Research papers on epistemology

Applied epistemology and understanding in information studies

The virological epistemology concept allows the researchers to focus as well on the mode of existence of the knowledge and language that depend on the knowledge holder and spread like an infection.


Burroughs identifies the distributive properties such as knowledge transmission and spread by way of infection, while Deacon considers the system properties of the language as a self-developing network that is relatively independent on the knowledge holder. From this perspective, the written record can be equalized with the verbal communication. Keywords: Philosophy of science, evolutionary epistemology, language, communication," third world " by K. In science policy, it is generally acknowledged that science-based problem-solving requires interdisciplinary research. For example, policy makers invest in funding programs such as Horizon that aim to stimulate interdisciplinary research. Yet the epistemological processes that lead to effective interdisciplinary research are poorly understood. Focus is on the question why researchers experience cognitive and epistemic difficulties in conducting IDR. Based on a study of educational literature it is concluded that higher-education is missing clear ideas on the epistemology of IDR, and as a consequence, on how to teach it.

It is conjectured that the lack of philosophical interest in the epistemology of IDR is due to a philosophical paradigm of science called a physics paradigm of science , which prevents recognizing severe epistemological challenges of IDR, both in the philosophy of science as well as in science education and research.

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The proposed alternative philosophical paradigm called an engineering paradigm of science entails alternative philosophical presuppositions regarding aspects such as the aim of science, the character of knowledge, the epistemic and pragmatic criteria for accepting knowledge, and the role of technological instruments. The engineering paradigm of science involves that knowledge is indelibly shaped by how it is constructed. Additionally, the way in which scientific disciplines or fields construct knowledge is guided by the specificities of the discipline, which can be analyzed in terms of disciplinary perspectives.

This implies that knowledge and the epistemic uses of knowledge cannot be understood without at least some understanding of how the knowledge is constructed. In an engineering paradigm of science, these metacognitive scaffolds can also be interpreted as epistemic tools, but in this case as tools that guide, enable and constrain analyzing and articulating how knowledge is produced i. In interdisciplinary research, metacognitive scaffolds assist interdisciplinary communication aiming to analyze and articulate how the discipline constructs knowledge.

Real-world problems usually are complex, and philosophers of science emphasize that this requires interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary research e. Outside the philosophy of science, the need for interdisciplinary research for real-world problem solving —and associated changes in the structure of universities and higher education systems— has been stressed for decades already e.

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These authors, specialized in science policy and education studies, also report that attempts to promote interdisciplinary research at universities and to train university students for conducting interdisciplinary research often do not lead to the desired results. Scholars with a policy or sociology background usually explain difficulties in establishing interdisciplinary research and education in terms of organization and tend to deny epistemological and cognitive factors.

The same applies to educational research, in which both conceptual studies and empirical research are conducted into higher education programs that train students in interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary approaches — in these studies too little attention is paid to the cognitive and epistemological difficulties encountered by researchers, in particular, regarding the question whether the ability to do interdisciplinary research requires a specific understanding of science and related cognitive skills. The thesis put forward in this article consists of two parts. The first part is that the neglect of cognitive and epistemological difficulties in doing interdisciplinary research is, at least partly, due to philosophical beliefs about science that still guide the higher education of researchers and professionals.

We will argue that, in order to deal with the epistemological and cognitive difficulties, alternatives to these presuppositions must be sought that are better suit to understanding interdisciplinary research. This expanded matrix has been used to articulate two different philosophical visions of science, called a physics paradigm of science versus an engineering paradigm of science Boon a.

Articulating these paradigms was intended to interpret the changing character of the biomedical sciences such as systems biology as compared to, for instance, classical biochemistry — and it was found that the engineering paradigm of science suits better to systems biology than the traditional physics paradigm.

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In developing this vocabulary, use is made of literature in scholarly domains ranging from philosophy of science, philosophy of education, science policy studies, and studies in higher education of science and engineering. The structure of this article is as follows. Section Two focuses on scholarly disciplines that study interdisciplinary research IDR.

Epistemology Research Papers -

These studies appear to focus on organizational aspects of IDR and have little interest in epistemological and cognitive difficulties of interdisciplinary research as experienced by individual researchers MacLeod This lack of interest is obviously due to the specialization of these scholars e. In particular, most scholars conceive of IDR as aiming at the integration of knowledge, which we consider to be the epistemologically most challenging part of IDR.

We will clarify this in terms of three metaphors of IDR. Section Three deals with the kind of expertise needed in IDR, and presents educational insights and empirical findings about training scientific researchers and professionals in IDR. It focuses on views about the role of metacognitive skills.

It appears that little is being done to train metacognitive skills for IDR, which is explained in terms of dominant philosophical views of science that guide science education, and which critical educational researchers call a positivist view of science.

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View Epistemology Research Papers on for free. This paper proposes a preliminary classification of knowledge organization research, epistemology, theory, and methodology plus three spheres of research.

Section Four first discusses the claim that traditional philosophical views of science insufficiently account for the uses of science, i. This is illustrated by the fact that traditional philosophy of science has been much more interested in the unity of science while considering interdisciplinary research as a means for achieving unity but not as an issue relevant to philosophical study.


Subsequently, we will turn to the second part of our thesis, starting from the idea that the philosophy of science maintains philosophical views of science —which we call philosophical paradigms of science— that determine what subjects are worthy philosophical study and how these are studied. We argue that a physics paradigm of science has been dominant in traditional philosophy of science, which may have strengthened a physics-dominated view of science in science education and scientific research, and which currently impedes interdisciplinary research because it entails an ineffective epistemology that also conceals cognitive and epistemological difficulties.

A more appropriate alternative epistemology comes from an engineering paradigm of science. An outline will be given of the extended Kuhnian matrix that is used as a conceptual framework to analyze philosophical views of science, and of the two philosophical paradigms that result from using this matrix as a framework to articulate philosophical views of science Boon a.

It is concluded that: a the epistemology that results from the engineering paradigm points to fundamental reasons for the epistemological and cognitive difficulties that we aim to explain, and b that this explanation is not easily recognizable nor appreciated in a physics paradigm of science. Finally, in Section 5, expanding on the engineering paradigm of science in which epistemic recourses such as theories, models, laws, and concepts are interpreted as epistemic tools for performing epistemic tasks, we will propose to also interpret the metacognitive scaffolds discussed in this article as epistemic tools.

This idea is rather programmatic but aims to make plausible that the epistemology emerging from the engineering paradigm of science not only explains epistemological and cognitive difficulties of interdisciplinary research but also indicates directions to mitigate these difficulties.

This epistemology, therefore, is also very promising for developing metacognitive scaffolds that assist in learning and doing scientific research. This entails knowledge of epistemological views e. This kind of knowledge is represented by means of so-called metacognitive scaffolds also called matrices, or, frameworks that can be utilized in learning and executing interdisciplinary research. Interdisciplinary research is promoted, performed, administered, organized and taught, to the effect that these aspects are studied in scholarly domains ranging from science policy studies, governance studies, STS science, technology and society studies, science education, cognitive sciences, philosophy of science and social epistemology.

Epistemology and Research - Rey Ty

Already in the s, Jantsch stressed the role of universities in achieving social goals and therefore called for a reform of universities and university education. Changes in society require that the university develops increasingly interdisciplinary approaches, which must also be reflected in university education Jantsch One of the aims of studies in interdisciplinarity is a correct definition of interdisciplinary research Newell Definitions can differ with respect to aspects such as problem-definition, level of integration, and the elements integrated, for example, not only laws and theories, but also concepts, theoretical frameworks, methodologies, procedures, instruments, and data e.

Klein ; Hirsch-Hadorn et al. It involves a comprehensive framework that organizes knowledge in a new way and is based on cooperation among various sectors of society and multiple stakeholders to address complex issues around a new discourse. In sum, many studies focus on organizational and institutional obstacles to interdisciplinary research, rather than the cognitive and epistemological obstacles e. Yet, central to most definitions of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research —intended to give direction to their organization — is the integration of knowledge or more broadly, epistemic resources.

Such integration is probably the hardest part for researchers and requires specific abilities or expertise. Several authors have proposed methods for the internal organization of interdisciplinary research by specifying steps in the research process. Klein , Repko and Repko and Szostak , and Menken and Keestra , for instance, wrote book-length treatments of the interdisciplinary research process. In fact, their schema is an expansion of the well-known hypothetical-deductive method.

The methods to coordinate research processes discussed above adequately reflect the proper organization of processes of interdisciplinary research as commonly adopted in current research projects. Our idea is that studies of interdisciplinarity may be implicitly guided by epistemological views —loosely expressed by the jigsaw puzzle and the conflict-resolution metaphors—, which hinder an understanding of the epistemic and cognitive difficulties of interdisciplinary research oriented at solving real-world problems, for which the engineering-design metaphor aims to be an alternative.

Also philosophers who aim to facilitate difficulties in interdisciplinary research lean towards the conflict-resolution metaphor e. In short, the methods for interdisciplinary research proposed in interdisciplinary studies do not sufficiently address the inherent epistemic and cognitive difficulties of integration.

The philosophical approaches that aim to help researchers solve conceptual confusion are on the right track, but they do not yet touch the deeper epistemological issues. The detailed cases of interdisciplinary research in engineering and bioengineering practices investigated by Mattila , Nersessian , Nersessian and Patton , and MacLeod and Nersessian can be taken as examples that suit the engineering-design metaphor — these are illustrative examples of the complexity of interdisciplinary research, but they do not yet offer any tools for learning how to do such research.

Definitions of interdisciplinary research discussed in Section 2 focus on the knowledge part, i. This section will focus on the skills needed as a crucial part of the expertise to conduct interdisciplinary research Goddiksen and Andersen ; Collins and Evans , ; Goddiksen Scholarly work that aims to articulate the specific skills needed for performing interdisciplinary research and how these skills can be trained and assessed, is mostly found in educational literature.

One may expect that science and engineering education at an academic level have clear ideas on how linking and integration in interdisciplinary research is done, and how to teach it. However, although many studies on engineering education aim at teaching interdisciplinary problem-solving, a thorough analysis of the epistemological difficulties seems to be lacking. In part, in engineering education literature this lack is due to the specific interpretation of interdisciplinary problem-solving, less oriented at integration of knowledge , but rather on taking into account societal values and constraints — which, as suggested above, should rather be called transdisciplinary.

If cognitive or epistemological challenges of interdisciplinary research projects are mentioned at all, authors usually assume that this is solved by being trained in teamwork and communication skills see Stentoft for a comprehensive review. However, based on a critical meta-study i. Other authors add that interdisciplinary thinking is a higher-order or metacognitive skill, which involves the ability to search, identify, understand, critically appraise, connect, and integrate theories and methods of different disciplines and to apply the resulting cognitive advancement together with continuous evaluation e.

Additionally, interdisciplinary thinking requires specific types of knowledge — i.