In a wide-ranging survey of the minefields of contemporary philosophy and social thought, Roy Bhaskar develops his own positive and highly original theories of the nature of science and being, social science and history, and philosophical discourse and ideology.
Scientific Realism and Human Emancipation starts from an assessment of the impasse of contemporary philosophy of science which stems from an incomplete critique of positivism. It then proceeds to a systematic exposition of scientific realism in the form of transcendental realism. This highlights a conception of science as explanatory of a structured, differentiated and changing world.
Turning to the social domain, the book argues for a view of the social order as conditioned by, and emergent from, nature. Advocating a critical naturalism, the author shows how the transformational model of social activity together with the conception of social science as explanatory critique which it entails, resolve the divisions besetting orthodox social and normative theory: between society and the individual, structure and agency, fact and value, and theory and practice.
From reviews of the author's previous work:
'(Roy Bhaskar's work) stands comparison with the work of the contemporary giants of Marxist philosophy on the continent . . . A unique achievement, and it will no doubt be at the centre of discussion, both English and Continental, for some time to come'. Roy Edgley, The Literary Review
'A genuinely original argument in the philosophy of science is a rare thing indeed. Mr Bhaskar has indeed produced a new . . . strong, elaborate and well-integrated . . . elegant and powerful argument'. Rom Harre, Mind