Of communities, gangs, historicity and the problem of Santa Claus: replies to my critics

  • Friedrich Kratochwil

DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.jird.1800113

Cite this article as:
Kratochwil, F. J Int Relat Dev (2007) 10: 57. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jird.1800113


In responding to the critics of my Tartu lecture, I firstly examine a little further the ‘community’ aspect of science as a practice, because I do not quite share Lebows's optimism that ‘ethics’ applied to the scientific enterprise are powerful enough to prevent its derailments. Secondly, I admit that a lack of an explicit historical dimension in my lectures noticed by Suganami was dictated more by circumstances than by an oversight or a denial of its importance. While Suganami believes that a sense of history, as well as some criticism of both international relations (IR) and history on the meta level, are sufficient for a new and fruitful beginning of IR analysis, I'm emphasizing the contribution which ordinary language philosophy could make to a new type of social analysis and, in particular, the theory of speech acts and of ‘institutions’ à la Searle. Thirdly, instead of putting up a straw man and knocking him down, as Wight has done in his misunderstanding of my position, I'm addressing the issue of ‘scientific realism’ and its alleged predominance in the philosophy of science, the question of ontology and epistemology and, finally, the issue of whether the claims that ‘nature’ directly speaks to us is of any help in explaining actions rather than events.


community of practiceepistemologyhistoryinstitutionsontology

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Friedrich Kratochwil
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political and Social SciencesEuropean University Institute, Badia FiesolanaSan Domenico di Fiesole (Firenze)Italia