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  1. What Does a Phenomenological Theory of Social Objects Mean?Besnik Pula - 2022 - Human Studies 45 (3):509-528.
    What are social objects and what makes them different from other realms of scientifically studied reality? How can sociology theoretically account for the relationship between objects of social reality such as norms and social structures, and their existence as objects of experience for living human actors? Contemporary sociology is characterized by a fundamental dissensus with regard to this question. Ironically, this is the very problem Alfred Schutz tackled in his phenomenological critique of Max Weber’s sociological theory. As Schutz demonstrated nearly (...)
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  • Avatars of the Collective: A Realist Theory of Collective Subjectivities.Frédéric Vandenberghe - 2007 - Sociological Theory 25 (4):295-324.
    Let it be a network of voices... A network of voices that not only speak, but also struggle and resist for humanity.
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  • Justifying Sociological Knowledge: From Realism to Interpretation.Isaac Reed - 2008 - Sociological Theory 26 (2):101-129.
    In the context of calls for "postpositivist" sociology, realism has emerged as a powerful and compelling epistemology for social science. In transferring and transforming scientific realism --a philosophy of natural science--into a justificatory discourse for social science, realism splits into two parts: a strict, highly naturalistic realism and a reflexive, more mediated, and critical realism. Both forms of realism, however, suffer from conceptual ambiguities, omissions, and elisions that make them an inappropriate epistemology for social science. Examination of these problems in (...)
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  • Causality and Critical Theory: Nature's Order in Adorno, Cartwright and Bhaskar.Craig Reeves - 2009 - Journal of Critical Realism 8 (3):316-342.
    In this paper I argue that Theodor W. Adorno 's philosophy of freedom needs an ontological picture of the world. Adorno does not make his view of natural order explicit, but I suggest it could be neither the chaotic nor the strictly determined ontological images common to idealism and positivism, and that it would have to make intelligible the possibility both of human freedom and of critical social science. I consider two possible candidates, Nancy Cartwright 's ‘patchwork of laws’, and (...)
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  • Love Actually: Law and the Moral Psychology of Forgiveness.Alan Norrie - 2018 - Journal of Critical Realism 17 (4):390-407.
    ABSTRACTLove is the basis for a moral psychology of forgiveness. I argue for an account of love based on Roy Bhaskar's conception of its five circles, and of the ethical nature of human beings as concrete universals/singulars. Linking this to work of ‘The Forgiveness Project’, I argue that forgiveness can be understood metaphysically in terms of its relation to love of self, of the other, of the relation of self and other, of self, other and the wider community, and of (...)
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  • Mixed Method Nursing Studies: A Critical Realist Critique: Original Article.Martin Lipscomb - 2008 - Nursing Philosophy 9 (1):32-45.
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  • Science Education as Emancipatory: The Case of Roy Bhaskar's Philosophy of Meta‐Reality.Michalinos Zembylas - 2006 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 38 (5):665–676.
    In this essay, I argue that Roy Bhaskar's philosophy of meta‐Reality creates the middle way to theorize emancipation in critical science education: between empiricism and idealism on the one hand, and naïve realism and relativism, on the other hand. This theorization offers possibilities to transcend the usual dichotomies and dualisms that are often perpetuated in some feminist and multiculturalist accounts of critical science education. Further, meta‐Reality suggests a radically new way to re‐visit the suspect notion of emancipation. The implications for (...)
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  • Scientists’ Ontological and Epistemological Views About Science From the Perspective of Critical Realism.Robyn Yucel - 2018 - Science & Education 27 (5-6):407-433.
    Including the perspectives of scientists about the nature and process of science is important for an authentic and nuanced portrayal of science in science education. The small number of studies that have explored scientists’ worldviews about science has thus far generated contradictory findings, with recent studies claiming that scientists simultaneously hold contradictory sophisticated and naïve views. This article reports on an exploratory study that uses the framework of Bhaskar’s critical realism to elicit and separately analyse academic scientists’ ontological and epistemological (...)
