IACR Conference 2014 (Critical Realism Conference)

From the Anatomy of Global Crisis to the Ontology of Human Flourishing

Friday 18th - Monday 21st July 2014
Institute of Education, London

From the anatomy of the global crisis…
Since 2008, what began with an initial collapse of the financial system has catalysed into an economic and political crisis of global dimensions. Lurking in the shadows of the financial crisis and occasionally breaching daylight is the ecological crisis. Global warming and climate change hangs like a sword of Damocles over the future of humanity. This is to say nothing of business as usual: growing inequality and impoverishment, continuing discrimination and exploitation, all of which functions to foster moral, psychological and existential crises. Current orthodoxy suggests that such crises are only temporary deviations from an otherwise well-functioning system. Prevailing pessimism suggests that it is easier to imagine global catastrophe and the destruction of the world rather than a change in the status quo able to avert such an outcome.

...to the ontology of human flourishing
In light of the global poly-crisis two questions are now before us; 'how are we to understand our current situation?' and 'what are we to do?' Albert Einstein is widely accredited as answering this by suggesting "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." This new thinking is what critical realism aspires to provide. Certainly, if we are not only to survive but flourish as human beings we require a robust theory and practice able to move us beyond modest business as usual to the possibilities of something more. This conference, the 17th Annual Conference of the International Association for Critical Realism, presented by the the International Centre for Critical Realism, will explore the different issues connected with this crisis.

Day 1: Educating for the future
The ecological crisis
Forms of realism
(Followed by a book launch and drinks reception)

Day 2: The political-economic crisis
Ethics, emancipation and metaReality in action
Dialectic and critical realism
(Followed by conference dinner)

Day 3: Ontology of flourishing
Love, sexuality and feminism in the 21st century
Religion, spirituality and secularism
(Followed by the IACR Annual General Meeting)

Day 4: Where do we go from here? (half day)
Educating for a better future
Concrete utopianism
(Followed by the ICCR Annual General Meeting and a workshop on the philosophy of metaReality)

The conference will be preceded by a two-day pre-conference workshop on critical realism, led by Roy Bhaskar, originator of the philosophy of critical realism (and metaReality), and Alan Norrie president of IACR; and followed on Tuesday 22nd July by a symposium on integrative metatheories.