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Department of Philosophy Presents

"Social Construction: Breaking it Down", Jorge Garcia, Boston College

3/8/19, 3:30 PM

About this event

"Social Construction: Breaking it Down", Jorge Garcia, Boston College, will be giving a talk.
Abstract:  After considering whether the language of construction should be taken more literally or less, and given reasons for the former option, I undertake to analyze
social construction by examining what we should understand to be its agents (who
can and does construct), process (what they do that amounts to constructing),
preconditions (in what circumstances their performing those actions can constitute
constructing), raw materials (out of what they construct), tools by using what, and
in which ways, they construct), and products (what can be constructed).
I compare and contrast the elements I identify with similar aspects of Searle’s
large-scale conception of social construction, which he has elaborated and revised
over several books. I address three important questions that his work poses and
attempts to answer, criticizing his own responses to them and suggesting
Further, I contrast my analysis of construction with alternative accounts sketched
in the literature, especially, by Hacking and Haslanger, and conclude by drawing
lessons from my account about the narrow limits on what we can plausibly be
claimed to construct, and offer a reminder that nothing internal to
construction–including persons, their mental activities, time, places, agreement,
communication–can itself have been originally constructed.
To adapt Pettit’s language in discussing Hobbes, in my account, only things of a
certain type can be made from, of, and more important, by using, words.

Event Location
  • CSOM
  • Minneapolis MN
  • USA