sociological realism ontological explorations

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Sociological Realism

Author : Andrea Maccarini
ISBN : 9781136633195
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 73. 5 MB
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Sociological Realism presents a clear and updated discussion of the main tenets and issues of social theory, written by some of the top scholars within the critical realist and relational approach. It connects such approaches systematically to other strands of thought that are central in contemporary sociology, like systems theory and rational choice theory. Divided into three parts, social ontology, sociological theory, and methodology, each part includes a systematic presentation, a comment, and a wider discussion by the editors, thereby taking on the form of a dialogue among experts. This book is a uniquely blended and consistent conversation showing the convergence of European social theory on a critical realist and relational way of thinking. This volume is extremely important both for teaching purposes and for all those scholars who wish to get a fresh perspective on some deep dynamics of contemporary sociology.

Naturalizing Critical Realist Social Ontology

Author : Tuukka Kaidesoja
ISBN : 9781135014162
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 41. 27 MB
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This important book provides detailed critiques of the method of transcendental argumentation and the transcendental realist account of the concept of causal power that are among the core tenets of the bhaskarian version of critical realism. Kaidesoja also assesses the notions of human agency, social structure and emergence that have been advanced by prominent critical realists, including Roy Bhaskar, Margaret Archer and Tony Lawson. The main line of argument in this context indicates that the uses of these concepts in critical realism involve ambiguities and problematic anti-naturalist presuppositions. As a whole, these arguments are intended to show that to avoid these ambiguities and problems, critical realist social ontology should be naturalized. This not only means that transcendental arguments for ontological doctrines are firmly rejected and the notion of causal power interpreted in a non-transcendental realist way. Naturalization of the critical realist social ontology also entails that many of the core concepts of this ontology should be modified so that attention is paid to the ontological presuppositions of various non-positivist explanatory methods and research practices in the current social sciences as well as to new approaches in recent cognitive and neurosciences. In addition of providing a detailed critique of the original critical realism, the book develops a naturalized version of the critical realist social ontology that is relevant to current explanatory practices in the social sciences. In building this ontology, Kaidesoja selectively draws on Mario Bunge’s systemic and emergentist social ontology, William Wimsatt’s gradual notion of ontological emergence and some recent approaches in cognitive science (i.e. embodied, situated and distributed cognition). This naturalized social ontology rejects transcendental arguments in favor of naturalized arguments and restricts the uses of the notion of causal power to concrete systems, including social systems of various kinds. It is also compatible with a naturalized version of scientific realism as well as many successful explanatory practices in the current social sciences. By employing the conceptual resources of this ontology, Kaidesoja explicates many of the basic concepts of social ontology and social theory, including social system, social mechanism, social structure, social class and social status.

Critical Realism Environmental Learning And Social Ecological Change

Author : Leigh Price
ISBN : 9781317338475
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 86. 11 MB
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Southern Africa, where most of these book chapters originate, has been identified as one of regions of the world most at risk of the consequences of environmental degradation and climate change. At the same time, it is still seeking ways to overcome the century long ravages of colonial and apartheid impositions of structural and epistemic violence. Research deliberations and applied research case studies in environmental education and activism from this region provide an emerging contextualized engagement that is related to a wider internationally articulated quest to achieve social-ecological justice, resilience and sustainability through educational interventions. This book introduces a decade of mainly southern African critical realist environmental education research and thinking that asks the question: "How can we facilitate learning processes that will lead to the flourishing of the Earth’s people and ecosystems in more socially just ways?" The environmental education research topics represented in this book are wide-ranging. However, they all exhibit the common theme of social justice and wanting to create change towards a better future. All the authors have used critical realist or critical realist-influenced research methodologies. Offering contributions from a small but growing community of researchers working with critical realism in the global South, this book will be of interest to students, scholars and practitioners in the areas of environmental education, sustainability, development and the philosophy of critical realism in general.

Relational Sociology

Author : Pierpaolo Donati
ISBN : 9781135273095
Genre : Philosophy
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‘Simultaneous invention’ has become commonplace in the natural sciences, but is still virtually unknown within the sphere of social science. The convergence of two highly compatible versions of Critical Realism from two independent sources is a striking exception. Pierpaolo Donati’s Relational Sociology develops ‘upwards’ from sociology into a Realist meta-theory, unlike Roy Baskhar’s philosophy of science that works ‘downwards’ and ‘underlabours’ for the social sciences. This book systematically introduces Donati’s Relational Sociology to an English readership for the first time since he began to advance his approach thirty years ago. In this eagerly awaited book, Pierpaolo Donati shifts the focus of sociological theory onto the relational order at all levels. He argues that society is constituted by the relations people create with one another, their emergent properties and powers, and internal and external causal effects. Relational Sociology provides a distinctive variant upon the Realist theoretical conspectus, especially because of its ability to account for social integration. It will stimulate debate amongst realists themselves and, of course, with the adversaries of realism. It is a valuable new resource for students of social theory and practising social theorists.

Understanding Mental Health

Author : David Pilgrim
ISBN : 9781317630647
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 62. 30 MB
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David Pilgrim PhD is Professor of Health & Social Policy in the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology at the University of Liverpool.

Systems Thinking Critical Realism And Philosophy

Author : John Mingers
ISBN : 9781317684626
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 81. 55 MB
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Systems Thinking, Critical Realism and Philosophy: A Confluence of Ideas seeks to re-address the whole question of philosophy and systems thinking for the twenty first century and provide a new work that would be of value to both systems and philosophy. This is a highly opportune time when different fields – critical realism, philosophy of science and systems thinking – are all developing around the same set of concepts and yet not realizing it. This book will be of interest to the academic systems community worldwide and due to it's interdisciplinary coverage, it will also be of relevance to a wide range of scholars in other disciplines, particularly philosophy but also operational research, information systems, and sociology.

