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Quantitative and qualitative social science: Toward a multilateral conceptualization for normative use

Nilsson, Artur (2006)
Theoretical Philosophy
Abstract
The philosophy of social science is today, from the perspective of the scientists themselves, dominated by the notions of quantitative and qualitative research. Social scientists make distinctions between a wide range of different aspects of research in terms of what is quantitative and qualitative. The purpose of this paper is to integrate these distinctions into a useful conceptualization. First, I set up criteria for usefulness. Second, I show that one overarching distinction between quantitative and qualitative research, that is, a unilateral conceptualization, is insufficient for optimizing usefulness. Third, I suggest a multilateral conceptualization with three overarching distinctions between (1) interpretive versus non-interpretive... (More)
The philosophy of social science is today, from the perspective of the scientists themselves, dominated by the notions of quantitative and qualitative research. Social scientists make distinctions between a wide range of different aspects of research in terms of what is quantitative and qualitative. The purpose of this paper is to integrate these distinctions into a useful conceptualization. First, I set up criteria for usefulness. Second, I show that one overarching distinction between quantitative and qualitative research, that is, a unilateral conceptualization, is insufficient for optimizing usefulness. Third, I suggest a multilateral conceptualization with three overarching distinctions between (1) interpretive versus non-interpretive research, (2) fixing versus developing the assumptions that are operative in interpretation, and (3) elements of quantity versus quality. Finally, I use this conceptualization to define the terms ?quantitative? and ?qualitative?, with a demarcation based on differing strategies for achieving interpretability. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
@misc{1322085,
  abstract     = {The philosophy of social science is today, from the perspective of the scientists themselves, dominated by the notions of quantitative and qualitative research. Social scientists make distinctions between a wide range of different aspects of research in terms of what is quantitative and qualitative. The purpose of this paper is to integrate these distinctions into a useful conceptualization. First, I set up criteria for usefulness. Second, I show that one overarching distinction between quantitative and qualitative research, that is, a unilateral conceptualization, is insufficient for optimizing usefulness. Third, I suggest a multilateral conceptualization with three overarching distinctions between (1) interpretive versus non-interpretive research, (2) fixing versus developing the assumptions that are operative in interpretation, and (3) elements of quantity versus quality. Finally, I use this conceptualization to define the terms ?quantitative? and ?qualitative?, with a demarcation based on differing strategies for achieving interpretability.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Artur},
  keyword      = {Kvalitativ analys,Kvantitativ analy,Kuhn, Thomas,Systematic philosophy, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, epistemology, ideology,Systematisk filosofi, etik, estetik, metafysik, kunskapsteori, ideologi},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Quantitative and qualitative social science: Toward a multilateral conceptualization for normative use},
  year         = {2006},
}