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Philosophical Theories - Thesis Example

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Effects of acupuncture would not be explained through traditional medical models and patients have experienced stress reduction by using acupuncture. The physiological effects of acupuncture can also be theoretically supported with evidence and in this essay I would argue which model of philosophy best fits in with our own belief systems and how this claim could be justified or established.
The focus here is thus on differentiating and yet finding common grounds between constructivist and positivist philosophies. The similarities and differences of these two systems of thought could be highlighted not only with regard to stress but several other examples could be used to show exactly where these two systems vary and how they would differ.
Positivism relies on strict scientific method and empirical understanding of events. Advocated by Comte, Popper and by scientists, positivism was considered as the most important approach to philosophy of science that could bring about scientific progress with natural or material approaches defined or understood empirically (Mill, 1993). Positivism is generally considered as the scientific method as science is based on certain statements which are empirically testable and verifiable (Morris, 2006). The logical structure and coherence of these statements would make a phenomenon scientifically explicable and only then this would be accepted as explaining the events of the world. Positivism being the best scientific explanation is also closely related to reductionism which shows how one type of entity would be reducible to another. The basis of positivism would relate to quantitative and objective measurement of the events or phenomena studied. Scientific information is thus information that can be quantified and objectively studied. Apart from reductionism, positivism is also closely related to empiricism as that is the basis of positivist philosophies. Positivist could also be explained in the light of logical positivism and would provide a broad picture of scientific methods their philosophy, approach and uses. The logical positivists focused on the verification principle and emphasized that science should be based on observable facts. The logical positivists such as Carnap, Schlick and others of the Vienna Circle focused on analytic-synthetic distinctions and on verificationism as a scientific method (Mill, 1993).

The positivist approach to philosophy is thus based on observable facts and scientific explanation focused on verifiability and empirical judgment. Constructivism on the other hand emphasizes on social experiences and human perceptions that seems to take a broader view of philosophy (Butts and Brown, 1989). Constructivists believe that race, gender and such identities are socially constructed. Thus constructivism does not focus on ontological reality but a socially constructed reality. Concepts and evens are thus not out there but shaped by a variety of social and psychological factors (Morris, 2006). In this case, the objectivity and emphasis on the objective give way to the subjective as constructivism is largely subjective in its approach being less scientifically rigorous than positivists or empiricists and more reflective and relativist. The question of ...Show more


In this thesis the different philosophical paradigms of positivism and constructivism are articulated to show how they apply to real world events and contexts. The ontological, epistemological and methodological assumptions in positivism and constructivism could be highlighted to understand philosophical positions and relevant theories in the field…
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Philosophical Theories essay example
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