What S Critical About Critical Realism

Author : Frédéric Vandenberghe
ISBN : 9781135104863
Genre : Social Science
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What's Critical About Critical Realism?: Essays in Reconstructive Social Theory draws together 4 major articles that are situated at the intersection of philosophy and sociology. Preceded by a general presentation of Bhaskar ́s work, critical realism is used to reconstruct the generative structuralism of Pierre Bourdieu, warn about the dangers of biocapitalism, theorize about social movements and explore the hermeneutics of internal conversations. Together, the essays form a logical sequence that starts with a search for a solid conception of social structure through a realist critique of Bourdieu ́s rationalist epistemology, proceeds to an ideology critique of posthumanism through an investigation of Actor-Network Theory, extends critical realism to social movements through an investigation of the constitution of collective subjectivities and engages in a sustained dialogue with Margaret Archer through an attempt to reconnect hermeneutics and pragmatism to critical realism. The result is an ongoing dialogue between British critical realism, French historical epistemology, German critical theory and American pragmatism. As suits a collection of essays in social theory, this book will address a broad audience of sociologists, philosophers, social psychologists and anthropologists who are interested in contemporary social theory at the cutting edge. Academics and advanced students who relate to critical realism and critical theory, epistemology and philosophy of the social sciences, hermeneutics and pragmatism, or anyone else who follows the work of Roy Bhaskar, Pierre Bourdieu, Bruno Latour or Margaret Archer will find a keen interest in some of the theoretical questions the book raises.

Ontology Revisited

Author : Ruth Groff
ISBN : 9780415574112
Genre : Philosophy
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Groff's argument runs counter to the familiar anti-metaphysical habit. Social and political philosophy, she maintains, is not as metaphysically neutral as it may seem. Even the most deontological of theories connects up with an attendant set of philosophical commitments regarding what kinds of things exist, as a fundamental ontological matter, and what they are like. These are topics of interest not just to social and political philosophers, but to social scientists and to philosophers of social science as well. "Ruth Groff has broken new ground in demonstrating the connection between social and political thought and the ontology of causal powers. Her account of the structure of Humean thinking about agency is excellent. Especially significant is the role that she assigns to Kantianism in the analysis that she develops. She moves effortlessly between contemporary metaphysics, political theory, critical social theory, and the history of modern philosophy, offering trenchant insights along the way into the work of thinkers ranging from Hume himself to Mill, Adorno, and Martha Nussbaum, and into debates over agent causation and emergence. There is even a discussion, in the final chapter, of Spinoza. This is big-picture philosophy at its best: rigorous and exacting at the level of detail; original, compelling and systematic in the whole." - Stephen Mumford, Professor of Metaphysics and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Nottingham

Structure Culture And Agency

Author : Tom Brock
ISBN : 9781317392491
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 69. 10 MB
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Professor Margaret Archer is a leading critical realist and major contemporary social theorist. This edited collection seeks to celebrate the scope and accomplishments of her work, distilling her theoretical and empirical contributions into four sections which capture the essence and trajectory of her research over almost four decades. Long fascinated with the problem of structure and agency, Archer’s work has constituted a decade-long engagement with this perennial issue of social thought. However, in spite of the deep interconnections that unify her body of work, it is rarely treated as a coherent whole. This is doubtless in part due to the unforgiving rigour of her arguments and prose, but also a byproduct of sociology’s ongoing compartmentalisation. This edited collection seeks to address this relative neglect by collating a selection of papers, spanning Archer’s career, which collectively elucidate both the development of her thought and the value that can be found in it as a systematic whole. This book illustrates the empirical origins of her social ontology in her early work on the sociology of education, as well as foregrounding the diverse range of influences that have conditioned her intellectual trajectory: the systems theory of Walter Buckley, the neo-Weberian analysis of Lockwood, the critical realist philosophy of Roy Bhaskar and, more recently, her engagement with American pragmatism and the Italian school of relational sociology. What emerges is a series of important contributions to our understanding of the relationship between structure, culture and agency. Acting to introduce and guide readers through these contributions, this book carries the potential to inform exciting and innovative sociological research.

Dialectic And Difference

Author : Alan Norrie
ISBN : 9781135260767
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 30. 67 MB
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Dialectic and Difference is the first systematic exploration of Roy Bhaskar’s dialectical philosophy and its implications for ethics and justice. That philosophy has three aims: a dialecticisation of original critical realism, a ‘critical realisation’ of dialectic, and a metacritique of western philosophy. In the first, real absence or negativity links structured being to dialectical becoming in a dynamic world. The second draws on Marx to locate the critical impulse in Hegel’s dialectic in a material, open and changing totality. The third identifies a central problem in western philosophy from the Greeks on, the failure to think real negativity as the essence of change (‘ontological monovalence’). Bhaskar’s ethics connect basic human ontology with universal principles of freedom and solidarity. He marries (‘constellates’) these with a grasp of how principles are historically shaped. His account of freedom moves from the infant’s ‘primal scream’ to the eudaimonic society, but thinks the limits to freedom under modern conditions. The morally real in ethics and justice is displaced and reconfigured as relations between ‘the ideal’ and ‘the actual’. Western philosophy systematically denies the real negativity that drives Bhaskar’s dialectic. Metacritique traces this to Parmenides and Plato’s account of non-being as difference. It enables a critique of the poststructural radicalisation of difference via Nietzsche and the doctrine of ‘Heraclitan flux’. Mobilised as ‘the other’ of Plato’s Forms, this remains a move on Platonic terrain. It too denies real negativity in structured being as the ground of historical change and moral praxis. This text is essential reading for all serious students of social theory, philosophy, and legal theory.

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