A Brief History of Knowledge for Social Science Researchers outlines a history of knowledge from Ancient Greece to present day, in Europe and the Western world. This outline provides the basis for understanding where various research methods originate, and their epistemological, historical, political and social roots.
This book provides social science researchers with an understanding of how research methods developed, and how their truth criteria, and what is accepted as knowledge, spring from human history. Research is often reduced to data collection, results and publication in the stressful, results-oriented academic environment. But research is a human enterprise, a product of both individual creativity and historical, political and social conditions. This book will focus on how shared research criteria (as we know them today) were developed through the work and thought of philosophers, social activists and researchers.
This book will be useful for graduate and post-graduate students, particularly those studying Research Methods, and Philosophy of Science courses; and for experienced social science researchers who wish to understand how research methods have developed in human history.
Table of Contents
- How can we think about research? A gallery of heroes
- Epistemology and its relevance to research
- A historical sketch of knowledge in the western world: the greeks through the middle ages
- A historical sketch of knowledge in the western world: from the middle ages to the enlightenment
- A historical sketch of knowledge in the western world: from the enlightenment onward
- Are we there yet? The birth and development of the social sciences
- How can we think about theory? A gallery of heroes
- A brief history of knowledge, and the vistas beyond
Deborah Court is an associate professor of Education at Bar-Ilan University and research consultant at the Arab Academic College in Israel. She conducts ethnographic research in multicultural and inter-religious settings. She is keenly aware of the importance for graduate students and experienced researchers to understand the epistemological underpinnings of research methods.