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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Ontological Explorations

Currently the main series for the publication of new books in and about critical realism, Ontological Explorations takes its inspiration from the critical realist revalidation of ontology and its opening up of ontology as a field for creative exploratory work, both philosophical and substantive. Notable publications have included Dialectic and Difference, The Formation of Critical Realism and Interdisciplinarity and Climate Change.

  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 14th 2015 by Routledge

  2. Creativity: A Crtitical Realist Perspective

    By Lee Martin

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Creativity: A Critical Realist Perspective challenges conventional wisdom on how we define and understand the emergence of creativity. Enhancing creativity is increasingly being suggested as critical to resolving 21st century challenges such as climate change, population growth and enabling...

    To Be Published December 29th 2014 by Routledge

  3. Systems Thinking, Critical Realism and Philosophy

    A Confluence of Ideas

    By John Mingers

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Systems Thinking, Critical Realism and Philosophy: A Confluence of Ideas seeks to re-address the whole question of philosophy and systems thinking for the twenty first century and provide a new work that would be of value to both systems and philosophy. This is a highly opportune time when...

    Published April 15th 2014 by Routledge

  4. Post-Secularism, Realism and Utopia

    Transcendence and Immanence from Hegel to Bloch

    By Jolyon Agar

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    This book explores the contribution to recent developments in post-secularism, philosophical realism and utopianism made by key thinkers in the Hegelian tradition. It challenges dominant assumptions about what the relationship between religion and our so-called "secular age" should be that...

    Published November 12th 2013 by Routledge

  5. What's Critical About Critical Realism?

    Essays in Reconstructive Social Theory

    By Frédéric Vandenberghe

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    What's Critical About Critical Realism?: Essays in Reconstructive Social Theory draws together 4 major articles that are situated at the intersection of philosophy and sociology. Preceded by a general presentation of Bhaskar´s work, critical realism is used to reconstruct the...

    Published September 22nd 2013 by Routledge

  6. Engaging with the World

    Agency, Institutions, Historical Formations

    Edited by Margaret S Archer, Andrea Maccarini

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    This title reflects the general theme of the 2010 IACR annual conference that was held in Padova, Italy, the aim of which was to provide a fresh view on some cultural and structural changes involving Western societies after the world economic crisis of 2008, from the point of view of...

    Published January 3rd 2013 by Routledge

  7. A Realist Theory of Art History

    By Ian Verstegen

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    As the theoretical alignments within academia shift, this book introduces a surprising variety of realism to abolish the old positivist-theory dichotomy that has haunted Art History. Demanding frankly the referential detachment of the objects under study, the book proposes a stratified,...

    Published December 5th 2012 by Routledge

  8. Ontology Revisited

    Metaphysics in Social and Political Philosophy

    By Ruth Groff

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Groff's argument runs counter to the familiar anti-metaphysical habit. Social and political philosophy, she maintains, is not as metaphysically neutral as it may seem. Even the most deontological of theories connects up with an attendant set of philosophical commitments regarding what kinds of...

    Published August 22nd 2012 by Routledge

  9. Eurocentrism: a marxian critical realist critique

    By Nick Hostettler

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    The political and social structures of modernity are dominated by really eurocentric forms and relations, yet the theorisation of the eurocentricity of modernity remains barely developed. At the same time, modern political and social theory is fundamentally eurocentric, yet the critique of...

    Published June 25th 2012 by Routledge

  10. Dynamic Embodiment for Social Theory

    "I move therefore I am"

    By Brenda Farnell

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    This book presents a series of ontological investigations into an adequate theory of embodiment for the social sciences. Informed by a new realist philosophy of causal powers, it seeks to articulate a concept of dynamic embodiment, one that positions human body movement, and not just ‘the body’ at...

    Published February 23rd 2012 by Routledge

  11. Relational Sociology

    A New Paradigm for the Social Sciences

    By Pierpaolo Donati

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    ‘Simultaneous invention’ has become commonplace in the natural sciences, but is still virtually unknown within the sphere of social science. The convergence of two highly compatible versions of Critical Realism from two independent sources is a striking exception. Pierpaolo Donati’s Relational...

    Published January 19th 2012 by Routledge

  12. The Economics of Science: A Critical Realist Overview

    Volume 2: Towards a Synthesis of Political Economy and Science and Technology Studies

    By David Tyfield

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Dramatic and controversial changes in the funding of science over the past two decades, towards its increasing commercialization, have stimulated a huge literature trying to set out an "economics of science". Whether broadly in favour or against these changes, the vast majority of these frameworks...

    Published November 21st 2011 by Routledge

  13. The Economics of Science: A Critical Realist Overview

    Volume 1: Illustrations and Philosophical Preliminaries

    By David Tyfield

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Dramatic and controversial changes in the funding of science over the past two decades, towards its increasing commercialization, have stimulated a huge literature trying to set out an "economics of science". Whether broadly in favour or against these changes, the vast majority of these frameworks...

