Roy A. Bhaskar (born 1944) is a British philosopher, most closely associated with the philosophical movement of Critical Realism. Bhaskar was born in London, the elder of two brothers. His Indian father and English mother were Theosophists.
In 1963 Bhaskar went up to Balliol College, Oxford on a scholarship to read Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. Having graduated with first class honours, he began work on a PhD thesis about the relevance of economic theory for under-developed countries. This research led him to the philosophy of social science and then the philosophy of science. As a result of this he became a student of Rom Harré.
Bhaskar's consideration of the philosophies of science and social science resulted in the development of Critical Realism, a body of thought that aspires to be the heir of The Enlightenment, avoiding irrationalism and reductionist rationalism through historical self-awareness and dialectic.
Bhaskar has taught at the Universities of Edinburgh, Oxford, Sussex and City University, London. Since 1995 he has worked full-time on the Centre for Critical Realism and the International Association of Critical Realism.
In 2000, Bhaskar published From East to West: The Odyssey of a Soul, in which, in the words of Gary MacLennan :
He found God. Worst of all it was a very down market god, nothing more than your common or garden New Age variety, the type readily available at any incense saturated shop frequented by a Shirley MacLaine or Nancy Reagan.
The book was greeted with dismay by many Critical Realists.
Bhaskar married Hilary Wainwright, the socialist and feminist, in 1971.