Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Epistemology Related Abstracts

9 The Role of Islam in the Political Thought of Muhammad Abduh

Authors: Mehdi Beyad

Abstract:

Muhammad Abduh stands as a founding thinker of Islamic revivalism and modernism, the political phenomenon which began with him and Jamal al-Din al-Afghani in the 19th century which sought to address the perceived regression of Islamic societies in the face of western colonialism and the onslaught of modernity. The scholarship on Abduh and al-Afghani, and Islamic modernism in general, is vast. This paper, however, provides a critical approach to some of this scholarship and attempts to re-think the epistemic framework of Abduh's political thought and the place of Islam therein. Much of the current work on Abduh falls into the trap of seeing his task as one of "compromising" Islam for the values of European modernity. This paper argues that for Abduh, Islam was not just a compartmentalised theological framework: it was at the nexus of societal emancipation, intellectual and cultural rejuvenation, and political progress. Far from “modernising” and diluting Islam to the extent that it became irrelevant in the face of rationality as defined by European modernity, Islam remained central to Abduh’s political framework.

Keywords: Epistemology, Modernism, Islamic Revivalism, Islamic political thought, Muhammad Abduh

Procedia PDF Downloads 344
8 Big Data: Appearance and Disappearance

Authors: James Moir

Abstract:

The mainstay of Big Data is prediction in that it allows practitioners, researchers, and policy analysts to predict trends based upon the analysis of large and varied sources of data. These can range from changing social and political opinions, patterns in crimes, and consumer behaviour. Big Data has therefore shifted the criterion of success in science from causal explanations to predictive modelling and simulation. The 19th-century science sought to capture phenomena and seek to show the appearance of it through causal mechanisms while 20th-century science attempted to save the appearance and relinquish causal explanations. Now 21st-century science in the form of Big Data is concerned with the prediction of appearances and nothing more. However, this pulls social science back in the direction of a more rule- or law-governed reality model of science and away from a consideration of the internal nature of rules in relation to various practices. In effect Big Data offers us no more than a world of surface appearance and in doing so it makes disappear any context-specific conceptual sensitivity.

Keywords: Surface, Big Data, Epistemology, appearance, disappearance

Procedia PDF Downloads 232
7 Transformative Concept of Logic to Islamic Science: Reflections on Al-Ghazālī's Influence

Authors: Umar Sheikh Tahir

Abstract:

Before al-Ghazālī, Islamic scholars perceived logic as an intrusive knowledge. The knowledge therefore, did not receive ample attention among scholars on how it should be adapted into Islamic sciences. General scholarship in that period rejects logic as an instrumental knowledge. This attitude became unquestionable to the scholars from different perspectives with diversification of suggestions in the pre-al-Ghazālī’s period. However, al-Ghazālī proclaimed with new perspective that transform Logic from ‘intrusive knowledge’ to a useful tool for Islamic sciences. This study explores the contributions of al-Ghazālī to epistemology regarding the use and the relevance of Logic. The study applies qualitative research methodology dealing strictly with secondary data from medieval age and contemporary sources. The study concludes that al-Ghazālī’s contributions which supported the transformation of Logic to useful tool in the Muslim world were drawn from his experience within Islamic tradition. He succeeded in reconciling Islamic tradition with the wisdom of Greek sciences.

Keywords: Epistemology, Classical Logic, Al-Ghazali, Islamdom and Islamic sciences

Procedia PDF Downloads 93
6 Logic and Arabic Grammar Debates at Medieval Ages: A Quest for Muslim Contributions to Philosophical Development

Authors: Umar Sheikh Tahir

Abstract:

This paper focuses on the historiography of the relationship between Logic and Arabic grammar in the Muslim Medieval Ages (a period between 750 and 1100/ 150 and 500 Ah). This sensation appears in the famous debate among many others between grammarians represented by abū Sa'id al-Sairafī and logicians represented by abū Bishr Mattā on Logic and its validity. This incident took place in Baghdad around 932 AD. However, this study singlehandedly samples these debates as the base for the contributions of Islamic philosophers to philosophy of language as well as Epistemology. The question that shapes this research is: What is the intellectual development for Muslim thinkers to philosophy of language in regards to this debate? The current research addresses the Arabic grammar and logical debates by conducting historiography to emphasize on Islamic philosophers’ concerns about this issue. Consequently, this debate generates philosophical phenomena and resolutions in deep-thinking. In addition, these dialogues create a language impression for Philosophy in Islamic world from the period under study. Thereupon, Islamic philosophers’ discourse on this phenomenon serves as contribution to the Philosophy of Language.

