Philosophy of Society
General Catalog Course Title:
Philosophy of Society
Terms Offered:
Fall 2016
Spring 2014
Fall 2011
Fall 2010
Course Thread: 
Human Rights
Instructor: 
Searle, John

How does human society differ from that of other social animals? How is it possible that there can be an objective reality of such things as money, property, government, marriage, and universities, even though such things exist only because we believe they exist? What is the role of language in constituting human reality, and what is language anyhow? These and other related questions will be discussed in this course. The course deals with the foundations of the social sciences and the differences between social science explanations and natural science explanations. We will cover a large number of topics such as these: Why is the nation state such a powerful form of social organization? Why did socialism fail? Are there human rights, and if so what are they and where do they come from?

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.