Positivism Interpretivism

According to Sean:

Positivism has the belief that truth exists concretely independent of the observer and that reality is separated from the individual who observes it. Interpretivism holds the belief that truth is a construct invented or influenced by the observer and that reality is relative and not separate from the individual who observes it. With these main beliefs, positivism relies on experiments and empirical evidence to discover truth. Interpretivism relies on interviews and subjective observation to describe perceived truth.

In positivism, theory tries to divine the principles and laws that describe, explain, predict, and control outcomes. Theory is like the recipe to a cake. Follow the recipe each time and the outcome will be a cake each time. In the equation, E=mc2, no amount of subjective interpretation will change the fact that energy is predicted by mass times the speed of light squared.

According to Kevin:

Positivism is the philosophy that states the only true knowledge is scientific knowledge which can only be obtained by adhering strictly to the scientific method. In positivist science, a theory is a tool used as a framework test hypotheses. The theory is based on observation and past empirical research. Theories attempt to establish causality, and positivistic science attempts to prove or disprove the proposed causality. In order for a theory to show causality, it must consist of at least one dependent variable, and at least one independent variable. It must have a measurable construct that is the cause of the effect, which is also a measurable construct. These are the qualities of a good theory.

In interpretivism, the world in interpreted through the mind. Interpretivism rests on idealism, and idealism holds the view that the world is the creation of the mind; the world is interpreted through the mind. The favorite example for interpretivists to demonstrate this is the classificatory schemes (classifying animals into mammals, reptiles, birds). Interpretivists believe that objects have no independent existence from our thoughts, and the world cannot be understood or described without first processing through our system of languages and symbols.


“1. A science or study of being: specifically, a branch of metaphysics relating to the nature and relations of being; a particular system according to which problems of the nature of being are investigated; first philosophy; 2. a theory concerning the kinds of entities and specifically the kinds of abstract entities that are to be admitted to a language system.” (Inc Merriam-Webster, 2002).
Sean's hint: ontology is categorizing thing that exist


Epistemology is a philosophy branch which studies what is knowledge and how to obtain knowledge. In science, two fundamental problems encountered by every researcher are “what is knowledge?” and “how do we acquire knowledge?” which are primarily questions that epistemology addresses.
Sean's hint: epistemology is how we obtain knowledge

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