•  96
    The biopsychosocial (BPS) model has been of considerable utility to those researching health and illness. This has been particularly the case for critical realists and those with a systemic orientation to their work. Whilst the strengths of the model are conceded in this article, its limitations are also examined. These relate to its ontological sophistication being compromised by its proneness to epistemological naivety. It is a model to explain the emergence of disease and disability, not a re…Read more
  •  92
    Reclaiming reality and redefining realism: the challenging case of transgenderism
    Journal of Critical Realism 17 (3): 308-324. 2018.
    ABSTRACTRecently an acrimonious debate has emerged about transgenderism. Trans-activists defending the full spectrum of the latter have advocated a form of identity politics based upon individual self-definition. However, gender-critical feminists have disputed the legitimacy of these bids for self-determination, especially when considering men who are claiming to be women. These contrasting positions are examined and their political implications explored. The focus of the paper is on the intran…Read more
  •  68
    Sex‐determination gene and pathway evolution in nematodes
    with Paul Stothard
    Bioessays 25 (3): 221-231. 2003.
    The pathway that controls sexual fate in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been well characterized at the molecular level. By identifying differences between the sex‐determination mechanisms in C. elegans and other nematode species, it should be possible to understand how complex sex‐determining pathways evolve. Towards this goal, orthologues of many of the C. elegans sex regulators have been isolated from other members of the genus Caenorhabditis. Rapid sequence evolution is observed in e…Read more
  •  66
    This article tests the adequacy of social constructionism from a critical realist standpoint by examining a single social problem in some detail: child sexual abuse. A continuum of positions in the research literature is explored, ranging from strong social constructionism and its justificatory emphasis deriving from social and historical relativism to a position that, while accepting ‘weak constructionism’, prioritizes the real abiding features of sexual violence against children and the proven…Read more
  •  66
    Critical realism, psychology and the legacies of psychoanalysis
    Journal of Critical Realism 16 (5): 468-482. 2017.
    The discipline of psychology has been poorly represented in critical realist texts to date. This is despite Bhaskar’s use of psychoanalytical concepts to underpin his concept of the dialectic. By comparison, other aspects of social science, such as sociology and economics, have a well-established body of critical realist texts. The original approach to psychoanalysis was analogous to the critical realist ontological-axiological chain. It moved from an ontological problem to an axiological soluti…Read more
  •  53
    Ethical concerns have been raised about routine practice in paediatric gender clinics. We discuss informed consent and the risk of iatrogenesis in the prescribing of gonadotropin-releasing hormone...
  •  53
    The transgender controversy: a reply to Summersell
    Journal of Critical Realism 17 (5): 523-528. 2018.
    ABSTRACTJason Summersell responded to my article – ‘Reclaiming reality and redefining realism: the challenging case of transgenderism’ – by suggesting that I have made an inferential error about ontology. In this paper, I refute his objection and argue that his position does not take seriously the unresolved public policy threat posed by the commercially-inflected and politicized world of trans ideology. The realpolitik of trans-activism contains legal and illegal processes that now suppress a n…Read more
  •  43
    Mass Childhood Immunization: Some Ethical Doubts for Primary Health Care Workers
    with Anne Rogers
    Nursing Ethics 2 (1): 63-70. 1995.
    The mass childhood immunization programme has traditionally been viewed as a safe and effective preventative measure by health promoters, primary health care professionals and governments. This consensus has meant that immunization has rarely been viewed as ethically problematic. A number of recent changes in the context of the delivery of health care, particularly the emphasis on consumerism and the effect of the marketization of services, makes timely an examination of ethical, social and poli…Read more
  •  43
    In this paper, I consider the debates surrounding the prevention of mental disorder and the promotion of mental health. In so doing, I offer some provisional insights into the wider notion of wellb...
  •  38
    Race, ethnicity and the limitations of identity politics
    Journal of Critical Realism 22 (2): 240-255. 2022.
    This paper argues that identity politics is impeding respectful deliberative democracy. Its starting point is an analysis by Loïc Wacquant which problematizes the relationship between race and ethnicity. Wacquant's discussion covers the biological and social ontology of race, the importance of the culture of individualism in the USA and the general limitations of identity politics. I argue that those limitations are the result of restricting the discussion of race to only two of the four planes …Read more
  •  36
    This is a most welcome handbook arriving at a timely moment for those interested in feminism in relation to sex/gender, progressive politics and sustainability. Critical realism has been an invalua...
  •  34
    A brief overview is provided of sociological and historical critiques of Western psychiatry before focusing on pre-empirical, non-empirical and empirical aspects of psychiatric diagnosis. These are then discussed using the analytical devices of the ontic fallacy, the epistemic fallacy and generative mechanisms. It is concluded that mental disorders do not really exist but particular presenting problems of unintelligibility, interpersonal dysfunction and common human misery, in particular social …Read more
  •  33
    Medical diagnosis: an exemplar of diachronic inference?
