A philosophical analysis of research in the medical sciences: the qualitative-quantitative divide is cultural rather than epistemic

Stockdale, Jessica (2019) A philosophical analysis of research in the medical sciences: the qualitative-quantitative divide is cultural rather than epistemic. In: Metascience 2019 Symposium: The Emerging Field of Research on the Scientific Process, 5th-8th September 2019, Stanford University. (Accepted)

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Abstract

Much critical attention has been paid to the use of qualitative research in the medical sciences, with proponents advancing discussions of what it is and how it may be appraised, and critics arguing that it is of exploratory use only. Using philosophical analysis, I argue that such discussions are flawed insofar as they endorse the idea that qualitative and quantitative research are epistemically distinct categories involving different types of knowledge. Rather, I claim that such approaches are actually culturally distinct involving different intellectual histories. Thus highlighting that qualitative research may not necessarily be exploratory, and that the qualitative-quantitative divide could be closed through the development of innovative social strategies. This makes possible not only shared standard setting practices, but also novel techniques which could optimise medical research to improve health care and save lives.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Keywords: philosophy, conceptual analysis, qualitative, quantitative, medical science, metaresearch
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Q Science
R Medicine
Depositing User: Jessica Stockdale
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2019 12:40
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2019 11:22
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/85456

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