    Published November 20th 2011 by Routledge

  14. 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

  15. The Assumption of Agency Theory

    By Kate Forbes-Pitt

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    The Assumption of Agency Theory revisits the Turing Test and examines what Turing’s assessor knew. It asks important questions about how machines vis à vis humans have been characterized since Turing, and seeks to reverse the trend of looking closely at the machine by asking what humans know...

    Published April 1st 2011 by Routledge

  16. Sociological Realism

    Edited by Andrea Maccarini, Emmanuele Morandi, Riccardo Prandini

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Sociological Realism presents a clear and updated discussion of the main tenets and issues of social theory, written by some of the top scholars within the critical realist and relational approach. It connects such approaches systematically to other strands of thought that are central in...

    Published March 3rd 2011 by Routledge

  17. 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

  18. 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 18th 2010 by Routledge

  19. Conversations About Reflexivity

    Edited by Margaret S. Archer

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    " Reflexivity" is defined as the regular exercise of the mental ability, shared by all normal people, to consider themselves in relation to their (social) contexts and vice versa. In addition to this sociological interest, it allows us to hold idle or trivial internal conversations. Focussing fully...

    Published December 17th 2009 by Routledge

  20. Dialectic and Difference

    Dialectical Critical Realism and the Grounds of Justice

    By Alan Norrie

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Dialectic and Difference is the first systematic exploration of Roy Bhaskar’s dialectical philosophy and its implications for ethics and justice. That philosophy has three aims: a dialecticisation of original critical realism, a ‘critical realisation’ of dialectic, and a metacritique of western...

    Published October 26th 2009 by Routledge

  21. The Political Economy of European Social Democracy

    A Critical Realist Approach

    By David J. Bailey

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    This book takes an in-depth look into recent developments in European social democracy. It begins by highlighting the somewhat paradoxical turn by a number of social democratic parties towards enhanced support for European integration, a move that has occurred despite the apparently ‘neoliberal’...

    Published May 17th 2009 by Routledge

  22. Science For Humanism

    The Recovery of Human Agency

    By Charles R. Varela

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    In the 18th century, the pre-modern Judeo-Greco-Christian problem of freedom and determinism is transformed by Kant into the modern problem of the freedom of human agency in the natural and cultural worlds of deterministic structures; it is this version of the freedom and determinism issue which...

    Published January 7th 2009 by Routledge

  23. (Mis)recognition, Social Inequality and Social Justice

    Nancy Fraser and Pierre Bourdieu

    Edited by Terry Lovell

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Nancy Fraser’s work provides a theory of justice from multiple perspectives which has created a powerful frame for the analysis of political, moral and pragmatic dilemmas in an era of global capitalism and cultural pluralism. It has been developed through dialogue with key contemporary thinkers,...

    Published December 23rd 2007 by Routledge

  24. Critical Realism and Housing Research

    By Julie Lawson

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Since the nineteenth century various housing solutions have evolved, such as sprawling Australian home ownership and compact Dutch social rental housing. This phenomenon cannot be adequately explained with simple descriptions of key events, politics and housing outcomes. Critical Realism and...

    Published July 26th 2006 by Routledge

  25. Making Realism Work

    Realist Social Theory and Empirical Research

    Edited by Bob Carter, Caroline New

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    In this innovative book, theorists and researchers from various social science disciplines explore the potential of realist social theory for empirical research. The examples are drawn from a wide range of fields health and medicine, crime, housing, sociolinguistics, development theory and deal...

    Published September 2nd 2004 by Routledge

  26. Critical Realist Applications in Organisation and Management Studies

    Edited by Stephen Ackroyd, Steve Fleetwood

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    Critical realism has become increasingly important in the way organization and management is studied. This innovative book argues for an alternative to the prevailing ontology, and shows how positivism and its empirical realist ontology can be abandoned without having to accept strong social...

    Published June 2nd 2004 by Routledge

  27. Explaining Society

    An Introduction to Critical Realism in the Social Sciences

    By Berth Danermark, Mats Ekstrom, Liselotte Jakobsen, Jan ch. Karlsson

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    This book will be immensely valuable for students and researchers in social science, sociology and philosophy in that it connects methodology, theory and empirical research. It provides an innovative picture of what society and social science is, along with the methods used to study and explain...

    Published November 21st 2001 by Routledge

  28. 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

  29. Quantum Theory and the Flight from Realism

    Philosophical Responses to Quantum Mechanics

    By Christopher Norris

    Series: Ontological Explorations (Routledge Critical Realism)

    This book is a critical introduction to the long-standing debate concerning the conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics and the problems it has posed for physicists and philosophers from Einstein to the present. Quantum theory has been a major infulence on postmodernism, and presents...

    Published March 2nd 2000 by Routledge