david on bhaskar

5 min video – oct 2016 – David Graeber, speaking about the importance of Bhaskar‘s work

David Graeber, speaking about the importance of Bhaskar’s work and the launch of Bhaskar’s book, The Order of Natural Necessity: A Kind of Introduction to Critical Realism,

via nika dubrovsky‘s tweet:

@sonmi451it @EclecticRadical If we were philosophers, then as @davidgraeber said about Roy Bhaskar, we would not have to worry so much about a catastrophe that ruins everything in an instant.


Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nikadubrovsky/status/1437616331520712706

bhaskar comes up quite a lot in museum of care meetings

notes/quotes from video:

i felt no one was taking on the big philosophical questions in a way that was simultaneously radical and common sensical.. but on a profoundly theoretical level..

it struck me that he created a kind of ground for both the kind of politics i have and the kind of theoretical work i do that no one was really offering

unfortunately.. i only knew roy in the last 6-8 months of his life.. we got on immediately.. i just thought he was the most warmest, most optimistic delightful people i’d met.. i remember at the time he had a lot of issues in his life and i remember thinking to myself.. and here’s this guy w so many problems.. and he seems so incredibly cheerful/optimistic.. how can anybody have all these problems and be so philosophical about it.. and i thought.. oh right.. he’s a philosopher.. he actually is a philosopher.. it really does make a diff..

i’d been really frustrated by the degree to which roy has remained kind of an unknown figure despite the fact that .. if look at late 20th cent in retrospect.. you’d have to say the he was one of the most important thinkers in social theory and philosophy of science certainly.. but also philosophy more broadly.. i hope that the time will come when he’s recognized as such.. i don’t think there’s anyone who’s made such consistently innovative and important contributions..

he’s a creative thinker.. in a way that was his misfortune.. he was never satisfied.. he would come up w one grand theory that would be a life time’s work for a major thinker and after a certain amount of time he would suddenly reinvent himself.. and the work that went beyond it.. he did that on more than one occasion.. it had practical implications.. it confused a lot of his followers.. but i don’t think there are that many major thinkers who’ve ever actually managed to pull that off.. to come up with three completely new schools of philosophy all by himself..

i just find it incredibly frustrating.. i talk to people so often and 95% of the time.. to intellectuals.. who you’d think would have to know his work and people just say who.. they just no idea.. i really think this person should be a household name.. at least among intellectuals working in social theory.. yet somehow it just hasn’t become part of the cannon.. i don’t know if that’s because he’s too radical or because he’s too creative.. the way kept transforming himself .. the world is ready to integrate it yet.. the fact that he wasn’t really a politician in any sense of the academic term.. he really was a genuine deep thinker

but i think more than anything else this reflects really poorly on the state of the academy now a days

roy grew up in a time where one could assume that if one was making obviously significant contributions to human thought/knowledge that even if one was completely impractical.. not a politician.. at least they wouldn’t let you starve.. you know .. maybe you wouldn’t have a nice house.. but you’d have some place to stay.. a room with a desk.. the world would provide if you’d proven you had something important to offer it.. that’s just no longer the case.. and toward the end of his life he was scandalously abandoned by the academic community that he contributed so much to.. and i think this is a terrible thing.. it shows something really degenerate about the state of the academy.. but at the very least it would be nice if over the long term.. the academy gives him some of the recognition that he really didn’t have in his own life time

5 min (gary hawke): roy’s idea of freedom comes from the idea of intentionality .. a desire to want freedom..


more about roy