John Searle

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John Rogers Searle (born July 31, 1932 in Denver, Colorado) is an American philosopher and currently the Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. Searle began his college education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and subsequently became a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University where he earned an undergraduate degree and a doctorate in philosophy and ethics. Widely noted for his contributions to the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and social philosophy, he began teaching at Berkeley in 1959, where, among his many distinctions, he was the first tenured professor to join the Free Speech Movement. He received the Jean Nicod Prize in 2000, and the National Humanities Medal in 2004.

Contents

Biography

Searle's father was employed by AT&T, while his mother was a physician.

Politics

In the 1950s, as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, Searle was the secretary of "Students against Joseph McCarthy" (McCarthy was then the junior Senator from Wisconsin).[1]

While a professor at Berkeley in 1964, he joined the Free Speech Movement[2] opposing policies of the university administration. Later, in 1969, he sided with the administration against the students over People's Park. Also in 1969, he served as chairman of the Academic Freedom Committee of the Academic Senate of the University of California.[3] He authored The Campus War: A Sympathetic Look at the University in Agony (1971). [2] The book attempted to investigate the causes behind the campus uprisings of the era. In it, Searle notes: "I have been attacked by both the House Un-American Activities Committee and ... several radical polemicists.... Stylistically, the attacks are interestingly similar. Both rely heavily on insinuation and innuendo, and both display a hatred -- one might almost say terror -- of close analysis and dissection of argument." He asserts: "[M]y wife was threatened that I (and other members of the administration) would be assassinated or violently attacked."[1]

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