Roy Bhaskar must be one of the most influential philosophers of today. His work attracts many followers from all walks of life, many of them professional educators.

He has pioneered his own philosophy of Critical Realism, which developed into a second philosophy called Dialectical Critical Realism, and a third philosophy called Metareality.

I was lucky enough to attend a conference devoted to his work at the ICCR – International Centre for Critical Realism. He is a very fine communicator of his ideas, a compelling speaker, who is also a benevolent presence. He is almost like an Indian guru who has infiltrated the Western philosophical tradition, but one with a highly rigorous knowledge of that tradition. His original philosophy is also a critique of philosophy e.g. a much needed critique of the Cartesian ‘Cogito’ for its prioritisation of ego, intellection, masculinity, and even the French leisured classes.

Metareality offers a philosophical angle on the mystical faculty. It is an absorbing read and it was a real bonus to complement the book with live sessions and symposiums. I may be the first Irish poet to take Metareality on board.

Here is a sample from his book Reflections on Metareality: Transcendence, Emancipation and Everyday Life.

“You can see how the most horrible situations actually presuppose love or creativity. And then you can ask, can we do this without the normatively negative? Can we do without exploitation, hatred, violence? The answer is, yes we can. We can survive in a world without capitalism. I will put it in the very simple terms of just one opposition. We could survive without capitalism, capitalism could not survive without us. That is the basic asymmetry, but who dominates? Is it capitalism or is it us? Capitalism dominates. Does hatred or love dominate? Obviously hatred, but hatred could not survive without love, though love would flourish without hatred.”

Another of Bhaskar’s concepts is demireality and the demireal, which is the false, the deluded, the hostile, the vicious, a world of half-reality.

More anon.


About Niall McDevitt

Niall McDevitt > poet > author of b/w (Waterloo Press, 2010) and Porterloo (International Times, 2012) > urban explorer > radical pedestrian who leads Shakespeare/Blake/Rimbaud /Yeats walks, among others.
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