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Facts and values in politics and Searle's construction of social reality
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 15:27 authored by David KarpDavid Karp
Contemporary political theory is fractured in its account of ontology and methods. One prominent fault line is between empirical and normative theory – the former usually called ‘philosophy of social science’, or ‘social-science methodology’, and not ‘theory’ at all. A second fault line exists between analytical and post-modern (or ‘late-modern’) political theory. These fractures prevent political researchers who engage with the same substantive issues, such as the right of same-sex couples to marry, from speaking to one another in a common language. This paper’s first section discusses the history of the fact-value divide in political studies: a history that led to the contemporary state of the discipline. The second section argues that Searle’s philosophy provides tools that can bridge this divide. The third section raises normative objections that limit the extent to which one can accept Searle’s theory as a fully general account of social and political reality. Although limited in scope, Searle’s argument should be welcomed as an attempt to provide a common set of important tools for political researchers on all sides of these debates.
JournalContemporary Political Theory
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- International Relations Publications
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