Pigs can't fly, or can they? Ontology, scientific realism and the metaphysics of presence in international relations

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Abstract

In recent debates in IR theory a specific trend has evolved which advocates a renewed focus on matters of ontology as a way to overcome or at least to reconceptualise the divides within the field of IR that we encounter especially after the considerable widening of scope after the end of the Cold War. Responding to these claims the article sets out to provide a closer look at the different arguments presented for a renewed concern with ontology and its ramifications. With this task in mind, three particular complexes will be addressed. First, we have to identify the central claims of these new ontological approaches and assess them in respect to coherence and analytic rigour. Secondly, then, we will proceed with identifying the underlying reasons for their shortcomings which as will be shown lie with the misguided concept of ontology. If this conception is properly reworked, can indeed bring new light into otherwise protracted or even deadlocked debates.
Translated title of the contributionPigs can't fly, or can they? Ontology, scientific realism and the metaphysics of presence in international relations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397 - 419
Number of pages23
JournalReview of International Studies
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009

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