Skip to main content

Contingent Realism—Abandoning Necessity

Buy Article:

$53.17 plus tax (Refund Policy)


In recent years, realism—particularly critical realism—has become an important philosophical and methodological foundation for social science. A key feature is that of natural necessity, but this coexists alongside an acceptance of contingency in the social world. I argue in this paper that there cannot be any natural necessity in the social world, but rather the real nature of the social world is that it is contingent. This need not lead to an abandonment of realism, and indeed I argue that a contingent form of realism allows us to bring ontological probability back into realism.

Keywords: Contingency; Necessity; Probability; Realism

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more