Money, Social Ontology and Law: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Money, Social Ontology and Law

1st Edition

By Angela Condello, Maurizio Ferraris, John Rogers Searle


80 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-03-28
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Presenting legal and philosophical essays on money, this book explores

the conditions according to which an object like a piece of paper, or an

electronic signal, has come to be seen as having a value.

Money plays a crucial role in the regulation of social relationships and

their normative determination. It is thus integral to the very nature of the

“social”, and the question of how society is kept together by a network

of agreements, conventions, exchanges, and codes. All of which must

be traced down. The technologies of money discussed here by Searle,

Ferraris, and Condello show how we conceive the category of the social at

the intersection of individual and collective intentionality, documentality,

and materiality. All of these dimensions, as the introduction to this volume

demonstrates, are of vital importance for legal theory and for a whole set of

legal concepts that are crucial in reflections on the relationship between law,

philosophy, and society.

Table of Contents


INTRODUCTION (by A. Condello)

1. Why a Book on Money?

2. Why This Book on Money?

3. Money, Social Ontology and Law


Money: Ontology and Deception (by J.R. Searle)

1. The Functions of Money and the Definition of Money            

2. Social ontology

3. Status functions are created by declaration

4. Money is Always a Status Function

5. Further Forms of Deception and Money

6. Money and Deception, a Summary

7. What is Money?


The Color of Money (by M. Ferraris)

0. Introduction: Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg

1. Epistemology

1.1. Analysis

1.2. Manifest Image

1.3. Deep Structure

1.4. Pentecost or Emergence

2. Ontology

2.1. Dialectic

2.2. Necessary Condition

2.3. Sufficient Condition

2.4. Power and Form

3. Technology

3.1. Competence without Understanding

3.2. Iteration

3.3. The Mystic Foundation of Authority


Socio-legal Reality in the Making. Money as a Paradigm (by A. Condello)

1. A Basic Social Institution

2. Overview on Searle’s and Ferraris’ Theories of Money

3. Social Reality and Law: Cross-Breeding Intentionality with Documentality

3.1 The Symbolic Socio-legal Object for Searle: Money as Status Function

3.2 Tracing Socio-Legal Reality: Maurizio Ferraris’ Documentality

4. Broadening the Field: from Money to Legal Reality

4.1 Res, pecunia, lis

5. Conclusion. Socio-Legal Reality in the Making


CONCLUSION (by A. Condello)

1. Means of Exchange

2. Money (as Law) is a Social Technology





About the Authors

Angela Condello , University of Torino

Maurizio Ferraris , University of Torino

John Rogers Searle , University of California, Berkeley

About the Series

Law and Politics

Continental Perspectives

A core legacy of the Continental juridico-political tradition is the methodological commitment to the idea that law and politics are inextricably tied to one another. On the one hand, law has to be studied in the light of the concrete political dynamics, social forces, and societal movements that make law what it is. On the other hand, the analysis of political processes should be coupled with the study of the legal techniques through which politics exerts its effects on social reality.
The series aspires to promote works that use the nexus 'law & politics' as a prism that allows understanding societal dynamics beyond the deep-seated borders separating purely legal from purely political methodologies. It welcomes theoretically informed and empirically grounded analyses that foster the development of theory in the study of juridico-political processes.

The qualifier 'Continental' signifies not so much a geographical or socio-historical feature as a methodological one. The approach that the series aims to promote, regardless of the nationality of prospective authors, materializes at the intersection between the vocabularies and methodologies of legal and political theories. In other words, the starting point of this approach is that the interplay between legal and political processes provides a precious lens to observe and comprehend contemporary societal phenomena.

More specifically, submissions exploring the following themes are welcomed:

  • The relationship between the legal and the political spheres from a theoretical, historical and/or empirical point of view.
  • The transformation of sovereignty.
  • The transformation of the state and the rise of non-state political and organizational structures that break the ties with modern statehood.
  • Exceptionalism and emergency at the domestic and/or the global level.
  • The downfall of conventional juridico-political binaries: public/private, state/civil society, domestic/international, religious/secular and others.
  • Current transformations of formal constitutions and the separation of powers.
  • Issues related to the increasing spread of legal pluralism and global legal pluralism.
  • Strategies and politics of legal elites and the new role of judicial bodies both nationally and internationally.
  • Analyses of key Continental authors who have brought to light the materiality of the law, such as Giorgio Agamben, Hannah Arendt, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Marcel Gauchet, Antonio Gramsci, Jurgen Habermas, Reinhart Koselleck, Antonio Negri, Carl Schmitt and others.
  • Analyses of key Continental "classics" whose voice is unheard or underrepresented in the Anglophone academic and publishing environment, such as Walter Benjamin, Leon Duguit, Georges Gurvitch, Maurice Hauriou, Hermann Heller, Georg Jellinek, Ernst Junger, Costantino Mortati, Georges Renard, Santi Romano, Rudolf Smend, Simone Weil and others.

This interdisciplinary series welcomes monographs and edited volumes that engage with the conceptual and empirical questions detailed above and discussions of how the contamination of jurisprudential and theoretical-political approaches helps illuminate current national and global processes.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Money & Monetary Policy
LAW / General
LAW / Essays
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General