Literature hoofdstuk 1. Why Philosophy of Science? Philosophy of Science = a discipline of questioning the presences of the natural and
the social sciences. It is concerned with the nature of scientific knowledge.
The basic question in philosophy of science is 'why scientific knowledge is more
trustworthy than mundane, everyday knowledge.
Management studies = management sciences study people individually or
collectively, organizational forms and ways of management. Difference between scientific knowledge and everyday knowledge:
- Scientific knowledge aims at knowledge of patterns, structures, regularities and
laws. Scientific theories do not state something about one specific company or
- In management studies we aim to gain knowledge about certain kinds of
businesses and certain types of successful logistic management. The claims in
the management sciences should be generalizable. We look for principles and
patterns that are valid in general. Just as in chemistry, we are not interested in
a specific chemical reaction, but in the laws that are at work in such a reaction.
- Trustworthiness of scientific results requires controllability and controllability
Five features of scientific knowledge:
1. Generalizability —> because we would like to explain and understand
2. Controllability —> therefore, research has to be transparent and repeatable
(transparent en herhaalbaar),
3. Objectivity —> therefore, scientific research must be independent
4. The use of valid methods and research,
5. Parsimony: the use of clear and simple models of explanation —> because
understanding requires simplification, though there are limits to what can be
If scientific research and the resulting theories display the above five characteristics,
we have sufficient reasons to trust the validity of scientific claims and results.
Knowledge consists in justified true belief. Two misconceptions with regard to the methods of the management sciences:
1. Only empirical research counts as scientific —> research of phenomena
using surveys, interviews, field studies etc. Theoretical concepts =
'organization', 'company', 'management', 'market', are all called theoretical
concepts which require thorough philosophy thought, in order to understand
their exact meaning and the reality they refer to.
2. Results of scientific research are only descriptive, never prescriptive or
normative —> Science can only describe, it cannot prescribe. Science is about
how things are, not about how they should be. How things should be, is a matter
of personal opinions and personal taste. We cannot say anything objectively
about how things should be. Therefore, the management science should limit
themselves to the facts, and not pretend to be able to say something about what
is right or good. Normative = hoe dingen idealiter zouden moeten zijn.
The good reason model of truth:
- 'What is reasonable' as a methodological question,
- 'What is reasonable' as an epistemological question,
- 'What is reasonable' as an ontological question.
The good reason model of truth - according to which claim is true, if it is supported
by the balance of reasons. A claim is supported by the balance of reasons if the
reasons in favor of the claim decisively outweigh the reasons against the claim. The question 'what is reasonable' is in the philosophy of science understood in
1. One may understand the question about what is reasonable as a question about
the correct methods of research and argumentation. it is, the, a methodological
2. One may understand the question about what is reasonable as a question about
the status of acquired scientific knowledge. It is then an epistemological
question. 'Epistemological' means it is about episteme, which is Greek for
3. One may understand the question about what is reasonable as a question about
the nature of (social) reality. It is, then, an ontological question, because it is a
question about the ontos, Greek for 'that what is'.
Idealism versus realism
- Idealism is the position that, ontologically speaking, all natural phenomena are
nothing more than mental representations. Trees, rocks, planets and snow are
just ideas of us (therefore idealism), not objects or phenomena that exist in
- Realism is a form which acknowledges that reality is always observed by us in
a pre-shaped way. We have learned to individualise objects and phenomena in
a particular way.
- Kant saw that objective knowledge is only possible because our mind molds
and orders our observations in a certain way. We order our sensory experiences
by giving a place in time and space. Space and linear are the basic coordinates
with which we observe the world.
- We recognize in two events: 'cause' and 'effects'. Kant says it is a schema of
thought with which we structure and come to understand what we see in our
- The lesson to be learned from this is that there is not one privileged way of
studying reality. It is not true that only a quantitative approach in the social
sciences will give us a realistic picture of phenomena, or that only an in-depth
qualitative approach will reveal the 'real' reality behind the surface of
quantifiable phenomena. —> Both approaches study social reality, but they do
so from different perspectives and therefore, unveil different things.