Explore BrainMass

Key Concepts in Scientific Research

Please define of the following terms in your own words: philosophy of science, paradigm, epistemology, and ontology (please do not define with a personal philosophy of your discipline i.e. philosophy of education). What is the distinction between and among these terms, and explain why are these terms important for researchers to know.

Solution Preview

Dear Student,
Hello and thank you for using brainmass. The solution below should get you started. Your professor has already given you a good hint here - that these terms are central in the study of science. Why? How? Don't worry, while the answers seem complicated, they can be quite understood if we simplify each concept which is what I have done for you below. You can also use the listed resources to further explore the topic. Good luck with your studies.

AE 105878/Xenia Jones

On the Philosophy of Science

What is the philosophy of science? It is a way of making sense of the world, a way of exploring and critiquing the merit, utilization and importance of science - what the foundation, methods and assumptions of science imply. A philosophical study is a critical discussion that looks into the structures and host of elements that constitute reality, knowledge, reason and logic. The philosophy of science then is a 'deep enquiry' of what makes science as a body of knowledge and how science and 'un-science' differ. Philosophy is all about perspectives, positions and debates. The philosophy of science seeks to understand the epistemological and ontological nature of knowledge building because for philosophers and scientists ALL KNOWLEDGE is a social construct - what we know is man-made because we humans build our own knowledge library through the years over many discoveries. So for the scientist to think through his ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling key concepts on the philosophy of science. The terms listed (see original problem) are defined and explained providing distinction on each of them and discussing their relevance for researchers. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.