Ontology, Epistemology And Methodology

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Ontology, Epistemology and methodology form the key component of qualitative research. Ontology is defined as the branch of metaphysics (philosophy concerning the overall nature of what things are) that deals with identifying, in the most general terms, the kinds of things that actually exist. Epistemology on the other hand is the branch that deals with the nature of knowledge itself, its possibility, scope, and general basis. Let us look into both in detail. The word ontology basically refers to the questions related to existence. What epistemology concerns with is about what kinds of things exist - what entities there are in the universe. It primarily deals with addressing questions related to existence and the nature of existence. Ontology According to Baikie, Ontology is the science or study of being and it deals with the nature of reality. In simple terms it deals with whether social entities need to be perceived as objective or subjective. Objective and subjective approach of investigative things forms two important elements of ontology, broadly called as the Positivism and Subjectivism. Positivism Positive ontology believes in the fact that that the world is external (Carson et al., 1988) and that there is a single objective reality to any research phenomenon or situation regardless of the researcher’s perspective or belief (Hudson and Ozanne, 1988). The positive approach refers to philosophical positions that emphasize empirical data and scientific methods. It
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