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  • Development Plans and the Sustainable Development Agenda in Africa: How Critical Realist Conceptualization Can Help.Solomon Yirenkyi-Boateng - 2010 - Journal of Critical Realism 9 (3):328-352.
    After decades of postcolonial development planning in the former colonies of Africa, one question that has been asked over and over again concerns how much has changed in Africa since the launch of what used to be called the first, second, third and other development decades. There is no doubt that national development policies and plans have played significant roles in influencing the direction of the post-political-independence development processes in Africa. This paper argues, however, that far more serious attention needs (...)
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  • Causal Mechanisms Generating Writing Competency Discourses in a Radiography Curriculum in Higher Education: A Critical Realist Perspective.Jennifer Wright - 2011 - Journal of Critical Realism 10 (2):163-191.
    When education is jointly managed by a workplace and academia, causal mechanisms in the culture, structure and agency of these two contexts may unintentionally generate discourse that conveys conflicting messages for learners regarding some of the priorities of the profession. Using the concepts of culture, structure and agency as they are used in critical realism to analyse the discourse generated in two teaching and learning contexts (a radiography division in a university and a radiography workplace in a large state tertiary (...)
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  • Social Objects, Causality and Contingent Realism.Malcolm Williams - 2009 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 39 (1):1-18.
    This paper is a realist argument for the existence of “social objects”. Social objects, I argue, are the outcome states of a contingent causal process and in turn posses causal properties. This argument has consequences for what we can mean by realism and consequences for the development of a realist methodology. Realism should abandon the notion of natural necessity in favour of a view that the “real” nature of the social world is contingent and necessity is only revealed in outcome (...)
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  • Rom Harré on Social Structure and Social Change: An Introduction.Malcolm Williams & Tim May - 2002 - European Journal of Social Theory 5 (1):107-110.
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  • Roy Bhaskar with Mervyn Hartwig, The Formation of Critical Realism: A Personal Perspective. [REVIEW]Nick Wilson - 2012 - Journal of Critical Realism 11 (2):247-254.
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  • Doing ‘Judgemental Rationality’ in Empirical Research: The Importance of Depth-Reflexivity When Researching in Prison.Matthew L. N. Wilkinson, Mallory Schneuwly Purdie, Lamia Irfan & Muzammil Quraishi - 2022 - Journal of Critical Realism 21 (1):25-45.
    ABSTRACT Critical realist thought has theorised convincingly that epistemic relativism is constellationally embedded in ontological realism which in turn necessitates judgemental rationality. In social science, judgemental rationality involves acting upon plausible decisions about competing points of view. However, the tools for doing this are, as yet, under-articulated. This paper addresses this absence by articulating triangulation and depth-reflexivity as two tools for doing judgemental rationality in empirical research. It draws on the experiences of a diverse team working on an international comparative (...)
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  • Contingent Realism—Abandoning Necessity.Malcolm Williams - 2011 - Social Epistemology 25 (1):37-56.
    In recent years, realism?particularly critical realism?has become an important philosophical and methodological foundation for social science. A key feature is that of natural necessity, but this coexists alongside an acceptance of contingency in the social world. I argue in this paper that there cannot be any natural necessity in the social world, but rather the real nature of the social world is that it is contingent. This need not lead to an abandonment of realism, and indeed I argue that a (...)
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  • Building on the Shoulders of Bhaskar and Matthews: A Critical Realist Criminology.Matthew Wilkinson, Muzammil Quraishi, Lamia Irfan & Mallory Schneuwly Purdie - 2021 - Journal of Critical Realism 21 (2):123-144.
    Building on the insights of the late Roy Bhaskar and the late Roger Matthews, as well as some recent developments in ultra-realist criminology, this article introduces and delineates some core inte...
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  • Theorizing the Mechanisms of Conceptual and Semiotic Space.Colin Wight - 2004 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (2):283-299.
    In this piece the author takes issue with Mario Bunge’s claims that conceptual and semiotic systems have "compositions, environments and structures, but no mechanisms." Structures, according to Bunge, can never be mechanisms in conceptual and semiotic systems. Contra this the author argues that in social systems, social structures (which are concept-dependent and reproduced and/or transformed, at least in part, semiotically), can be mechanisms in the sense that such structures are one of the processes in a concrete system that makes itwhat (...)
