ERIC Number: ED302553
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Philosophical Issues in Educational Research: Is There Room for Truth in the Soft Sciences? Research Seminar and Workshop Series.
Phillips, D. C.
Many in the research community no longer believe that a naturalistic social science is possible. A social science based on the model of the physical sciences seems unattainable. Relativistic views are becoming common; it is often said that what is true depends on what different theoretical frameworks will be confronted by different realities. A brief summary of the intellectual factors in the evolution of this "new philosophy" of science shows that the scientist now has much in common with the evaluator in that nothing is safe from reinterpretation and reanalysis. Examination of the work of several qualitative methodologists shows that their attempts to do away with truth as a regulative ideal are not successful. Although truth may be impossible to achieve, striving for it is worth the effort. An analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the hermeneutical case against naturalistic research results in a conclusion that, although interpretation plays a central role in the social sciences, this does not mean the complete demise of naturalistic social science. (SLD)
Descriptors: Educational Philosophy, Educational Research, Evaluation, Naturalism, Philosophy, Qualitative Research, Seminars, Social Science Research, Theory Practice Relationship, Workshops
Faculty Secretary, Faculty of Education, Western Australian Institute of Technology, Bentley 6102, Australia ($10.00; check payable to "Research Seminar and Workshop Series").
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Western Australian Inst. of Technology, Bentley. Faculty of Education.