chapter  2
28 Pages

Critical realism

Critical realism, acting as an under-labourer across a wide range of intellectual disciplines, offers philosophical tools capable of challenging the epistemic fallacy and re-establishing the primacy of ontology over epistemology. The triumvirate of ontological realism, epistemic relativity and judgemental rationality provide an antidote to the various pathologies associated with the premature epistemic closures of modern essentialism and post-modern nominalism. By allowing reality itself to guide and structure our ways of knowing, it becomes possible to make informed, though necessarily contingent, judgements about the nature of reality in a manner that makes possible the advancement of learning and human flourishing. This chapter offers a presentation of the basic contours of critical realism, in the context of a critique of the Cartesian account of the dislocated self driven by a hermeneutic of suspicion, and its replacement by a vision of the embodied self driven by a hermeneutic of trust.