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  • Dialectics, Complexity,and the Systemic Approach: Toward a Critical Reconciliation.Poe Yu-ze Wan - 2013 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 43 (4):411-452.
    This article attempts to assess Mario Bunge’s important but widely neglected criticisms of dialectics. It begins by providing a contextualized interpretation of Friedrich Engels’s metaphysics of the dialectics of nature before embarking on a detailed discussion of Leon Trotsky’s and contemporary “dialectical” scientists’ views on materialist dialectics. It argues that while some of Bunge’s criticisms are eminently sensible, the principles underlying the works of dialectical scientists are compatible with Bunge’s emergentist and systemic approach and can shed light on such issues (...)
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  • Beyond the Politics of Location: The Power of Argument in a Global Era.Sylvia Walby - 2000 - Feminist Theory 1 (2):189-206.
    Within recent feminist theorizing the significance of social location has been overestimated, while the power of argument has been underestimated. We do not need to retreat to notions of ‘story-telling’ as the strongest claim to knowledge possible by feminist analysis. Rather, we should draw on the power of argument. This article addresses some dilemmas in debates around the projects of recognition, redistribution and transformation, and the claims to knowledge made in each. Further, it argues for the integration of the concerns (...)
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  • Elder-Vass on the Causal Power of Social Structures.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2014 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 (6):774-791.
    In this review essay, I examine the central tenets of sociologist Dave Elder-Vass’s recent contribution to social ontology, as put forth in his book The Causal Power of Social Structures: Emergence, Structure and Agency. Elder-Vass takes issue with ontological individualists and maintains that social structures exist and have causal powers in their own right. I argue that he fails to establish his main theses: he shows neither that social structures have causal powers “in their own right” (in any sense of (...)
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  • Crying Hegel in Art History.Ian Verstegen - 2016 - Journal of Critical Realism 15 (2):107-121.
    Within cultural history there is a widespread eschewal of speculative reasoning. This article notes the complicity of the general postmodern avoidance of metanarratives with Anglo-Saxon empiricism and locates the major problem facing cultural history in postmodernism's conflation of trajectories and teleologies. Any discussion of the directionality of history is imputed to be a full-blown teleology. Using previous discussions from different fields, the difference between a teleology and trajectory is defended and, after clarifying certain confusions, it is argued that trajectories, as (...)
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  • The Normative Foundations of Critical Realism: A Comment on Dave Elder-Vass and Leigh Price.Frédéric Vandenberghe - 2019 - Journal of Critical Realism 18 (3):319-336.
    ABSTRACTAs a comment on the debate between Dave Elder-Vass and Leigh Price, I propose a dialogue between Bhaskar and Habermas. If we could introduce critical realism into critical theory, we might...
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  • Realism in One Country?Frédéric Vandenberghe - 2009 - Journal of Critical Realism 8 (2):203-232.
  • Data and Agency.Jose van Dijck, Thomas Poell & Helen Kennedy - 2015 - Big Data and Society 2 (2).
    This introduction to the special issue on data and agency argues that datafication should not only be understood as the process of collecting and analysing data about Internet users, but also as feeding such data back to users, enabling them to orient themselves in the world. It is important that debates about data power recognise that data is also generated, collected and analysed by alternative actors, enhancing rather than undermining the agency of the public. Developing this argument, we first make (...)
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  • For a Heterodox Computational Social Science.Justus Uitermark & Petter Törnberg - 2021 - Big Data and Society 8 (2).
    The proliferation of digital data has been the impetus for the emergence of a new discipline for the study of social life: ‘computational social science’. Much research in this field is founded on the premise that society is a complex system with emergent structures that can be modeled or reconstructed through digital data. This paper suggests that computational social science serves practical and legitimizing functions for digital capitalism in much the same way that neoclassical economics does for neoliberalism. In recognition (...)
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  • The Poverty of Ontological Reasoning.Leonidas Tsilipakos - 2012 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 42 (2):201-219.
