Journal of Critical Realism 8 (2):233-257 (2009)

Distinguishing between ‘analytical’ or ‘orthodox’ and ‘dialectical’ readings of first-wave critical realism, this review essay engages critically with the former as exemplified in Critical Realism and the Social Sciences: Heterodox Elaborations, edited by Jon Frauley and Frank Pearce. It argues that the ‘orthodox’ reading is fixist and endist and that this is conducive to an ill-informed and unconstructive attitude of hostility to dialectical critical realism and the philosophy of meta-Reality that is at odds with the critical realist embrace and that in turn helps to reproduce the stasis of the reading. If the dynamism that goes hand in hand with the method of immanent critique is embraced, however, the possibility of flourishing two-way constructive critical engagements among the moments of the system is opened up, leading to the invigoration of each and the whole. Notwithstanding limitations - indeed, partly in virtue of them -, Critical Realism and the Social Sciences provides a promising basis for the unfolding of that possibility.
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DOI 10.1558/jocr.v8i2.233
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