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Synopsis

By pitting Roy Bhaskar's attempt to rehabilitate ontology in the philosophy of science against Kant's attempt to replace traditional ontology with an account of cognitive experience, this book defends the possibility of critical ontology. After an introduction to Kant's and Bhaskar's conceptions of ontology and philosophical method, it is argued that Kant's transcendental idealism cannot be defended as a non-ontological doctrine since it harbours problematic ontological assumptions. Then, it is argued that a properly modified version of Bhaskar's 'transcendental analysis of experimental activity' makes a convincing case that natural necessity is constituted by transcendentally real causal powers instead of a priori conceptual synthesis. The result is a critique of transcendental idealism and defence of transcendental realism that should appeal to those interested in critical realism, Kant's theoretical philosophy, speculative realism and the critique of 'correlationism', or the relation between natural science, metaphysics, and epistemology.

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