In what does philosophical progress consist? 'Vertical' progress corresponds to development within a specific paradigm/framework for theorizing (of the sort associated, revolutions aside, with science); 'horizontal' progress corresponds to the identification and cultivation of diverse paradigms (of the sort associated, conservativism aside, with art and pure mathematics). Philosophical progress seems to involve both horizontal and vertical dimensions, in a way that is somewhat puzzling: philosophers work in a number of competing frameworks (like artists or mathematicians), while typically maintaining that only (...) one of these is correct (like scientists). I diagnose this situation as reflecting that we are presently quite far from the end of inquiry into philosophical methodology. The good news is that we appear to be making advances on this score. The bad news is that failure to recognize or make explicit that our standards are in flux often leads to dogmatism, as I illustrate by attention to three assumptions presently operative in metaphysical and metametaphysical contexts. I close by identifying a tension between vertical and horizontal progress in philosophy, and suggesting an updated version of Carnap's principle of tolerance for new philosophical forms. (shrink)
This article examines the methodology of a core branch of contemporary political theory or philosophy: “analytic” political theory. After distinguishing political theory from related fields, such as political science, moral philosophy, and legal theory, the article discusses the analysis of political concepts. It then turns to the notions of principles and theories, as distinct from concepts, and reviews the methods of assessing such principles and theories, for the purpose of justifying or criticizing them. Finally, it looks at a recent (...) debate on how abstract and idealized political theory should be, and assesses the significance of disagreement in political theory. The discussion is carried out from an angle inspired by the philosophy of science. (shrink)
Research in the subject area of economics (as a social science) has defined its ontologie of scientific investigation through economic methodology; a philosophical approach entailing the proviso of empirical evidence and backed by an understanding of human interaction in their natural habitat. The contention of economic methodology being refuted for its non-scientific means of investigation and particularly with the application of Ceteris Paribus (CP) law, has been critically addressed in this article, with Sierra Leone as a case example. (...) Sierra Leone is a complex economy and issues surrounding the assumption of CP has been brought to the fore, with a view of the political economy structure being made transparent so as to make it possible for economists to address critical issues surrounding corruption (exogenous factors), not accounted for in econometric modelling. This is not necessarily that which is considered as the most obvious, with the use of CP concept, for example, the influence of naturally occurring incidents like adverse weather conditions, flooding and earthquakes. (shrink)
Without proposing anything quite so grandiose as a return to existentialism, in this paper we aim to articulate and minimally defend certain core existentialist insights concerning the first-person perspective, the relationship between theory and practice, and the mode of philosophical presentation conducive to best making those points. We will do this by considering some of the central methodological objections that have been posed around the role of the first-person perspective and “lived experience” in the contemporary literature, before providing some neo-existentialist (...) rejoinders. We will suggest that the dilemma that contemporary philosophy poses to existentialism, vis-à-vis methodology, is that it is: a) committed to lived experience as some sort of given that might be accessed either introspectively or retrospectively (with empirical science posing prima facie obstacles to the veridicality of each); and/or b) it advocates transformative experiences, and the power of philosophy in connection with such experiences, to radically revise our doxastic and inter-connected web of beliefs. In short, the charge is conservatism on the one hand, radicalism on the other. Each of these concerns will be addressed in turn, utilizing ideas from Kierkegaard (as the source for many existentialist themes, methodological concerns, and formal practices) and from the German and French twentieth century versions of existentialism. (shrink)
In 1901 Russell had envisaged the new analytic philosophy as uniquely systematic, borrowing the methods of science and mathematics. A century later, have Russell’s hopes become reality? David Lewis is often celebrated as a great systematic metaphysician, his influence proof that we live in a heyday of systematic philosophy. But, we argue, this common belief is misguided: Lewis was not a systematic philosopher, and he didn’t want to be. Although some aspects of his philosophy are systematic, mainly his pluriverse of (...) possible worlds and its many applications, that systematicity was due to the influence of his teacher Quine, who really was an heir to Russell. Drawing upon Lewis’s posthumous papers and his correspondence as well as the published record, we show that Lewis’s non- Quinean influences, including G.E. Moore and D.M. Armstrong, led Lewis to an anti- systematic methodology which leaves each philosopher’s views and starting points to his or her own personal conscience. (shrink)
I discuss methodology in epistemology. I argue that settling the facts, even the epistemic facts, fails to settle the questions of intellectual policy at the center of our epistemic lives. An upshot is that the standard methodology of analyzing concepts like knowledge, justification, rationality, and so on is misconceived. More generally, any epistemic method that seeks to issue in intellectual policy by settling the facts, whether by way of abductive theorizing or empirical investigation, no matter how reliable, is (...) inapt. The argument is a radicalization of Moore’s Open Question Argument. I conclude by considering the ramifications of this conclusion for the debate surrounding “Modal Security”, a proposed necessary condition on undermining defeat. (shrink)
Reflection without Rules offers a comprehensive, pointed exploration of the methodological tradition in economics and the breakdown of the received view within the philosophy of science. Professor Hands investigates economists' use of naturalistic and sociological paradigms to model economic phenomena and assesses the roles of pragmatism, discourse, and situatedness in discussions of economic practice before turning to a systematic exploration of more recent developments in economic methodology. The treatment emphasizes the changes taking place in science theory and its relationship (...) to the movement away from a rules-based view of economic methodology. The work will be of interest to all economists concerned with methodological issues as well as philosophers and others studying the relationships between economics and contemporary science theory. (shrink)
