File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_1997/bhaskar.9708, message 99

Date: Thu, 28 Aug 1997 15:49:17 +0100
Subject: Re: BHA: Bhaskar on Adorno 

Hi Michael,

I'll look forward to debating these issues with you at the conference. I
wonder however, if you are saying that you and Ruth (perhaps) view RB as
perpetuating the:

>materialism/idealism were binary oppositions or antinomies, that it is one of
>the main (cognitive) aims of dialectical analysis to overcome. 


To me RB deconstructs the possibilty of irrealism and is at pains to reject
the materialism/idealism distinction. He very rarely uses the term
materialism to describe his own position and is at pains to point out the
reality and causal status of ideas. Indeed, someone in my discipline
actually regards himself as a poststructuralist critical realist, and
Isaac's is also on record as viewing RB in a very similar manner. Food for
thought perhaps, or have I misunderstood your position?

>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. 

I agree absolutely, but doubt whether I will ever be confident enough to say
I Understand 'Dialectic'.



Colin Wight
Department of International Politics
University of Wales, Aberystwyth
SY23 3DA


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