Which Research or Practice Methodology Will You Prefer?
There are four ontologies / epistemologies by which we undertake research in the academy. empiricism, positivism, realism and pot-modernism. We also put them into practice in the real world. There is a lot of rhetoric about them but I see methodology (method) and practice through the lens of a person’s ailing loved one. Namely, a parent, sibling, cousin, spouse, sweetheart, friend or business partner.
Out of the blue, the love one collapses. An ambulance takes him or her to hospital in a critical medical emergency condition. Furthermore, the doctor has to make important decisions based on the findings or assessments of a surgeon or physician.
First, The Empiricist will tell you looking at scans and blood tests and observations he or she knows from an empirical standpoint (with 98% accuracy), your loved one has illness A with M diagnosis.
Second, The Positivist will tell you on observing of the symptoms (with considerable certainty) your loved one has condition B with diagnosis N.
Third, The Realist will tell you on analysing the tests and observations of symptoms (again with considerable certainty) your loved one has condition C with prognosis O but there may be deeper causes or problems yet to be discovered.
Fourth, The Post-Modernist will tell that the disease of your loved one is a ‘social construction.’ And (with considerable certainty) no one knows anything about the condition D, which is a discourse and therefore no diagnosis or prognosis is possible.
Which of these doctors will you take most and least seriously? Which epistemology or ontology do you prefer? That is research and practice method for you.