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A paradigm is a belief system that guides the way we do things, or more formally establishes a set of practices. Paradigms can be governed through their ontology (what is reality?), epistemology (How do you know something?). The foundations on which scientists/ researchers work are their ontological and epistemological positions. As an emerging research scientist it is essential you understand what ontology and epistemology are and how they inform research.    

You are to write an essay, firstly you must define and conceptualise epistemology and ontology and next you must reflect on your epistemological and ontological approach to research.

Define and conceptualise epistemology and ontology Evidence needs to be provided demonstrating a clear and detailed understanding of epistemology and ontology. Evidence of wider reading (text books and journal articles) and examples where appropriate will assist in achieving a higher grade.

Reflect on your epistemological and ontological approach to research Clear explanations of your epistemological and ontological approaches to research are required. A higher grade can be achieved by providing a justification/rationale as to why this is your approach and drawing on multiple examples in existing literature.

What is Epistemology and Ontology?

In the event that in the normal sciences it is for the most part acknowledged that they build up the laws of the encompassing reality, at that point in the sociologies there are steady talks about the idea of the sports and exercise science research itself and the status of the applicable information. This sort of exchange alludes principally to the epistemology and ontology of logical research (Silva, 2014, p 123–136).

In the meantime, paying little respect to whether the researcher is proficient or not about the hypothetical and philosophical suspicions of observational research, he generally holds fast to [at slightest he didn't realize] certain suppositions influencing the whole research process inside his exploration ventures (North, 2017).


Epistemology gives answers to how we see the wonders of the truth encompassing us, and what we can consider as adequate information in a specific teach.

In sports and exercise science, as in different sciences, there are two most regular methods for acquiring information:

  • Empiricism Knowledge is acquired through tangible experience using enlistment.
  • Rationalism Knowledge originates from thoroughly considering the utilization of conclusion.
  • The second epistemological rule is identified with the status of the logical strategy and human subjectivity:
  • Positivism based on the utilization of the standards of the regular sciences to think about exercise science reality. This is a target approach that spotlights on testing hypotheses and setting up logical laws. In its most broad shape, its primary intention is to build up the circumstances and end results.
  • Interpritivism It depends on the presumption that subjective implications assume a key part in exercise science action. Its object is to recognize key elucidations and implications shared by sports and exercise science.

Every single philosophical position and relating methodological methodologies contain certain perspectives on the idea of scientific reality. These perspectives, thusly, figure out what can be viewed as adequate logical information (Holt and Tamminen, 2010, pp.419–422). Thusly, ontology manages sports being like sports and games belongs sports activities in a society, what exists in it and can be explored. In the broadest frame, two oppositional ways to deal with the idea of sports and exercise science reality stand out:

  • Realism Affirms that structures are the premise of get-togethers and talks, yet since they are watched just in a roundabout way, they ought to be portrayed in hypothetical terms and, as needs be, are restrictive in nature. The last mentioned, be that as it may, does not keep their utilization in activities to change society (Raddon, 2016).
  • Objectivism faith in the way that sports and exercise science marvels and their qualities don't rely upon sports actors. In different words, these are certainties that have a free presence.
  • Constructivism Faith in the way that wonders are always showing signs of change, since they depend on sports and exercise connection occurring in genuine life. Even the situation of scientists relies upon this association; subsequently scientific learning can be significant just with regards to proper sports and exercise collaboration (Canadian Center of Science and Educatio, 2012).

Notwithstanding the above, deductive and inductive additionally recognize two methodologies, which are an unequivocal synresearch of the initial two - theoretical deductive and adductive (Silva, 2014, p 123–136).

  1. Induction Inductive contemplations start with singular perceptions, based on which general conclusions are drawn Case: (a) All the swans that we saw are white. (b) Thus, we can reason that all swans are white. When utilizing enlistment, three conditions must be satisfied: a) the analyst must complete an adequately expansive number of observations’) perceptions must be rehashed under various conditions’) none of the perceptions ought to repudiate inductive conclusions. Be that as it may, these conditions offer ascent to two risky inquiries in the utilization of acceptance: what number of perceptions ought to be made and what scope of various conditions ought to be considered?
  2. Deduction Arguments in light of conclusion start with general genuine articulations, based on which, by legitimate finding, specific proclamations are figured that are additionally valid. For instance, consider the least complex case of deductive surmising - syllogism: (an) all individuals are mortal. (b) Socrates is a man. (c) Consequently, Socrates is mortal (Raddon, 2010, p 01-1).

