How Philosophies Reflect Methodologies

A researcher's choice of paradigm sets out their objectives, reasons and probabilities for the study. Without proposing a paradigm at thefirst stage, there is no basis for a successive choice with regards to the methodology or research design. This essay will explore how the different philosophies of the social sciences are reflected in a researcher's choice of methodology. Examples of different studies will be shown to explore the different methodologies researchers have carried out their studies and the philosophy behind it.
Positivism is often referred as the scientific method because of it originated from Auguste Comte (1868) who discussed the importance of the relationship between theory, practice and the human understanding of the world. Scientific methodology aims to give an explanation through different predictions or results. It is argued that scientific methods uncover different social norms and relationship between different individuals that are observed in the social world. Therefore, these observations done could be understood and studied logically and rationally using scientific methods as it is done in other disciplines such as physics or biology. A researcher that is heavily influenced by this philosophy will ultimately aim to formulate laws to account for the happenings in the world around them, thus giving them a firm basis for prediction and control. Durkheim's early study of suicide (Durkheim 1938) demonstrated how the philosophy of science reflected his choice of methodology. Durkheim sought to use scientific methods in order to find a correlation between the rate of suicides per million inhabitants in different European countries, the type of suicide and the balance of society. Durkheim demonstrated the use of scientific methodology by using suicide statistics from a number of different European countries to establish a correlation, and uncover the different sociological patterns.

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