    Journal of Critical Realism 17 (5): 449-465. 2018.
    ABSTRACTMedical diagnosis is sometimes used by critical realists and others as an exemplar of a form of inference across time in which a current empirical observation points backwards to the conditions of its emergence and forwards to a possible future outcome or progression. Accordingly, its practice warrants critical exploration to confirm its legitimacy as a philosophical reference point. The strengths and weakness of the exemplar are appraised using case brief case studies. The limitations o…Read more
  •  29
    Rationality or intuition?
    with Anne Rogers
    Health Care Analysis 3 (3): 270-270. 1995.
  •  27
    Psychologists and torture: critical realism as a resource for analysis and training
    with Nimisha Patel
    Journal of Critical Realism 17 (2): 176-191. 2018.
    ABSTRACTThis article introduces the challenges of providing psychological assessments of people seeking asylum in the wake of their reported torture. These challenges invite professionals to consider ontology and epistemology. Critical realism is well-positioned to underlabour for the process of understanding a human rights violation, in which the complainant is both the key, and often sole, witness and claimed victim. For instance, the layered reality of critical realism allows practitioners to…Read more
  •  25
    Grand Hotel Abyss: the lives of the Frankfurt School
    Journal of Critical Realism 18 (2): 216-220. 2019.
    Volume 18, Issue 2, April 2019, Page 216-220.
  •  25
    Historical resonances of the DSM-5 dispute: American exceptionalism or Eurocentrism?
    History of the Human Sciences 27 (2): 97-117. 2014.
    This article begins with arguments evident at the time of writing about the 5th revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. The historical lineages of those arguments are international and not limited to the USA. The concern with psychiatric diagnosis both internationally and in the USA came to the fore at the end of the Second World War with the construction of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and the World H…Read more
  •  22
    Volume 26, Issue 1, March 2020, Page 77-80.
  •  19
    Psychotherapy and Society
    SAGE Publications. 1997.
    `This is a very important book.... This is a book that clearly challenges those of us who subscribe to a view of the self in relationship with society to examine ourselves and our practices and respond appropriately' - Self & Society This pioneering book demonstrates that counselling and psychotherapy cannot be separated from the social conditions and context in which practitioners and their clients operate. Until now, no single text has brought together and considered the two areas of psychothe…Read more
  •  18
    Verdicts on Hans Eysenck and the fluxing context of British psychology
    History of the Human Sciences 36 (3-4): 83-104. 2023.
    An account is provided of the historical context of the work one of the best-known figures in British psychology in the 20th century, Hans Eysenck. Recently some of this has come under critical scrutiny, especially in relation to claims of data rigging in his model of smoking and morbidity, produced from the 1960s to the 1980s. The article places that controversy, and others associated with Eysenck, in the longer context of the shifting forms of epistemological and political legitimacy within Br…Read more
  •  17
    A foundational axiom about flux and impermanence from Heraclitus, alluding to the river, has been an important reference point for the philosophy of critical realism. This article begins with this,...
  •  16
    This paper aims to illustrate the advantages of critical realism for biological scientists and to offer an example, for others in philosophy and the social sciences, of applied natural science in p...
  •  16
    Commentary
    with Michael A. Olivas
    Educational Studies 19 (1): 138-139. 1988.
  •  15
    Riposte: The wisdom of lay knowledge: A reply to Loughlin and Prichard
    with Anne Rogers
    Health Care Analysis 6 (1): 65-71. 1998.
    We remain perplexed why Loughlin and Pritchard chose to single out our study on lay views of mental health as a basis for attacking relativism generally within social science. We consider that political, epistemological and health policy grounds for a social scientific consideration of lay knowledge are so strong that they negate naïve objectivist critiques which appearl to the reason and thus reasonableness of professional knowledge. Reason and rationality, like reality, are not singular, clear…Read more
  •  15
    Volume 19, Issue 3, June 2020, Page 304-307.
  •  13
    The wisdom of lay knowledge: a reply to Loughlin and Prichard
    with Anne Rogers
    Health Care Analysis 6 (1): 65-71. 1998.
    ConclusionWe remain perplexed why Loughlin and Pritchard chose to single out our study on lay views of mental health as a basis for attacking relativism generally within social science. We consider that political, epistemological and health policy grounds for a social scientific consideration of lay knowledge are so strong that they negate naïve objectivist critiques which appearl to the reason and thus reasonableness of professional knowledge. Reason and rationality, like reality, are not singu…Read more