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.
Scepticism, Idea-ism, and Idealism
In the preceding chapter, we looked at the tensions between the empiricists and the rationalists and placed logical positivism and postpositivism on the continuum of these philosophical traditions. In this chapter, our focus shifts toward exploring the doctrines of scepticism, idea-ism and idealism. In the first part, we will take note of two schools of scepticism – Academic and Pyrrhonian – and briefly outline their features, differences and proponents. While on the topic of scepticism, we will also re-visit the philosophy of René Descartes, this time concentrating on the sceptical method, which he employed to determine whether the sceptics were correct in their doubt about knowledge. Idea-ism, discussed next, arises as a response to scepticism about sense data by the ...