Philosophical disputes in research
This chapter explores the research paradigms adopted by researchers to justify the theoretical assumptions and fundamental beliefs underpinning a social science research such as in tourism. It explains the confusing concepts of research paradigms and research methodologies. Researchers have defined paradigm as a basic set of beliefs and their associated research methods that illustrate a view of the nature of reality. Paradigms are explained by three fundamental and interconnected philosophical assumptions: the ontological, epistemological and methodological questions. The post-positivism paradigm is based on a scientific approach which aims to discover the cause and effect relationships and predict the future through hypotheses and research questions. In social research, on one hand, philosophical assumption explains the view of social reality undertaken in the study by the researchers, their interpretations of it, termed the objectivist. On the other hand, the subjectivist believes that reality is dependent on social researchers and assumes that individuals contribute to social phenomena.