Prof. John Searle (born July 31, 1932) is an American philosopher and currently the Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. Widely noted for his contributions to the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and social philosophy, he began teaching at Berkeley in 1959. He received the Jean Nicod Prize in 2000; the National Humanities Medal in 2004; and the Mind & Brain Prize in 2006. Among his notable concepts is the “Chinese room” argument against “strong” artificial intelligence.
“I actually think that philosophical theories make a tremendous difference to every aspect of our lives. In my observation, the rejection of realism, the denial of ontological objectivity, is an essential component of the attacks on epistemic objectivity, rationality, truth, and intelligence in contemporary intellectual life. It is no accident that the various theories of language, literature, and even education that try to undermine the traditional conceptions of truth, epistemic objectivity, and rationality rely heavily on arguments against external realism. The first step in combatting irrationalism – not the only step but the first step – is refutation of the arguments against external realism as a presupposition of large areas of discourse.” – John Searle
Searle, John R. The Construction of Social Reality. London: Penguin Books, 1995 p.197.