International Association for Critical Realism (IACR)

21st Annual Conference, Lillehammer, August 29. – 31. 2018

Pre-conference / PhD-course, August 27. – 28. 2018

Sustainability, Interdisciplinary and Transformative Change: A Critical Realist Response to the Crisis System

In his posthumous book, Enlightened Common Sense (2016) Roy Bhaskar says: “It is clear that in the contemporary world we are faced with a crisis; so much that one could talk of this poly-crisis as a crisis system. One can identify the contours of this crisis of each of the four planes of social being. Most striking is perhaps the crisis of the four e’s. Thus on the plane of material transaction with nature, it is most obvious in the form of ecological crisis…; On the plane of social interaction between people, it is most obvious in the form of an ethical or moral crisis…; On the plane of social structure the most obvious crisis is an economic one…; On the plane of stratification of the embodied personality we have various acute existential crisis…”.

The crisis system shapes humanity and our value systems as well as the different non-human life forms on our planet. By investigating critical realist philosophy as a potential for Sustainability, Interdisciplinarity and Transformative Change, the purpose of the conference is to discuss how critical realism (CR) can be a response to the Crisis System. Fundamental questions to be answered are therefore; how can CR contribute to a more just, prosperous, sustainable world both for humans and for non-human lifeforms on this planet? How can CR as a general philosophy act as an “underlabourer” or tool of change for people, planet, flourishing and well being? In connection to this we also want to pay attention to The 2030 Agenda for Sustainability Development. The Agenda is a plan of action for “people, planet and prosperity”. The 17 Sustaniability Development Goals demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal agenda.

The conference will have a broad critical realist approach and we welcome contributions from all areas that engage in the critical realist philosophy and the dialogue between CR and other theoretical approaches. In particular, we welcome contributions that focus on the four e’s in the crisis system, addressing the conference theme of Sustainability, Interdisciplinarity and Transformative Change and/or The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Photo: Geir Olsen/Visit Lillehammer
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