Rules and Realism: Remarks on the Poverty of Brute Facts
Wisnewski (J. Jeremy)
Source: Sorites 16, December 2005
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

    In this paper, I offer a critical reconstruction of John Searle’s argument for what he calls ‘External Realism.’ I argue that Searle’s thesis is in fact ambiguous, and hence that it cannot establish the existence of brute entities (even if it can establish that we must presuppose an external world). I further argue that, once properly understood, constitutive rules can be shown to be prior to, rather than dependent on, what Searle calls ‘brute facts’ — and hence that Searle’s analysis reverses the order of priority between rules and brute facts.


Filed electronically with the full edition of Sorites 16

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