File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_1997/bhaskar.9708, message 98

Date: Thu, 28 Aug 1997 11:06:32 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: BHA: Bhaskar on Adorno 

In a message dated 28/08/97 11:43:02 GMT, Alan Norrie writes:

<< In the debate that has been taking place, I am on Colin's rather than
 Michael's side.  It seems to me that Colin is right to point to the
 fundamental difference between Bhaskar and Heidegger on the basis of his
 ontological realism (passage A), but my main feeling is that the discussion
 would be much more solidly based if it were related to a thorough reading of
 Dialectic.  I feel the Adorno/ Bhaskar debate would make a lot more sense if
 we had had the opportunity to debate Bhaskar fully first, and then to
 compare him to Adorno.
Michael Replies:

I accept the point re ontological realism, but one of the points that I, and
perhaps Ruth to, were driving towards was that the realism/irrealism,
materialism/idealism were binary oppositions or antinomies, that it is one of
the main (cognitive) aims of dialectical analysis to overcome. Adorno's
discussion of subject/object dialectics provides useful point of comparison,
without some such point we lack even the ability to identify what is and is
not distinctive about Bhaskar's work on dialectic. If we cannot say in what
respects it is distinctive, then how can ever claim to have understood it
"first", that is, prior to any process of comparison. To say what Dialectic
signifies involves a process of differentiation which, in turn, presupposes a
comparative angle. 

This is one of the reasons why for the conference I have chosen to compare
your own critical realist work on the contradictions resultant from legal
antinomies, with Adorno's would-be immanent critique of law and equity. 


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