Johnsen, HCG, Rypestøl, JO & Berge M. (2018), Coping with Methodology



This chapter looks at the epistemological foundation of social science. It addresses how social science contributes to knowledge development. The traditional approach in positivism presumes that explanations in social science should be similar to those in natural science. Positivists also argue that metaphysics does not belong to science, and that the world exists as an objective entity, outside the mind of the observer. Thus, while some of these assumptions are less strict within the neo-positivism/post-positivism approach, the reality is still considered to be objective, even if some phenomena are not governed by causal laws but by probabilistic ones. The validity of what has happened is sometimes hard to establish. Knowledge as socially explicit means arguing that knowledge is to be understood as an either/or phenomenon. Knowledge from the perspective of the actor is often oriented towards understanding and interpretation, giving meaning for the subjects.

Johnsen, HCG, Rypestøl, JO & Berge M. (2018), Coping with Methodology, In Johnsen HCG, Holtskog, H, & Ennals, R. (eds), Coping with the future: rethinking assumptions for society, business, and work, London: Routledge