Science, epistemological relativism and truth: some comments on Roy Bhaskar's transcendental realism


Abstract
This paper sets out to assess the internal coherence of Roy Bhaskar's transcendental realist account of science. Whilst fully supporting his transcendental derivation of a stratified ontology of structures and generative mechanisms from the scientific practice of experimentation, I argue that Bhaskar's adoption of the stance of epistemic relativism results in his inability to defend the generalizability of this ontology. My argument against his epistemic stance turns on the fact that it rests on a false dichotomy between epistemic relativism and epistemic absolutism, and, moreover, that it is quite unnecessary for his efforts to avoid the excesses of epistemological foundationalism. The net result of this stance, in my view, is an inability to sustain the normative force of the concepts of truth and scientific explanation precisely at a time when postmodern authors are denying their privileged status.
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Transcendental Realism Defended: A Response to Allan.D. Spurrett - 1998 - South African Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):198-210.

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