Conclusion can be utilized not exclusively to get outcomes from genuine premises. The second path is to check general theoretical speculations [i.e. theories being solely the product of the guesses of the scientist].In this case, based on speculations, particular theories are planned that can be confirmed empirically. The aftereffects of the check demonstrate whether it is conceivable to confide in the hypothesis as a whole. The fundamental normal for the hypo research is the likelihood of its refutation (Chatterjee, 2013, p 73–99). This implies that there must be the likelihood of such perceptions that don't meet the hypo research, and, consequently, can disprove it.

  1. Hypothetical-deductive technique the hypothetic-deductive strategy consolidates inductive and deductive contemplations and comprises in the way that the scientist builds up an arrangement of interrelated general speculations defined based on perceptions and then determines deductively their results that can be confirmed empirically (Martínez-Santos, 2014). This technique comprises of four stages: the distinguishing proof of the issue - the plan of fundamental theories that would clarify it - checking the outcomes of these speculations - the end or rectification of theories that have not been tried. In a similar vein, E. Durkheim, interested in suicide after the suicide of his friend, worked (Couclelis, 2009, p 3–15).

The logic of his reasoning was the following:

(a) sports and exercise science cohesion provides mental support to members of the group who are exposed to stress and anxiety.

Epistemological and Ontological Approaches to Research

(b) The level of suicide is a derivative of the unreleased anxiety and stress of a person. After that, he formulated many consequences, which were tested empirically. But only one is cited (c) Catholics is more united than Protestants.

(d) Consequently, a lower suicide rate is to be expected among Catholics.
The logic here is that if the consequences (in particular, and (d)) are confirmed, then the hypotheses (a + b) entering into the theory are also confirmed (Kirom, 2016, p 99–117).

Abduction If, in the case of deduction, considerations develop from the premise to the corollary, then in the case of abduction, in the opposite direction, i.e. from the investigation to the premise. The syllogism in abduction acquires the following form:

(a) All people are mortal.

(b) Socrates the mortal.

(c) Consequently, Socrates is a man.

Unlike deduction, the conclusion here is of a probabilistic nature (as in induction), but it expands the field of knowledge, as it generates new ideas in thinking, thereby making possible new scientific concepts (Edwards et al., 2017).

In the epistemology of the beginning of the 21st century, the problem of cognition of scientific action becomes increasingly relevant. Sports action is seen today as a resource of changes in the sports and exercise science, as a process of comprehension, interpretation of the sports world. The constant involvement of the subject in sports and exercise science, considered by epistemology, gives rise to a number of problems, such as correlation with the expectations of another subject, the conscious nature of the action (Keating, 2008, p 99–117).

In the light of modern philosophical understanding, sports and exercise scienceis one of the fundamental categories within which human activity is viewed as the totality of an indefinite set of actions of isolated individuals, and each of such individually motivated actions appears as the simplest unit (primary element) of this kind of activity (Della, Porta and Michael, 2008).

The study of sports science includes the study of the problem of the subject of sports science, the problem of the value status of sports science, its informative loading, the problem of the heuristic potential of methods for studying sports science, the classification of these methods, etc., which determines the features of the epistemological process itself (Couclelis, 2009, p 3–15).

The phenomenon of sports science is inextricably linked with the study of the value-semantic component of being. Any active individual is not isolated. He is surrounded by a material, material world, a sports environment. The totality of the material, sports and cultural identity of the environment creates a situation that finds expression in terms of action and means of action. The actions of the individual, therefore, are based on the interpenetration and imposition of his own values on the universally recognized values and norms accepted in the given society.

Different Philosophical Positions and Methodological Approaches in Scientific Reality

It should be noted that for all the diversity of theories of sports science, there is no clear classification of research methods for this phenomenon today. At the same time, extremely weak, in the opinion of V.P.Kokhanovsky, remains the methodological component of humanitarian disciplines. "The specialized methodology of the humanities, by its elaboration, significance, significance comparable with the natural science methodology, despite obvious findings, insightful thoughts and generalizations of a few enthusiastic theorists, has not yet been formed" 2. The need to create such a methodology is becoming one of the main tasks today. In the solution of this problems will contribute to the analysis of epistemological features of the methodology of cognition of sports science (Silva, 2014, p 123–136). This determines the relevance of the dissertation research. With the study of the phenomenon of sports science, the problem of the methodology of his cognition is formed, which itself becomes the object of investigation (Della, Porta and Michael, 2008).

