Research philosophy is the development of logical reasoning that incorporates contemporary ideas with previously established methods of thought through structural phases. The schools of positivism and post-positivism are relevant to modern research philosophy, the former based upon techniques of objective observation while the latter reconsiders world views through metaphysical interpretation.
The structure of research philosophy is comprised of both inductive and deductive reasoning, as well as variables involving influences of cause and effect. Studies may be structured around a variety of designs ranging from the experimental to the factorial, though each type must supply causal evidence to maintain validity in its outcome. What Is Research Philosophy? Quick Answer Research philosophy is the development of logical reasoning that incorporates contemporary ideas with previously established methods of thought through structural phases.
Research philosophy can be defined as the development of the research background, research knowledge and its nature Saunders and Thornhill, Research philosophy is also defined with the help of research paradigm. In the words of Cohen, Manion and Morrison , research paradigm can be defined as the broad framework, which comprises perception, beliefs and understanding of several theories and practices that are used to conduct a research.
It can also be characterized as a precise procedure, which involves various steps through which a researcher creates a relationship between the research objectives and questions. It is not strictly a methodology, but more of a philosophy that guides how the research is to be conducted p. This concept influences the beliefs and value of the researchers, so that he can provide valid arguments and terminology to give reliable results. Easter-by-Smith et al, have discussed about three different components of research paradigm or three ways to think about research philosophy.
It is necessary for the researcher to understand the philosophical position of research issues to understand the different combination of research methods. There are mainly three type of paradigm to understand the reality, Positivism, Interpretivism and realism. The concept of Positivism is directly associated with the idea of objectivism. In this kind of philosophical approach, scientists give their viewpoint to evaluate social world with the help of objectivity in place of subjectivity Cooper and Schindler According to this paradigm, researchers are interested to collect general information and data from a large social sample instead of focusing details of research.
Ibn Khaldun was an influential thinker in philosophy of history. In Iran several schools of Islamic philosophy continued to flourish after the Golden Age and include currents such as Illuminationist philosophy , Sufi philosophy , and Transcendent theosophy. The 19th- and 20th-century Arab world saw the Nahda awakening or renaissance movement which influenced contemporary Islamic philosophy.
Some of the earliest surviving philosophical texts are the Upanishads of the later Vedic period — BCE. Important Indian philosophical concepts include dharma , karma , samsara , moksha and ahimsa. Indian philosophers developed a system of epistemological reasoning pramana and logic and investigated topics such as metaphysics, ethics, hermeneutics and soteriology.
Indian philosophy also covered topics such as political philosophy as seen in the Arthashastra c. The commonly named six orthodox schools arose sometime between the start of the Common Era and the Gupta Empire.
Later developments include the development of Tantra and Iranian-Islamic influences. Buddhism mostly disappeared from India after the Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent , surviving in the Himalayan regions and south India. The modern era saw the rise of Hindu nationalism , Hindu reform movements and Neo-Vedanta or Hindu modernism whose major proponents included Vivekananda , Mahatma Gandhi and Aurobindo and who for the first time promoted the idea of a unified " Hinduism ".
Due to the influence of British colonialism, much modern Indian philosophical work was in English and includes thinkers such as Radhakrishnan , Krishna Chandra Bhattacharya , Bimal Krishna Matilal and M. Jain philosophy separates body matter from the soul consciousness completely. Jain philosophy attempts to explain the rationale of being and existence, the nature of the Universe and its constituents, the nature of bondage and the means to achieve liberation.
Jain texts expound that in every half-cycle of time, twenty-four tirthankaras grace this part of the Universe to teach the unchanging doctrine of right faith, right knowledge and right conduct. Buddhist philosophy begins with the thought of Gautama Buddha fl. Buddhist thought is trans-regional and trans-cultural. It originated in India and later spread to East Asia , Tibet , Central Asia , and Southeast Asia , developing new and syncretic traditions in these different regions.
