Journal of Critical Realism 12 (2):210 - 243 (2013)

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This essay calls attention to robust synergies between Roy Bhaskar’s philosophy of dialectical critical realism and Terrence W. Deacon’s recent investigation of the geo-historical emergence of ententional or teleological phenomena, as well as important differences. Deacon has independently arrived at an understanding of absence as causally efficacious in the emergence of life and consciousness, and deploys a range of other concepts that resonate with DCR. He develops a critique both of eliminativist and monovalent approaches to ententionality, on the one hand, and their panpsychist foil, on the other, and elaborates a polyvalent scientific alternative – the theory of emergent dynamics. Though this theory is not without problems, as its immanent critique reveals – and indeed in part because of these – it opens up the prospect of a mutually illuminating dialogue between DCR and metaRealism, on the one hand, and the life sciences, on the other, in which DCR/mr underlabours for these sciences, which in turn feed back into DCR/mr philosophy and social theory, thereby helping to actualize the possibility of non-positivist naturalism.
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DOI 10.1179/rea.12.2.y733588233q1m086
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All You Need is Love.Mervyn Hartwig - 2015 - Journal of Critical Realism 14 (2):205-224.

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