question. It might be said that intentionality and consciousness are involved in theconstitution of such phenomena, but it is not clear why that should make such phenom-ena observer dependent, not unless the same person is both observer and constructor of a particular reality. Business cycles, for example, are in part the result of intentionalconstructions of institutions, but they are also observer independent insofar as observa-tion as such has no effect upon them. And Searle of course comes to this himself in stating that ‘social institutional facts canbe epistemically objective even though human attitudes are part of their mode of exist-ence’ (Searle, 1995: 5). But why is this so and in what sense? To my mind it is simply because states, clans, to say nothing of business cycles, or at least their effects, are record-able independently of any particular observer. That is, they are not observer dependent.The fact that the human world is constituted by humans is equivalent to saying that thebiological world is constituted by chemical reactions and molecular structures. What isthe problem here? It has to do with the old distinction between the human and thenatural sciences (Brentano). A domestic animal embodies characteristics of its relationsto humans. It has been appropriated to human ends and needs to be socialized into aparticular conﬁguration of responses and actions. It also embodies its relations to otheranimals and it has, of course, a repertoire said to be biologically stable or even geneti-cally programmed, containing those properties which exist prior to human intervention. A domestic horse is exactly that, a horse that has been domesticated. It is both ‘natural’and ‘cultural’ and observer independent.Searle modiﬁes or even supersedes his ﬁrst distinction of observer independence/dependence by introducing a second set of distinctions, a double set: ontological/epistemological versus objectivity/subjectivity. His argument seems to be that money and other objective realities of social life are, as Durkheim said, ‘social facts’ even if they are in part constituted of subjective elements such as intentionality. This is in fact a trivialproblem that may indeed hamper anthropological thinking, but is it really so? Observa-tion of anything external to our own bodies can be understood in observer-independentterms, even the products of our own activities, even our activities, as long as otherobservers can do the same. Intentionality is in this view perfectly objective. In other words the subjective is objective from the point of view of the investigator. Have we thusreturned to the starting point of sociology?
LOGICAL STRUCTURES OF SOCIETY
ANTHROPOLOGICAL THEORY 6(1)