Keywords: logic, Epistemology, Islamic philosophy, debates, grammar and grammarians, philosophy language

Procedia PDF Downloads 73
5 The Role of Humour as a Virtue: From the Perspective of the Sufi's Worldview

Authors: Mohamed Eusuff Amin

Abstract:

In Sufi culture, humour in form of story, expressed as prose or poetry, is used to deliver moral lessons. However, this humour is not limited to telling stories as an educational program. In this paper, an idea is introduced to argue that humour is a virtue from the Sufis’ perspective. This understanding of humour is different than as what has been understood generally in the Western intellectual tradition. For the Western philosophers in general, humour is the indication of the soul’s position in relates to others that signify the relations between different individuals. But for the Sufis, it is more so as a tool for an individual to surpass his/her anger and encourage toleration with others; ultimately it is a form of ‘mercy’. In order to explain this idea, the paper will be worked into three parts as steps to construct the epistemic structure of this claim. The first part, the ethic philosophy of the Sufis will be discussed, and this will be done mostly based on the ideas on ethics that is related to the conception of existence. In the second part, few short Turkish Sufi stories will be looked at to find how the humour is applied in relation to the objective of the stories. After that, how humour can be a principle in ethic will be discussed by making some comparisons with what already taught as philosophy of humour in the West under the groups of incongruity, superiority, and relief theories. Therefore, in the end, we shall argue that to find humour in every situation is a recommended virtue for, providing that it surpassing anger of oneself and encourage toleration for others as an act of mercy.

Keywords: Epistemology, Sufism, ethic, Virtue

Procedia PDF Downloads 69
4 Applying Critical Realism to Qualitative Social Work Research: A Critical Realist Approach for Social Work Thematic Analysis Method

Authors: Lynne Soon-Chean Park

Abstract:

Critical Realism (CR) has emerged as an alternative to both the positivist and constructivist perspectives that have long dominated social work research. By unpacking the epistemic weakness of two dogmatic perspectives, CR provides a useful philosophical approach that incorporates the ontological objectivist and subjectivist stance. The CR perspective suggests an alternative approach for social work researchers who have long been looking to engage in the complex interplay between perceived reality at the empirical level and the objective reality that lies behind the empirical event as a causal mechanism. However, despite the usefulness of CR in informing social work research, little practical guidance is available about how CR can inform methodological considerations in social work research studies. This presentation aims to provide a detailed description of CR-informed thematic analysis by drawing examples from a social work doctoral research of Korean migrants’ experiences and understanding of trust associated with their settlement experience in New Zealand. Because of its theoretical flexibility and accessibility as a qualitative analysis method, thematic analysis can be applied as a method that works both to search for the demi-regularities of the collected data and to identify the causal mechanisms that lay behind the empirical data. In so doing, this presentation seeks to provide a concrete and detailed exemplar for social work researchers wishing to employ CR in their qualitative thematic analysis process.

Keywords: Data Analysis, Epistemology, Social Work Research, Research Methodology, Critical Realism, thematic analysis

Procedia PDF Downloads 70
3 The Impact of Science Teachers' Epistemological Beliefs and Metacognition on Their Use of Inquiry Based Teaching Approaches

Authors: Irfan Ahmed Rind

Abstract:

Science education has recently become the top priority of government of Pakistan. Number of schemes has been initiated for the improvement of science teaching and learning at primary and secondary levels of education, most importantly training in-service science teachers on inquiry based teaching and learning to empower students and encourage creativity, critical thinking, and innovation among them. Therefore, this approach has been promoted in the recent continuous professional development trainings for the in-service teachers. However, the follow ups on trained science teachers and educators suggest that these teachers fail to implement the inquiry based teaching and learning in their classes. In addition, these trainings also fail to bring any significant change in students’ science content knowledge and understanding as per the annual national level surveys conducted by government and independent agencies. Research suggests that science has been taught using scientific positivism, which supports objectivity based on experiments and mathematics. In contrary, the inquiry based teaching and learning are based on constructivism, which conflicts with the positivist epistemology of science teachers. It was, therefore, assumed that science teachers struggle to implement the inquiry based teaching approach as it conflicts with their basic epistemological beliefs. With this assumption, this research aimed to (i) understand how science teachers conceptualize the nature of science, and how this influence their understanding of learning, learners, their own roles as teachers and their teaching strategies, (ii) identify the conflict of science teachers’ epistemological beliefs with the inquiry based teaching approach, and (iii) find the ways in which science teachers epistemological beliefs may be developed from positivism to constructivism, so that they may effectively use the inquiry based teaching approach in teaching science. Using qualitative case study approach, thirty six secondary and higher secondary science teachers (21 male and 15 female) were selected. Data was collected using interviewed, participatory observations (sixty lessons were observed), and twenty interviews from students for verifications of teachers’ responses. The findings suggest that most of the science teacher were positivist in defining the nature of science. Most of them limit themselves to one fix answer that is provided in the books and that there is only one 'right' way to teach science. There is no room for students’ or teachers’ own opinion or bias when it comes to scientific concepts. Inquiry based teaching seems 'no right' to them. They find it difficult to allow students to think out of the box. However, some interesting exercises were found to be very effective in bringing the change in teachers’ epistemological beliefs. These will be discussed in detail in the paper. The findings have major implications for the teachers, educators, and policymakers.

