Since the publication of Roy Bhaskar's A Realist Theory of Science in 1975, critical realism has emerged as one of the most powerful new directions in the philosophy of science and social science, offering a real alternative to both positivism and post modernism. This reader is designed to make accessible in one volume, to lay person and academic, student and teacher alike, key readings to stimulate debate about and within critical realism. The four parts of the reader correspond to four parts of the writings of Roy Bhaskar: * part one explores the transcendental realist philosophy of science elaborated in A Realist Theory of Science * the second section examines Bhaskar's critical naturalist philosophy of social science * part three is devoted to the theory of explanatory critique, which is central to critical realism * the final part is devoted to the theme of dialectice, which is central to Bhaskar's most recent writings. The volume includes extracts from Bhaskar's most important books, as well as selections from all other most important contributors to the critical realist programme. The volume also includes both a general introduction and original introductions to each section.