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Bertjan Wolthuis

ascribed to Rawls, but is not his: the target position does not capture the realism of Rawls’ political approach to liberalism. This has had the following effects: that the realists did not notice that political liberalism’s standard of legitimacy is

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Scientific Realism

An Elaboration and a Defence

Howard Sankey

My aim in this paper is to present the basic elements of scientific realism and the major lines of argument in support of the position. So as not to define scientific realism by contrast with any specific opposing position, I will state the position and the arguments for it in as general a manner as possible. There is a broad range of positions opposed to scientific realism. The opposition is not limited to any specific aspect of realism. Nor is it limited to any one single line of anti-realist argument. The main point I wish to make is that there are a number of different arguments which work together to support scientific realism. Realists often speak as if there is one argument, the so-called success or “no miracles” argument, which is the argument for scientific realism. While this argument no doubt plays a central role in the argument for scientific realism, it is only one of a battery of arguments which make up the case for scientific realism.

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Steven Shaviro

André Bazin and Roland Barthes both theorize a cinematic realism based on the indexical ability of the photographic image (the ability of the image to indicate an original object). How are their arguments affected by the advent of digital, nonindexical cinematic technologies? The article considers how a nonindexical realism might be possible, by looking at three recent films: Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

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Qihao Ji and Arthur A. Raney

. 2004 ), referring to the tolerance audiences show toward a narrative’s lack of realism or consistency ( Böcking and Wirth 2005 ). Despite the widespread use of the term, suspension of disbelief has rarely been empirically examined by entertainment

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Guiding Settler Jerusalem

Voice and the Transpositions of History in Religious Zionist Pilgrimage

Alejandro I. Paz

This article examines how Elad, a religious Zionist settler group, attempts to reanimate biblical tales by transposing biblical text as part of tours for Jewish visitors to the City of David archaeological site in East Jerusalem. Since the early 1990s, Elad has created controversy by settling in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, provoking criticism from Israeli archaeologists and peace activists. In an effort to avoid 'politics' during tours, the group emphasizes a now globalized historicist reading of the Bible, an interpretation popularized by archaeology over the last century and a half. The article considers how transposition from this historicist reading into the here and now is a rhetorical device used to create a biblical realism that does not yet exist in the contested landscape. However, rather than producing an erasure of the Palestinian presence, and in contradiction to the professed desire to refrain from politics, I show that the very communicative situation and multiple framings for producing this biblical realism inevitably remind visitors of the contemporary context.

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Communication, Context, and Narrative

Habermas and Contemporary Realist Thought

Navid Hassanzadeh

and subvert his narrative of steady democratisation. Habermas and Realism The contours of political realism today are contested, and in certain respects indeterminate. Some common features nonetheless can be identified and be seen to overlap with

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Franziska Quabeck

realism, which maintains that war is not liable to moral judgement. 15 War in just war theory is not seen as exempt from ethical consideration; wars and people’s actions in wars can be judged from a moral standpoint. These two aspects, however, are

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John Duncan

In this article, I situate and reconstruct Sartre's rejections of subjective and objective idealism in order both to sketch his realism-all-the-way-down and to contrast it with Richard Rorty's pragmatic, anti-essentialist contextualism. The contrast with Rorty is important because his contextualism is one of the most prominent approaches within the relatively recent proliferation of antiessentialist views mobilized under the banners of pragmatism, hermeneutics, postmodernism, constructivism, etc. Although Rorty's contextualism is both compelling and comparable to Sartre's realism-all-the-way-down, I shall argue that the latter does not throw out the baby that the former throws out with the bathwater. Realism-all-the-way-down is not compelled to throw out realism along with subjective and objective idealism, whereas contextualism must throw out the whole lot. If compelling intuitions recommend realism to us, and if Rorty's rejection of realism is unconvincing, there are good reasons to prefer Sartre's realism-all-the-way-down.

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The Lesson of Carl Schmitt’s Realism

The Autonomy and the Primacy of the Political

Attila Gyulai

Political realism claims that politics should be understood as politics and not as a derivative of any other field of human activity. While contemporary realists often argue for the autonomy of politics, this article suggests that only the primacy of politics can be the starting point of political realism. The aim of the article is to expose a conceptual deficiency, namely, the unclear difference between the autonomy and the primacy approach in contemporary realist theory by going back to Carl Schmitt’s contribution to political realism. It will be argued that Schmitt’s concept of the political foreshadowed the ambiguities of contemporary realist theory, exemplified by key authors such as Bernard Williams, Raymond Geuss and Mark Philp.

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Raymond Murphy

This article assesses the cornucopian theory of the mastery of plastic nature. Serious deficiencies are found, especially the theory's complacent faith in economic rationality and its underestimation of nature's capacity for unexpected emergent disturbances. Conclusions about the real state of the world and realistic expectations for the future must take into account not only present trends, but also the findings of research into disasters and societies that have collapsed. Learning from the analysis of such discontinuities and breaking points will help to avoid simplistic presumptions of safety based on extrapolating time-series trends of present well-being in wealthy societies into the distant future. It is precisely disaster research and studies of collapsed societies that can teach us about failures of foresight concerning nature's dynamics, about the material consequences of such errors, about the uncertainties involved in foreseeing nature's emergent dynamics, and about social barriers to learning from the prompts of nature. Although apologetics for business-as-usual, full-steam-ahead practices that masquerade as realism should be rejected, a deeper realism that has learned to expect the unexpected from nature is necessary. Such a critical realist perspective for investigating prompts from nature has been elaborated in this article.