The term research philosophy refers to a system of beliefs and assumptions about the development of knowledge. In layman’s terms, a research philosophy is the choice a researcher makes on how to pursue his research, consciously or subconsciously. Scholars have identified five of the most prominent research philosophies in academia, however, choosing one is a matter of debate. (main source: Saunders, Mark & Lewis, P & Thornhill, A. (2009). Understanding research philosophies and approaches. Research Methods for Business Students. 4. 106-135.)
Critical RealismShow moreShow less
Supporters of critical realism claim that reality is much more than our senses allow us to see, preferring to focus on the bigger picture.
By focusing on the past, critical realists can understand how societies or organisations came to be or how they used to function. This way the present situation of the research subjects can be more easily understood and can even give valuable insights into their future. Obviously this approach also allows for advancements in the field of history.