    This article argues against ontology as an intelligible project for social theory. Ontological questions have proliferated in social thought in the past decades mainly as a way of recasting traditional sociological questions about individuals/society and structure/agency. Far from being an advance in our understanding, however, this form of reasoning has frequently brought confusion. This is demonstrated with detailed reference to a contribution from an ongoing debate, centred on the issue whether social structures are causally efficacious. I argue that the ontological (...)
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  • Realist Social Theory and Its Losing Battle with Concepts.Leonidas Tsilipakos - 2015 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 45 (1):26-52.
    This article attempts to evidence the idea that progress in social theory is impeded by central theoretical procedures embodying a host of conceptual mistakes. The article focuses on realist theorizing, examining both early realist work on science and contemporary critical realism, and demonstrates how conceptual procedures employed therein lead to error and confusion. The standard use of these procedures entails, among other things, that social theoretical debates tend to remain irresolvable and that understanding of what it takes to demonstrate a (...)
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  • The Theory of International Politics? An Analysis of Neorealist Theory.Keith Topper - 1998 - Human Studies 21 (2):157-186.
    In recent years a number of writers have defended and attacked various features of structural, or neo-realist theories of international politics. Few, however, have quarrelled with one of the most foundational features of neorealist theory: its assumptions about the nature of science and scientific theories. In this essay I assess the views of science underlying much neorealist theory, especially as they are articulated in the work of Kenneth Waltz. I argue not only that neorealist theories rest on assumptions about science (...)
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  • Reconsidering Real-Actual-Empirical Stratification: Can Bourdieu’s Habitus Be Introduced Into a Realist Social Ontology?Vefa Saygin Öğütle - 2013 - Journal of Critical Realism 12 (4):479-506.
    In the last couple of years there have been some attempts to introduce Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts into the critical realist conception of social science. But these attempts either limit themselves to the constitution of a philosophical connection between Bourdieu and critical realism or confine Bourdieu’s theoretical contributions to analyses of human agency, whereas Bourdieu’s habitus can provide a deepening of the critical realist conception of what the ‘social’ is. We can establish a socio-ontological connection between the concept of habitus and (...)
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  • Why has Critical Realism Not Been Used More in Educational Leadership and Management Research? A Critical Realist Exploration.Anthony Thorpe - 2020 - Journal of Critical Realism 19 (1):29-44.
    ABSTRACTCritical realism is an established post-positivist philosophy applied by researchers in a number of fields and yet it is little used in educational leadership and management research. This article responds to calls from the field for a more critical approach to educational leadership and management research by offering critical realism as a way to address these concerns and it explores why critical realism has not featured more in the field, particularly as it could provide that more critical approach. The use (...)
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  • On the Ontological Assumptions of the Medical Model of Psychiatry: Philosophical Considerations and Pragmatic Tasks. [REVIEW]Tejas Patil & James Giordano - 2010 - Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 5:3.
    A common theme in the contemporary medical model of psychiatry is that pathophysiological processes are centrally involved in the explanation, evaluation, and treatment of mental illnesses. Implied in this perspective is that clinical descriptors of these pathophysiological processes are sufficient to distinguish underlying etiologies. Psychiatric classification requires differentiation between what counts as normality (i.e.- order), and what counts as abnormality (i.e.- disorder). The distinction(s) between normality and pathology entail assumptions that are often deeply presupposed, manifesting themselves in statements about what (...)
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  • Critical Realist Action Research and Humanistic Management Education.Benito Teehankee - 2018 - Humanistic Management Journal 3 (1):71-90.
    In line with its institutional commitments and in order to strengthen the relevance of its business education program in addressing the persistent social challenges facing the Philippines, Mission University revised its Master of Business Administration curriculum in 2012. A core change in the curriculum was the incorporation of action research training and the requirement for graduation of implementing and defending an action research project. The introduction of action research, which is based on critical realist philosophy of science, was intended to (...)
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  • Structure, Culture and Action in the Explanation of Social Change.Michael Taylor - 1989 - Politics and Society 17 (2):115-162.