Like any discipline, bioethics is a developing field of academic inquiry; and recent trends in scholarship have been towards more engagement with empirical research. This ‘empirical turn’ has provoked extensive debate over how such ‘descriptive’ research carried out in the social sciences contributes to the distinctively normative aspect of bioethics. This paper will address this issue by developing a practical research methodology for the inclusion of data from social science studies into ethical deliberation. This methodology will be based (...) on a naturalistic conception of ethical theory that sees practice as informing theory just as theory informs practice – the two are symbiotically related. From this engagement with practice, the ways that such theories need to be extended and developed can be determined. This is a practical methodology for integrating theory and practice that can be used in empirical studies, one that uses ethical theory both to explore the data and to draw normative conclusions. (shrink)
Abstract Recent criticisms of intuition from experimental philosophy and elsewhere have helped undermine the authority of traditional conceptual analysis. As the product of more empirically informed philosophical methodology, this result is compelling and philosophically salutary. But the negative critiques rarely suggest a positive alternative. In particular, a normative account of concept determination—how concepts should be characterized—is strikingly absent from such work. Carnap's underappreciated theory of explication provides such a theory. Analyses of complex concepts in empirical sciences illustrates and supports (...) this claim, and counteracts the charge explication is only suitable for highly mathematical, axiomatic contexts. Explication is also defended against the influential criticism it is “philosophically unilluminating”. Content Type Journal Article Category Original paper in Philosophy of Science Pages 1-19 DOI 10.1007/s13194-011-0027-5 Authors James Justus, Philosophy Department, Florida State University and University of Sydney, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA Journal European Journal for Philosophy of Science Online ISSN 1879-4920 Print ISSN 1879-4912. (shrink)
This paper defends an interventionist account of causation by construing this account as a contribution to methodology, rather than as a set of theses about the ontology or metaphysics of causation. It also uses the topic of causation to raise some more general issues about the relation between, on the one hand, methodology, and, on the other hand, ontology and metaphysics, as these are understood in contemporary philosophical discussion, particularly among so-called analytic metaphysicians. It concludes with the suggestion (...) that issues about the ontology of causation often can be fruitfully reconstrued as methodological proposals. (shrink)
What does feeling a sharp pain in one's hand have in common with seeing a red apple on the table? Some say not much, apart from the fact that they are both conscious experiences. To see an object is to perceive an extramental reality -- in this case, a red apple. To feel a pain, by contrast, is to undergo a conscious experience that doesn't necessarily relate the subject to an objective reality. Perceptualists, however, dispute this. They say that both (...) experiences are forms of perception of an objective reality. Feeling a pain in one's hand, according to this view, is perceiving an objective condition of one's hand. Who is closer to truth? Because of such metaphysical issues, the subjectivity of pains combined with their clinical urgency raises methodological problems for pain scientists. How can a subjective phenomenon be studied objectively? What is the role of the first-person method in science? Some suggest that the subjectivity of pains is due to their metaphysical irreducibility to purely physical processes in the nervous system. Can this be true? The study of pain and its puzzles offers opportunities for understanding such larger issues as the place of consciousness in the natural order and the methodology of psychological research. In this book, leading philosophers and scientists offer a wide range of views on how to conceptualize and study pain. The essays include discussions of perceptual and representationalist accounts of pain; the affective-motivational dimension of pain; whether animals feel pain, and how this question can be investigated; how social pain relates to physical pain; whether first-person methods of gathering data can be integrated with standard third-person methods; and other methodological and theoretical issues in the science and philosophy of pain. (shrink)
Contemporary developments in economicmethodology have produced a vibrant agenda ofcompeting positions. These include, amongothers, constructivism, critical realism andrhetoric, with each contributing to the Realistvs. Pragmatism debate in the philosophies of thesocial sciences. A major development in theneo-pragmatist contribution to economicmethodology has been Quine's pragmatic assaulton the dogmas of empiricism, which are nowclearly acknowledged within contemporaryeconomic methodology. This assault isencapsulated in the celebrated Duhem-Quinethesis, which according to a number ofcontemporary leading philosophers of economics,poses a particularly serious methodologicalproblem for economics. This (...) problem, asreflected in Hausman's analysis, consists ofthe inability of economics to learn fromexperience, thereby subverting the capacity totest economic theories. In this paper wedispute this position. Our argument is basedon a combination of Quine's holism with VanFraassen's constructive empiricism, especiallythe latter's analysis of empirical adequacy andhis pragmatic approach to explanation. Theresulting reorientation of economic methodologyrestores the capacity of economics to learnfrom experience and reinstates the imperativeof developing alternatives to orthodoxtheorizing in economics. (shrink)
