The focus of this chapter is a critical exploration of the philosophical underpinnings of research, specifically theepistemological and ontological assumptions that underliedifferent research traditions – assumptions which have tended in the main to be largely unexamined in relation to the research process. It will be argued that it is the failure to examine these assumptions which leads to research normally being understood as a ‘technology’, as simply a set of methods, skills and procedures applied to a defined research problem. The quote from Maturana above alerts us to the fact that ‘science takes place within the context of human coexistence’ and I take this to mean that science (i.e. research) is a social practice, and that therefore what it says and what it does is significantly located within that context.