Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


Two Concepts of Constitutive Rules [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 7 • Author/s: Jaap Hage
Topics: Ontology, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

In this article, it is argued that rules have two main functions, the practice-defining function and the constraining (fact-to-fact) function. These two functions are compatible. In their function as constraints, some rules are also indirectly regulative. In both of their functions, rules differ from the summaries (rules of thumb) that Rawls discussed and opposed to the constitutive (fact-to-fact) rules which make that some decisions are the right ones. In his work, first on the philosophy of language and later on social ontology, Searle focused on one kind of constitutive rules:…

Constitutive Rules [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 7 • Author/s: John Searle
Topics: Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

Regulative rules regulate preexisting forms of behavior, constitutive rules make possible new forms of behavior. They constitute the phenomena they regulate. Brute facts can exist independently of any institutions. Institutional facts require pre-existing institutions, which consist of systems of constitutive rules. Constitutive rules create new forms of reality, with new powers, they typically require language, and they are the basis of human civilization.  

Searle On Normativity and Institutional Metaphysics [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 7 • Author/s: William Butchard, Robert D'Amico
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of language

In Speech Acts Searle argued for a version of philosophical naturalism by, in part, replying to G.E. Moore’s famous claim that naturalism, if it included any evaluative claims, would be clearly fallacious. We make the case that Searle’s reply was not the disaster it is sometimes claimed to have been. In our discussion we pay special attention to Searle’s introduction of such key concepts as brute facts, institutional facts, and constitutive rules. We also make a broader case for the ‘constitutive’ connections as central to Searle’s often misunderstood metaphysical views.…

Constitutive Rules, Normativity, and A Priori Truth. [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 7 • Author/s: Terry Godlove
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

This paper develops an argument which seems to yield a set of a priori rules—rules which are constitutive of, but not normative for, thought and experience. I contrast the resulting Kantian sense of a priori truth as independent of all experience, because presupposed by it, with the use Searle makes of a priori truth by stipulation or definition. By focusing on the a priori rules of thought and experience we can make good on the sense of constitutivity that Searle had in mind in his early work. By virtue of…

What Does It Mean That Constitutive Rules Are in Force? [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 7 • Author/s: Bartosz Kaluziński
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of language

The aim of this paper is to shed some light on the issue of how we can understand constitutive rules as being in force for participants S in some rule-constituted practice. We take a look on complicated team-games that are broadly conceived as model example of rule-constituted practices. We claim that rules of games are dependent on mental states of participants in that practice. More precisely, they are in force for the participants S of such games if these participants jointly meet the following conditions: (1) every S has a…

Undermining Defeat and Propositional Justification [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 2 • Author/s: Giacomo Melis
Topics: Epistemology, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind

I extend the Higher-Order View of Undermining Defeat (HOVUD) defended in Melis (2014) to account for the defeat of propositional justification. In doing so, I also clarify the important notion of higher-order commitment, and I make some considerations concerning the defeat of externalist epistemic warrants.

The Ludic Background of Constitutive Rules in Bernard Suits [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 7 • Author/s: Filip Kobiela
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

The main purpose of the paper is to present and discuss Bernard Suits’ account of constitutive rules presented in his opus magnum—The Grasshopper. Games, Life and Utopia—and in several minor contributions, which supplement or modify his original position. This account will be regarded as a crucial part of Suits’ theory of ludic activities, mainly game-playing. The stress will be put on peculiarities of constitutive rules—their relation to ends in games, players’ attitudes and their limitative nature. The analysis of the consequences of breaking a rule in different types of actions…

Constitutive Rules and the Internal Point of View [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 7 • Author/s: Corrado Roversi
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

In this paper, I connect J.R. Searle’s concept of constitutive rules and H.L.A. Hart’s concept of internal point of view and look for an extension of this joint paradigm in institutional ontology. I make a distinction between five different perspectives about an institution—structural, teleological, axiological, strategic, and sociological—and connect these perspectives to three kinds of concepts: institutional, meta-institutional, and para-institutional. In the light of these distinctions, I submit that an explanation of institutional phenomena requires a three-dimensional ontology consisting of a structure (framed by constitutive rules), a conceptual background, and…

Presentism and Causal Processes

Issue: Issue 7 • Author/s: Ernesto Graziani
Topics: Epistemology, Ontology, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

Presentism is the view that only present temporal entities (tenselessly) exist. A widely-discussed problem for presentism concerns causation and, more specifically, the supposed cross-temporally relational character of it. I think that the best reply to this problem can already be found in the literature on temporal ontology: it consists, roughly, in showing that (at least) some of the main approaches to causation can be rephrased so as to avoid commitment to any cross-temporal relation, including the causal relation itself. The main purpose of this paper is to extend this reply…
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