7 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2018
    1. These authors argue for methodological pluralism, which the originator of critical realism, Roy Bhaskar, critiqued as relativist (he argued instead for methodological specificity, in which the nature of the research subject suggests the type of methodology used, rather than a pluralistic situation in which one can choose a methodology at one's whim).
    2. critical realism is based on the assumption, contra Hume, that facts lead to values. These authors call this the "naturalistic fallacy".
    3. what is less often noticed is the manner in which values are often “fact”-laden. For better or worse, values have a “factual” element to them which is grounded in certain ontological accounts about the nature of social world, such as an account of persons or social relations. This means that, in principle, values are open to empirical investigation and critique.
    4. Critical realists hold that is possible for social science to refine and improve its knowledge about the real world over time, and to make claims about reality  which are relatively justified, while still being historical, contingent, and changing.
    5. being realists about ontology and relativists about epistemology, we must accordingly assert that there are criteria for judging which accounts about the world are better or worse.
    6. Critical realists are concerned with mapping the ontological character of social reality: those realities which produce the facts and events that we experience and empirically examine.
  2. Mar 2018
    1. Critical realism is not an empirical program; it is not a methodology; it is not even truly a theory, because it explains nothing. It is, rather, a meta-theoretical position: a reflexive philosophical stance concerned with providing a philosophically informed account of science and social science which can in turn inform our empirical investigations. We might think of this in terms of three layers: our empirical data, the theories that we draw upon to explain our empirical data, and our metatheories—the theory and the philosophy behind our theories.While critical realism may be a heterogeneous series of positions, there is one loose genetic feature which unites it as a metatheory: a commitment to formulating a properly post-positivist philosophy. This commitment is often cast in the terms of a normative agenda for science and social science: ontological realism, epistemic relativism, judgmental rationality, and a cautious ethical naturalism.