reading Bhaskar

Allin Cottrell cottrell at
Thu Feb 23 14:54:43 MST 1995

On Thu, 23 Feb 1995, Hans Despain wrote:

> Press, I keep meaning to tell the list that Andrew Collier has an
> introduction to Bhaskar out now, *Critical Realism: An Introduction
> to the Philosophy of Roy Bhaskar*, 1994, VERSO, New York-London.  The
> book is not at all critical of Bhaskar, but it is a nice more simple
> introduction to Bhaskar's project.  However, it is pre-dialectics, so
> it is very much lacking as an intro for Dialectical Critical Realism.

I have read Collier's book -- quite readable, as Hans says, but I
would agree also that it is rather uncritical.  One might almost
say hagiographical.  I also agree with Hans that A Realist Theory
of Science is the thing to read by Bhaskar.  I think it's his
best.  My misgiving about Bhaskar concerns his originality, or
lack of.  What, in the end, is he saying that was not already
said by Marx, Engels and Althusser (the latter having emphasized
what Bhaskar calls the "transitive" dimension of science)?
I raise this question because of the tendency of some of his
followers to regard his work as a sort of Revelation.  I think
it's good stuff (for the most part), but nothing particularly

Allin Cottrell
Department of Economics
Wake Forest University
cottrell at
(910) 759-5762

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