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  • Cited by 8
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Hédoin, Cyril 2016. INSTITUTIONS, RULE-FOLLOWING AND GAME THEORY. Economics and Philosophy, p. 1.

    Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten 2016. Institutional naturalism: reflections on Masahiko Aoki’s contribution to institutional economics. Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review,

    Jensen, Jeppe Sinding 2016. How Institutions Work in Shared Intentionality and ‘We-Mode’ Social Cognition. Topoi, Vol. 35, Issue. 1, p. 301.

    Roversi, Corrado 2016. How Social Institutions Can Imitate Nature. Topoi, Vol. 35, Issue. 1, p. 327.

    SMIT, J. P. BUEKENS, FILIP and DU PLESSIS, STAN 2016. Cigarettes, dollars and bitcoins – an essay on the ontology of money. Journal of Institutional Economics, Vol. 12, Issue. 02, p. 327.

    Hédoin, Cyril 2015. Accounting for constitutive rules in game theory. Journal of Economic Methodology, Vol. 22, Issue. 4, p. 439.

    Smit, J. P. Buekens, Filip and du Plessis, Stan 2014. Developing the incentivized action view of institutional reality. Synthese, Vol. 191, Issue. 8, p. 1813.

    Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten 2012. Institutions, distributed cognition and agency: rule-following as performative action. Journal of Economic Methodology, Vol. 19, Issue. 1, p. 21.



  • J. P. Smit (a1), Filip Buekens (a2) and Stan du Plessis (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 18 January 2011

In The Construction of Social Reality (1995), John Searle develops a theory of institutional facts and objects, of which money, borders and property are presented as prime examples. These objects are the result of us collectively intending certain natural objects to have a certain status, i.e. to ‘count as’ being certain social objects. This view renders such objects irreducible to natural objects. In this paper we propose a radically different approach that is more compatible with standard economic theory. We claim that such institutional objects can be fully understood in terms of actions and incentives, and hence the Searlean apparatus solves a non-existent problem.

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Economics & Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0266-2671
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