One big problem with metaphors is that a certain type of reader – of which there seems to be no shortage – is tempted to reify them. Tom and Cristián object to Roy’s metaphor partly on the grounds that it’s redundant. I don’t disagree with them, but I think that the objection is not pointed enough.
In a recent post, Tom Fryer and Cristián Navarrete (2022) argued that “domains” talk is
confusing and redundant. In response, Dave Elder-Vass contends that we should absorb the domain of the empirical into the domain of the
actual, but keep the distinction between the real and the actual. I will argue instead that there are
considerable reasons to preserve both the concept of domains and a third ontological domain.
Roy Bhaskar’s three domains of reality – the empirical, the actual and the real – are staples of many expositions of critical realism. In their provocative blog post, Tom Fryer and Cristián Navarrete (2022) argue that we should stop using them because they are redundant and confusing. This post engages constructively with their argument.
Let’s stop talking about the three domains of reality. Controversial stuff, we know. Hear us out though. We really do think we’d be in a better place if we scrapped the idea.
A guest post by Cristián Navarrete. In this blog, Cristián Navarrete introduces the Spanish translation of Tom Fryer’s short guide to ontology and epistemology: “Una breve guía para la ontología y epistemología (por qué todos debiesen ser realistas críticos)” and… Read More »Investigando lo social: ontología, epistemología y realismo crítico
A guest post by Hubert Buch-Hansen and Peter Nielsen When we decided in 2019 to frame our book Critical Realism: Basics and Beyond around the topic of crisis, we had no idea that a new global health crisis was lurking… Read More »Critical realism in times of crisis
A guest post by Joseph E. Davis Since the 1980s a profound but quiet shift has taken place in how ordinary Americans think about the roots of mental health problems, including what might be called everyday suffering. Large population surveys… Read More »Suffering Selves as Broken Mechanisms
Critical Realism Matters is a series of webinar events held to showcase and celebrate the enormous potential of critical realism. The latest webinar, on Wednesday 24 June 2020, celebrated the launch of the new edited book Critical Realism, Feminism and… Read More »Critical realism and gender video available on YouTube
Review of Lawson, T. (2019). The Nature of Social Reality: Issues in Social Ontology. London and New York: Routledge. This review by Yannick Slade-Caffarel was originally published on the Developing Economics blog on June 2, 2020. Ontology is the study… Read More »The Nature of Social Reality: Issues in Social Ontology (Review)
Critical Realism Matters is a new series of webinar events held to showcase and celebrate the enormous potential of critical realism. The first pair of webinars, taking place on Saturday 16 November, 2019, have been planned to commemorate the 5th anniversary… Read More »Critical Realism Matters Webinar Series