Welcome to this lesson where we shall anchor research on philosophy. Lets start by asking ourselves? What influences the decisions you make in life? This could be decisions regarding the school you take your children to, the kind of car you drive, the kind of neighborhood you live in and the type of institution you enroll for a higher degree. In real sense, these decisions are influenced by the beliefs and assumptions that you hold regarding a particular issue. Similarly, development of knowledge by researchers is influenced by the beliefs and the assumptions they hold.
In research, there are three assumptions that influences how researchers develop knowledge in order to answer research questions/problem. This regards:
- The nature of knowledge (Epistemology)
- The nature of reality (Ontology)
- The nature of Values (Axiology)
This lesson will discuss in details each of these assumptions.
Researchers hold different views regarding the above. Disagreements on these brought about paradigms with each paradigm holding its view on knowledge, reality and values differently. In social science research, we have 4 paradigms: Positivism, Social Constructivism, Emancipatory and Pragmatism. In the lesson, each of the paradigm is discussed based on the assumptions they hold.