DMA 801S: Philosophy of Research 3 CREDITS

This course traces the development of various philosophical perspectives of knowledge, sources of knowledge and schools of thought on knowledge generation and research.

Course Objectives:

Students should be able to:

  • Explain Western, African and Asian philosophical thoughts that have shaped knowledge generation and research
  • Appreciate the distinction between reality and different perspectives and thus understand that different people will define issues in different ways.

Course Content

Among the issues to be discussed are: Nature of science: Theory of science, the scientific enterprise; Theories of knowledge and ideas, ontology and methodology; Selected philosophers in Western and African thought: e.g. St. Augustine; Plato; John S. Mill, John Locke, Hume, Kant, Berkeley, Wiredu, Gyekye; Confucius; Schools of thought which have influenced social science research: e.g. positivism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, existentialism, feminist epistemology, epicurean thought, Marxist thought, cosmological and ontological arguments, justice; selected Eastern (Indo-Chinese) thought; Africa cosmology of life; and ethics in research.

Main Text

  • Matthews, M. R. (2014). International Handbook of Research in History, Philosophy and Science Teaching. Springer

Suggested Reading List

  • Babbie, E. (2012). The practice of social research. Cengage Learning.
  • Geddes, B. (2003). Paradigms and Sand Castles: Theory Building and Research Design in Comparative Politics. University of Michigan Press.
  • Hughes, J. A. & Sharrock, W. W. (1980). The philosophy of social research. London: Longman.