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Mind, Language and Society: Philosophy in the Real World

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  379 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Disillusionment with psychology is leading more and more people to formal philosophy for clues about how to think about life. But most of us who try to grapple with concepts such as reality, truth, common sense, consciousness, and society lack the rigorous training to discuss them with any confidence. John Searle brings these notions down from their abstract heights to the ...more
ebook, 189 pages
Published August 4th 2008 by Basic Books (first published December 15th 1998)
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May 04, 2015 Rhonda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in September 2001.

In this book, John Searle sets out a defence of what he calls the "default" positions in philosophy, the assumptions that are likely to be made by someone who has never encountered the sort of speculation that philosophers indulge in (such as the existence of the real world). He ignores the term "naive realism", probably because it would psychologically undermine his arguments before he starts, but that is basically what the default assumpti
Kine Javiera
Searle er ganske analytisk, og det vises på flere måter i denne boka. Han har skrevet den på en svært systematisk måte, og den var derfor veldig behagelig å lese. Dessverre er det litt for mye nevrobiologi for meg, og jeg mener at det ikke er relevant for alt mulig at det skal måles og puttes i formler og plasseres i kategorier (selv om jeg skjønner at det er fristende). Leste boka først og fremst for delen om språk, men det var ikke så mye nytt for meg her. Jeg synes kapittelet om sosiale struk ...more
Feb 22, 2008 Trevor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Searle is a bit of a god - I think he is the guy who came up with the Chinese Room. Anyway, he is direct, to the point and deals with very complex concepts of philosophy in a clear and relatively easy style. The Hume of the 20th century, perhaps. With chapters called How Language Works, or How the Mind Works - well, how could that not be interesting?
Hesham Khaled

يقدم سيرل الكتاب كخلاصة لأفكاره، يقدمه لقارئ غير متعمق في البحث الفلسفي
يحاول سيرل أن يربط موضوعات متعددة في سلسلة واحدة،
يفعل ذلك بشكل يركز ويبرز منهجيته والتي أراها مميزة جدا

يستطيع القارئ ذو الخلفية الفلسفية البسيطة أن يتتبع موضوعات الكتاب بوضوح
وأظن أن عزاء القارئ المنخرط في البحث المتعلق بفلسفة العقل واللغة
يكمن في أن هذا الكتاب يُمثل بصورة ما خطاطة لعمل سيرل الفلسفي
فهو قد تناول موضوعات الكتاب بشكل أكثر تفصيلا في كتب ومحاضرات أخرى

المترجم سعد الغانمي، لا أعرف ما مشكلته بالضبط . .
هو يترجم
Mostly good, although, thinking back (and I kind of thought this going into the account [although Searle somehow charmed me out of it]), his dismissal of Idealism is pretty shit, and his account of reality as being beholden to this lame of-course-this-is-how-it-is is certainly productive but it could be mistaken and it is certainly impoverished. {On second thought, it is in the spirit of good old Empiricism (Locke, Hume,}, and adds to Searle's own assertion of adding to an Enlightenment ...more
Dec 09, 2008 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clearly written. Tackles the big issues that flit across the mind now and then (mostly then)--how do the acoustic blasts from the hole in my face acquire intelligible meaning? Searle is good on readability, taking pains to conjure up clear, thought-provoking illustrations for the more counterintuitive ideas he raises.
Ahmed El  Wakeel

من الكتب التي لا استطيع هضمها كلياً في قراءة وحيدة
لذا سيتم قراءته مجدداً ان شاء الله
مؤيد المزين
I read it in Arabic edition ..
It's worth reading ..
Mikael Lind
Mar 15, 2011 Mikael Lind rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
This book gives a good introduction to Searle's contribution to philosophy.
Aug 20, 2015 Jakob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
John Searle takes upon him the modest pursuit of explaining mind, language and society.
Searle is a refreshingly clear writer. His main task in this book is to defend many of what he calls the "Default Positions", that is, the way the world usually seems to us before professional philosophers come in and muddy the water. For instance, Searle tackles the question of external realism, and gives somewhat of a beating to the more egregious post-modernists, although one suspects he sometimes simplifie
Joshua Stein
May 09, 2011 Joshua Stein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, mind
Most of my experience with Searle is in the form of his work in academic journals, so I have some experience with his views (especially on language and consciousness) so much of this book was not particularly new to me. What was new, though, was seeing how all of the elements of Searle's philosophical outlook fit together.

