A Realist Theory of Science
A Realist Theory of Science was greeted as a 'Copernican revolution' in the study of the nature of science when it first appeared in 1975, precisely because it transcended what was degenerating into a sterile conflict between sceptics and enthusiasts. Roy Bhaskar provided a fresh and stimulating outlook on the debate by attacking the positivist conception where it seemed strongest, in other words in its understanding of the experimental process. In outlining an alternative, realist position, Bhaskar allowed critics of positivism to reconceptualise scientific notions such as 'laws', 'tendencies' and 'mechanisms' without abandoning the notion of science itself. Since its original publication, the book has inspired an international movement known as 'Critical Realism' which has sought to explore the implications of these ideas for great swathes of the humanities and social sciences, and, importantly, has addressed itself to the ways in which science may aid the project of human emancipation.
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Philosophy and Scientific Realism
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account of science actual actualist analysis antecedent application argued argument atomic atomistic events behaviour causal agents causal laws cause Chap closed systems closure concept conjunctions of events constant conjunctions constitute CP clause deductive depends distinct empirical realism empiricism empiricist enduring entities epistemic exist experience experimental activity explanation fact falsified G. E. M. Anscombe given human Humean idea identify independent induction intelligibility of experimental intransitive J. J. C. Smart J. S. Mill K. R. Popper kind knowledge law-like statements logical natural necessity necessary normally normic statements objects of scientific occurs ontology open systems P. T. Geach paradigm particular patterns of events phenomena philosophy of science physical possible prediction presupposes principles problem problem of induction produced regularity determinism scientific change scientist sense sequence of events social activity structure suppose tendency theoretical theory thesis things tion transcendental idealism transcendental realism universal