Facts and values in politics and Searle's construction of social reality

Karp, David Jason (2009) Facts and values in politics and Searle's construction of social reality. Contemporary Political Theory, 8 (2). pp. 152-175. ISSN 1470-8914

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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.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Depositing User: Jayne Paulin
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2013 13:56
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2013 13:56
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/45794
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