For those unfamiliar with John Searle (and those looking to get into late 20th, early 21st century philosophy) I strongly recommend this book. Searle is the most clear I have e
Ez a könyv tulajdonképpen Searle korábbi tanulmányainak moduljaiból összeállított szintézis, gondolatkísérlet egy általános(abb) érvényű teória megalkotására, mely három kulcsfontosságú jelenség viszonyrendszerére kínál egyfajta magyarázatot. Éppen ezért, annak kell tartani a könyvet, ami (illetve amiként maga Searle is definiálja): nem fellebbezhetetlen filozófiai igazságok halmazának, se nem bizonyos tudományterületek eredményeinek kimerítő ismertetésének, még csak nem is olyan évezredes probl ...more
Mark Haag
Searle was apparently an olympic caliber downhill skier, the first Berkeley professor to join the Free Speech movement in the 60's, and the creator of the famous and frequently cited Chinese Room argument. Listen to his UTunes lectures, and you notice he is still going strong, and I recommend his courses on philosophy of the mind and philosophy of language. His philosophy can be seen as an attempt at correcting the mind-body dualism inherited from Descartes, and, he feels, replicated by versions ...more
Grasped in Thought
Fantastic exposition of speech-act theory & Searle's "Biological Naturalism" as an approach to the philosophy of mind (and more specifically, the mind-body problem). Searle believes that the monist/dualist category is a large catalyst for the mind-body problem. Instead of accepting the categories, Searle rejects them and claims that consciousness is a biological phenomenon caused by the brain. Not only is consciousness a biological phenomenon, but Searle goes further to claim that it is also ...more
Jake Bornheimer
Aug 07, 2016 Jake Bornheimer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Excellent overview of many problems in the philosophy of mind. I tend to agree with Searle's interpretation, especially regarding his breakdown of the "mind/body problem". Explicitly, that the binary is a false dichotomy and that observation of nature shows that both exist, and function casually. His main point here being that ontologically subjective/objective things can be epistemologically and casually connected. From this premise, he works on the problem of intentionality and applies it to s ...more
Jun 20, 2006 N rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
''But sentences are tools to talk with. So even though language constrains speaker meaning, speaker meaning is still the primary form of linguistic meaning, because the linguistic meaning of sentences functions to enable speakers of the language to use sentences to mean something in utterances. The speaker's utterance meaning is the primary notion of meaning for our purposes in analyzing the functions of language.''
Apr 16, 2016 Shelby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Each page has a microscope's view of something from every day life. Lift the flap to find out what you are seeing. They different sections and levels of text allow this book to be enjoyed by children with a variety of reading levels.
Aug 18, 2008 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting stuff. He lays out his theory of mind and intentionality, followed by how that affects his conception of how language works and how society organized itself. Definitely have to pay attention, though.
Gary Pauley
Nov 09, 2010 Gary Pauley is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Searle is always worth a hearing. I can tell I will not necessarily agree totally with him, but his review of postmodern skepticism is a value by itself. I'm like halfway through.
Jun 04, 2013 Atoosa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good Introduction.
M7md 7sien
أول جزء بيتكلم عن فلسفة العقل وبيقدم نظرية ظريفة لتفسير الوعي, باقي الكتاب بيبذل جهد ووقت في وضع التعريفات أكتر ما بيطلع بأفكار مفيدة.
May 23, 2012 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Not a masterpiece, but very thought-provoking. I had to keep putting this down to stare out the window for a while.
Hongyang rated it it was amazing
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John Rogers Searle (born July 31, 1932 in Denver, Colorado) is an American philosopher and the Slusser Professor of Philosophy and Mills Professor of Philosophy of Mind and Language at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley). Widely noted for his contributions to the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and social philosophy, he was the first tenured professor to join the Free S ...more
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