Imre Lakatos' philosophical and scientific papers are published here in two volumes. Volume I brings together his very influential but scattered papers on the philosophy of the physical sciences, and includes one important unpublished essay on the effect of Newton's scientific achievement. Volume II presents his work on the philosophy of mathematics (much of it unpublished), together with some critical essays on contemporary philosophers of science and some famous polemical writings on political and educational issues. Imre Lakatos had an influence (...) out of all proportion to the length of his philosophical career. This collection exhibits and confirms the originality, range and the essential unity of his work. It demonstrates too the force and spirit he brought to every issue with which he engaged, from his most abstract mathematical work to his passionate 'Letter to the director of the LSE'. Lakatos' ideas are now the focus of widespread and increasing interest, and these volumes should make possible for the first time their study as a whole and their proper assessment. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to offer insights that can help researchers to link ontology, epistemology and research methodology. This paper outlines the links among ontology, epistemology and research methodology by exploring ontological, epistemological and methodological perspectives in the research. It discusses how ontological and epistemological issues influence research methodology by providing a clear understanding for different research methodologies based on ontology and epistemology. Furthermore, attention is given to research aspects such as the elements of research (...) process, research philosophy, research approach, research strategy, the choice of method, and research design. (shrink)
A reorientation is needed in methodological debate about the role of intuitions in philosophy. Methodological debate has lost sight of the reason why it makes sense to focus on questions about intuitions when thinking about the methods or epistemology of philosophy. The problem is an approach to methodology that focuses almost exclusively on questions about some evidential role that intuitions may or may not play in philosophers’ arguments. A new approach is needed. Approaching methodological questions about the role of (...) intuitions in philosophy with an abductive model of philosophical inquiry in mind will help ensure the debate doesn't lose sight of what motivates the debate. (shrink)
This book is a study in the methodology of philosophical inquiry. It expounds and defends the thesis that systematization is the proper instrument of philosophical inquiry and that the effective pursuit of philosophy's mission calls for constructing a doctrinal system that answers our questions in a coherent and comprehensive manner.
The recent drastic development of agriculture, together with the growing societal interest in agricultural practices and their consequences, pose a challenge to agricultural science. There is a need for rethinking the general methodology of agricultural research. This paper takes some steps towards developing a systemic research methodology that can meet this challenge – a general self-reflexive methodology that forms a basis for doing holistic or (with a better term) wholeness-oriented research and provides appropriate criteria of scientific quality.From (...) a philosophy of research perspective,science is seen as an interactive learning process with both a cognitive and a social communicative aspect. This means, first of all,that science plays a role in the world that it studies. A science that influences its own subject area, such as agricultural science, is named a systemic science. From this perspective, there is a need to reconsider the role of values in science. Science is not objective in the sense of being value-free.Values play, and ought to play, an important role in science – not only in form of constitutive values such as the norms of good science, but also in the form of contextual values that enter into the very process of science. This goes against the traditional criterion of objectivity. Therefore, reflexive objectivity is suggested as a new criterion for doing good science, along with the criterion of relevance. Reflexive objectivity implies that the communication of science must include the cognitive context, which comprises the societal,intentional, and observational context. Ina ccordance with this, the learning process of systemic research is shown as a self-reflexive cycle that incorporates both an involved actor stance and a detached observer stance. The observer stance forms the basis for scientific communication.To this point, a unitary view of science as a learning process is employed. A second important perspective for a systemic research methodology is the relation between the actual,different, and often quite separate kinds of science. Cross-disciplinary research is hampered by the idea that reductive science is more objective, and hence more scientific, than the less reductive sciences of complex subject areas – and by the opposite idea that reductive science is necessarily reductionistic. Taking reflexive objectivity as a demarcator of good science, an inclusive framework of science can be established. The framework does not take the established division between natural, social, and human science as a primary distinction of science.The major distinction is made between the empirical and normative aspects of science,corresponding to two key cognitive interests.Two general methodological dimensions, the degree of reduction of the research world and the degree of involvement in the research world, are shown to span this framework. The framework can form a basis for transdisciplinary work by way of showing the relation between more and less reductive kinds of science and between more detached and more involved kinds of science and exposing the abilities and limitations attendant on these methodological differences. (shrink)
In this paper I try to explain a strange omission in Hume’s methodological descriptions in his first Enquiry. In the course of this explanation I reveal a kind of rationalistic tendency of the latter work. It seems to contrast with “experimental method” of his early Treatise of Human Nature, but, as I show that there is no discrepancy between the actual methods of both works, I make an attempt to explain the change in Hume’s characterization of his own methods. This (...) attempt leads to the question about his interpretation of the science of human nature. I argue that his view on this science was not a constant one and that initially he identified this science with his account of passions. As this presupposes the primacy of Book 2 of his Treatise I try to find new confirmations of the old hypothesis that this Book had been written before the Book 1, dealing with understanding. Finally, I show that this discussion of Hume’s methodology may be of some interest to proponents of conceptual analysis. -/- . (shrink)
Many of the philosophical doctrines purveyed by postmodernists have been roundly refuted, yet people continue to be taken in by the dishonest devices used in proselytizing for postmodernism. I exhibit, name, and analyse five favourite rhetorical manoeuvres: Troll's Truisms, Motte and Bailey Doctrines, Equivocating Fulcra, the Postmodernist Fox Trot, and Rankly Relativising Fields. Anyone familiar with postmodernist writing will recognise their pervasive hold on the dialectic of postmodernism and come to judge that dialectic as it ought to be judged.
