John Searle“How is it that when I make these noises I succeed in performing speech acts or communication?” he asks. “That’s the philosophy of language.” That investigation led to an exploration of consciousness. “How is it possible that the stuff inside my skull can cause consciousness, and I can direct thoughts?” he asks.

That pursuit led to considerations about society. “We create society with language. We use language to create marriage and cocktail parties and money and so on,” says Searle. “These things all exist, but only because we think they exist.”

Philosopher John Searle
Reflects on Half Century at Berkeley
College of Letters & Science