How do you feel about the concepts of theory and philosophy we have approached so far? Do you feel a bit more immersed in the types of thinking a PhD is expected to do? How have you translated some of that thinking into your arguments both written and oral in class? Has there been any shift in your expectations about what a PhD does vs. an MS or other applied degree?
I have found that to discussion of theory and philosophy is difficult for me to fully understand. I tend to get lost in either the high-level concepts and the lack of examples that allow for an opportunity to discover a broad view. I tend to lose the significance of the mental activity of processing a theory or philosophical concept when I can’t relate it to the focused areas or concerns of my life.
The concept of a theory is that it is a “supposition or a system of ideas that is intended to explain something and can be usually proven with empirical evidence” (Hasa, 2016, p. 1). There are differences between scientific and philosophical theories. As noted, scientific theory is backed up with empirical evidence and philosophical theory may not have empirical evidence (Hasa, 2016).
The concept of philosophy is the “study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence and it consists of various sub-disciplines such as logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology” (Hasa, 2016, p. 1). In the absence of empirical data to support philosophical conventions there are many challenges to providing supporting evidence to support these questions.
I think that I would need more insight and research into the specifics of philosophy and theory. I attempted to take a philosophy course as an under graduate, but the course content was overwhelming and I ended up dropping the course. Since the focus of my PhD degree is primarily dealing with adult education issues related to the development of skills for use in industry, I think that much of my research will have associated empirical data results.
The expectations related to developing the understanding and use of theory and philosophical concepts is different somewhat for a MS degree versus a PhD degree. From an academic standpoint there would be a higher demand to address these concepts especially when doing research and publishing these findings. I hope that these concepts can be developed as part of this course. If I can study several examples of what’s acceptable versus what is un-acceptable this will be very beneficial in expanding my understanding of the concepts. In some of my conversations with other classmates they are also concerned that they need additional help with understanding these concepts.
Hasa, (2016). Difference Between Philosophy and Theory