Keywords: Epistemology, metacognition, science teachers, inquiry based teaching

Procedia PDF Downloads 38
2 The Imperative for Disability Studies as an Independent Area of Enquiry in Indian Academia

Authors: Anita Ghai

Abstract:

The present paper explores the imperative to establish disability studies as an independent area of academic inquiry in India through the establishment of specific programmes in disability studies. The case study of the efforts made by the Ambedkar University, Delhi, to develop such programs and courses shall be used to substantiate this imperative as well as to explore some of the challenges entailed. The paper shall explore the certain extent aspects of relevant scholarship in the area of disability studies in India today and critically reflect on the perspectives of disability in this scholarship. The study of disability in India has hitherto been the prerogative of special education, rehabilitation psychology, and social work departments. While instances of these departments adopting critical approaches to disability can be identified, their empirical focus has perpetuated the production of disability as the site of suffering and oppression. The complex cultural, phenomenological, historical and economic discourses within which disability is embedded can be better captured within distinctive programmes that have disability sui generis as their focus. Such programs would foreground disability as an epistemology, which universalizes the study of disability from disabled people alone to an analysis of various other groups who have been historically marginalized. It will also play an important role in recuperating disability from a state of alterity. The interdisciplinary nature of disability studies offers an opportunity to integrate perspectives from the humanities and the social sciences in the proposed programs. Some of the challenges or rather aspects of reflection that emerge in the course of developing these programs are the criteria for determining the suitability of faculty to teach these programs and the challenges in identifying faculty and in addressing any apprehensions about career prospects that prospective students might have. The manner in which these concerns are being addressed through the collaboration of expertise as well as through the interdisciplinary and flexible nature of the program shall be addressed in the course of the paper. In conclusion, the paper shall foreground the need for disability studies programs in India, the re-appropriation of existing scholarship in the process of formulation these programs, emerging concerns and the manner in which these concerns will be addressed.

Keywords: Epistemology, academia, Disability Studies, India

Procedia PDF Downloads 18
1 Epistemological and Ethical Dimensions of Current Concepts of Human Resilience in the Neurosciences

Authors: Norbert W. Paul

Abstract:

Since a number of years, scientific interest in human resilience is rapidly increasing especially in psychology and more recently and highly visible in neurobiological research. Concepts of resilience are regularly discussed in the light of liminal experiences and existential challenges in human life. Resilience research is providing both, explanatory models and strategies to promote or foster human resilience. Surprisingly, these approaches attracted little attention so far in philosophy in general and in ethics in particular. This is even more astonishing given the fact that the neurosciences as such have been and still are of major interest to philosophy and ethics and even brought about the specialized field of neuroethics, which, however, is not concerned with concepts of resilience, so far. As a result of the little attention given to the topic of resilience, the whole concept has to date been a philosophically under-theorized. This abstinence of ethics and philosophy in resilience research is lamentable because resilience as a concept as well as resilience interventions based on neurobiological findings do undoubtedly pose philosophical, social and ethical questions. In this paper, we will argue that particular notions of resilience are crossing the sometimes fine line between maintaining a person’s mental health despite the impact of severe psychological or physical adverse events and ethically more debatable discourses of enhancement. While we neither argue for or against enhancement nor re-interpret resilience research and interventions by subsuming them strategies of psychological and/or neuro-enhancement, we encourage those who see social or ethical problems with enhancement technologies should also take a closer look on resilience and the related neurobiological concepts. We will proceed in three steps. In our first step, we will describe the concept of resilience in general and its neurobiological study in particular. Here, we will point out some important differences in the way ‘resilience’ is conceptualized and how neurobiological research understands resilience. In what follows we will try to show that a one-sided concept of resilience – as it is often presented in neurobiological research on resilience – does pose social and ethical problems. Secondly, we will identify and explore the social and ethical challenges of (neurobiological) enhancement. In the last and final step of this paper, we will argue that a one-sided reading of resilience can be understood as latent form of enhancement in transition and poses ethical questions similar to those discussed in relation to other approaches to the biomedical enhancement of humans.

Keywords: bioethics, Neurosciences, Resilience, Epistemology

Procedia PDF Downloads 18