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.
Realism, its Varieties and Contenders
Realism is a difficult doctrine to pin down for there is far more to realism than the claim that reality exists. Rather than viewing realism as a single concept, it is more fruitfully understood as a large family of views which permeate several philosophical domains, including metaphysics and ontology, epistemology and methodology, and theories of meaning. The main purpose of this chapter is to facilitate a wider understanding of the various forms of realism as well as the degrees of commitment to ontological, epistemological, and semantic realism. Before we embark on this task, it would be useful to take stock of what has been noted in relation to reality and the existence of things so far.
In Chapter 2, we ...