© 2007 – Routledge
In tackling emergentist Marxism in depth, this well-written volume demonstrates that critical realism and materialist dialectics are indispensable to theorizing the functioning of complex social and physical systems. Author Sean Creaven investigates Marx’s dialectics of being and consciousness, forces and relations of production, base and superstructure, class structure and class conflict, and demonstrates how they allow the social analyst to conceptualize geo-history as embodying a tendential evolutionary directionality, rather than as simply random or indeterminate in terms of its outcomes.
For those interested in social and political theory, Marxism and communism and contemporary social theory, this outstanding volume is an in important read and a valuable resource.
Introduction 1. Critical Realism and Dialectic 2. Materialist Dialectics 3. Socio-Historical Materialism 4. Stratification and Power 5. Marx and Weber and the Dialectics of History. Conclusion
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 www.centreforcriticalrealism.com.