chapter  6
Metacritique I
Philosophy’s ‘primordial failing’
Pages 34

We have now developed the four key elements in dialectical critical realism, which move from 1M real difference or non-identity in the world to the 2E role of real determinate absence informing change. From there, we observed the role of 3L open totality in locating absenting process and the relevance of context, and then 4D ethical agency. The last, it should be noted, is grounded in 3L constellated totality, 2E absenting absence and 1M difference as concrete universality so that the Bhaskarian dialectic works as a whole, backwards and forwards. The foregoing chapters accordingly complete the main work of Dialectic as I outlined it in Chapter 1 – that is, the dialecticisation of critical realism according to the MELD schema, and, at the same time, the ‘critical realisation’ of dialectic. This, however, still leaves us with the third main aim of Dialectic, which, it will be recalled, is to provide the elements of ‘a totalising critique of western philosophy in its various . . . forms’ (DPF: 2), and the aim of this chapter is to consider Bhaskar’s argument here for what he calls metacritique.1