It struck me when reading this passage from Sheila Jasanoff’s introduction to Dreamscapes of Modernity how much critical realism can learn from ANT and Speculative Realism with regards to the reality of social construction. A number of people (Dave Elder-Vass, Ismael Al-Amoudi, Hugh Wilmott) have recognised this point in different ways but we still lack the analytical sophistication powerfully summarised on pg 16:
If the ‘critical’ is simply a placeholder then what’s the point of it? The epistemological power of CR comes from its capacity to link together a real world which we socially constructed knowledge of and which in its social dimensions is partially constituted by those social constructions. There needs to be some analytical payoff to how CR approaches these issues if it’s going to have any value beyond the philosophy of science.