Ontology is a concept that seems to be one of the biggest puzzles in my personal life when it comes to discussions on it. That is because much of ontology centers around the simple question of “what’s out there to know.” Even from a young age, this is something that has continuously pressed my mind and made me ask questions about the reality of nature. Coming into class, I know a lot of my thought has been centered around ideas of abstraction and questioning the reality of everything. This makes it feel like I have a better grasp on constructivist thought which I believe is valuable because it tells that I need to focus more on becoming comfortable in discussing ideas of objectivists. Even though many of these works together for my philosophical benefit I would be able to gain more understanding more of the other viewpoint.
On the concept of methodology, I believe that it is a concept that is relatively easy to understand but much harder to unpack without experience. The essential part of methodology is how you can acquire knowledge. However, it becomes more interesting when you go about asking a question and what method you are going to use it to find it. Gaining a deeper understanding of methodology and the various ways to acquire knowledge can shape the focus to be the most suitable for the knowledge you are trying to gain.
As a researcher, I believe one is always a co-producer of their reality. This is because while much of research is supposedly driven by unbiased opinion, you can get in your way when it comes to researching. As Abbott says about yourself and research “There is probably nothing more important than coming to a good sense of your degree of self-confidence” (1). It may be easier to think about your biases in research on the topic, but there needs to be more self-reflection on how one sees themselves in the academic work. Good self-confidence means a researcher will understand when to listen to others and when to speak up. One who lacks confidence or is overconfident can hinder their research by getting ahead or behind themselves intellectually.
Research can commonly be seen as looking most usually for patterns or trends. However, I think many essential claims can come through abductive reasoning. The process of abductive reasoning is an incredible way for research because it makes one greatly aware of their discovery of the research and the overarching contextuality of the puzzle they are looking at (2). Finding hidden symbols or practices are valid knowledge claims that are commonly unseen to the common eye can be found through important research. By putting oneself deep in research and looking at structures, one can go through the circles of abductive reasoning.
- Abbott, Andrew Delano. Methods of Discovery Heuristics for the Social Sciences. New York: W.W. Norton, 2004. 239
- Boesenecker, Aaron. Asking Questions in Different Ways. Lecturelet, American University, Washington D.C, 2018