The various Buddhist schools of thought are the dominant philosophical tradition in Tibet and Southeast Asian countries like Sri Lanka and Burma. Because ignorance to the true nature of things is considered one of the roots of suffering dukkha , Buddhist philosophy is concerned with epistemology, metaphysics, ethics and psychology.
The ending of dukkha also encompasses meditative practices. Key innovative concepts include the Four Noble Truths , Anatta not-self a critique of a fixed personal identity , the transience of all things Anicca , and a certain skepticism about metaphysical questions. Later Buddhist philosophical traditions developed complex phenomenological psychologies termed ' Abhidharma '.
Mahayana philosophers such as Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu developed the theories of Shunyata emptiness of all phenomena and Vijnapti-matra appearance only , a form of phenomenology or transcendental idealism. After the disappearance of Buddhism from India, these philosophical traditions continued to develop in the Tibetan Buddhist , East Asian Buddhist and Theravada Buddhist traditions. The modern period saw the rise of Buddhist modernism and Humanistic Buddhism under Western influences and the development of a Western Buddhism with influences from modern psychology and Western philosophy.
East Asian philosophical thought began in Ancient China , and Chinese philosophy begins during the Western Zhou Dynasty and the following periods after its fall when the " Hundred Schools of Thought " flourished 6th century to BCE.
These philosophical traditions developed metaphysical, political and ethical theories such Tao , Yin and yang , Ren and Li which, along with Chinese Buddhism , directly influenced Korean philosophy , Vietnamese philosophy and Japanese philosophy which also includes the native Shinto tradition.
During later Chinese dynasties like the Ming Dynasty — as well as in the Korean Joseon dynasty — a resurgent Neo-Confucianism led by thinkers such as Wang Yangming — became the dominant school of thought, and was promoted by the imperial state.
In the Modern era, Chinese thinkers incorporated ideas from Western philosophy. Modern Japanese thought meanwhile developed under strong Western influences such as the study of Western Sciences Rangaku and the modernist Meirokusha intellectual society which drew from European enlightenment thought.
The 20th century saw the rise of State Shinto and also Japanese nationalism. The Kyoto School , an influential and unique Japanese philosophical school developed from Western phenomenology and Medieval Japanese Buddhist philosophy such as that of Dogen. African philosophy is philosophy produced by African people , philosophy that presents African worldviews, ideas and themes, or philosophy that uses distinct African philosophical methods.
Modern African thought has been occupied with Ethnophilosophy , with defining the very meaning of African philosophy and its unique characteristics and what it means to be African. Another early African philosopher was Anton Wilhelm Amo c.
Contemporary African thought has also seen the development of Professional philosophy and of Africana philosophy , the philosophical literature of the African diaspora which includes currents such as black existentialism by African-Americans.
Modern African thinkers have been influenced by Marxism , African-American literature , Critical theory , Critical race theory , Postcolonialism and Feminism. Indigenous American philosophy is the philosophy of the Indigenous people of the Americas. There is a wide variety of beliefs and traditions among these different American cultures.
Among some of the Native Americans in the United States there is a belief in a metaphysical principle called the "Great Mystery" Siouan: Wakan Tanka , Algonquian: Another widely shared concept was that of Orenda or "spiritual power". According to Peter M. Whiteley, for the Native Americans, "Mind is critically informed by transcendental experience dreams, visions and so on as well as by reason. Another feature of the indigenous American worldviews was their extension of ethics to non-human animals and plants.
In Mesoamerica , Aztec philosophy was an intellectual tradition developed by individuals called Tlamatini 'those who know something'  and its ideas are preserved in various Aztec codices. The Aztec worldview posited the concept of an ultimate universal energy or force called Ometeotl which can be translated as "Dual Cosmic Energy" and sought a way to live in balance with a constantly changing, "slippery" world.
