The source of variation by Mjavad Sabet

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What is it that makes these people in social science see what is going on so differently? by Mjavad Sabet

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The source of variation by Mjavad Sabet

  1. 1. Why?What is it that makes these people see and analyze what is going onso differently?<br />Entrepreneurship Faculty, University of Tehran, Iran<br />Mohammad JavadSabet<br />Assistant Prof: Dr.Arabiun<br />
  2. 2. The source of variation<br />There is no single correct answer or solution.<br />There are just different answers, and these different answers lead to different approaches to doing research.<br />It is important to realize that any scientific endeavor is underpinned by philosophical assumptions about ontology and epistemology.<br />6/6/2010<br />2 of 15<br />
  3. 3. Epistemology<br />Epistemology is the study of the criteria we deploy and by which we know and decide what does and does not constitute a warranted claim about the world or what might constitute warranted knowledge.<br />Epistemology has to do with how we know when some claim about the world is justified.<br />Epistemology raises the issue of whether or not we can objectively or neutrally know what there is out there in the world and thereby collect the necessary evidence. In other words, is it possible to neutrally observe the social world without influencing what we see during that very act of observation? <br />If we cannot, then the idea that what is true is something that corresponds with the facts becomes very difficult to defend.<br />6/6/2010<br />3 of 15<br />
  4. 4. Epistemological objectivity<br />It is possible to neutrally observe the social world and the behavior of social phenomena without influencing or distorting what we see by and through that act of observation or perception. <br />For epistemological objectivists, what we see is what there is. Provided that we have been suitably trained to observe in a rigorous manner.<br />For epistemological objectivists, the facts ‘out there’ can and must be the ultimate arbiter of whether or not our theories are true and hence can be used to guide practice. If we cannot use empirical evidence from reality to judge the adequacy of our theories, we are in danger of being held in thrall by a mixture of guesswork, dogma, superstition, prejudice and so on.<br />It raises the question of whether or not we can actually observe and collect ‘the facts out there’ in order to test our theories without influencing what we see.<br />6/6/2010<br />4 of 15<br />
  5. 5. 6/6/2010<br />5 of 15<br />
  6. 6. Epistemological subjectivity<br />If you assume that it is impossible to neutrally observe what is ‘out there’ without inevitably influencing what you perceive, because of the action of a perceptual process that processes sensory inputs in variable ways according to, for instance, their variable cultural backgrounds, then you are adopting what might be called an epistemologically subjectivist philosophical stance.<br />What we perceive is, at least in part, an outcome of us and the conceptual baggage that we bring to bear in order to make sense of what we experience. The origins of this baggage are usually assumed to be social in origin.<br />They just see things differently from us and neither way is right or wrong.<br />6/6/2010<br />6 of 15<br />
  7. 7. Ontology<br />Ontology is concerned with the nature of phenomena and their existence – the “out there” we have talked about .<br />For our purposes, ontology raises questions regarding whether or not a phenomenon we are interested in actually exists independently of our knowing and perceiving it. Or is what we see and usually take to be real, instead, an outcome or creation of these acts of knowing and perceiving?<br />It is about that “what” rather than “How” and about “known” rather than “knower” and about “object” rather than “subject”.<br />6/6/2010<br />7 of 15<br />
  8. 8. Ontological Realism<br />Realist assumptions concern the ontological status of the phenomena we assume to constitute social reality and entail the view that they exist, “out there” independently of our perceptual or cognitive structures and attempts to know. <br />We might not already know its characteristics, but this reality exists, is real, and awaits discovery by us.<br />6/6/2010<br />8 of 15<br />
  9. 9. Ontological Subjectivism<br />Subjectivist assumptions concern the ontological status of the social phenomena we deal with, which, philosophically, entail the view that what we take to be social reality is a creation or projection of our consciousness and cognition. <br />What we usually assume to be “out there” has no real independent status separate from the act of knowing. In knowing the social world, we create it. We just probably are not usually aware of our role in these creative processes.<br />6/6/2010<br />9 of 15<br />
  10. 10. Different Understandings<br />Three main different understandings of science are created by different combinations of philosophical assumptions about ontology and epistemology.<br />Positivism<br />Phenomenology<br />Postmodernism<br />6/6/2010<br />10 of 15<br />
  11. 11. The End<br />6/6/2010<br />11 of 15<br />

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