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  • Trans Women Are Real Women: A Critical Realist Intersectional Response to Pilgrim.Jason Summersell - 2018 - Journal of Critical Realism 17 (3):329-336.
    ABSTRACTIn this paper, I explain why I disagree with David Pilgrim’s claim that critical realists should deny any ‘natal male’ claim to womanhood. Specifically, Pilgrim and I have different definitions of the transitive and intransitive dimensions of reality. In my version – which I believe is in the spirit of the Bhaskarian version – the transitive dimension embraces everything that is currently being affected by human praxis. This allows for an intersectional view of gender in which it is perfectly possible (...)
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  • Critical Thoughts About Critical Realism.G. R. Steele - 2005 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 17 (1-2):133-154.
    Abstract As microeconomic calculus and macroeconomic estimation superseded earlier approaches to political economy, broad questions about how things are (ontology), how things might be known (epistemology), and how science should proceed (methodology) were neglected. As a corrective, Critical Realism (CR) has been proposed as an alternative to the orthodox deductive?nomological (ODN) tradition; i.e., to mathematical deduction and statistical induction. In their place, retroduction?the use of analogy, metaphor, intuition and ordinary language?is supposed to illuminate root causes by identifying the deep mechanisms (...)
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  • Critical Realist Methodology Guiding Theory Development: The Case of the Norwegian Second Home Ownership Paradox.Rasmus Steffansen - 2016 - Journal of Critical Realism 15 (2):122-141.
    Informed by a critical realist approach, this article criticizes the dearth of research on the question of the need for capital that prospective owners of modern Norwegian second homes are faced with. The main method used for theorizing capital need is the model for an applied explanatory science proposed by Bhaskar, the RRREIC schema, which helps us understand the necessary components of a second home transaction. This leads to an in-depth analysis of this phenomenon and specifically traces the mechanisms related (...)
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  • The Abyss of Intransitivity: On Critical Realism and Theories of Religion.Michael Stausberg - 2021 - Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft 29 (2):268-274.
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  • Science, Common Sense and Sociological Analysis: A Critical Appreciation of the Epistemological Foundation of Field Theory.Sourabh Singh - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 49 (2):87-107.
    Field theory is often criticized because sociologists applying it fail to follow two seminal rules: the three key concepts of field theory—capital, habitus, and field structure—must be implemented in relation to each other and reconstructed for the historically specific moment of their application. I claim that Bourdieu developed his conceptual tools in response to Bachelard’s insight that scientific progress requires a break from common sense. Once we appreciate the epistemological foundation of field theory concepts, we can better appreciate the rules (...)
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  • Marketing Systems: Critical Realist Interventions Towards Better Theorizing.Hamish Simmonds & Aaron Gazley - 2018 - Journal of Critical Realism 17 (2):140-159.
    Marketing systems research has the potential to contribute to the well-being of individuals, communities and our environment but we need to ensure that we do not mechanistically apply inadequate approaches. This article identifies tensions and limitations within the developing marketing systems theory and literature. Using the tools of critical realism, we aim to critique the omissions in the metatheory of marketing systems research and then put forward CR to reconstruct a more comprehensive basis for the development of marketing systems theory. (...)
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  • Emancipatory Marketing and the Emancipation of Marketing Research: A Critical Realist Perspective.Hamish Simmonds - 2018 - Journal of Critical Realism 17 (5):466-491.
    ABSTRACTThis paper is premised on the call to re-orientate marketing as a contributing social science. It gathers together criticisms of marketing research which identify inconsistencies that prevent our progress. It posits that we are driven to reproduce these inconsistencies because of a closed-system of practice and because of the generative absence of an effective, reflexive and integrative metatheoretical structure. In response to these problems, the paper aims to offer an integrative metatheoretical structure from which to ground our research and intervene (...)
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  • "Duality of Structure" and "Intentionality" in an Ecological Psychology.John Shotter - 1983 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 13 (1):19–44.
  • Bhaskar's Philosophy as Anti-Anthropism: A Comparative Study of Eastern and Western Thought.MinGyu Seo - 2008 - Journal of Critical Realism 7 (1):5-28.
