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Critical Realism (noun):
1. A philosophical position concerned with what science is and what science does.
– distinguished from naïve realism, instrumentalism, and social constructionism, eschewing global claims about the scientific method and construction.
2. A metatheoretical position in sociology characterized by ontological realism, epistemic relativism, judgmental rationality, abduction, and conjunctural causation.
– concerned with the impact and causal powers of social and cultural structures, in spite of their invisibility.
Critical Realism Network (collective noun):
1. A community of scholars and educators with the aim of fostering dialogue about the direction of contemporary social theory and research, with particular attention to the philosophy of critical realism.
“Critical Realism is not itself a theory of society. It is a philosophy of science, a theory of what (good) science is and does.”
All theory “explicitly or tacitly, consciously or unconsciously, honestly or surreptitiously, deposits, projects or presupposes a reality on account of which our concepts make some kind of sense of the world.”