Critical Realism

New Titles and Key Backlist 2012


Part of Routledge Sociology, the Critical Realism list is dedicated to publishing classic and cutting-edge titles that explore the implications of the critical realist philosophy across a wide range of fields and disciplines.


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Welcome to the 2012 Critical Realism Catalogue

Critical realism has been on the academic scene since the publication of Roy Bhaskar’s A Realist Theory of Science (1975) and is now established, alongside empiricism, Kantianism, post-modernism, post-structuralism, hermeneutics, social constructivism, critical theory, etc., as an essential ingredient in university curricula in philosophy, the social sciences and the humanities generally.

Routledge and the Centre for Critical Realism (CCR) began to work together in 1997 with the publication of a new edition of Bhaskar’s The Possibility of Naturalism and Critical Realism: Essential Readings, edited by Margaret Archer, Roy Bhaskar, Andrew Collier, Tony Lawson and Alan Norrie. The series these books initiated was called Critical Realism: Interventions. As its title suggested it was mainly devoted to interventions in ongoing disciplines or problem areas, but it included some more thematic studies as well.

Books in this inaugural series were initially published simultaneously in hardback and paperback. It was followed in 2001 by a new series, Routledge Studies in Critical Realism, which initially published hardback only. This series included monographs on topics such as hegemony and deconstruction, as well as more general volumes.

2008 saw the establishment of two new series. Ontological Explorations took over from Interventions as the main series for the publication of new critical realist books; while Classical Texts in Critical Realism has so far published new editions of all of Bhaskar’s non-Routledge books.

These two series were soon followed by New Studies in Critical Realism and Education and a bit later (in 2011) by New Studies in Critical Realism and Spirituality.

All new books in these series are currently also available as e-books.

If you have questions about current titles, or thoughts for future ones, please contact us using the information on the left.

To get you started, here on the front page we've collected all the books written by Roy Bhaskar, founder of the movement and still its leading light.

  1. Interdisciplinarity and Well-Being

    By Roy Bhaskar, Berth Danermark

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    This volume takes an interdisciplinary approach to health. It considering what the authors call the 'seven enigmas' facing the health practitioner, namely the enigmas of diagnosis; symptomology; causation; healing; prevention; intervention/treatment/therapy and finally rehabilitation....

    To Be Published July 15th 2015 by Routledge

  2. The Philosophy of MetaReality

    Creativity, Love and Freedom

    By Roy Bhaskar

    Series: Classical Texts in Critical Realism (Routledge Critical Realism)

    The Philosophy of MetaReality: Creativity, Love and Freedom is the third of three books elaborating Roy Bhaskar?s philosophy of metaReality, which appeared in rapid succession in 2002. A big, rich book teaming with ideas, The Philosophy of MetaReality is undoubtedly the magnum opus of Bhaskar?s...

    Published February 20th 2012 by Routledge

  3. From Science to Emancipation

    Alienation and the Actuality of Enlightenment

    By Roy Bhaskar

    Series: Classical Texts in Critical Realism (Routledge Critical Realism)

    From Science to Emancipation: Alienation and the Actuality of Enlightenment is the second of three books elaborating Roy Bhaskar’s new philosophy of metaReality, which appeared in rapid succession in 2002. With a new introduction from Mervyn Hartwig, this book contains some of the original...

    Published December 19th 2011 by Routledge

  4. Ecophilosophy in a World of Crisis

    Critical realism and the Nordic Contributions

    Edited by Roy Bhaskar, Petter Naess, Karl Georg Høyer

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Building on its origins at a seminar in Oslo organized by two of the editors, this book combines classic texts of Nordic ecophilosophy and the original contributions of those influenced by this tradition to present the view that critical realism is indeed a worthy intellectual tradition to...

    Published September 28th 2011 by Routledge

  5. Reflections on metaReality

    Transcendence, Emancipation and Everyday Life

    By Roy Bhaskar

    Series: Classical Texts in Critical Realism (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Reflections on meta-Reality is now widely regarded as a landmark in contemporary philosophy. It initiates the philosophy of meta-Reality, the third main phase of Roy Bhaskar’s philosophical thoughts, after original or basic critical realism and dialectical critical realism. Originally published in...

    Published September 22nd 2011 by Routledge

  6. Philosophy and the Idea of Freedom

    By Roy Bhaskar

    Series: Classical Texts in Critical Realism (Routledge Critical Realism)

    In Philosophy and the Idea of Freedom Roy Bhaskar sets out to develop a critique of the work of Richard Rorty, who must be one of the most influential authors of recent decades. In a brilliant tour de force, Bhaskar shows how Rorty falls victim to the very epistemological problematic Rorty himself...

