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.

In Search of Truths: Empiricism Versus Rationalism

In Search of Truths: Empiricism Versus Rationalism

The defining question of epistemology – How is knowledge possible? – is an invitation to thinking about how anybody is to know anything about anything (Cassam, 2009: 3). This problem of vast epistemological scope cannot be addressed by a single book, let alone in one chapter. It is possible, however, to explore some of the developments in thought about knowledge, and with this aim in mind, focus on the two rival doctrines that became the building blocks for scientific knowledge: rationalism and empiricism. This chapter commences by noting the importance of mathematical truths in establishing rationalism as the accepted worldview for nearly 2,000 years. It explains the difference between the rationalist and empiricist approaches to knowledge by ...

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