The theory of Teotl can be seen as a form of Pantheism. Aztec ethics was focused on seeking tlamatiliztli knowledge, wisdom which was based on moderation and balance in all actions as in the Nahua proverb "the middle good is necessary". The Inca civilization also had an elite class of philosopher-scholars termed the Amawtakuna who were important in the Inca education system as teachers of religion, tradition, history and ethics.
Philosophical questions can be grouped into categories. These groupings allow philosophers to focus on a set of similar topics and interact with other thinkers who are interested in the same questions. The groupings also make philosophy easier for students to approach. Students can learn the basic principles involved in one aspect of the field without being overwhelmed with the entire set of philosophical theories.
Various sources present different categorical schemes. The categories adopted in this article aim for breadth and simplicity. These five major branches can be separated into sub-branches and each sub-branch contains many specific fields of study. These divisions are neither exhaustive, nor mutually exclusive. A philosopher might specialize in Kantian epistemology, or Platonic aesthetics, or modern political philosophy.
Furthermore, these philosophical inquiries sometimes overlap with each other and with other inquiries such as science, religion or mathematics. Metaphysics is the study of the most general features of reality , such as existence , time , objects and their properties , wholes and their parts, events, processes and causation and the relationship between mind and body.
Metaphysics includes cosmology , the study of the world in its entirety and ontology , the study of being. A major point of debate is between realism , which holds that there are entities that exist independently of their mental perception and idealism , which holds that reality is mentally constructed or otherwise immaterial.
Metaphysics deals with the topic of identity. Essence is the set of attributes that make an object what it fundamentally is and without which it loses its identity while accident is a property that the object has, without which the object can still retain its identity. Particulars are objects that are said to exist in space and time, as opposed to abstract objects , such as numbers, and universals , which are properties held by multiple particulars, such as redness or a gender.
The type of existence, if any, of universals and abstract objects is an issue of debate. Epistemology is the study of knowledge Greek episteme. Is knowledge justified true belief? Are any beliefs justified? Putative knowledge includes propositional knowledge knowledge that something is the case , know-how knowledge of how to do something and acquaintance familiarity with someone or something.
Epistemologists examine these and ask whether knowledge is really possible. Skepticism is the position which doubts claims to knowledge. The regress argument , a fundamental problem in epistemology, occurs when, in order to completely prove any statement, its justification itself needs to be supported by another justification. This chain can go on forever, called infinitism , it can eventually rely on basic beliefs that are left unproven, called foundationalism , or it can go in a circle so that a statement is included in its own chain of justification, called coherentism.
Rationalism is the emphasis on reasoning as a source of knowledge. It is associated with a priori knowledge , which is independent of experience, such as math and logical deduction. Empiricism is the emphasis on observational evidence via sensory experience as the source of knowledge. Value theory or axiology is the major branch of philosophy that addresses topics such as goodness, beauty and justice.
Value theory includes ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, feminist philosophy, philosophy of law and more. Ethics, or "moral philosophy", studies and considers what is good and bad conduct , right and wrong values , and good and evil. Its primary investigations include how to live a good life and identifying standards of morality. It also includes meta-investigations about whether a best way to live or related standards exists. The main branches of ethics are normative ethics , meta-ethics and applied ethics.
A major area of debate involves consequentialism , in which actions are judged by the potential results of the act, such as to maximize happiness, called utilitarianism , and deontology , in which actions are judged by how they adhere to principles, irrespective of negative ends. Aesthetics is the "critical reflection on art, culture and nature. An example from art theory is to discern the set of principles underlying the work of a particular artist or artistic movement such as the Cubist aesthetic.
Political philosophy is the study of government and the relationship of individuals or families and clans to communities including the state.
It includes questions about justice, law, property and the rights and obligations of the citizen. Politics and ethics are traditionally linked subjects, as both discuss the question of how people should live together. Many academic disciplines generated philosophical inquiry. The relationship between "X" and the "philosophy of X" is debated.
Richard Feynman argued that the philosophy of a topic is irrelevant to its primary study, saying that " philosophy of science is as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds.
