The Construction of Social Reality

The Construction of Social Reality

This short treatise looks at how we construct a social reality from our sense impressions; at how, for example, we construct a ‘five-pound note’ with all that implies in terms of value and social meaning, from the printed piece of paper we see and touch.

In The Construction of Social Reality, eminent philosopher John Searle examines the structure of social reality (or those portions of the world that are facts only by human agreement, such as money, marriage, property, and government), and contrasts it to a brute reality that is independent of human agreement. Searle shows that brute reality provides the indisputable foundation for all social reality, and that social reality, while very real, is maintained by nothing more than custom and habit.
  • Free Press | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684831794 | 
  • January 1997
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About the Author

John R. Searle

John R. Searle is the Mills Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. Among his books are Speech Acts; Expression and Meaning; The Campus War; Intentionality; The Rediscovery of the Mind; and Minds, Brains and Science, based on his acclaimed series of Reith Lectures.