    Published October 26th 2010 by Routledge

  7. Reclaiming Reality

    A Critical Introduction to Contemporary Philosophy

    By Roy Prof Bhaskar

    Series: Classical Texts in Critical Realism (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Originally published in 1989, Reclaiming Reality still provides the most accessible introduction to the increasingly influential multi-disciplinary and international body of thought, known as critical realism. It is designed to "underlabour" both for the sciences, especially the human sciences, and...

    Published October 18th 2010 by Routledge

  8. Interdisciplinarity and Climate Change

    Transforming Knowledge and Practice for Our Global Future

    Edited by Roy Bhaskar, Cheryl Frank, Karl Georg Høyer, Petter Naess, Jenneth Parker

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Interdisciplinarity and Climate Change is a major new book addressing one of the most challenging questions of our time. Its unique standpoint is based on the recognition that effective and coherent interdisciplinarity is necessary to deal with the issue of climate change, and the multitude of...

    Published January 24th 2010 by Routledge

  9. The Formation of Critical Realism

    A Personal Perspective

    By Roy Bhaskar, Mervyn Hartwig

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    This series of interviews, conducted in the form of exchanges between Roy Bhaskar and Mervyn Hartwig, tells a riveting story of the formation and development of critical realism. Three intersecting and interweaving narratives unfold in the course of this unfinished story: the personal narrative of...

    Published January 17th 2010 by Routledge

  10. Plato Etc

    The Problems of Philosophy and their Resolution

    By Roy Bhaskar

    Series: Classical Texts in Critical Realism (Routledge Critical Realism)

    In this concise text, Roy Bhaskar sets out to diagnose, explain and resolve the "problems of philosophy". Plato Etc. reviews all the main areas of the subject: the theory of knowledge and philosophy of science; the philosophy of logic and language; the philosophies of space, time and causality; the...

    Published October 25th 2009 by Routledge

  11. Scientific Realism and Human Emancipation

    By Roy Bhaskar

    Series: Classical Texts in Critical Realism (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Following on from Roy Bhaskar’s first two books, A Realist Theory of Science and The Possibility of Naturalism, Scientific Realism and Human Emancipation, establishes the conception of social science as explanatory—and thence emancipatory—critique. Scientific Realism and Human Emancipation...

    Published January 25th 2009 by Routledge

  12. A Realist Theory of Science

    By Roy Bhaskar

    Series: Classical Texts in Critical Realism (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Now acknowledged as a classic in the philosophy of science, A Realist Theory of Science is one of the very few books which has transformed, not only our understanding of science, but that of the nature of the world it studies. Since its original publication in 1975, this book has inspired the...

    Published July 3rd 2008 by Routledge

  13. Dialectic

    The Pulse of Freedom

    By Roy Bhaskar

    Series: Classical Texts in Critical Realism (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Dialectic is now widely regarded as a classic of contemporary philosophy. This book, first published in 1993, sets itself three main aims: the development of a general theory of dialectic, of which Hegelian dialectic can be seen to be a special case; the dialectical enrichment and deepening of...

    Published July 1st 2008 by Routledge

  14. From East to West

    Odyssey of a Soul

    By Roy Bhaskar

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    In this radical book, Roy Bhaskar expands his philosophy of critical realism with an audacious re-synthesis of many aspects of Western and Eastern thought. Arguing that the existence of God provides the fundamental structure of the world, he renders plausible ideas of reincarnation, karma and...

    Published April 19th 2000 by Routledge

  15. From East to West

    Odyssey of a Soul

    By Roy Bhaskar

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    In this radical book, Roy Bhaskar expands his philosophy of critical realism with an audacious re-synthesis of many aspects of Western and Eastern thought. Arguing that the existence of God provides the fundamental structure of the world, he renders plausible ideas of reincarnation, karma and...

    Published April 19th 2000 by Routledge

  16. Critical Realism

    Essential Readings

    Edited by Margaret Archer, Roy Bhaskar, Andrew Collier, Tony Lawson, Alan Norrie

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Critical realism is a movement in philosophy and the human sciences most closely associated with the work of Roy Bhaskar. Since the publication of Bhaskars A Realist Theory of Science, critical realism has had a profound influence on a wide range of subjects. This reader makes accessible, in one...

    Published September 17th 1998 by Routledge