Since the 1950s, Donald T. Campbell has been one of the most influential contributors to the methodology of the social sciences. A distinguished psychologist, he has published scores of widely cited journal articles, and two awards, in social psychology and in public policy, have been named in his honor. This book is the first to collect his most significant papers, and it demonstrates the breadth and originality of his work.
String theory has been the dominating research field in theoretical physics during the last decades. Despite the considerable time elapse, no new testable predictions have been derived by string theorists and it is understandable that doubts have been voiced. Some people have argued that it is time to give up since testability is wanting. But the majority has not been convinced and they continue to believe that string theory is the right way to go. This situation is interesting for philosophy (...) of science since it highlights several of our central issues. In this paper we will discuss string theory from a number of different perspectives in general methodology. We will also relate the realism/antirealism debate to the current status of string theory. Our goal is two-fold; both to take a look at string theory from philosophical perspectives and to use string theory as a test case for some philosophical issues. (shrink)
Frank Knight (1921) famously distinguished the epistemic modes of certainty, risk, and uncertainty in order to characterize situations where deterministic, probabilistic or possibilistic foreknowledge is available. Because our probabilistic knowledge is limited, i.e. because many systems, e.g. the global climate, cannot be described and predicted probabilistically in a reliable way, Knight's third category, possibilistic foreknowledge, is not simply swept by the probabilistic mode. This raises the question how to justify possibilistic predictionsincluding the identication of the worst case. The development of (...) such a modal methodology is particularly vital with respect to predictions of climate change. I show that a methodological dilemma emerges when possibilistic predictions are framed in traditional terms and argue that a more nuanced conceptual framework, distinguishing dierent types of possibility, should be used in order to convey our uncertain knowledge about the future. The new conceptual scheme, however, questions the applicability of standard rules of rational decision-making, thus generating new challenges. (shrink)
The thought about this book has been developed with the view of adding value to the teaching of Research Methods and Methodology for undergraduate and graduate students in developing economies like Sierra Leone. At the same time, it is a very useful tool for professionals engaged in research as part of their work life and for which their understanding of the dichotomy between Research Methods and Research Methodology needs addressing as a way of enhancing people’s understanding on their (...) preparation for the practice of research work. It is divided into distinct sections which makes it very easy for the beginner researcher understand the difference in concepts used, while at the same time, enhancing their basic understanding of scientific tool needed to pursue ontological research, with aim of adding new value in the body of knowledge. (shrink)
In an attempt to promote in-depth dialogue amongst bioethicists coming from distinct disciplinary and religious backgrounds this essay offers a critical analysis of a number of the leading methods of addressing pluralism in bioethics and. Exploring the critiques and methodological proposals coming from the social sciences, the contract theorists, and the pragmatists, this study describes the problems which arise when confronting moral diversity in a bioethical context and examines the ability of these various methodologies to adequately resolve these matters. Finally, (...) the foundations of a new conceptual framework for bioethical methodology will be developed. It will be argued that these new methodological insights are able to overcome the problems facing other methodologies and may provide a viable means for adequately addressing issues of pluralism in bioethics. (shrink)
This Alfred Schutz Memorial Lecture discusses the relationship between the phenomenological life-world analysis and the methodology of the social sciences, which was the central motive of Schutz’s work. I have set two major goals in this lecture. The first is to scrutinize the postulate of adequacy, as this postulate is the most crucial of Schutz’s methodological postulates. Max Weber devised the postulate ‘adequacy of meaning’ in analogy to the postulate of ‘causal adequacy’ (a concept used in jurisprudence) and regarded (...) both as complementary and, in the context of sociological analysis, critical. Schutz extracted the two postulates from the Neokantian epistemology, dismissed the concept of causality, and reduced Weber’s two postulates of adequacy into one, namely, the adequacy of meaning. I discuss the benefits and shortcomings of this reduction. A major problem, in my view, is that Schutz’s reformulation lost the empirical concern that was inherent in Weber’s ‘causal adequacy’. As a result, the models of economics (which shaped Schutz’s conception of social science) are considered to be adequate if they are ‘understandable’ to an everyday actor, even when they are based on the most unrealistic assumptions. To recapture Weber’s empirical orientation I recommend a more restrictive interpretation of the postulate of adequacy that links it to qualitative research and unfolds the critical potential of Schutz’s phenomenological life-world analysis. My second goal is to report on some current developments in German sociology in which a number of approaches explicitly refer to Schutz’s analysis of the life-world and attempt to pursue ‘adequate’ empirical research. This lecture focuses on three approaches: ethnophenomenology, life-world analytic ethnography, and social scientific hermeneutics. (shrink)
