Christian Tyner linked to my blog, so I think I should return the favor by pointing out something really astute:
Where realism comes in is in my reliance on current scientific and social scientific knowledge. I draw a line between the physical sciences and the social sciences (biology acting as a bridge), because of the insecurity of the latter. Compared to chemistry, sociology is in its infancy. The obvious difference is in the complexity of their subjects, people are harder to read than molecules although they are of the same stuff. I think that the social sciences should move forward with their work even though their aims are less modest than the hard sciences, and not nearly as achievable.The major problem with the social sciences is their dismissal of literary history in their drive to be as successful as the physical sciences. The results of any given paper can be found in the writings of long-dead litterateurs and philosophers. That's why I think it's equally useful to read old books and keep up with the latest journal articles running randomized field trials. They often say the same things with different words. Well said.