  • Theory of Religion and Historical Research. A Critical Realist Perspective on the Study of Religion as an Empirical Discipline.Hubert Seiwert - 2020 - Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft 28 (2):207-236.
    The article discusses the connection between theory formation and historical research in the study of religion. It presupposes that the study of religion is conceived of as an empirical discipline. The empirical basis of theories is provided primarily by historical research, including research in the very recent past, that is, the present time. Research in the history of religions, therefore, is an indispensable part of the study of religion. However, in recent discussions on the methods, aims, and theoretical presuppositions of (...)
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  • Practices and Actions a Wittgensteinian Critique of Bourdieu and Giddens.Theodore R. Schatzki - 1997 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 27 (3):283-308.
    This article criticizes Bourdieu's and Giddens's overintellectualizing accounts of human activity on the basis of Wittgenstein's insights into practical under standing. Part 1 describes these two theorists' conceptions of a homology between the organization of practices (spatial-temporal manifolds of action) and the governance of individual actions. Part 2 draws on Wittgenstein's discussions of linguistic definition and following a rule to criticize these conceptions for ascribing content to the practical understanding they claim governs action. Part 3 then suggests an alternative, Wittgensteinian (...)
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  • Critical Realism in Nursing: An Emerging Approach.Catharine J. Schiller - 2016 - Nursing Philosophy 17 (2):88-102.
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  • A Metaphysics for the Study of Religion: A Critical Reading of Russell McCutcheon.Kevin Schilbrack - 2020 - Critical Research on Religion 8 (1):87-100.
    Russell McCutcheon is one of the foremost proponents of what he calls “the critical study of religion,” that is, the shift to reflect critically on the concepts used in the academic study of religion, who invented them, and why. The critical study of religion leads to the realization that the concepts with which we think were invented by particular people, at a particular historical location, for a particular purpose. What are the philosophical implications of this? McCutcheon defends a debunking or (...)
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  • A Model-Based Approach to Social Ontology.Matti Sarkia - 2021 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 52 (3):175-203.
    This paper argues for theoretical modeling and model-construction as central types of activities that philosophers of social ontology engage in. This claim is defended through a detailed case study and revisionary interpretation of Raimo Tuomela’s account of the we-perspective. My interpretation is grounded in Ronald Giere’s account of scientific models, and argued to be compatible with, but less demanding than Tuomela’s own description of his account as a philosophical theory of the social world. My approach is also suggested to be (...)
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  • The Hermeneutics of the Causal Powers of Meaningful Objects.Amit Ron - 2010 - Journal of Critical Realism 9 (2):155-171.
    Much of the interest of critical realists in the hermeneutic character of social inquiry has been shaped by debates with critics. Critical realists insist that the meaningful character of societies does not exclude the possibility of treating them as objects that have causal powers and that these objects are more than the sum-total of their meanings. In what follows, I want to go beyond this debate. Working within critical realist ontology, the question I want to ask is what kind of (...)
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  • Reclaiming Rational Theory Choice as Central: A Critique of Methodological Applications of Critical Realism.K. Robert Isaksen - 2016 - Journal of Critical Realism 15 (3):245-262.
    My central claim is that texts introducing and explaining critical realism focus on its ontological insights, and even though issues of judgemental rationality and theory choice are central to research these often become peripheral and/or are not stated in the way Bhaskar presented them. This claim is defended by comparing Bhaskar's statements and arguments about theory choice to texts introducing critical realism and its potential research implications. The method of rational theory choice and the key criterion for it are presented: (...)
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  • Learning From the Future: Global Tragedy or Global Transformation?Jorge Rivas - 2009 - Journal of Critical Realism 8 (1):91-112.
    This review essay engages critically with Heikki Patomäki's The Political Economy of Global Security: War, Future Crises, and Changes in Global Governance. The book is built around the hypothesis that the current ‘era of Neoliberalism’ shares many similarities to the era of the ‘new imperialism’ of the late nineteenth century, ending, catastrophically, in World War I and the Great Depression. Patomäki undertakes this comparison by focusing on the principal long-term historical processes, structures, tendencies and contradictions that may be responsible for (...)
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