Tom Andrews University College Cork Abstract Social Constructionism has been instrumental in remodeling grounded theory. In attempting to make sense of the social world, social constructionists view knowledge as constructed as opposed to created.
Model-dependent realism is an approach to scientific inquiry, which accepts that reality can always be interpreted in a number of different ways, and focuses on the role of models of phenomena. It claims that it is meaningless to talk about the "true reality" of the model as we can never be absolutely certain of anything. The only meaningful thing is the usefulness of the model. The term itself was coined by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow in their 2010 book, The Grand Design.
Model-dependent realism asserts that all we can know about "reality" consists of networks of world pictures that explain observations by connecting them by rules to concepts defined in models.
A world picture consists of the combination of a set of observations accompanied by a conceptual model and by rules connecting the model concepts to the observations. Different world pictures that describe particular data equally well all have equal claims to be valid. There is no requirement that a world picture be unique, or even that the data selected include all available observations. The universe of all observations possibly may be covered by a network of overlapping world pictures and, where overlap occurs; multiple, equally valid, world pictures exist.
Until the mid-20th century, the philosophy of science had concentrated on the viability of scientific method and knowledge, proposing justifications for the truth of scientific theories and observations and attempting to discover on a philosophical level why science worked. Karl Popper, an early opponent of logical positivism in the 20th century, repudiated the classical observationalist/inductivist form of scientific method in favour of empirical falsification. He is also known for his opposition to the classical justificationist account of knowledge which he replaced with critical rationalism, "the first non justificational philosophy of criticism in the history of philosophy". His criticisms of scientific method were adopted by several postmodernist critiques.
A number of 20th century philosophers maintained that logical models of pure science do not apply to actual scientific practice. It was the publication of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions in 1962, however, which fully opened the study of science to new disciplines by suggesting that the evolution of science was in part sociologically determined and that it did not operate under the simple logical laws put forward by the logical positivist school of philosophy.
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