An important place in the works of Western philosophers is the problem of the heuristic potential of specific methods of investigation, including methods of cognition of sports science. For example, the possibilities of the sociological, the psychological method, the value-normative, and the evolutionary approach, the method of understanding, the interpretation, the motivational component of the activity and the psychological method, etc (Detel, 2015, p 228–234).

Epistemological concepts of modern domestic philosophy raise the topical problems of the specifics of the axiological approach to the study of the phenomena of sports reality, the activity approach, the biographical method, the interpretation, explanations, the cognitive operation of representation, etc. Also peculiarities of subject-object relations in cognitive activity are considered, problems of value-semantic determinism of truth, structures of knowledge in sports and exercise scienceitarian knowledge, the problem of the ratio of rational and irrational in, etc (Hall and Gray, 2016, pp.365–379).

To date, there are a large number of studies of the phenomenon of sports science and the methodology of its knowledge in foreign and domestic philosophical thought, but there is no comprehensive, holistic, comprehensive work on the methodology for investigating sports science (Clancy, 2013). Realizing that the problem of sports science is relevant for various philosophical, sociological, and psychological works, the research deliberately limited the study of this phenomenon to the area of epistemology and methodology (Hekman, 1983, p 205–224).

The research considers it necessary to distinguish the following characteristic features of sports science as an object of sports and exercise scienceitarian cognition: processuality, causality, situationalism; meaning-forming meaning; systemic, structural; the need to analyze the system of actions, taking into account the spatial and temporal characteristics, the possibility of applying different methods of research to each element of the structure of sports science (Erickson et al., 2016, pp.92–99).

The concept of sports science indicates concrete practical processes through which the sports subject is connected with the objective world. The moment of interaction is an immanent characteristic of the general dialectical category of action. Using the interaction category, a process is defined that is deployed between two or more objects (Hekman, 1983, p 205–224). Its essence lies in the mutually directed spatial and temporal impact of objects on each other, the natural results of which are the exchange of matter, energy and information, as well as the qualitative transformation of both the interacting objects themselves and the nature of their movement. Hence, sports and exercise scienceitarian cognition is oriented towards comprehending sports science as a process, to reveal its laws (Sparkes, and Smith, 2014, pp.179–205).

The causality of sports science consists in its causation, dependence on the acting sports subject, object of action, exercise science, purpose, motivation, focus of the subject's activity, etc. The sports activiites as a combination of objective conditions and subjective factors determines such a feature as situationalism (Detel, 2015). In sports and exercise scienceitarian cognition, sports science is seen as the vehicle of meaning, the embodiment of meanings (Sparkes & Smith, 2014). The meaning of sports science determines it as a resource of changes in the sprots and exercise structure and sports system.

Sports science as localized in time and space of a concrete act of the activity of a sports subject possesses a structural structure, designated by M. Weber. Structuralism allows us to reach a whole complex of epistemological problems: the importance of individual components of sports science, the possibility of their objective understanding, interpretation, the identification of criteria for typologization of sports science, the identification of the uniqueness, indispensability, specificity, gnoseological fullness of each component of the structure of sports science simultaneously leads to the systemic nature of the phenomenon being studied, makes it possible to talk about the features of sports science as a whole (Goertz, and Mahoney, 2012, p 205–216).

The obligatory components of the structure of action are the action space and the moment of action. Localization in time and space leads to the need to take into account the patio-temporal characteristics in the cognition of the phenomenon being studied by the methods of sports and exercise scienceitarian sciences (Detel, 2015).

The identification of the epistemological potential of each component of the structure of sports science is possible provided that various methods of investigation are used. The ontological nature of sports science lies in the fact that this is a phenomenon of the present, the existing being, expressing the reality of the process, and not the possibility. It is immanent in being. Action is the relation and the result of causing, in which things change; a specific discovery of the universal connection of phenomena and processes and should be understood as their interaction (Ginev, 1992, p 1–8). The epistemological significance of studying sports science lies in the possibility of understanding the motives and goals of man through an analysis of his behavior. The second paragraph - "Features of scientific knowledge of sports science" - is devoted to the analysis of the current state of the methodology of sports and exercise science sciences, the identification of factors that affect its specificity; correlation of features of the methodology of sports science with the characteristic features of the methodological basis of sociohumanitarian knowledge (Fallis, 2013, 1689–1699).