This book brings together ten previously published essays on the philosophy of economics and economic methodology. The general theme is the application of Karl Popper's philosophy of science to economics -- not only by Popper himself but also by other members of the "Popperian school." There are three major issues that surface repeatedly: the applicability of Popper's falsificationist philosophy of science; the applicability of I. Lakatos's "methodology of scientific research programs" to economics; and the question of Popper's "situational (...) analysis" approach to social science. (shrink)
Can morality be so demanding that we have reason not to follow its dictates? According to many, it can, if that morality is a consequentialist one. We take the plausibility and coherence of this objection – the Demandingness Objection – as a given and are also not concerned with finding the best response to the Objection. Instead, our main aim is to explicate the intuitive background of the Objection and to see how this background could be investigated. This double aim (...) leads to different albeit connected threads of inquiry. We first outline the Objection, its different forms and how intuition figures in them. After this, we move on to consider the ongoing debate about the use of intuitions in (moral) philosophy with a focus on two challenges: what intuitions are and how we can detect them. To answer these challenges, we propose an account according to which moral intuitions are seemings that are characterized by being non-inferential, spontaneous, non-doxastic, phenomenologically distinctive, non-sensory, intrinsically motivating, and stable. Armed with these seven “markers” of moral intuition, we put a forward a complex experimental methodology and raise and respond to possible problems with it. (shrink)
Scientific practice is a type of social practice, and every enterprise of knowledge in general exhibits important social dimensions. But should the fact that scientific practice is born out of and tied to the collaborative efforts of the members of a social group be taken to affect the products of these practices as well? In this paper, I will try in to give an affirmative answer to this question. My strategy will be to argue that the aim of science is (...) partially determined by a socio-historical context and that this aim, together with the available background knowledge, stands behind a methodology that is responsible for empirically and aim-adequate theoretical results. (shrink)
The study examines the research methodology of more than 200 empirical investigations of ethics in personal selling and sales management between 1980 and 2010. The review discusses the sources and authorship of the sales ethics research. To better understand the drivers of empirical sales ethics research, the foundations used in business, marketing, and sales ethics are compared. The use of hypotheses, operationalization, measurement, population and sampling decisions, research design, and statistical analysis techniques were examined as part of theory development (...) and testing. The review establishes a benchmark, assesses the status and direction of the sales ethics research methodology, and helps inform researchers who need to deal with increasing amounts of empirical research. The investigation identified changing sources of publication with the Journal of Business Ethics and the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management maintaining their position as the main conduit of high quality empirical sales ethics research. The results suggest that despite the use of theoretical models for empirical testing, a greater variety of moral frameworks and wider use of marketing exchange theory is needed. The review highlights many sound aspects about the empirical sales ethics research statistical methodology but also raises concerns about several areas. Ways in which these concerns might be addressed and recommendations for researchers are provided. (shrink)
There are different formulations of the doctrine of double effect, and sometimes philosophers propose “revisions” or alternatives, like the means principle, for instance. To demonstrate that such principles are needed in the first place, one would have to compare cases in which all else is equal and show that the difference in intuitions, if any, can only be explained by the one remaining difference and thus by the principle in question. This is not the methodology defenders of the DDE (...) and of related principles use, however. I will discuss how they actually proceed, focusing on their preferred four pairs of examples. While these examples might have rhetorical force, they are nevertheless philosophically and methodologically useless. As a corrective, I shall offer examples that do keep all else equal. These examples undermine the DDE and related principles. I then argue that while the Loop case and the “closeness” problem in the context of Jonathan Bennett’s Sophisticated Bomber example might once have been an embarrassment of sorts for defenders of the DDE, meanwhile their discussion serves as a convenient distraction from the many clear examples disproving the DDE and related principles. I conclude that the methodological mistakes found in defenses of the DDE – the biased framing, the rigged examples, the empirically unwarranted claims about how widely shared certain intuitions are, and the avoidance of the strongest counter-examples – can only be explained by systematic bias. There is simply no sufficient intuitive support for the DDE or related principles. Thus, instead of looking for their “rationales,” they should be abandoned. (shrink)
