Beyond Epistemology and Reflective Conversation: Towards Human Relations

Norman Jackson, Hugh Willmott*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In response to the current crisis in the philosophy of social science, the proposition has been advanced that “reflective conversation” between researchers offers a way of attaining awareness and understanding of the non-epistemological influences that shape the processes and products of research. The recognition of these (inescapable) sources of bias is said to heighten awareness of the limitations of methodology and has the potential to avoid their undesirable effects. Highlighting the inconsistencies of this thesis, the paper argues that since non-epistemological influences cannot be purged, it would be better to move with them so that science becomes directly geared to the alleviation of socially unnecessary suffering. An essentially epistemological preoccupation with the question of how science makes its claims would then be replaced by a praxis orientation whose principal commitment is to the development of mature human relations, including the facilitation of the realization of creativity and community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-379
Number of pages19
JournalHuman Relations
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1987

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