Is Bhaskar philosophically uncareful?

Philip Goldstein pgold at strauss.udel.edu
Fri Feb 24 06:07:51 MST 1995


	Fellini writes that "To repeat, I am not suggesting that Bhaskar
is wrong, for I believe
that he is right, but I only want to say that perhaps he should have
been a little careful in the eloboration of the transcendental argument."
Here I think that Fellini touches on the key difficulty in the
traditional dialectic, that it engages in sweeping generalizations in
order to situate everything in relation to everything else. As a result,
it does not make a careful argument in support of a particular point.
Dialectics imitates the broad, contradictory character of reality, while
good arguments consistently and carefully defend a point. Aristotle
recognized the importance of consistency, but, like Plato, his mentor, he
assumed that the mind grasps reality; hence, he defended the principle of
identity. We may reject this principle in the name of a dialectical
realism, but this realism -- ontology? -- cannot escape its
philosophical contexts, what Foucault and Althusser call its typography.
Nor does this realism escape the demand that defenses of it be consistent
and careful.



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