From the early-1950s on, F.A. Hayek was concerned with the development of a methodology of sciences that study systems of complex phenomena. Hayek argued that the knowledge that can be acquired about such systems is, in virtue of their complexity (and the comparatively narrow boundaries of human cognitive faculties), relatively limited. The paper aims to elucidate the implications of Hayek’s methodology with respect to the specific dimensions along which the scientist’s knowledge of some complex phenomena may be limited. (...) Hayek’s fallibilism was an essential (if not always explicit) aspect of his arguments against the defenders of both socialism ( 1948,  1948) and countercyclical monetary policy ( 1978); yet, despite the fact that his conceptions of both complex phenomena and the methodology appropriate to their investigation imply that ignorance might beset the scientist in multiple respects, he never explicated all of these consequences. The specificity of a scientific prediction depends on the extent of the scientist’s knowledge concerning the phenomena under investigation. The paper offers an account of the considerations that determine the extent to which a theory’s implications prohibit the occurrence of particular events in the relevant domain. This theory of “predictive degree” both expresses and – as the phenomena of scientific prediction are themselves complex in Hayek’s sense – exemplifies the intuition that the specificity of a scientific prediction depends on the relevant knowledge available. (shrink)
Philosophers of science have long been concerned with the question of what a given scientific theory tells us about the contents of the world, but relatively little attention has been paid to how we set out to build theories and to the relevance of pre-theoretical methodology on a theory’s interpretation. In the traditional view, the form and content of a mature theory can be separated from any tentative ontological assumptions that went into its development. For this reason, the target (...) of interpretation is taken to be the mature theory and nothing more. On this view, positions on ontology emerge only once a theory is to hand, not as part of the process of theory building. Serious attention to theory creation suggests this is too simple. In particular, data collection and experimentation are influenced both by theory and by assumptions about the entities thought to be the target of study. Initial reasoning about possible ontologies has an influence on the choice of theoretical variables as well as on the judgments of the methodology appropriate to investigate them. (shrink)
This paper has two aims. First, to bring together the models of temporal phenomenology on offer and to present these using a consistent set of distinctions and terminologies. Second, to examine the methodologies currently practiced in the development of these models. To that end we present an abstract characterisation in which we catalogue all extant models. We then argue that neither of the two extreme methodologies currently discussed is suitable to the task of developing a model of temporal phenomenology. An (...) entirely top-down methodology is largely insensitive to empirical findings, while one that is entirely bottom-up is insensitive to both introspective evidence and more general philosophical considerations. We recommend a methodology that falls between these two extremes. (shrink)
This essay attempts to provide an accessible introduction to the topic area of conceptual analysis of legal concepts and its methodology. I attempt to explain, at a fairly foundational level, what conceptual analysis is, how it is done and why it is important in theorizing about the law. I also attempt to explain how conceptual analysis is related to other areas in philosophy, such as metaphysics and epistemology. Next, I explain the enterprise of conceptual jurisprudence, as concerned to provide (...) an account of those properties that distinguish things that are law from things that are not law which constitute the former things as law, illustrating this explanation with what I hope are intuitive examples. Three different methodological approaches are also explained and evaluated. Finally, the practical importance of conceptual jurisprudence is discussed. (shrink)
Primarily between 1833 and 1840, William Whewell attempted to accomplish what natural philosophers and scientists since at least Galileo had failed to do: to provide a systematic and broad-ranged study of the tides and to attempt to establish a general scientific theory of tidal phenomena. I document the close interaction between Whewell’s philosophy of science and his scientific practice as a tidologist. I claim that the intertwinement between Whewell’s methodology and his tidology is more fundamental than has hitherto been (...) documented.Keywords: William Whewell; Tidology; History of HPS; Scientific methodology; Whewell papers. (shrink)
Is methodology fruitless? Intense controversy has resulted from attempts to understand economics through philosophy of science. This collection clarifies and responds to the issues raised, arguing that methodology is an essential activity.
