Pietro Garofalo

The Strange Case of Linguistic Conventions. Collective Intentionality, Language and Internism in John Searle

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Collective intentionality is one of the key notions to be able to explain the complexity of human social life forms. Unlike many authors who have proposed an externalist conception of collective intentionality, Searle has defended an internalist version. In this paper, I will try to bring out the systemic reasons that led Searle to adopt such an approach that presents many problems with a theory of institutions. What we will try to bring out is the close relationship between the internalist conception of collective intentionality and the way Searle conceives linguistic conventions.


  • John Searle
  • Collective Intentionality
  • Institution
  • Language
  • Internalism/ Externalism


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