Bhaskar dialectics

Ralph Dumain rdumain at igc2.igc.apc.org
Mon Feb 20 22:47:12 MST 1995


>Bhaskar may be (one of) the most important Marxian philosophers
>today.  I believe that his program and cause should be taken
>quite serious.  I am quite surprised that more discussion on
>Bhaskar has not opened up on this list.  Is this because ....

I agree absolutely!  I was always intrigued by Bhaskar and some of
the other Brits in his circle because they started out to examine
these philosophical questions from a philosophy of science
perspective, as I did.  As such, they intersect "tradition" at an
oblique angle and thus present some perspective not merely
diachronic.  One can hide from certain untouched profound
philosophical issues by simply treating the genealogy of ideas:
first this happened, then this, philosopher A grew out of B, C, D,
turned E on his head, etc.

Why is Bhaskar neglected?  One can only guess, but his philosophy
of science pedigree just doesn't have sex appeal at a time when
the postmodern crap has taken over.  (Have you noticed how RADICAL
PHILOSOPHY has gone downhill in the 1990s?)

To avoid misunderstandings from the gitgo, let me state two facts
you may need to know:

(1) I retain infinite respect for these logical and philosophy of
science concerns, though my attention has actually shifted to the
sorts of concerns cultural studies people have, without my being
corrupted by their milieu.  I feel I have a psychological
advantage by being able to look at phenomena in abstract,
structural terms and in terms of human agency and cultural being
too, so I reject the fundamental terms on which a number of
battles are being fought out, without being an eclectic
opportunist either.

(2) I despise Louis Althusser from the bottom of my soul and his
vile, falsifying theoretical anti-humanism, just so you know in
case you might be tempted to think otherwise.  We know what he did
to Marx and Marxism by doing some of the things I wrote about
positively above.


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