Education, Epistemology and Critical Realism by David Scott

By David Scott

This publication addresses primary questions relating to schooling and its epistemology. the placement taken via the writer is important realist; and therefore during the courting among schooling and demanding realism is foregrounded. subject matters and matters that surface at various instances within the e-book are: a severe realist view of schooling examine; a answer of the quantitative/qualitative divide; standards for judging the value of academic texts and practices; transformations among clinical and important realisms; empirical examine equipment in schooling; structure-agency relationships; pragmatist perspectives of academic study; foundations and paradigmatic adjustments; and academic critique and transformation.

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Sample text

The researcher’s self-appointed task is to find out about something in the world. She is born into a world which is already resourced, and in the case of methodology, this consists of a series of conflicting arguments for the use of certain types of approaches. A choice therefore has to be made, though of course she may not be aware of all the possible options and indeed some options which have not yet been invented. As a result, she may only be able to make a limited choice, but a choice nonetheless.

So, truth as correspondence would suggest that a belief in epistemic relativism is unsound, whereas truth as consensus is predicated on a belief that a universal a-historical warrant cannot be legitimately developed. These different theories are so framed that belief in one precludes belief in another. Or at least this is true if a further set of assumptions is made that either belief in more than one of these theories results in a logical incoherence or that the individual holding such contradictory beliefs can compartmentalise aspects of their belief system so that one theory refers to one set of circumstances and another to a different set of circumstances.

Extensionality therefore refers to the reference of an expression and not its meaning. Since intensional expressions such as ‘he believes that …’, and ‘he wishes that …’ reflect the meaning of the proposition, then they have no place in standard logic. Mathematical modelling reflects the principles established in standard logic and thus is only concerned with extensionality. However, translation is possible if intensional idioms are reconfigured as extensional idioms; and this provides a way of linking quantitative and qualitative approaches; though the bias in this linkage is towards the quantitative with a relative neglect of the qualitative.

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