Social science is divided by two opposing philosophies of science. The division of positivist and antipositivist research can be traced back to the opposition of empiricism versus rationalism and still leads to significant dispute that reflects in educational research.


Positivism is a position in philosophy of science that assumes reality is the source of human knowledge and knowledge is constructed through sensory experience and observation. Observed regularities are the fundament for the construction of general laws and theories that describe relationships between observed entities. Positivism was founded by Auguste Comte in the 19th century and originally intended to uncover laws in which physical or social events occur. The emergence of positivism was primed by empiricism. Empiricism is a philosophical position first formulated in ancient Greek ...

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