When asked “What is the truth?”, what do you reply? Have you sat down and ever thought about it? Probably not. I certainly had never put much thought into it. But after it was asked in RES-701 I can safely say that my mind is both blown and fried. It is a HUGE topic of knowledge, theories, beliefs and uncharted territory.
All this relates back to the two historic Greek words; Ontology and Epistemology.
What is ontology?
Ontology is a Greek term that first appeared in 1606 which asks the question of existance. It is based around a changing set of fundamental questions that ask if an entity exists or is said to exist and the relationship between said entities. The fundamental questions continue to evolve as they are answered or new questions are asked.
What is epistemology?
It is the theory of knowledge. Epistemology is broken into two parts;
The first is understanding what the nature of knowledge is. Do we know something or do we not know it? How do we distinguish the difference between these two?
The second part is the limit of human knowledge. How much can we know, or do we know and is there a limit? How do we determine these questions limits? Also is there something that is unknowable or because we a questioning it do we already know it?
How are these relevant to research?
What is the connection between ontology and epistemology in a research context?
It depends on your beliefs towards ‘what is real and what is not’ (truth) and your beliefs on knowledge. Research is all about asking is something real or not real (ontology) based on a set of questions the are belief driven and then deciding if there is more knowledge to be found or do we believe that this is the limit to this knowledge (epistemology). This becomes a repeating process which is the basis of our lives.
I have only scratched the surface of what people spend their whole lives studying, trying to answer there own question is the something I don’t know about this?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontology (has list of some current fundermental questions)