BHASKAR: REDISCOVERY OF REALITY

HANS DESPAIN HANS.DESPAIN at m.cc.utah.edu
Sat Sep 9 01:38:33 MDT 1995



On Sat, 9 Sep 1995, Jim Jaszewski wrote:

>
> On Wed, 6 Sep 1995, HANS DESPAIN wrote:
>
> > Much of Bhaskar may be very fimilar to Marxists, however, the (strong)
> > Marxian presence is only one philosophical moment found in Bhaksar.  For:
> > "The development of transcendental or critical realism presupposes a
> > philosophical method imbued with Aristotelian, Baconian, Lockean,
> > Leibnizian, Kantian, Hegelian and Marixan moments.
>
> 	Excuse me;  the above list is very impressive to the eye, but
> I've always thought that once a philosopher's thought has been subsumed
> in a larger, more inclusive theory that it wasn't necessary to consider
> it separately.  I would think many of the names above are superfluous to
> just saying `Marx'....
>
> 	You are saying that there are `methods' peculiar to these men
> which are alian to marxist thought?

I don't know that these 'methods' are alien to marxist thought, however,
Bhaskar has a specific 'emphasis'.  As I said he is writing from a
philosophy of (for) science perspective.  The "moments" emphasized are
important for his Critical Realism.  It seems that Bhaskar believes that
Marx was (or should be; and perhaps implicitly was) committed to a
dialectical critical realist philosophy of science.

Bhaskar's Critical Realism has these moments, emphases and threads which
are "peculiar" (in the end) to his philosophy for science.  Bhaskar is a
(Harrean) Scientific Realist, however, uniquely and specifically Critical
and Transcendental commitments.

The critical aspect means that though like other Scientific Realists,
Bhaskar believes that entities about and in the world exist, but
epistemologically we "Kan't" know them, but ontologically we can know
them to exist.

He is transcendental in that the ontologically conditions which must be
necessary for knowledge to be possible are not merely metaphysical
assertions, but conditions which are (or must be) necessary for
understanding the segments or chucks of the world to be possible.

Bhaskar's greatest influences are (imo) Rom Harre; Karl Marx; and G.W.F.
Hegel.  These moments are quite strong, and much of what Bhaskar says is
very fimilar to those rehearsed in these thinker's thoughts.  Moreover,
his focus is contemporary philosophy of science (as is Harre), for
specifically constructing a philosophy for science which has been dubed
Critical Realism.  Thus, Marxist cannot simply say Bhaskar is parroting
Marx, for he is not.  For his project is not merely Marxist, but does
parallel Marxist commitments, espeically the commitment for further (and
full) human emancipation.

In the end (Dialectial) Critical Realism and (Dialectical) Critical
Naturalism are uniquely Bhaskarian.

Hans Despain
despain at econ.sbs.utah.edu
hans.despain at m.cc.utah.edu



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