2004
Volume 19, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1385-1535
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7324

Abstract

Reality, observation and reporting. The epistemology of qualitative and quantitative research

Reality, observation and reporting. The epistemology of qualitative and quantitative research

In recurring debates on philosophical presuppositions, the opposition of qualitative versus quantitative research is often mixed up with other oppositions like positivism versus humanism. Restriction to empirical research may help to clear the debate. With that restriction, qualitative and quantitative research do not differ in their philosophical presuppositions. All empirical research presupposes (1) a reality apart from our senses, (2) the ability of humans to observe reality, (3) the ability to report observations to others, and (4) the ability to test the validity of reports. These presuppositions are necessary and self-evident in daily life, but cannot be proven. One crucial problem is the relationship between reality and language in communicating facts (empirical observations).

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2014-06-01
2021-11-28
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