Ontological Dependence and Essential Laws of Social Reality the Case of Promising

Chapter
Part of the Studies in the Philosophy of Sociality book series (SIPS, volume 1)

Abstract

Adolf Reinach, phenomenologist and philosopher of law, developed a social and legal theory (Reinach, Die apriorischen Grundlagen des bürgerlichen Rechtes. In: Reinach, Adolf. 1989. Sämtliche Werke, pp 141–278. English translation: Reinach, Adolf. 1913. The Apriori Foundations of the Civil Law. (trans Crosby John). Aletheia 1983, pp 1–142, 1913) which provides an interesting answer––alternative to that of John Searle (Speech acts. An essay in the philosophy of language. Cambridge University Press, New York, 1969, The construction of social reality. Allen Lane, London, 1995, Making the social world. The structure of human civilization. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010)––to the question of the nature of social and legal reality. For Reinach, unlike Searle, social and legal entities are not grounded in constitutive rules, collective intentionality, and status functions declarations. They are grounded, instead, in a priori structures [apriorische Gebilde] and essential laws [Wesengesetze]. These are the “a priori foundations of law,” dependent neither on positive law nor on beliefs, individual or collective, about them.

Reinach’s theory is a strongly realistic and absolutely non-conventionalist account of social and legal reality, based on Husserl’s phenomenology and particularly on his theory of ontological dependence (Husserl, Logische Untersuchungen. In: Husserliana XIX/1, XIX/2 U. Panzer. Den Haag (eds) Nijhoff, 1984. English Translation: Husserl, Edmund. 1976. Logical investigations, (trans: Findlay JN). Routledge, London, 1901).

The aim of this chapter is to show that Reinach’s account of the a priori foundations of social and legal reality is a useful account, one which can compete with Searle’s social ontology account and which, with respect to some issues I will deal with, could be even more convincing than Searle’s.

Keywords

Social Reality Legal Entity Constitutive Rule Brute Fact Social Ontology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facoltà di FilosofiaUniversità Vita-Salute San RaffaeleMilanItaly

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