Realism and moral being

OBITUARy Realism and moral being Andrew Col ier, 1944–2014Andrew Collier, who died on 3 July after more than a decade living with cancer, was a member of the Radical Philosophy editorial collective during the 1990s and a longstanding contributor to the journal. Born in Edmonton, North London, towards the end of World War II, he […]

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 […]

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 […]

Levels of Analysis in Marxian Political Economy

Levels of Analysis in Marxian Political Economy: An Unoist Approach Robert Albritton Nearly every major thinker and school of thought within contemporary Marxian political economy has made some reference to levels of analysis or levels of abstraction, and has shown some sensitivity to the difficulties in mediating more abstract levels of analysis with more concrete. […]

55 Reviews

REVIEWS THE SHAMEFUL FACE OF PHILOSOPHY Michele Le Doeuff, The Philosophical Imaginary, trans. Colin Gordon, London, Athlone Press, 1989. x + 199pp., £32 hb, 0485 11352 X. Western philosophy has, by tradition, defined itself in opposition to myth, fable, the poetic, and all that inhabits the domain of the image. Whatever else either reason 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 […]

The Eupsychian Impulse

The Eupsychian Impulse Psychoanalysis and Left politics since ’68 Barry Richards My purpose here is to offer some reflections on the part flayed by psychoanalysis in Left politics in Britain since 1968. I will attempt a broad and critical characterisation of the major uses to which psychoanalytic theory has been put in political discourse during […]

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’ […]

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 […]

25 Reviews

opposition to all the other terms’, Saussure, p88}, there is ‘an incessant sliding of the signified under the signifier’ {Lacan, p154}. However, Saussure distinguishes the syntagmatic axis of language from the paradigmatic or associative. Syntagmatic is the linear dimension of language most apparent in the sentence, the ‘horizontal’ chain in which meaning is sequentially differentiated […]

12 Reviews

Social inertia being what it is revolutions are resisted and hence infrequent. The small caucus which always provides the spark for a popular revolution must be fully aware that a successful revolution will only come about if there prevails a profound dissatisfaction wi~ the status quo. In a sentence whose political profundity makes it strangely […]

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 […]

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 […]

The spectral ontology of value

There is a void at the heart of capitalism. It arises because of the nature of commodity exchange, which abstracts from, or absents, the entire substance of use value. What is constituted therewith is a form of unity of commodities that does not rest on any pre-given common content – which does not exist, it […]

The ethics of conviction

If the ʻturn to ethicsʼ has shaped much recent continental philosophy, the ʻturn to religionʼ has not been far behind. The reappearance of various religious categories and concepts in recent political philosophy and philosophical ethics is unmistakable. Moreover, given that much of this writing emerges from the vicinity of Marx, if not directly from Marxism […]