Status Functions, Speech Acts, and the Emergence of Money
AIER Sound Money Project Working Paper No. 2019–15
23 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2019 Last revised: 14 Sep 2019
Date Written: August 30, 2019
In order for emergence to actually have significance for a specifically human social ontology requires a commitment on the part of participants that they submit to a status function implied or enabled by emergent phenomena such that participants could, if required, explicitly recognize the meaning of the status attribution in terms the deontic powers that it generates. In so doing, individuals recognize themselves and others as members of a community submitted to the meaning of the status function. Defined in this way, we can identify Tony Lawson's notion of emergence in Searlean terms. Emergence entails the generation of states and processes in a system that when recognized by actors, endows them with rights, duties, and obligations. In the case of Mengerian evolution of money, a status function is adopted once members within a given exchange network recognize that a particular commodity or other good has become generally accepted among network participants. This occurs by practice of exchange between members. We show how Searle has provides precedent for this interpretation of status functions through his elaboration of speech acts and declarations.
Keywords: Money, Emergence, Social Ontology, Status Function
JEL Classification: A14, E49, P48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation