Naturalism is the natural state where there is no other types of knowledge other than scientific knowledge and aims to explain all known or other apparently un natural. Naturalism is justified by empirical evidence, experiment, empiricism, theory, data collection and laws.
Anti-Naturalism denies the claim of human behaviours and evidence supporter but do not have the same positive route instead comes from hermeneutics. Example Human action is characterized by intentionality, rationality and reflexivity.
ii. “falsificationism” and “hermeneutics”
The falsificationism is proposed by scientist K.Popper. According to him, the scientific knowledge has to be at least in principle, if principle or theory is refutable and the logic behind no matter how large is empirical evidence, scientist does not attempt to prove or make their theory plausible by means of observations and experiments. Scientist should put the theory on trial by falsification. This methodology is falsificationism. If the theory is not stand by falsification the theorem is not true.
Hermeneutics is the study of interpretation and understanding. It has broad scope; its base is in literary criticism rather than linguistics. It is one of the most sophisticated ways of reading text and concerns with understanding its meaning, how it is related to its own contemporaneous world and in turn, how it is related to our present world.
It is criticized for having no any theoretical base that, some argue and leads practitioners to invent underlying structures rather than discover them.
iii. “realism” and “anti-realism”
Realism is the position that maintain, there is a real world and that is independent of us. It is concerning with science and should therefore be to give true or approximately true description of reality.
Anti-realism means there is no possible justification of believing in reality other than constructed in human mind. In anti-realism we make our own world in mind or we can say Anti-realism and idealism is very much similar.
iv. “Marxism”, “feminism” and “humanism”
Marxism is historical materialism. This theory revolves round material condition of human existing and different modes of production of societies called the capitalism. These modes create certain relationship and attitudes towards nature. This relation reforms economical based of society and its activity, it could be living matter, political system and religious belief etc. In Classical sense Marxism is a historicist in which it past detailed knowledge in order to know something about present.
Feminism is holistic theory in comparison with individual conduct explained by laws, scale and social facts. Mass of feminism is related with economic of society. It is the way of justify the knowledge claims.
Humanism is more of precision and assumes that human beings have consciousness, intentionality and we all are moral beings. All human being actions are voluntarily and which allowed individual exercise with their free wheel in the machine of societies. The structure of society is influenced by human and its activities.
Post-modernism is against the grand theory (other social theories and methods) in Post modernistic methods, several voices and theories not just only one are allowed to say and no theory is privilege over known. Post-modernism creates differences, often uses construction and analysing tool and way to understand research and difference discourses involved. In Post-modernism, knowledge is multiple and situated which means situation is depended upon circumstances.
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2. What can “post-modernism” be accused for and what do you think about it?
Post-modernism can be accused for its relativism, it makes some time impossible to choose between two different interpretations. In different prospective we have different answer in those case both answer are right and it is difficult to act which is correct and which should be judged correctly.
3. Do you think it is possible to be a pure realist or anti-realist, and naturalist or anti-naturalist?
I think it is not possible to be pure realistic or anti realistic and naturalist or anti realist as a practical matter. It’s depend upon in which field you are conducting your research.
Realist is based on scientific theories who describes that there is real world which is independent us, while Anti realist is who takes scientific theories which is not true. Realist and anti realist behave identical in doing scientific research. The only difference is that the realist adds an extra and unnecessary assumption that the reason our best theories are so empirically useful is that they accurately describe the world as it is, whereas the anti-realist prefers not to make that assumption (Pigliucci, 2012). As an example, theory ‘A’ is true or false on the basis of some empirical evidence or test and it may not in other evidence or test because there might be many theories logically coherent to give empirical evidence.
Similarly, Naturalism is the way of scientific methods on the basis of empirical evidence. For doing research in natural science is based on theory, laws, data collection and experiment but in case of social science like human geography is not always based on such evidences, it’s also based on human behaviour and experience and its support anti naturalism.
4. Do you think it is possible to exclusively have only an empiristic or hermeneutic perspective in the search of knowledge?
