This chapter examines the theory of weak realism, which was set against postmodernists by John Searle and argues that social objects are constructed upon physical objects. It first considers what Searle called the “huge invisible ontology” that makes up the texture of rules, obligations, and duties in our lives. It then analyzes the philosophical issues relating to the invisible ontology of social reality and Searle's solution for reconciling invisibility with solidity. By emphasizing the absence of a real hiatus between the physical and the social, Searle goes well beyond the traditional conflict between sciences of nature and sciences of the spirit. The chapter concludes by offering a critique of the theory of collective intentionality and the theory of social objects as higher-order objects.
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