Critical Realism: The Difference it Makes, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Critical Realism

The Difference it Makes, 1st Edition

Edited by Justin Cruickshank


256 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415434447
pub: 2007-01-24
Hardback: 9780415305983
pub: 2003-03-20
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203512302
pub: 2003-09-02
from $29.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Critical realism is a movement in philosophy and the human sciences most closely associated with the work of Roy Bhaskar. Since the publication of Bhaskars A Realist Theory of Science, critical realism has had a profound influence on a wide range of subjects. This reader makes accessible, in one volume, key readings to stimulate debate about and within critical realism.

It explores the following themes:

* transcendental realist

* the theory of explanatory critique

* dialectics

* Bhaskar's critical naturalist philosophy of science.


'The book contains a solid introduction, is well edited and should be accessible to students as well as experts across a wide range of social scientific and humanities disciplines.' - Journal of Critical Realism 2:1 November 2003, Gary Potter

'In demonstrating both the dangers and avoidability of idealism, and in outlining an alternative, the collection will serve as a useful work of reference for social scientists.' - Andrew Sayer, Sociology

Table of Contents

Part I: The Self - Method and Ethics

Part II: Social Science and Critique after the Linguistic Turn

Part III: Method, Politics and Policy

Part IV: Political Economy and Globalism

About the Editor

Justin Cruickshank is Lecturer in the Methodology and Philosophy of Social Science at Nottingham Trent University.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Critical Realism

Critical Realism is a broad movement within philosophy and social science. It is a movement that began in British philosophy and sociology following the founding work of Roy Bhaskar, Margaret Archer and others. Critical Realism emerged from the desire to realise an adequate realist philosophy of science, social science, and of critique. Against empiricism, positivism and various idealisms (interpretivism, radical social constructionism), Critical Realism argues for the necessity of ontology. The pursuit of ontology is the attempt to understand and say something about ‘the things themselves’ and not simply about our beliefs, experiences, or our current knowledge and understanding of those things. Critical Realism also argues against the implicit ontology of the empiricists and idealists of events and regularities, reducing reality to thought, language, belief, custom, or experience. Instead Critical Realism advocates a structural realist and causal powers approach to natural and social ontology, with a focus upon social relations and process of social transformation.

Important movements within Critical Realism include the morphogenetic approach developed by Margaret Archer; Critical Realist economics developed by Tony Lawson; as well as dialectical Critical Realism (embracing being, becoming and absence) and the philosophy of metaReality (emphasising priority of the non-dual) developed by Roy Bhaskar.

For over thirty years, Routledge has been closely associated with Critical Realism and, in particular, the work of Roy Bhaskar, publishing well over fifty works in, or informed by, Critical Realism (in series including Critical Realism: Interventions; Ontological Explorations; New Studies in Critical Realism and Education). These have all now been brought together under one series dedicated to Critical Realism.

The Centre for Critical Realism is the advisory editorial board for the series. If you would like to know more about the Centre for Critical Realism, or to submit a book proposal, please visit

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General