The Contribution of Systemic Thought to Critical Realism

Mingers, John (2011) The Contribution of Systemic Thought to Critical Realism. Journal of Critical Realism, 10 (3). pp. 303-330. ISSN 1476-7430. (doi: (Full text available)

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Critical realism, especially as developed by Roy Bhaskar, embodies at its heart systemic and holistic concepts such as totality, emergence, open systems, stratification, autopoiesis and holistic causality. These concepts have their own long history of development in disciplines such as systems thinking and cybernetics, but there is an absence in Bhaskar’s writings, and that absence is a lack of any reference to the corresponding systems literature. The purpose of this paper is threefold: (i) to demonstrate the extent of this correspondence; (ii) to show that critical realism can benefit from an exposure to these other discourses; and (iii) to show that systems thinking too can gain philosophically from critical realism.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: autopoiesis; complexity theory; critical realism; cybernetics; emergence; holism; social systems theory; systems thinking
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School > Management Science
Depositing User: John Mingers
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2011 10:20 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2016 09:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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