The topics of philosophy of science are numbers , symbols and the formal methods of reasoning as employed in the social sciences and natural sciences. Logic is the study of reasoning and argument. An argument is " a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
Deductive reasoning is when, given certain premises, conclusions are unavoidably implied. Because sound reasoning is an essential element of all sciences,  social sciences and humanities disciplines, logic became a formal science.
Sub-fields include mathematical logic , philosophical logic , Modal logic , computational logic and non-classical logics. A major question in the philosophy of mathematics is whether mathematical entities are objective and discovered, called mathematical realism, or invented, called mathematical antirealism.
This branch explores the foundations, methods, history, implications and purpose of science. Many of its sub-divisions correspond to a specific branch of science. For example, philosophy of biology deals specifically with the metaphysical, epistemological and ethical issues in the biomedical and life sciences.
The philosophy of mathematics studies the philosophical assumptions, foundations and implications of mathematics. Some philosophers specialize in one or more historical periods. The history of philosophy study of a specific period, individual or school is related to but not the same as the philosophy of history the theoretical aspect of history, which deals with questions such as the nature of historical evidence and the possibility of objectivity.
Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of History influenced many philosophers to interpret truth in light of history, a view called historicism.
Philosophy of religion deals with questions that involve religion and religious ideas from a philosophically neutral perspective as opposed to theology which begins from religious convinctions.
Issues include the existence of God , the relationship between reason and faith , questions of religious epistemology , the relationship between religion and science , how to interpret religious experiences , questions about the possibility of an afterlife , the problem of religious language and the existence of souls and responses to religious pluralism and diversity.
Some philosophers specialize in one or more of the major philosophical schools, such as Continental philosophy , Analytical philosophy , Thomism , Asian philosophy or African philosophy. The ideas conceived by a society have profound repercussions on what actions the society performs. Weaver argued that ideas have consequences.
Philosophy yields applications such as those in ethics — applied ethics in particular — and political philosophy. Progressive education as championed by Dewey had a profound impact on 20th-century US educational practices.
Descendants of this movement include efforts in philosophy for children , which are part of philosophy education.
Clausewitz 's political philosophy of war has had a profound effect on statecraft , international politics and military strategy in the 20th century, especially around World War II. Logic is important in mathematics , linguistics , psychology , computer science and computer engineering. Other important applications can be found in epistemology , which aid in understanding the requisites for knowledge, sound evidence and justified belief important in law , economics , decision theory and a number of other disciplines.
The philosophy of science discusses the underpinnings of the scientific method and has affected the nature of scientific investigation and argumentation. Philosophy thus has fundamental implications for science as a whole. For example, the strictly empirical approach of B. Skinner 's behaviorism affected for decades the approach of the American psychological establishment.
research philosophy will enable to assist the researchers with different types of methodologies and as such avoiding inappropriate and unrelated works. Lastly, by understanding the basic meaning of research philosophy and understanding its advantages and benefits, it helps the researcher to be more creative and exploratory in their method of research.
Discussion of research philosophy in your dissertation should include the following: You need to specify the research philosophy of your study. Your research philosophy can be pragmatism, positivism, realism or interpretivism as discussed below. The reasons behind .
Research paradigm and philosophy is an important part of research methodology in order to collect data in effective and appropriate manner. According to Johnson and Christensen (), research paradigm is a perspective that is based on the set of shared assumptions, values, concepts and practices. Research philosophy is also defined with the help of research paradigm. In the words of Cohen, Manion and Morrison (), research paradigm can be defined as the broad framework, which comprises perception, beliefs and understanding of several theories and practices that are .
Research philosophy is the development of logical reasoning that incorporates contemporary ideas with previously established methods of thought through structural phases. Research philosophy is an important part of research methodology. Research philosophy is classified as ontology, epistemology and axiology. These philosophical approaches enable to decide which approach should be adopted by the researcher and why, which is derived from research questions (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, ).