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Types of Philosophy and Research

Philosophy and research can be useful in a variety of fields. The disciplines can help people develop certain skills, such as critical thinking, the ability to ask questions, and the capacity to analyze issues. These skills are critical for both democracy and education. However, these subjects are not the best places to begin if you want to get a head start in your chosen field. This article will explore several types of philosophy. You may be surprised by which one suits your interests best.


The use of the term “interpretivism” in philosophy and research has deep roots in many disciplines and has been around since the early nineteenth century. Interpretivism rejects the idea of an external, deterministic reality, and asserts that all research is influenced by the researcher’s worldview. A PhD dissertation can involve several pages of discussion of the essence of interpretivism, and it should also provide justification for the use of this philosophy in research.

An interpretivist views human behaviour through the context of a social situation, rather than through a scientific method. The emphasis is on the subjective experience and social constructions as a way to access reality and shared meanings. While the results of interpretivism cannot be generalised, they provide clarity on the meaning and motives behind human action. As a result, interpretivism is useful in social science research because it helps us understand complex human situations better.

Because of its emphasis on context and qualitative data, interpretivist research methods often emphasize the subjective viewpoint of the researcher. Qualitative data is non-numerical and often consists of written or oral communication. Interpretivists often use interviews to collect this type of data, which may be conducted face-to-face or over the telephone. Other methods of qualitative data collection include focus groups and observation. And there are no absolute rules in how interpretivists collect data.

In social science, interpretivism emphasizes the meaning of human action, thereby making it possible to understand the motivations and actions of individuals. As such, interpretivists aim to reconstruct actors’ self-understandings and their actions. In doing so, they assume that these ways of making sense are part of their actions. So, while positivists are more interested in the causes and outcomes of human action, interpretivists focus on the processes of human action.

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The reification of social reality is a coping mechanism for humans faced with complexity, and interpretivists seek to uncover the human roots behind accepted routines and behaviors. This tacit knowledge is often a key source of social insight. It can be a valuable resource in social science, and interpretivism is a crucial component of any successful study. It can also help us understand ourselves better and our surroundings. That’s the basic principle behind this philosophy.


Positivism in philosophy and research has its roots in the French Enlightenment and British empiricism, which both stressed the role of sense experience. Comte himself was influenced by the Enlightenment encyclopaedicists and Claude-Henri de Saint-Simon. His work is based on an optimistic view of technology and science. This attitude has been widely used in science and philosophy ever since.

A main criticism of positivism came from Emile Durkheim. Durkheim associated positivism with an oversimplified conception of social science and an exaggerated conception of the achievements of the field. He rejected attempts to reduce the complexity of human existence to a single law. He also attacked Comte for assuming that mankind evolves in the same way. He maintained that particular societies are different from each other and progress in their own unique ways, pursuing divergent goals.

According to positivism, the world exists ‘out there’, and it is for the researcher to study it. The basis of this belief is the accumulation of data in a value-free manner. This approach allows us to develop general scientific laws and generate objective results. Most positivist theories make use of numbers because numbers are objective. Equations and calculations are easy to develop. A fire, on the other hand, needs oxygen and fuel to exist.

Another critique of positivism is that it excludes the metaphysical component. It also rejects sets of beliefs and the attachments of humans to social phenomena. Nevertheless, this philosophy can provide a thorough analysis of a problem. Its drawbacks should be considered before deciding whether to use this approach. The benefits of positivism in philosophy and research should not be underestimated. This is an important distinction.

Post-World War II, positivism faced a critique from the Frankfurt School. Its main figure, Max Horkheimer, argued that the methods of inquiry in social science are unfit to imitate those in the natural sciences. Horkheimer argued that the search for universal laws separated theory and reality. He also posited that the idea that unknowable things cannot be known was problematic. The Frankfurt School rejected this notion, which argues that the world is inherently intangible.

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Realism in philosophy and research was introduced by philosophers in the late 1970s as a response to disenchantment with structuralism, which had become prevalent in much Marxist thought. Realists sought to create a rigorous methodology for historical-materialist approaches and temper their determinism. But realism is not necessarily the same as historical materialism. While many realists claim to be ‘critical realists’, others distinguish between historical materialism and realism.

Realism is a philosophical framework based on the idea that reality is independent of our subjective experience. It assumes that knowledge development should be scientific and logical. Realism can be categorized into two groups: critical and direct. Direct realism, also called naive realism, sees the world through the eyes of the human person. In contrast, critical realism seeks to develop an understanding of reality that is not subject to personal or cultural judgment.

Antirealists argue that realism blocks progress. They point to the discovery of transneptunian planets and conclude that Newton’s theory of gravity has one meaning when there are no transneptunian planets. However, positivism fails to account for these auxiliary hypotheses, which can only be interpreted as contradictions. The two opposing camps should be aware of their respective strengths and weaknesses.

Realism in philosophy and research has the strongest foothold in the fields of economics and social sciences. A group at Cambridge has created a virulent critique of mainstream neoclassical economics. It describes economists as “autistic” – a term that is intended to be derogatory, as economists have poor cognition of social relationships. So what does it mean to be autistic?

The argument for anti-realism consists in recognizing the limits of science. Realists cannot appeal to the IBE as evidence for their beliefs in factive fundamental covering laws. This is because a good explanation rarely follows from a true theory, and therefore cannot be used as evidence for its truth. In contrast, an antirealist can appeal to phenomenological laws as evidence for their own claims. If the former is true, the latter is not.

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Throughout history, philosophy and research in phenomenology have been interwoven and intertwined. The central question is, what is the nature of human experience? And what are the conditions of intentionality? It has been argued that human beings engage in different ways with the world. They seek fame and wealth. They seek pleasure, companionship, happiness, and “the good.”

These issues have motivated phenomenologists to study the structure of conscious experience, and the relevant conditions. Intentionality, the defining feature of an experience, is directed toward a world object. Intentionality is an important foundation of conscious experience. However, this is only one of many aspects of phenomenology. The discipline has also been influenced by analytic philosophy. The most common problems in phenomenology involve questions about how the mind works, and how human experience is structured.

Husserl’s work influenced many other philosophers. In his Crisis of the European Sciences, Husserl attacked the rationalistic, scientific view of the world. He was deeply impressed by mathematics and sought to apply his knowledge to the realm of experience. His program, however, differs from the prevailing philosophy of life, which is largely a matter of philosophical realism. The latter is characterized by a lack of mathematical projections and theory-driven thought.

Similarly, Ryckman’s book explores the role of phenomenology in the classic treatment of relativity by Weyl. By developing a theory of general relativity, Weyl was able to formulate the “gauge principle,” which governs the identity of units of measurement. It also had a significant role in the articulation of general relativity and certain concepts of modern physics.

For example, phenomenology considers the differences between local effects and global structures in perception. For example, if you’re observing a cup through a profile, the effect is local, while the global structure is global. Ultimately, phenomenology seeks to exhibit how these two levels of perception are related and constituted. This approach can also be applied to the world of science, where research in phenomenology has made significant contributions to the understanding of quantum mechanics and relativity.