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Journal cover: International Journal of Social Economics

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Online from: 1974

Subject Area: Economics

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Critical Realism … or Critical Idealism?

Document Information:
Title:Critical Realism … or Critical Idealism?
Author(s):Gene Callahan, (Department of Economics, Purchase College, State University of New York, Brooklyn, New York, USA)
Citation:Gene Callahan, (2010) "Critical Realism … or Critical Idealism?", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 37 Iss: 11, pp.867 - 879
Keywords:Economics, Philosophy
Article type:Conceptual paper
DOI:10.1108/03068291011082838 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to argue that the school of thought known as Critical Realism and the thinkers involved in the current revival of interest in British Idealism would benefit from interacting with each other.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper proceeds by critically examining central tenets in the thought of each school, and exhibit their affinities and differences.

Findings – It is found that there are central themes and concerns shared by each school of thought, and that the recognition of such commonalities might prove mutually beneficial to the relevant parties in their goal of positively transforming social reality. Furthermore, the Critical Realist worry about Idealisms “irreality” is shown to be unfounded.

Originality/value – The close relationship of the ideas of these two “lines of thought” has not, to our knowledge, previously been highlighted. Having done so in the paper, a useful dialogue may ensue.

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