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Critical Realism by Alan Norrie, Tony Lawson, Andrew Collier, Roy Bhaskar, Margaret Archer

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11

REALISM AND SOCIAL SCIENCE

Some comments on Roy Bhaskar’s ‘ThePossibility of Naturalism’

Ted Benton

1 Introduction

An increasing body of philosophical work1 is now available which (a) presents a ‘realist’ alternative to the hitherto pre-dominant ‘positivist’ and ‘conventionalist’ currents in the philosophy of science and (b) attempts to use this realist account of science in the analysis of social scientific practice. In general the objective of this analysis has been to transcend the polar opposition, which has always characterised debate in the philosophy of the social sciences, between positivism and ‘humanist’, ‘hermeneutic’, or ‘neo-Kantian’ dualisms. Commonly the outcome of this work has been to sustain the explanatory procedures of ...

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