A comparative analysis of the current situation in sports and exercise scienceitarian cognition and the methodology for studying sports science allows us to conclude that these two methodological systems have not been brought into line. According to the research, factors that influence the specific methodology of the study of sports and exercise scienceitarian knowledge are: new benchmarks of human activity, the desire to raise the conceptual status of sports and exercise science sciences, the "rehabilitation" of dialectics, orientation to socio-historical practice, methodological "anarchism."

These factors largely determine trends in the development of the methodology of sports and exercise science sciences. One of the main trends, according to the author of the dissertation research, is the desire to create a systematic research paradigm. The system paradigm, on the one hand, combines the advantages of other research methods (philosophical, historical, sociological, psychological, etc.), on the other hand, overcomes their specific limitations. The use of specific methods or of a certain set of them depends not only on the state of the methodological base, but also on the characteristics of the very object of cognition (Sparkes, and Smith, 2014, pp.179–205).

In the course of this dissertational research, the features of scientific knowledge of sports science were revealed, such as: the central position of the subject, the author's presence; specificity of subject-object relations; the need to apply methods construction and research of an idealized object in the cognition of sports science; value-semantic determinism of truth; integrity; historicism; temporality; Spatiality; presence of irrational components, emphasis on individual, individual; impossibility of final rationalization; the possibility of understanding the meaning of the process by its subject; focus on processes; complexity in the unification and categorization of the material; dialogic. In the process of scientific cognition of sports science, the basic features of sports and exercise scienceitarian cognition are manifested: communicative, value, meaningful nature (Fallis, 2013, p 1689–1699).

Any method has a limited range of applicability. There is no one method that is suitable for solving any research problems. In addition, special work is required to adapt the methods to this study. The research is convinced that the adapted methods of cognition of sports science are suitable, expedient and feasible in the whole complex of sports and exercise disciplines. And the new, specific methods proposed by the authors of modern theories of sports science are the result of creative activity, but still need adaptation (Fleetwood, 2013, p 1–4). The significance of this fact is that although knowledge of the methods in itself does not yet provide an answer to questions concerning the subjects under study, its role in scientific knowledge is extremely high.

The discovery of a new method, as a rule, has incomparably greater significance than an answer to a particular question or the establishment of some new fact, since the new method opens the way to solving a number of specific problems and establishing a multitude of new facts.


Sports science is a classical philosophical, sociological category. It is a mechanism that provides a link between the subject, the person and the society. This is a kind of "atom" of activity, its part, mode, state. Sports science is not just a phenomenon related to behavior, but a way of functioning and existence of certain sports actors. Sports science is seen as a resource of changes in the sports structure and sports system. Therefore, we believe that the study of various aspects of sports science is very relevant today. In this study, we attempted an epistemological analysis of the features of the methodology of cognition of sports science. In the process of research, we came to the conclusion that the definition of sports science as a specific act of activity of a sports subject localized in time and space is, in our opinion, most appropriate to our study. It is established that the definition of sports science has its roots in the classical theory of M. Weber. Given to the German scientist, the definition received over time the status of the paradigm in nominalistic sports theory.

The analysis of the concepts of sports science and the features of the methods of cognition of the phenomenon studied by various thinkers makes it possible to deduce a number of author methodological methods of investigating sports science. Moreover, each philosopher, in our opinion, found important components of the methodology of cognition of sports science, which confirms the multifaceted nature of the problem of interest to us. To the specific cognitive methods, principles and methods we have referred the principle of analytical realism, the method of analytical induction, biographical, sociological, structural-functional, axiological approaches, and the method of the coordinate system. At the same time, the authors actively use various scientific methods and principles (rationality, classification, modeling, observation, analysis, synresearch, analogy, comparison, description, and generalization, logical, psychological approaches) to study sports science. The uniqueness of the epistemological potential of the methodology of sports science is seen in the fact that it carries in itself the possibility of certain descriptions of reality, the cognition of other phenomena of socio-cultural reality. The ability to extrapolate the methods of cognition of sports science (part) to the study of sports reality (whole) testifies to the universal character of these approaches, methods and means.

The evolution of methods for the study of sports science goes along the path of complicating the conceptual apparatus, improving the initial principles of the theory, further searching for the specifics of research approaches, and detailing the individual moments of this concept. An attempt is made to reflect classical and non-classical theories and at the same time to combine the corresponding levels of knowledge in the analysis.


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