In this paper, we argue that trust is an important aspect of social reality, one that realist social theory has paid little attention to but which clearly resonates with a realist social ontology. Furthermore, the emergence of an interest in trust in specific subject fields such as organization theory indicates the growing significance of issues of trust as market liberalism has developed. As such, the emergence of an interest in trust provides support for Archer's characterisation of late modernity in The (...) Reflexive Imperative as a period of heterogeneity and greater incongruity. Commenting on this provides an opportunity to discuss the issue of habit in relation to trust and also the importance of the analysis of integration as a means to explain problems of trust. The commentary draws on examples from finance. (shrink)
In this article, I clarify some of the key concepts and commitments of realist social ontology in economics. To do so, I make use of a recent critique of Lawson’s Reorienting Economics by Mohun and Veneziani. Their article provides a useful foil because responding to their critique allows us to emphasize that realism’s claims are more conditional and less controversial than one might otherwise anticipate. The basic claim is that ontology matters and that explicit recognition and consideration of ontological issues (...) can be beneficial. However, developing a focus on ontology can create problems of interpretation among economists regarding what is being claimed and offered. I discuss some of these with reference to an adaption of Maki’s concept of economics imperialism and also with reference to Mary Morgan’s recent typology of experiments. (shrink)
The point of departure of David Ellerman's paper is that the role of labour in economics can be looked at in a fundamentally different way than has typically been the case. The paper's purpose is, therefore, oppositional. However, it cannot simply be dismissed. It is clearly articulated, well reasoned, and most importantly, thought provoking. It requires one to rethink how one conceives some basic issues in economics. As such, one does not need to be entirely convinced by the argument to (...) consider it worthy of dissemination. At the same time, if one subscribes to the ethic of structured or critical pluralism one must also consider the pressure points of the argument. Below, I briefly reconstruct Ellerman's core claims and provide some comment on that argument. Read David Ellerman's paper "The Labour Theory of Property and Marginal Productivity Theory". (shrink)
The following essay sets out the background developments in mathematics and set theory that inform Alain Badiou’s Being and Event in order to provide some context both for the original text and for comment on Chris Norris’s excellent exploration of Badiou’s work. I also provide a summary of Badiou’s overall approach.
Forecasting involves an underlying conceptualization of probability. It is this that gives sense to the notion of precision in number that makes us think of economic forecasting as more than simply complicated guesswork. We think of it as well-founded statement, a science and not an art of numbers. However, this understanding is at odds with the nature of social reality and the attributes of the forecaster. We should think differently about how we both anticipate and make the future and what (...) this means. Foresight is perhaps a more appropriate term. This paper addresses two issues that rarely receive attention in the field of economics. First, why is there a continued high demand for economic forecasts despite their lack of success in anticipating significant turning points in any given system? Second, what are forecasts actually assuming about the nature of a system and the future state of the world? In the paper I approach these issues indirectly. My intention is to highlight their significance by setting out a series of arguments that encapsulate the characteristics of a forecaster required to match a common understanding of what forecasting is intended to do. The structure of this paper is unusual for a contribution in the field of economics. It follows a format more commonly used in analytical philosophy when the author wants to focus on a problem and where the intention is to provoke further questioning, rather than supply ready answers. As such, it should not be read as a comprehensive account of all possible approaches to methods or philosophies of forecasting and attendant issues of probability. Three points are worth stating at the outset as a guide to what follows: Forecasting tends to forget that it is conjecture and what that really means. Its scientism overburdens how it is articulated and how it is perceived. We tend to think of forecasting as degrees of precision in prediction and of successful prediction as successful description of phenomena at some future point. There is, as the following discussion demonstrates, something basically inconsistent within the implications of this minimalism. Since the greater part of the credibility of, and authority of, economics resides in its claims to effective forecasting these points are highly relevant to the state of the discipline. Read the Open Peer Discussion on this paper ». (shrink)
In the following review essay I explore the limitations of effective and constructive critique of Tony Lawson’s realism in economics as articulated in Ontology and Economics. In the first section I summarize the different framing procedures that shape the different critiques. In the second section I illustrate the limitations this creates using Caldwell’s contribution and in the third section I explore the way Lawson is conditioned to respond in terms of contestation, clarification and restatement. In the fourth section I add (...) some additional detail based on Samuelson’s approach to modelling in order to illustrate what is at issue between Caldwell and Lawson and to emphasize what this suggests in terms of a common pattern across the contributions to the text. In the fifth section and in the conclusion I link the limitations of the various critiques found in Ontology and Economics to a basic issue of the vulnerability of realism to critique in order to make some suggestions regarding constructive critique and development for realism in economics. (shrink)
In this review article various aspects of Andrew Wright's Christianity and Critical Realism are explored. Wright claims that Trinitarian theology is essentially realist in its form and that realism can be used to defend or justify Trinitarian Christianity. The nature of the specific case brings to the fore a number of issues regarding the nature of reasoning and judgemental rationality for realists.
In the following short essay I set out the key insights and main arguments by chapter of Alison Assiter’s Kierkegaard. This text is an important contribution to the general subject matter of realizable well-being. In a final section I discuss possible elaborations and limitations and challenges to the problem of morals and ethics that can and are developed from a metaphysic of the person.
In the following short essay I set out the key insights and main arguments in Nick Hostettler’s Eurocentrism . This text is an important contribution to the potential for creative elaboration inherent in Roy Bhaskar’s Dialectic and is also a substantive achievement in its own right. Hostettler’s work provides a way to move beyond the partialities and tensions of eurocentrism and anti-eurocentrism by repositioning both in terms of the europic. There are, however, a number of potential limitations in the way (...) the argument is developed so far. Content Type Journal Article Category Review Essay Pages 99-111 Authors Jamie Morgan, Leeds Metropolitan University Journal Journal of Critical Realism Online ISSN 1572-5138 Print ISSN 1476-7430 Journal Volume Volume 12 Journal Issue Volume 12, Number 1 / 2013. (shrink)
In the following essay I set out the substantive content of Dustin McWherter's recent book The Problem of Critical Ontology, and I then consider the significance of this work as a form of constructive critique of Bhaskar in relation to Kant. This allows us to then make some general comments on the way constructive critique can be read in different ways, indicating different forms of ultimately reconcilable necessity and sufficiency in different domains of argument. In so doing, I also consider (...) some problems of epistemology and the issue of whether partial ignorance is acceptable. (shrink)
The rise of neo-integrative worldviews : towards a rational spirituality for the coming planetary civilization -- Beyond fundamentalism : spiritual realism, spiritual literacy and education -- Realism, literature and spirituality -- Judgemental rationality and the equivalence of argument : realism about God, response to Morgan's critique -- Transcendence and God : reflections on critical realism, the "new atheism", and Christian theology -- Human sciences at the edge of panentheism : God and the limits of ontological realism -- Beyond East and (...) West -- Meta-Reality (re-)contextualized -- Anti-anthropic spirituality : dualism, duality and non-duality -- "The more you kick God out the front door, the more he comes in through the window" : Sean Creaven's critique of transcendental dialectical critical realism and the philosophy of meta-Reality -- Resisting the theistic turn -- The pulse of freedom and the existential dilemma of alienation -- Meta-Reality, creativity and the experience of making art. (shrink)