Fiction written under Oath?: Essays in Philosophy and by David Bridges

By David Bridges

The measured and passionate essays during this quantity convey to modern debates approximately academic study either a first-hand familiarity with the practices and arguments of the tutorial examine neighborhood and a transparent clutch of the ways that philosophical resources and research can tell them. it is going to be crucial analyzing for researchers, masters and doctoral scholars who're coming to phrases with academic research.

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How important, or indeed meaningful, it is to define education as a field of applied research is however a matter which merits some consideration. It is obviously comforting in some settings - eg in discussion with teachers, policy makers or funders - to be able to represent education as applied research and education researchers as people willing and able to roll up their sleeves in the real world of educational practice - at least until the expectation is succeeded by frustration and disappointment that the research does not quite deliver what it promised.

But if we do take that attitude towards our beliefs, that shows only the limits of our imagination, not that our beliefs will hold true in the face of all increase in scienfific knowledge, (p. 112) Everitt and Fisher draw the implication from this that we have to abandon the traditional dichotomy between philosophy (as dealing with the a priori, necessary truths and the methods of logic) and science (as dealing with the a posteriori, contingent truths and the methods of systematic observation).

The political problem, though not perhaps an overwhelming one, is that in many universities, the paradigm of research which is best understood and most powerful is the scientific paradigm with all its socio-cultural baggage of expensive equipment, large scale funding, international teams and half a page of collaborating authors in Nature as well as its more intrinsic positivistic features of data gathering, hypothesis testing and replicability. It is easy for research to become defined in terms of this paradigm in a 21 22 CHAPTER 3 way which makes the work of social scientists look like a poor imitation of 'proper' science and that of the arts faculties including philosophy something which may well be dignified and respected as 'scholarship', but which is a distant remove from research per se.

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