This clearly written and provocative text outlines the wide range of epistemological and metaphysical pillars of research. In a clear, easy to follow style, the reader is guided through an array of concepts that are defined, explained and made simple. With the aid of helpful examples and case studies, the book challenges the prevailing modes of thinking about qualitative inquiry by showcasing an immense variety of philosophical frameworks. Armed with a strong understanding of this philosophical backbone, students will be able to choose and defend a ‘pick and mix’ of research methods that will uniquely complement their research. • Empiricism • Rationalism • Realism • Skepticism • Idealism • Positivism • Post-positivism • Idea-ism • Hermeneutics • Phenomenology • Social Ontology • Quantum Mechanics Essential reading for new and experienced researchers, this ‘must’ for any social science bookshelf will help unlock a new level of research creativity.
Introduction: Situating Metaphysics and Epistemology in Qualitative Research
Epistemology and metaphysics are the fundamental philosophical pillars of any research. While most human beings make epistemological and metaphysical judgements on a daily basis, unless engaged in a scholarly activity, the average person does not contemplate complex philosophical questions, such as whether invisible subatomic particles can be said to exist or the possibility of social reality. Rather, we1 trust our senses and take our perceptions for granted. This introductory chapter prepares the ground for our inquiry centred on the problem of knowledge and reality within the wider qualitative landscape. The chapter begins by signposting some of the key views and events that have contributed to the ways in which qualitative research unfolds today. A secondary, but ...