what is the difference between ontology and epistemology pdf

What is the difference between ontology and epistemology pdf

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There are a great many guides to ontology, epistemology and methodology in social research and no need to refer to them all here. In brief, ontology, as a branch of philosophy, is the science of what is, of the kinds and structures of objects. In simple terms, ontology seeks the classification and explanation of entities.

Edited by Robert E. Goodin

Feminism operates on various feminist epistemologies, methodologies, and methods. While there is no consensus on how to organize or label these, there are a few generalities that can be drawn between these epistemologies, particularly in the international relations IR context. Classifying these epistemologies generally under the umbrella or in the constellation of postpositivism makes clear the contrasts between positivist social science and more critical approaches.

Moreover, within the many critical approaches in feminist IR are many points of convergence and divergence. Feminist IR theory also focuses on the complexities of gender as a social and relational construction, in contrast to how nonfeminist ontologies focus on the rights of women, but including those of children and men as well.

Hence, the postpositivist ontology takes on a more complex meaning. The problem of trying to define feminism is as old as feminism itself. This essay therefore starts with a disclaimer: try as we might, it is impossible to pin down any definitive definition of feminism, never mind feminist epistemologies, methodologies, or methods.

This point that there are multiple understandings of feminism is made by Peterson , Sylvester , Marchand , Caprioli , Krook and Squires , and Steans , among many others. Instead, the following will attempt to organize some of the existing literature. The majority of this essay will focus on the various feminist epistemologies, methodologies, and methods. As will be demonstrated along the way, there are many possibilities for each.

Feminist work in International Relations IR does not adhere to any one epistemology, methodology, or method. However, any analysis grounded in feminist ontology is well served to set a goal of consistency in epistemology, methodology, and method.

This essay will return to this theme of consistency at numerous points. The goal of the essay is to make explicit the variations between many different types of feminist work are they varying epistemologies? The following vocabulary for the spectra will be employed:. Separating these concepts into binaries would go against the spirit of many versions of feminist theory; instead, these may be understood as a continuum or spectrum, and not a definitive or all-inclusive one at that.

It is already clear that there is no consensus on how to organize or label various feminist epistemologies, methodologies, and methods. For example, what is the difference between constructivism, critical constructivism, postpositivism, poststructuralism, postmodernism, postcolonialism, and antifoundationalism? While the lines between these categories may be blurred or even nonexistent , it is possible to speak in generalities.

While some constructivists adhere to a positivist epistemology, and focus on causal analysis, others are more postpositivist in orientation. Constructivism broadly understood adheres to a philosophy that reality is socially constructed see Berger and Luckmann ; Wendt Others intentionally blur the lines between these distinctions. This discussion, while valid, lies largely outside the scope of the topic at hand, which is to provide a broad and introductory overview to feminist IR epistemologies, methodologies, and methods.

Rather than answer these complex questions, this essay seeks to include all of these epistemologies generally under the umbrella or in the constellation of postpositivism. This is done in order to make clear the contrasts between positivist social science and more critical approaches. Within the many critical approaches are many points of convergence and divergence.

So for now, it will suffice to return to the visual aid of the spectra or constellations in epistemology, methodology, and method. To be sure, feminist IR projects and theorists have located themselves along various points of these spectra or constellations over the years, although much of feminist IR is admittedly postpositivist, interpretivist, and qualitative Peterson What all feminist projects seem to share, however, is a critical ontology.

These norms, feminist IR theorists point out, are deeply gendered. According to J. These political, economic, and social structures, contingent on space and evolving over time, produce a shared notion of what the international system looks like anarchic or interconnected , how the state should behave given that system, what roles the state should play, and so on. These understandings are political imaginaries see, for example, Gibson-Graham , a feminist critique of the neoliberal capitalist political imaginary.

Feminist theorists argue that, like the norms propping them up, political imaginaries are inherently gendered. For many but not all feminist theorists, this critical, intersubjective ontology leads to a belief that the world we have created can in fact be remade. Thus the goals of lessening the shackles of power relations, of emancipation, and for transformation are at the forefront for many scholars of feminist IR see for example Harding ; Peterson —13; Sylvester ; J.

Tickner ; ; Krook and Squires This essay will proceed as follows: first, a discussion of feminist ontology is in order, along with a discussion of what makes feminism in IR different from other IR metatheories, namely the centrality of the concepts of gender and gendering within feminist IR.

