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Extra info for Discourses of Global Politics: A Critical (Re)Introduction to International Relations

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More will be added on it in the chapter to follow. The point, for now, is that the notion of positivist empiricism used here owes most to the work of Leszek Kolakowski in Positivist Philosophy. In this sense positivism is perceived neither as scientific methodology nor as a theory of knowledge per se. Rather it represents the major contemporary philosophical expression of an empiricist epistemology, synthesized in its most sophisticated and "skeptical" form by David Hume and articulated in a variety of forms since then.

16. " 17. Cited in Lapham, "Apes and Butterflies," p. 8. This is in contrast, for example, to the explicit triumphalism of Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man. 18. Cited in Lapham, "Apes and Butterflies," p. 8. THE THEORY AS PRACTICE OF IR 35 19. Ibid. 20. The broad notion of social theory utilized here is best articulated by Giddens in Profiles and Critiques in Social Theory, pp. 5-6. He suggests the following: Social theory ... spans social science. It is body of theory shared in common by all the disciplines concerned with the behaviour of human beings.

The second point that needs to made here is that for anyone even remotely aware of debates in the philosophy of science, or philosophical circles more generally, there is nothing at all remarkable about this proposition. Perspectives supporting it and contesting it have been integral to the agenda across the social theory disciplinary spectrum for many years. Indeed, it would be an unremarkable proposition in almost any other context than the present one-a discussion concerning the way that we think THE THEORY AS PRACTICE OF IR 23 and act in International Relations, where a crude positivist Realism has effectively silenced such debate.

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