Descartes and Hume. Rationalism and empiricism. Two of the most iconic philosophers who are both credited with polarizing theories, both claiming they knew the answer to the origin of knowledge and the way people comprehend knowledge. Yet, despite the many differences that conflict each other’s ideologies, they’re strikingly similar as well. In this essay I will attempt to find an understanding of both rationalism and empiricism, show the ideologies of both philosophers all whilst evaluating why one is more theory is potentially true than the other.
David Hume is an outstanding English philosopher-empiricist which considered comprehensive human understanding from the position of empiricism as his main aim in philosophy. He saw a guide for a practical activity in philosophy. Hume developed the doctrine about experience as a flow of impressions. The problem of existence and spirit in a relationship considered unsolvable. Ideas of doubt and skepticism are inherent his philosophy.
Different epistemologies offer different views of researchers’ relationships with their object of inquiry. When it comes to ontology, it is the theory of reality or existence (Crotty, 1998). For example, researcher’s ontological beliefs determine not only how they think about reality, but what exists for real
I begin my discussion by spelling out what mean by epistemology. The concept of epistemology is related to "the relationship between the knower and what can be known" (Guba and Lincoln, 1994: 108). Epistemology is defined as " [...] [T]he branch of philosophy that is concerned with the nature, origin, scope of knowledge and 'how we know what we know' " (Sumner and Tribe, 2004: 11). In respective of epistemology from my understanding and as many literatures also indicated mostly positivist researchers operate under different epistemological assumptions from constructivist researchers. For instance, positivist approach believes that knowledge is only produced through scientific approach.
It seems to be impossible for scientists to be both at the same time. But for me, they are. When rationalism and empiricism is united it can be represented as the scientific method. The scientific method emphasizes evidence therefore all hypotheses, theories, ideas, and the likes and such must be tested and observed for it to be proven as true. Engaging in scientific method means you will have to observe.
Since the beginning of time people have always been searching for the answers to the question of existence and the nature of reality. Famous philosophers of the past have always turned their attention to fundamental issues, such as the understanding of the human essence. Regarding that, a scientific branch called metaphysics originated from philosophy and was established as a part of philosophical thinking. Over time, metaphysical visions have changed, and theories of reality have began to be viewed from different perspectives. It can be seen while comparing the visions of Rene Descartes, who has developed the theory of dualism, and philosopher Paul M. Churchland, who stands for the materialist views of reality.
Sociological theories are often based in implicit moral assumptions, which contrasts with traditional notions of scientific empiricism. Theory is a system of generalized statements about phenomena that researchers wish to explore. Scientific theorists explain and predict the phenomena in question and produce testable results. Religious and philosophical theories are based on certain taken for granted truths and moral assumptions. However, sociological theories are a system of generalized statements about phenomena that researchers wish to evaluate.
Interviews using researcher-constructed questionnaires with motorcycle dealers and business entrepreneurs to know the situation of sales, basic marketing strategies, and some recent comments and personal thoughts about the development trend of the future market which could be valuable for further strategies. Positivism versus Phenomenology Positivism is a position that upholds that the objective of knowledge is basically to describe our experience with particular phenomena. Accordingly, the objective of science is mere to focus based on observation and measurement. Positivists believe that knowledge which is beyond what can be seen and measured is impossible. Positivist viewed science as the way to know the truth and to discover the world with the assumption of being able to predict, understand and control it.
The other difference are about their research method.Firstly，positivism use observations and experimentation，people repeat experimentation to get some same results，then these same answers become knowledge，such as laws and theories，and the way to find knowledge is according to observation，hypothesis，prediction and test，if the hypothesis is not proved by test，people should make another hypothesis until it is proven，then the final hypothesis is becoming knowledge（Professor Frank Wolfs ），however，interpretivism thinks highly of human behavior，it drives for results that human do the same thing under the same situation，it aims to understand，for example，when Foster studied crime，she did lots of interview and made some different levels，then she could interpretive people’s interpretations（Bryman，A.2008）.Secondly，values plays different roles in them，it is no doubt that both positivism and interpretivism think scientist and researcher should keep their values away during the research，it is value freedom，but interpretivism thinks that values can influence our knowledge，for example people in different countries behave differently as well because of their different cultures and background，it is value relevance，it means values should be considered into the study.Finally，their results of research are different，positivism force on the explanation and description，so usually it study in facts and then get knowledge about law and theory，on the other hand，interpretivism pay attention to the
But some basic questions arise: Is knowledge relative or universal? What actually do we know? Can there be an absolute claim to knowledge? The answer to these questions forms the thematic pre-occupation of the branch of philosophy known as epistemology. Epistemology deals with the nature, origin and basis of human knowledge.