Applying AQAL to the Quantitative/Qualitative Debate in Social Sciences Research
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Drawing on Integral Theory, the author argues that the debate between the relative merits and scientific credibility of quantitative versus qualitative methods in the social sciences is predicated on confusion regarding the definitions of three key terms: empiricism, paradigm, and validation. The argument is made that both quantitative and qualitative methods are means of representing interior, subjective experience and, in particular, how the confusion of terms has allowed the quantitative/qualitative debate to survive in the social sciences. This article also serves as an introduction to the concept of Integral Methodological Pluralism, contextualized in the quantitative/qualitative debate. The author concludes that, once the confusion regarding these terms is remedied, this debate can be laid to rest once and for all.