Second, these ideas will be expanded into a brief discussion of epistemology, methodology, and method. The place of feminist IR within the broader field will be discussed on all these counts.

Third, the majority of this essay will be a wide-ranging but incomplete survey of some of the most common epistemologies, methodologies, and methods in contemporary feminist IR. In other words, while nonfeminist IR scholarship may take seriously the rights of women and children and men , it generally does not focus attention on the complexities of gender as a social and relational construction.

What does it mean to say that gender matters, and what does it mean when feminist IR theorists say that international politics is gendered?

Gender-as-difference tends to keep intact the binary between sex and gender, men and women, and femininity and masculinity. Gender understood as difference is a static characteristic, socially constructed but not relational. However, it would not uncover the deep-seated power relations that make rape into a viable if brutal battlefield strategy: its demoralizing effects, its devastation on society beyond the actual act.

Gender-as-power, however, reveals the power relations within and between societies, and is able to describe the historical roots and eventual outcomes of the public—private divide. Gender-as-power seeks to break down traditional binaries, and understand gender as an ongoing series of hierarchical relations.

Here, when examining wartime rape, we would look into the meaning of motherhood, of community, of human relations to see how the act of rape in wartime is a power play that transcends the individuals involved, and affects the victimized society more broadly.

Rather than looking just at the product of social construction gender-as-difference, masculinity and femininity , gender-as-power approaches look at the process.

Some feminist IR theorists argue that both gender-as-difference and gender-as-power are imperative to understanding the full thrust of gender as an analytical category. Thus a feminist ontology holds that women and men matter in international politics, and that social structures are imbued with gendered power relations. The term ontology is often included in a discussion of epistemology, methodologies, and the like.

The line between ontology and epistemology is quite blurry. Therefore it may be unproblematic for a positivist political scientist to argue that her results tell us something about the world as it actually is. This theorist would adhere to an epistemology a deeply positivist one that maintains the knowability of the world around her — so she would believe she is describing an ontological reality.

For her — at least for the research project at hand — epistemology is straightforward: knowledge is based on finding the ontological truth, such as how many women are in parliaments and governments worldwide. The story is somewhat more complex for the researcher who believes that absolute Truth is unknowable or nonexistent and not the goal of analysis. Most feminist theorists fall into this category. Starting from the insight that politics is about power — often gender-as-power — feminist theorists would say that the way one sees politics is inherently related to how one is situated in different relations of power.

Bush , or if you are a single working mother in East Los Angeles. This postpositivist epistemology complicates the idea of ontology somewhat. Reality is not static; it is not based on universal principles. So, for the postpositivist including most feminist IR theorists , ontology takes on a more complex meaning. This is actually quite similar to much of the work done under the label of constructivism. In terms of international relations, the social reality of the sovereign state system is not static or fixed to the feminist IR theorist, but rather, there are changing ideas about those nation-states and the actors who bring them into existence.

In a review essay that set off a flurry of responses, R. Charli Carpenter argued that feminist theorists have wrongly held a monopoly over the study of gender in IR. Criticisms by self-described feminist IR theorists abound. For the vast majority of feminist theorists, however and recall that Carpenter does not claim to be one , this is not the case.

It is true, Sjoberg concedes, that civilian men may be harmed; they may be excluded from the immunity principle. But it is much more important to investigate the deeply gendered underpinnings of the immunity principle itself. Little boys will grow up to be capable fighters; the elderly and disabled may themselves once have fought. But women, under no circumstances, should take up arms.

This normative principle is the foundation for the immunity principle. While the practice of civilian immunity may be harmful to civilian men, the infrastructure of the belief system is based on a gendered power hierarchy that legitimizes able-bodied males as soldiers and therefore targets, while able-bodied females, along with the very old and very young, are excluded from battle.

Whereas nonfeminist IR focuses on men and women as subjects, feminist IR problematizes these categories to show how they have been imbued with power relations. In other words, the majority of scholarship in IR is written, produced, and understood from an androcentric perspective. Feminism seeks to provide another set of voices; to rewrite the field from another perspective.

Actually, feminists seek to rewrite the field from many perspectives; as stated at the beginning of this essay, there are multiple understandings of feminism. Helen Kinsella also contributed to the discussion by pointing out the diversity of feminist IR.

Kinsella reminds us that there is vociferous debate within the field of feminist IR. The four concepts central to this essay ontology, epistemology, methodology, and method are closely linked and build upon one another. Perhaps the relationship between these four concepts is best shown visually:. Epistemology, methodology, and method all presuppose an ontology.

