Searle, John R.
Searle, John R. (Rogers)(1932– ) philosopher, linguist; born in Denver, Colo. Educated at the University of Wisconsin (1949–52) and Oxford (B.A. with first class honors, 1955; M.A. and D.Phil. 1959), he taught first at Oxford (1956–59) and then joined the philosophy faculty at the University of California: Berkeley (1959). His many publications include The Campus War (1971), a study of the Berkeley student riots, and Minds, Brains, and Science (1985), the Reith lectures for 1984. In such works as Speech Acts (1969) and Expression and Meaning (1979) he expounded a distinctive approach to the study of language and its relation to the mind, one that has greatly influenced linguists and cognitive scientists as well as philosophers. He is perhaps best known for his thesis that computers do not and can not possess genuine artificial intelligence.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.