Revisiting Achilles’ Sadness that No Method Can Be Found

Educational Research: To Whom Should We Talk, for What Purpose and in What Way?
  • Paul SmeyersEmail author
Part of the Educational Research book series (EDRE, volume 4)


Though qualitative methods are now regarded with more respect than ever before, mainstream educational research is still dominated by the paradigm of ‘real research’. There is still the general suspicion that in one way or another, what is offered by social science research, including qualitative research, cannot adequately satisfy the need for proper knowledge. What looms behind this concern may be captured by the following false assumption: not understanding everything is equated with not understanding anything. What some writers long for is something similar to the law-like explanation and ‘prediction’ of the natural sciences.1 This desire parallels that of philosophers for whom philosophy has to amount to valid reasoning warranted by methods of conceptual analysis (necessary and sufficient conditions) and logical rules of induction and deduction. This desire is also captured in the quest for an overarching metaphysical system.2


Educational Research Educational Researcher Instrumental Rationality Educational Science Practical Judgement 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ghent UniversityGhentBelgium

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