Re: [OPE-L] David Harvey on Critical Realism

From: Howard Engelskirchen (howarde@TWCNY.RR.COM)
Date: Mon Mar 06 2006 - 10:46:50 EST

Hi Jerry,

Confusion here is possible.  The post you quote is from David Harvey, a
sociologist at the University of Reno, Nevada.  He has published a number of
articles on critical realism in the Journal of Social Behavior with Mike
Reed of UNR:

"The New Science and The Old: Complexity and Realism in the Social Sciences"
(1992). Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 22: 356-379.

"The Evolution of Dissipative Systems" (1994). Journal for the Theory of
Social Behaviour, 17:371-341.

"Social Science as the Study of Complex Systems." in L. Douglas Kiel and
Euell Elliot (Eds.), Chaos Theory in the Social Sciences: Foundations and
Applications (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996).

"Agency and Community: A Critical Realist Paradigm," Journal for the Theory
of Social Behavior, Vol. 32, No. 2 (June 2002).

This is not the geographer, David Harvey, retired from Johns Hopkins and
author of, e.g. The New Imperialism, Limits to Capital, etc.


----- Original Message -----
From: <glevy@PRATT.EDU>
Sent: Monday, March 06, 2006 9:33 AM
Subject: [OPE-L] David Harvey on Critical Realism

> From the Critical-Realism mailing list.  I have cleaned-up Harvey's
> post by correcting a few typos. / In solidarity, Jerry
> ---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
> Subject: Bhaskar message, Re [Critical-Realism] Historical Materialism
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Mervyn Hartwig wrote:
> >> Hi Ismail
> >> Bhaskar's view, which I share, is that the mature Marx is a scientific
> >> realist and (dialectical) critical naturalist in the CR sense; i.e.the
> >> philosophy implicitly informing his work is basically similar to CR.
> >> (This doesn't mean that it isn't also consistent with other research
> >> programmes).
> >> So all you have to do is figure out the basic CR positions on persons,
> >> society, geo-history, etc. and you have the specific homologies.
> >> Plus figure out which ones show a direct influence - e.g. the
> >> conception of society as an ensemble of social relations comes from
> >> Marx. Bhaskar assesses and critiques Marx in some detail in DPF.
> >> Hope this helps.
> >> Mervyn
> >> ----- Original Message -----
> >> From: "i.lagardien-alumni" <snip, JL>
> >> Hi Everyone
> >> Can someone identify, or clarify specific homologies between Critical
> >> Realism and Historical Materialism, please.
> >> Ismail <snip, JL>
> As a Critical Marxist, I can only second Mervyn's evaluation of Marx
> and Critical Realism. I have found Bhaskar's work immensely helpful in
> framing my sociological analysis. His TMSA is especially useful in
> that it  demands a  material concreteness that dialectical sense that
> often disciplines my research. I would venture a guess--and elict
> comment as well--that Bhaskar's work performs ahomologous function
> similar to that played by the triad of Wittgenstein/Sraffa/ Gramsci in
> the thirties and forties in reframing Marxist thought.   Lastly, and
> most germane from a purely professional promotion perspective, Bhaskar,
> along with Talcott Parsons and Pierre Bourdieu, also serves as a
> valuable scapegoat when I screw up my analysis.

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