A Realist Theory of Science

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Verso, 1997 - Science - 284 pages
A Realist Theory of Science was greeted as a 'Copernican revolution' in the study of the nature of science when it first appeared in 1975, precisely because it transcended what was degenerating into a sterile conflict between sceptics and enthusiasts. Roy Bhaskar provided a fresh and stimulating outlook on the debate by attacking the positivist conception where it seemed strongest, in other words in its understanding of the experimental process. In outlining an alternative, realist position, Bhaskar allowed critics of positivism to reconceptualise scientific notions such as 'laws', 'tendencies' and 'mechanisms' without abandoning the notion of science itself. Since its original publication, the book has inspired an international movement known as 'Critical Realism' which has sought to explore the implications of these ideas for great swathes of the humanities and social sciences, and, importantly, has addressed itself to the ways in which science may aid the project of human emancipation.

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Philosophy and Scientific Realism

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About the author (1997)

Roy Bhaskar is an independent scholar and founder of the critical realist movement in the social sciences. He is the author of several books, including The Possibility of Naturalism, Reclaiming Reality, Dialectic: The Pulse of Freedom and Philosophy and the Idea of Freedom.

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