It is not exclusively possible either empiristic or hermeneutic in the search of knowledge. The main question arises here in which field you are doing your research; natural science or social science. Empiristic way of searching knowledge always emphasis on evidence such as; observation, data collection and experiment as the basis of scientific knowledge to justify its claim. Empiristic supports naturalism.
But hermeneutic way of searching knowledge is based on number of ways of interpreting human action such as, idealism, phenomenology, postmodernism, and post -structuralism. Hermeneutic supports anti naturalism.
As a researcher both prospective have to choose according to research field.
The following problem requires a little bit more of time and space:
6. Write a short essay (2-3 pages long) describing some different scientific philosophies in relation to your own research area.
GIS and its Philosophy:
Introduction: The term Geographical Information system (GIS) or geographic information system is recent phenomena, was used in North America and frequently applied to geographically based computer technology. It is very difficult to exactly define the term GIS due to number of reasons. There has been some debate about its origin and first application in the field although there have been several technological and theoretical organizational developments during the last thirty years. The rapid rate of progress has not been conductive to the analysis and definition of GIS (Maguire: 1991).
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The GIS is broad field, it is characterized by diversity of applications because it is integrated systems which brings many developed ideas including agriculture, botany, computing, economics, engineering, mathematics, photogrammetry, surveying, zoology and mostly Geography together in the same platform. There is not specific theory or philosophy which exactly defines the GIS because there are many different ways of defining and classifying objects and subjects. Due to diversity application of GIS in different field, many different methods have been applied to GIS. Classifications based on functionality have been popular and some other tried to develop schemes based genealogy, cost size, platform, application area and data model (Maguirie: 1991).
There are theoretical difficulties of genuine academic debate about the central focus of present GIS activity. Some people believe that GIS focuses hardware and software, other argues that the main element is information processing, some people think that GIS is just tools or is it social process? Here are some definitions given by GIS philosopher:
Aronoff (1989): “any manual system or computer based set of procedures used to store and manipulate geographically referenced data”.
Carter (1989): “an institutional entity, reflecting an organizational structure that integrates technology with a database, expertise and continuing financial support over time”.
Parker (1998): “an information technology which stores, analyses and displays both spatial and non spatial data”.
Dueker (1979): “a special case of information systems where the database consists of observations on spatially distributed features, activities, or events ,which are definable in spaces as points, lines or areas. A GIS manipulates data about these points, lines and areas to retrieve data for ad hoc queries and analyses”.
GIS and Feminism: Kwan (2002) argued how some of most influential feminist were used in the critical disclosure of GIS. For example Donna Haraway (1991), Liz Bondi and Mona Domosh (1992) were criticized GIS for objectifying way of knowing and the transcendent vision or the “God’s eye view” it enables. But Haraway (1991) proposition about possibility for feminist to undermine the views towards the main subjects was ignored, an important aspects of her cyborg agenda was lost in critical disclosure. According to Kwan (2002), using of Haraway in asserting GIS impose systems of monitoring misses her emphasis on women’s participation in science and technology. He mentioned that women engagement with GIS as an important feminist strategy for writing cyborg and warns that failure to do so can severely impact upon gender equality in Geography on the basis of recent result of enrolment and employment trends of Women Geographers.
The form of another engagement with GIS is to raise the voices of feminist GIS users and researchers who spoke their personnel experience on the issue of GIS. Carol Hall (1996) explored the link between the masculinist culture of Computer work and GIS lab, where women cultural identity is dominated by constituted technology culture and turn affects their attitude towards GIS technology. Hagger (2003) mentioned about the discomfort experienced in the GIS lab, which she described as “the domain of white, middle to upper class graduate geography students”.
GIS and Post modernism:
Postmodernism theory argue for the productive view of the objects either objects in reality with essential attributes or such objects are indirectly created by people for their needs. GIS is objective subscriber because objects are located in Cartesian space. There are at least three aspects of GIS (Yapa: 1998)- it technology, disciplinary location and methodology, which maintained the distance from concern of modern social theory. In this instance, GIS played the very limited role for addressing the social problems and question related to social policy.
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