69 Reviews

I; REVIEWS The power of negative thinking Roy Bhaskar, Dialectic: The Pulse of Freedom, London, Verso, 1993. xvi + 406 pp., £39.95 hb., £14.95 pb., 0 86091 3686 hb., 0 86091 583 2 pb. Roy Bhaskar’s previous writings have belonged to definite regions of philosophy – for the most part the philosophy of science and […]

Studying Child Sexual Abuse

Studying Child Sexual Abuse: Morality or Science? Sue Clegg Child abuse has become a major topic of public polemic and academic research. I Modem feminists, like their nineteenthcentury sisters, have singled out sexual abuse for special attention. 2 After decades in which sexual abuse was the concern of a limited number of professionals who dealt […]

Reflections upon Roy Bhaskar’s ‘Critical Realism’

Reflections upon Roy Bhaskar’s ‘Critical Realism’ Wal Suchting ‘ … quamquam ridentem dicere verum quid vetat?’ TRANSCENDENTAL REALISM (‘ … but what is to stop anyone with a smile on his face from telling the truth?’) 2 ‘Empiricism’ and Its Critique (Horace, Satires, I, i, 25) 1 Introduction 1.1 Over the last fifteen years or […]

Is Bhaskar’s Realism Realistic?

Is Bhaskar’s Realism Realistic? A/an Chalmers In this paper I begin by briefly outlining what I consider to be the key features of Roy Bhaskar’s realist account of laws of nature. l I regard his account to be the best available. However, I do not think his case can be established as conclusively as is […]

In Search of a Method

In Search of a Method: Hegel, Marx and Realism John Alien The development in recent years of a realist philosphy of science has provoked considerable interest within Marxist social science (1). Its attraction lies in the potential it holds for the construction of a philosophical antidote to posi tivism and conventionalism. In a short space […]

Materialism, Realism and the Reflection Theory

Materialism, Realism and the Reflection Theory* Sean Savers I The reflection theory is the traditional theory of knowledge of Marxism. It is this theory which is put forward by Engels and which is developed and defended at length by Lenin in MateriaZism and EmpirioCriticism [1]. The basic principles of this theory are simply stated and […]

A Critical Note on Bhaskar and Systems Theory

A Critical Note on Bhaskar and Systems Theory* G. Carchedi Von Bertalanffy’s article ‘The Theory of Open Systems in ~hysics and Biology’, published in 1950 [1], is widely regarded as having started the systems-thinking movement. In the words of F.E. Emery, scientific interest was mobilized by von Bertalanffy’s ‘rigorous distinction between open and closed systems’ […]

Abstraction: A Realist Interpretation

Abstrac:tion: A Realist Interpretation Andrew Saver The relations between the theoretical and the empirical, the abstract and the concrete, have always been problematic in marxism. Marx’s disdain for knowledge based upon mere appearances has meant that few marxists have accepted the empiricist doctrine of the theory-neutrality of observation. But while, in a negative way, there […]

Realism and Social Science

Realism and Social Science Some Comments on Roy Bhaskar’s ‘The Possibility of Naturalism’ Ted Benton 1 Introduction An increasing body of philosophical work l is now available which (a) presents a ‘realist’ alternative to the hitherto predominant ‘positivist’ and ‘conventionalist’ currents in the philosophy of science and (b) attempts to use this realist account of […]

Scientific Explanation and Human Emancipation

Scientific Explanation and Human Emancipation Roy Bhaskar 1. Introduction What connections, if any, exist between explanations in the human sciences and the project of human emancipation? I want to addr~ss this issue in the light of the transcendental realist reconstruction of science (2) and the critical naturalism which that reconstruction enables (3). My main target […]

Unhewn demonstrations

Unhewn demonstrations Andrew Collier Compell the Reasoner to Demonstrate with unhewn Demonstrations. Let the Indefinite be explored, and let every Man be Judged By his own Works. Let all Indefinites be thrown into Demonstrations, To be pounded to dust & melted in the Furnaces of Affliction. He who would do good to another must do […]

Mind, reality and politics

Mind, reality and politics Andrew collier this list a few pages without getting controversial. Some of the facts about human nature have clear implications for legislation. For instance, the fact that our physiology is such that the present level of motor pollution in the UK leads to nearly thirty deaths a day implies that, other […]

Critical social science and psychological explanation

Letter Critical social science and psychological explanationI would like to thank Andrew Collier for his interesting review (ʻMind, Reality and Politicsʼ, RP 88, pp. 38–43) of my book Agency, Health and Social Survival (Taylor & Francis, 1996). There is no space here to acknowledge all I have learnt from it, or to address more than […]

Future culture

All of those working in the broad field of environmental studies (and I here include, among others, philosophers, geographers, political ecologists, sociologists, cultural historians and critics) are likely to agree on two points: first that the term ʻnatureʼ, which has been so central to their various debates, has lost its all-purpose conceptual status, and can […]