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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Philosophy of Social Science
Module Code EF610
School DCUBS
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Rachel Keegan
Semester 2: Rachel Keegan
Autumn: Rachel Keegan
Module TeachersRachel Keegan
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat the module

This module considers the range of philosophical approaches that underpin research across the business disciplines in order to assist scholars in exploring the epistemological and methodological debates that characterise their own research areas.

Learning Outcomes

1. explain the ontological and epistemological paradigms that exist within Business research
2. analyse the impact that different epistemological lenses will have on the specification of research problems and techniques for solving them
3. critically assess the nature of philosophical debate within their own research
4. develop their own ontological and epistemological underpinning to their primary research

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Independent Study10Compiling a methodological bibliography relevant to core literature and nature of research questions
Independent Study20Reading compiled bibliography
Independent Study36Analysing compiled bibliography
Independent Study25Writing up draft essay
Independent Study10Editing essay from feedback
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

What is Science?
Ontological, epistemological and methodological analysis; the nature of causality; the nature of understanding; erklaren versus verstehen

Realist ontology; induction and deduction; the impact of positivism on the nature of business research; Quine and relativism

Phenomenology and Hermeneutic Philosophy
Husserl, Heidegger and Gadamer; the concept of the life-world; understanding as a goal of research; the linguistic turn

The Middle Ground
Pragmatism; Pierce, Dewey and James; Critical Theory; Horkheimer, Adorno; Habermas; Critical Realism; Bhaskar, Archer, Lawson

Social Theory – a Brief Aside
Structure and agency; holism and individualism; making sense of organisations and the individuals within them; another middle ground -critical realism versus structuration

Poststructuralism and postmodern thought – the work of Foucault; the impact of postmodernism on business research

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
EssayThe essay should be tailored to the research process being undertaken by the scholar and the particular stage they are at in this process. Some scholars may use the essay to explore the philosophical issues that are extant within their reseach area. Others may present as the essay a draft of the philosophy chapter of their thesis. Each scholar, in close consultation with their supervisor, should identify the most appropriate topic and submit this to the module coordinator. The essay should be no longer than 3500 words in length. Scholars are free to submit their essay at any stage during their doctoral studies, but before the submission of the PGR4 form to the Registry.100%
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 2
Indicative Reading List

    Other Resources

    Programme or List of Programmes
    GTEGraduate Training Elements (Non Award)
    Date of Last Revision18-MAY-10

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