In traditional armchair methodology, philosophers attempt to challenge a thesis of the form ‘F iff G’ or ‘F only if G’ by describing a scenario that elicits the intuition that what has been described is an F that isn’t G. If they succeed, then the judgment that there is, or could be, an F that is not G counts as good prima facie evidence against the target thesis. Moreover, if these intuitions remain compelling after further (good faith) reflection, then (...) traditional armchair methodology takes the judgment to be serious (though not infallible) evidence against the target thesis—call it secunda facie evidence—that should not be discounted as long as those intuitions retain their force. Some philosophers, however, suggest that this methodology is incompatible with epistemological naturalism, the view that philosophical inquiry should be sensitive to empirical observations, and argue that traditional armchair methodology must deemphasize the role of intuitions in philosophical inquiry. In my view, however, this would be a mistake: as I will argue, the most effective way to promote philosophical progress is to treat intuitions as having the (prima and secunda) evidential status I’ve described. But I will also argue that philosophical inquiry can produce a theory that is sensitive to empirical observations and the growth of empirical knowledge, even if it gives intuitions the prima- and secunda-facie evidential status that traditional armchair methodology demands—and thus that traditional armchair methodology, if properly practiced, need not be abandoned by naturalists, or even (except for a few exceptions) be much revised. (shrink)
The scope of this essay is to introduce and explain the methodology underlying the Lanza Foundation Protocol for the analysis of clinical cases. The essay is divided in three parts. Part one examines the Protocol's methodology within the whole evolutionary framework of argumentation in bioethics. Particular attention is given to the most significant methodologies developed in European bioethics. Part two describes the system of argumentation which serves as a frame for both approaches, namely, the normative and the hermeneutical. (...) Finally, the third part presents in an analytic fashion the operations which define the Protocol itself. The Protocol is the result of an interdisciplinary effort and it provides a detailed grid for analyzing and tackling the ethical components of clinical cases. The Protocol is primarily directed toward Ethics Committees in their consulting activity, yet it has been proven of considerable importance at an educational level also, particular in continuing education programs for health care professionals. (shrink)
Purpose: Yerkish is an artificial language created in 1971 for the specific purpose of exploring the linguistic potential of nonhuman primates. The aim of this paper is to remind the research community of some important issues and concepts related to Yerkish that seem to have been forgotten or appear to be distorted. These are, particularly, its success, its promising aspects for future research and last but not least that it was Ernst von Glasersfeld who invented Yerkish: he coined the term (...) “lexigrams,” created the first 120 of them and designed the grammar that regulated their combination. Design: The first part of this paper begins with a short outline of the context in which the Yerkish language originated: the original LANA project. It continues by presenting the language itself in more detail: first, its design, focusing on its “lexigrams” and its “correlational” grammar, and then its use by the chimpanzee Lana in formulating sentences. The second part gives a brief introduction to the foundation of Yerkish in Silvio Ceccato’s Operational Methodology, particularly his idea of the correlational structure of thought and concludes with the main insights that can be derived from the Yerkish experiment seen in the light of Operational Methodology. Findings: Lana’s success in language learning and the success of Yerkish during the past decades are probably due to the characteristics of Yerkish, particularly its foundation in operational methodology. The operation of correlation could be what constitutes thinking in a chimpanzee and an attentional system could be what delivers the mental content that correlation assembles into triads and networks. Research implications: Since no other assessment or explanation of Lana’s performances has considered these foundational issues, a new research project or program should validate the above-mentioned hypotheses, particularly the correlational structure of chimpanzee thinking. (shrink)
This article explains the foundation of knowledge acquisition through discourses involving research methodology and research methods; differences between the two concepts is exemplified, with the former (research methodology) addressing philosophical underpinnings around the process of research, and through which human epistemic quest for knowledge is addressed, while the latter (research methods) addresses problems involving the application of qualitative or quantitative techniques (in some cases mixed-methods) in answering the researchers' underpinning research questions / hypothetical postulations. Challenges surrounding research ethics (...) is relevantly addressed with a view of explaining issues needed in ensuring research processes are successfully accomplished through ‘detailed eye for issues’, for example, the application of skills needed to access research participants without inflicting harm unethically. (shrink)
Scientists and philosophers generally agree that the replication of experiments is a key ingredient of good and successful scientific practice. “One-offs“ are not significant; experiments must be replicable to be considered valid and important. But the term “replication“ has been used in a number of ways, and it is therefore quite difficult to appraise the meaning and significance of replications. I consider how history may help - and has helped - with this task. I propose that: 1) Studies of past (...) scientific episodes in historical context and of recent philosophical contributions to the discussion are heuristic tools for exploring and clarifying the meaning of that concept. 2) The analysis of the development of the methodological imperative of replication sheds light on the significance scientists have attached to it, thereby contributing further to the clarification of the concept. 3) The analysis of the history of philosophical thought about methods and scientific methodology helps understand why philosophers have not paid much attention to the analysis of the concept of replication. (shrink)
Enhancing the environmental soundness of agricultural practices, particularly in high input systems, is of increasing concern to those involved in agricultural research and development. The Integrated Pest Management Farmer Field School, which is based on farmer participatory environmental education, is compared to the No Early Spray intervention, which is a simple rule approach. A research methodology was developed and tested in the Philippines to document farmers' pre- and post-intervention knowledge of rice field insects, insect/plant interactions, and pesticides. The results (...) indicate that increased knowledge from education is linked to better pest management behavior. It is proposed that the methodology may also be useful for documenting other areas of knowledge, in the design of educational interventions for farmers and in assessing their impact. (shrink)
The Principia Cybernetica Project was created to develop an integrated philosophy or world view, based on the theories of evolution, self-organization, systems and cybernetics. Its conceptual network has been implemented as an extensive website. The present paper reviews the assumptions behind the project, focusing on its rationale, its philosophical presuppositions, and its concrete methodology for computer-supported collaborative development. Principia Cybernetica starts from a process ontology, where a sequence of elementary actions produces ever more complex forms of organization through the (...) mechanism of variation and selection, and metasystem transition. Its epistemology is constructivist and evolutionary: models are constructed by subjects for their own purposes, but undergo selection by the environment. Its ethics takes fitness and the continuation of evolution as the basic value, and derives more concrete guidelines from this implicit purpose. Together, these postulates and their implications provide answers to a range of age-old philosophical questions. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to stage some questions concerning methodology and education, inspired by Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet and by Jacques Derrida's poetic philosophical oeuvres. What are at stake are the long traditions of preferences of sanity over madness, friend over enemy, male over female and of clean, unambiguous univocal language over the poetic. I will argue that educators will have an extra responsibility towards challenging the ancient tradition of phallogocentrism, both in our teaching and in our research.
