File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2000/bhaskar.0009, message 67

Subject: BHA: Bhaskar and system building
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 22:18:48 +0100

-----Original Message-----
From: Gary MacLennan <>
To: <>
Date: 22 September 2000 13:45
Subject: Re: BHA: Culture & Critical Realism - making a difference: thoughts
ontheOpening Ceremony

Hi Gary,

You wrote:
>It is not a question of misunderstanding at all.  The role of Lockean
>underlabouring characterised CR.  My own opinion is that DCR stepped out of
>that framework and entered the arena of system building.

It is apparent from your post that you have a negative view of philosophers
engaging in system-building.  But I wonder why?  Without Hegel there would
have been no Marxism.  It is the system-building philosophers who provide
the frameworks against which all the lesser philosophers - such as
Kierkegaard - can measure their work.  And the big advances come when one
system-builder stands on the shoulders of another - Hegel on Kant; Marx on
Hegel;etc.  Of course there is the oft-quoted remark of Kierkegaard's that
Hegel had constructed a beautiful system but lived in a hovel outside it.
That remark never made sense to me and has always struck me as the product
of envy.  Kierkegaard would have loved to have had the philosophical ability
to construct explanatory conceptions in a historical context in the way that
Hegel did, and he would have loved even more to have been able to develop
dialectical logic on a grand scale as Hegel did.
    Also I don't see Dialectic as a change from Roy's earlier work in terms
of system-building.  A key feature of system-building is precision about
concepts and I see RTS, PON, etc as generally admirable in this respect.
Dialectic continues that precision.  I have never understood from a
philosophical point of view the position of those who want to only work with
Roy's early works and ditch everything from Dialectic onwards.

You wrote:>
>If I am correct and DPF represents a system then it should IMHO provide us
>with some analytical tools.

Apart from the concept of absence, which you mention, how about alethic
truth and referential detachment for starters.  Dialectic seems to me to be
dripping with analytical tools.

Warm regards,

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