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.
Thus far, our exploration has focused largely on the philosophical problems concerning knowledge and the reality of the external world. Whether it was the early Greeks, the medieval scholastics, the Enlightenment thinkers, or the relatively recent doctrines of positivism, postpositivism, idealism, and scientific realism, much of the philosophical inquiry over the centuries concentrated on mathematics and physical objects observable in nature. In this chapter, we will depart from the discourse on the physical, natural, and tangible world, and move to examining socially and culturally constituted realities. The philosophical problems tackled up to this point should serve us well in this venture, for we now have the necessary tools to discern the differences between the study of that which is natural and that ...