Health care workers often perform, promote, and advocate use of public funds for animal research ; therefore, an awareness of the empirical costs and benefits of animal research is an important issue for HCW. We aim to determine what health-care-workers consider should be acceptable standards of AR methodology and translation rate to humans.
Summary The importance of the problem of how to integrate psychology and methodology was rediscovered by Oswald KÃ¼lpe. He noted that Wundt's psychology was inadequate and that a new methodology was needed to construct an alternative. KÃ¼lpe made real progress but his program turned out to be quite difficult: he had no appropriate method for integrating the two fields. August Messer tried to fill the gap but failed. The problem was largely dropped due to poor methods at hand (...) for studying it but remained important due to Popper's methodology and de Groot's psychology at least. We may now more effectively return to it by using a bootstrap method. (shrink)
This paper aims at presenting the critique of both the quantitative and the qualitative research methodologies for social sciences in general and organizational sciences in particular. Quantitative and qualitative research models have been dominant over the second half of the twentieth century. Meanwhile, it has become a growing concern that a dichotomy between them should be overcome by combining them into a methodological pluralism. Positivism is the epistemological ground of quantitative methodology whereas phenomenology is the same with qualitative. It (...) will be argued that for methodological pluralism, neither positivism nor phenomenology can suffice alone. This paper presents a comparison and analysis of both positivism and phenomenology with the intention of working out their fundamental presuppositions. The purpose of this investigation is to look for the possibility of outlining a theoretic paradigm for the practice of methodological pluralism. (shrink)
The Husserlian phenomenological approach to organisational research as a way to understand how collectives experience and mean their work context, is rarely used although, when it is, it often functions as a negative criticism of objectivist methods. The sociological potential of phenomenological concepts to enable understanding of subjective experience of social contexts, and the characterisation of those social contexts through ideal type construction, deserves to be used more extensively in a positive proposal of organisational research methodologies. However, a consistent phenomenological (...) approach—with its inherent qualities that enable the transcendental understanding of subjective phenomena and social objectivity—can be sociologically fruitful only if it benefits from accumulated sociological knowledge, realised by various approaches that discuss macro and micro aspects of organisations. The proposed phenomenological methodology considers both aspects. It takes account of social theories that consider the influences of both the macro environment and institutionalisation on structure and culture through their relationship with collective and individual action. Also, it performs collaboration between two close perspectives which recognise the importance of the subjective meanings of the individuals constituting the collective: Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology and Weber’s ideal type construction. It also discusses context, participant selection, the concepts of saturation and generalisation, and the applicability of the methodology. (shrink)
Judging Gadamer’s theoretical stance is a complicated matter, and his ontological hermeneutics is usually regarded as a text-centered theory of understanding. Through an analysis of the phenomenological premises from which his theories take off, however, we can clearly see his reader-centric stance. On the basis of this stance some cease to seek for the original intention of the author or the original meaning of the text, which ineluctably leads to the ignorance of an understanding methodology. As far as people’s (...) intentional understanding is concerned, however, the important as well as essential task is still that of striving for a certain kind of understanding that is relatively correct, with universally effective methodology as its necessary prerequisite. What is more, herein lies the significance of the epistemology of hermeneutics. This article aims to re-insert a sense of methodology after hermeneutics went through a period of ontological reflection, and hence clarify that it is of necessity that hermeneutics resumes its text-centric methodological stance. (shrink)