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Philosophy 138, 001|Fall 2011|UC Berkeley

by John R. SEARLE

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PHILOS 138 LEC 001 Fa11

Customer Reviews


This is a course based on John Searle's two books, "Making the Social World" and "The Construction of Social Reality." Searle believes that the social scientists have never given a satisfactory account of institutional reality, and hence have no foundtaion for their studies. Using his theory of speech acts Searle attempts to provide that basis, examining the nature of collective intentionality and the concept or "power," among other things. Apart from presenting an innovative and elegant theory, Searle also adds many amusing annecdotes. Searle is exceptopnally lucid, funny, and sometimes politically incorrect. Although the course is great on it's own, I would recommend listening to his other two courses first (Philosphy of Mind and Philosophy of Language). This outstanding course would be usefull for student and professors in any area of the social sciences.



I wrote the below before listening to the last class in this series. IT'S AWESOME!

I'm not sure if you want to listen to all 30+ hours, but the last lecture is essential. Don't miss it!

(old review)

Not his best class

I listened to Searles other classes on the Philosophy of Mind and Language - They are awesome! Unfortunately, that means that I've heard about 70% of Searle's stand up routine. It was quite amusing the fist time, but it loses some of it's entertainment value when you realize his quips are canned.

It seems that Seale has a strong interest in politics but his personal contribution to this area of philosophy is not as interesting or profound as his work on other subjects. (It reminded me of his class on literature where he rambles about books he likes). It might be worth describing Searle's political views, since this class is mostly a rant. I guess Searle's formalutive years were spent in the Midwest, Oxford, and Berkely. So you get a mix of folksy plain spoken midwestern wisdom, British elitist attitude, and far out Berkely 60s nostalgia. About 90% of the class is vague ramblings, soft opinion and rehashes of his other classes. Sorry to have to say that. Maybe his books are more to the point.

I strongly recommend his other classes. He has a lively take on philosophy that fully deserves his world class reputation. Very enlightening.