Basic Concepts in the Methodology of the Social Sciences by Johann Mouton, H. C. Marais

By Johann Mouton, H. C. Marais

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Extra info for Basic Concepts in the Methodology of the Social Sciences (HSRC studies in research methodology)

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Thus, although threats to the validity of research exist in both self-initiated and applied research they need not present insuperable obstacles to the researcher. The sanction associated with an established tradition of self-initiated research is, in itself, one of the most important safeguards against unscientific research in the face of the necessity for conducting contract research. In this context the existing mechanisms of social control — criticism and debate in research communities — fulfil an important role in ensuring the validity of findings.

5. As far as journal articles are concerned, the most important publications in the field of the philosophy of science appear in: Philosophy of science, British journal of the philosophy of science, Synthese, Kennis en methode, and Zeitschrift für allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie, Concerning the philosophy of the social sciences, Philosophy of social science, and Human studies may be consulted. Encyclopedias on the philosophy of science are rare. At the time of writing we are aware of the existence of only two, both in German.

Bearing in mind that it is impossible to know when the truth has been attained, it necessarily becomes essential to strive constantly for the elimination of falsity, inaccuracy, and error in research. e. that the findings should approximate reality as closely as possible. Following Popper’s thinking, it is accepted that one should seek the greatest degree of verisimilitude in statements about reality. Alternatively, one could maintain that scientific statements ought to be approximations of truth in Putnam’s terminology.

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