Van Gulick `John Searle and his Critics' is an instalment in the Blackwell `Philosophers and their Critics' series. Searle is a leading American philosopher who has made notable contributions in many spheres of thought including the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind and social philosophy.

The text is divided into seven sections, each of which deals with a different aspect of Searle's work (e.g. intentionality, speech acts, mind-body problem). Each section contains three - four critical essays from other leading thinkers in the area followed by a response to these critical observations from Searle. The text has much strength, not the least of which is the quality of contributors, e.g. Alston, Burge, Habermas Van Inwagen etc.

While I enjoyed the text, I offer a few points for potential readers

* First, from a physical standpoint the small font coupled with the dense writing makes the book a difficult read at times - the font size does, however, allow the book to a be of a manageable size (400 pages).

* Second, this is very much philosophy for philosophers and not the book for someone unfamiliar with Searle or the subject matter.

* Third and most importantly, given that the book was published in 1991 the essays are limited to Searle's early work. Roughly speaking Searle's focus has developed along the lines of language - mind - society. Hence, the essays related to the philosophy of language are most relevant to Searle's mature (present) views while those dealing with social reality are the least relevant.

Overall, Searle is on a short list of great American philosophers - a true intellectual treasure. Searle's importance aside, in its present form the book is probably only of interest for a select audience. Those interested in Searle may enjoy some of his recent courses available from Berkley thru itunes
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