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

Hansson Wahlberg, Tobias (2019) The Creation of Institutional Reality, Special Theory of Relativity, and Mere Cambridge Change. [Preprint]

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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.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Hansson Wahlberg, Tobias0000-0001-5079-752X
Keywords: Cambridge change; causation; declarations; grounding; institutional facts; performatives; Searle; social ontology; speech acts; special theory of relativity; status functions
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Sociology
Depositing User: Dr. Tobias Hansson Wahlberg
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2019 23:41
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2019 23:41
Item ID: 16517
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Sociology
Date: October 2019
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16517

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