Unit 4. Experience as knowledge
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Unit 4. Experience as knowledge

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Unit 4. Experience as knowledge [Philosophy of Science]

Unit 4. Experience as knowledge [Philosophy of Science]

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Unit 4. Experience as knowledge Unit 4. Experience as knowledge Presentation Transcript

  • Unit 5
    Experience as knowledge
    Data-oriented methods and structure
  • Four paradigms
  • Empiricism: a theory of knowledge that says knowledge is gained through experience
    Interpretative theory: a theory of knowledge which aims at understanding rather than fact gathering
    Critical theory: theories aimed at both understanding (knowledge)and critiquing society
    Postmodernism: postmodern thinkers question the idea of a single truth
  • Last week
    Theory-ladenness
    demarcation
    Confirmation
    Falsification
    Paradigms
    Non-scientific factors influencing science
  • Theory-ladenness of data
    Data is infected with theory
    Your worldview influences your theory
    So your worldview affects results
  • From theory to data
  • August Comte (1798-1857): Positivism
  • Positivism
    Understanding the laws that control social reality
    Empirical approach, confirming theory with data
  • Structural functionalism
  • Structural functionalism
    Society is a whole, a structure
    All parts of the structure are interrelated e.g. everything has a function
    Dysfunction leads to disequilibrium and therefore to change
    macro-level research
  • Émile Durkheim (1858-1917)
  • Social facts:
    are external to the actor
    are to be studied empirically, not philosophically
    Invisible, only discernable by induction
  • Example:
    Crime
    is part of the social structure
    releases social tensions
    Is functional
  • analogies
    The human body as analogy for the state
    The human body as analogy for a company
  • Criticism
    Tautological
    Deterministic
    Without context (historical, cultural etc.)
    Uncritical of society
  • Tautological character of structural functionalism
    Every part of a structure has a function
    The function of every part is being part of the structure
  • Determinism
  • Determinism
    There is no agency
    Individuals are seen from a distance and have no free will
  • Uncritical and without context
    If poverty, racism, sexism etc. exist, they must have a function
    This supports the status quo
  • Countering criticism
    Karl Popper revisited
  • Combining functionalism with falsification
    Base theory on empirical research
    Make conjectures
    Falsify theory
  • From data to theory
  • Grounded theory
    From data to theory
    Qualitative
    Generalisable results
  • criticism
    Naïve, it is impossible to free yourself from pre-conceptions