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

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.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1179/rea.12.2.y733588233q1m086
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,114
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

All You Need is Love.Mervyn Hartwig - 2015 - Journal of Critical Realism 14 (2):205-224.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
11 ( #849,141 of 2,499,260 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #418,195 of 2,499,260 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes