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The logic of scientific discovery in critical realist social scientific research

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image of Journal of Critical Realism

Critical realism claims to bring a significant improvement to social science, especially in comparison with empiricist and interpretive approaches. So far, however, it has fallen short of the high expectations it raises. Critical realist arguments are convincing on the philosophical or meta-theoretical level but the contributions of critical realism to social science in terms of research activities at the field level are less clear. Nonetheless, there is no way back. Moving forward requires that the practice of doing social scientific research be no longer perceived as limited to the justification of specific knowledge claims but must be seen as an integral part of the cycle of scientific discovery.


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