Epistemological Assumptions : An Objective Reality Essay

1280 Words Oct 11th, 2016 6 Pages
Epistemological assumptions are those that focus on what can be known and how knowledge can be acquired (Bell, 8). I side with positivism; which states knowledge can be found via empirical observations (obtained through the senses). Positivism follows an identical approach as the study of natural sciences in the testing of a theory. Though their is a difference between the study of social research, and natural sciences the deductive approach works just as well in both. I believe that a hypothesis should be tested by empirical observations before it can be considered knowledge. Ontology as Bell states is split up into two camps, by two sets of questions, firstly: do social phenomena have an objective reality, independent of our perceptions, or is what passes for reality merely a set of mental constructions? (12) Secondly, is social reality pre-existing or is it created through our actions? (Bell 12) I side with the objectivist camp; I believe their is such a thing as a pre-existing social reality, were social phenomena exist outside the influence of social actors. Being a positivist and an objectivist, impacts my choice of research design because they limit the selections I have for conducting research. I would follow the blueprint of a deductive approach: create a theory, generate a hypothesis, test with empirical data, and see whether or not it confirms or rejects my hypothesis. (Bell 6). As an objectivist, the study that I would perform, would attempt to explain some…

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