As the previous section demonstrates, feminism shares broadly an intersubjective ontology, suggesting that the gendered attributes of states and their leaders, and their citizens are not given or fixed, but are constructed and reconstructed based on gendered power relations. Tickner ; on the agent—structure relationship between the two, see Maruska While the linear representation of ontology influencing epistemology, epistemology influencing methodology, and so on, may be the easiest to visualize and understand, a more nuanced description of the relationship between these concepts may be visualized as a maypole, where ribbons fall from a central pole, held by dancers who weave in and out of each other.

In this alternative, ontology is not necessarily the basis for everything else. Instead, for example, it is our experience in using various methods that informs our understanding of appropriate epistemologies, and so on. These concepts are interconnected and ever-changing. Epistemology tends to organize into two major constellations, or points on a spectrum, within social science.

First, positivists tend to believe that there is a universal and objective Truth. The goal is to uncover that Truth in the form of facts. In the Introduction to The Feminist Standpoint Theory Reader , Harding suggests that positivism is founded on the idea that research can be politically and culturally neutral via an unbiased application of scientific methods On the other hand, postpositivists tend to believe that human bias is inescapable.

Postpositivism including feminist postpositivism therefore argues that interpretation rather than Truth-uncovering should be our goal.

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Our students are all practitioners and working with us is often their first foray into the unique jargon of the world of research. My purpose in writing is to explain in more depth the terms ontology and epistemology , and encourage you to reflect on your own philosophical position in research. Ontology and Epistemology are words very commonly used within academia, and although they can seem daunting when first encountered, their meaning for NLP research is simple. The choice of view in the research field is linked with the preferences of the researcher and the varieties and validities of the knowledge currently applied within NLP research. Some initial enquiries to probe, include;. NLP is not an exclusive study so it helps to understand the possibilities for further exploration so as to have the best possible background for making decisions about the approach.

This article examines the relevance of ontology to political analysis. It explains that as political science became more reflexive and less confident that it was before, ontological concerns have increasingly come to the fore. It stresses the fact that no political analysis has ever been ontologically neutral. It discusses the concept of political ontology, the status of ontological claims, and ontological disputes in political analysis. It also highlights the consistent disparity between the often tacit and normalized analytical assumptions of existing mainstream approaches to political analysis and those which emerge from sustained ontological reflection. Keywords: ontology , political analysis , political science , political ontology , ontological disputes , analytical assumptions.

Our students are all practitioners and working with us is often their first foray into the unique jargon of the world of research. My purpose in writing is to explain in more depth the terms ontology and epistemology , and encourage you to reflect on your own philosophical position in research. Ontology and Epistemology are words very commonly used within academia, and although they can seem daunting when first encountered, their meaning for NLP research is simple. The choice of view in the research field is linked with the preferences of the researcher and the varieties and validities of the knowledge currently applied within NLP research. Some initial enquiries to probe, include;.

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Ontology is the branch of philosophy that studies concepts such as existence , being , becoming , and reality. It includes the questions of how entities are grouped into basic categories and which of these entities exist on the most fundamental level. Ontology is sometimes referred to as the science of being and belongs to the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics.

Feminism operates on various feminist epistemologies, methodologies, and methods. While there is no consensus on how to organize or label these, there are a few generalities that can be drawn between these epistemologies, particularly in the international relations IR context. Classifying these epistemologies generally under the umbrella or in the constellation of postpositivism makes clear the contrasts between positivist social science and more critical approaches.

What on earth are Ontology and Epistemology?

I nterpretivism and positivism are two popular research paradigms. To understand both, it is best to start with understanding what research paradigm means. Therefore, this is a specific way of perceiving the world a worldview that shape how we seek answers to research questions.

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Integration and Implementation Insights. How can understanding philosophy improve our research? How can an understanding of what frames our research influence our choices? These questions are all important for social science research. Here we present a philosophical guide for scientists to assist in the production of effective social science adapted from Moon and Blackman, Understanding philosophy is important because social science research can only be meaningfully interpreted when there is clarity about the decisions that were taken that affect the research outcomes.

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Скорее вылезай. Он неохотно выполз из-под компьютера. - Побойся Бога, Мидж.

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 Это где-то здесь, - пробормотала она, вглядываясь в текст.  - Стратмор обошел фильтры. Я в этом уверена.  - Она подошла вплотную к окну. Бринкерхофф почувствовал, как его тело покрывается холодным .

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