This is my critical realist analysis of the Pyramus and Thisbe story. In the conclusion I write:
How does critical realism help us learn from this story about what we should and what we
should not do when we fall in love? Of course, there are many more aspects of this story that
can be analysed and which can teach us multiple important lessons, but I think that the
critical realist perspective I have used here to analyse the story provides me with at least
one important lesson. This lesson consists of two parts.
The first part has to do with the fact
that reality is constantly changing, which allows us only to establish a dynamic synthesis of
our partial perspectives on it, which is constantly being reformulated. If we feel that we are in
love with someone, we have to recognize, appreciate and incorporate the partial perspective
of the other person into a more comprehensive account, in order to find out if our perspective
on reality corresponds with the intransitive dimension of the world – to find out if we are both
in love with each other and if this love is real. To do this, we must use transitive objects like
beliefs, linguistic conversations and symbolic gestures.
This relates to the second part of the
lesson. If we do not use these transitive objects, and create our own interpretative (narrative)
explanations to make explananda intelligible to ourselves, our connection to the intransitive
dimension of the social world becomes distorted. This may lead us to take irrational, rash
actions. If we do not want our personal myths to have tragic endings, we have to view the
material and the ideational as a whole. A whole that is necessary to investigate as an
integral system with all its necessary interconnections, and not as isolated fragments out of
context. Only then can we achieve a broader, non-reductive perspective on the fragmented
interplay of practices that ontologically compose our social world.