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October 2021

The impossibility of naturalism: The antinomies of Bhaskar's realism

Journal/Book: J Theor Soc Behav. 1999; 29: 108 Cowley Rd, Oxford Ox4 1Jf, Oxon, England. Blackwell Publ Ltd. 267+.

Abstract: From the publication of The Possibility of Naturalism, Bhaskar's critical naturalism or realism has argued for a dualistic social ontology of interpreting individuals and objective,'real' social structures. In arguing for a dualistic ontology, Bhaskar commits himself to two antinomies; he insists that society is dependent on individuals but also independent of them, and that social action is always intentional but it also has non-intentional, material features. These antinomies are apparently resolved by appeals to emergence. In fact, the appeal to emergence is merely a disguised regression into reification and the only genuine path out of these antinomies is the adoption of a fully hermeneutic social theory in line with the positions of Winch and Gadamer.

Note: Article King A, Univ Exeter, Dept Sociol, Exeter EX4 4RJ, Devon, ENGLAND


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