By Sean Creaven
The argument offered during this booklet is that the hot ‘spiritual’ trajectory of Roy Bhaskar’s paintings, upon which he first embarked with the e-book of his From East to West, undermines the basic achievements of his prior paintings. the matter with Bhaskar’s new philosophical procedure (Transcendental Dialectical severe Realism or just Meta-Reality), from the critical-realist Marxist viewpoint counseled right here, is that it marks either a departure from and a negation of the sooner issues of Bhaskar to advance a realist philosophy of technology and under-labour for an emancipatory materialist socio-historical technology. The end-result is a meta-philosophy that's irrealist, speculative, under-theorized, internally self-contradictory, and which can't offer philosophical tips to liberatory social practices. towards theist ontological logics extra ordinarily (including the far more rational theism provided through Margaret Archer, Andrew Collier and Doug Porpora), the argument of this e-book is that the earth-bound materialist dialectics of the classical Marxist culture, and the naturalistic humanism those dialectics under-labour at the terrain of socio-historical being, supply a way more promising future of severe realist idea and for liberatory politics and ethics.
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Extra resources for Against the Spiritual Turn: Marxism, Realism, and Critical Theory
Dualism as ontology consists of the view that: (1) matter and mind are distinct substances, each in possession of a unique essence or essences, following their own laws; and (2) that any attempt at the explanatory reduction of one to the other must be considered foul play, in the sense of illegitimate and impossible. All that we can say, argues the dualist, is that there is both mind and matter in the cosmos. Mind might be the product of matter, or vice versa, but we cannot establish which (mind or matter) is ontologically foundational.
Since Hartwig’s realist agnosticism (which allows the rational assertability of metaphysical idealism) rests its case on the impossible ideal of infallible knowledge,49 and since this realist agnosticism obviously stands or falls with the defensibility or otherwise of ontological idealism, this gives us ‘good enough’ (albeit fallible) reasons for accepting a thoroughgoing materialism as the ontological foundation of critical social theory and politics. So the argument of this book is an attempt to substantiate the positive account of realist dialectical materialism outlined in my previous book Emergentist Marxism: Dialectical Philosophy and Social Theory.
The new Bhaskarian system is, I wish to argue, a departure from key tenets of CR, and it is also internally incoherent and undertheorized in crucial areas. 45 These problems undercut the ontological grounding of TDCR’s moral realism and divest emancipatory social struggles of philosophical bearings or guidance. Despite the author’s intentions, I agree with the critics that the central theistic or idealistic ontological theme of TDCR — the spiritualization of reality — make it incompatible with emancipatory politics and social theory, despite its contrary intentions.