For a long time, a section of scientists have been in the forefront of confronting what fellow scientists perceived as the best approach to the philosophy of science. Science, being a broad subject according to one’s philosophical thoughts, has been undergoing constant changes such that diverse views and ideas exist among contemporary scientists who continue to challenge previous scientific settings. What Creswell (2009) perceives as ‘worldview’ is perceived by others as “paradigms, epistemologies and ontologies, or broadly conceived research methodologies” (p. 6). Philosophy of science (commensurability) pertains to anticipated implications, methods of applications, assumptions used, and foundations that stand as the basis for arguments. Where philosophy exists to clarify propositions and settle controversies surrounding the limitations of natural science (Gattei, 1995), science pursues the relevance of logic.
Epistemology, a branch of philosophy, is concerned with the “study of” and that it addresses questions such as: what is knowledge? How is it acquired? How can a given subject or entity be known? From the Greek word epistēmē, epistemology is concerned with analyzing the nature of knowledge by using justifications to come to the right answer. This is done in order to brush aside skepticisms. In essence, epistemology is the study of the theory of knowledge. Paradigm is used to show, point out, exhibit or expose distinct concepts in a scientific field. Likewise, paradigm can be used to delineate scientific disciplines at any given time. Ontology pertains to the philosophical study of the existence, reality, and nature of entities.
Creswell, J. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (3rd ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Gattei, S. (1995). Karl Popper’s philosophy of science: Rationality without foundations. Routledge studies in the philosophy of science. ISBN 0-203-88719-0 Mater e-Book