Annotated Further Reading

Many students encountering metaphysics or philosophy of research – including ontology, epis­temology and methodology – for the first time can find the explanations of these complex concepts difficult to follow. Below are two suggestions for further reading on philosophy of research and one practical manual for getting started in applied research.

Grix, J. (2018) The Foundations of Research. London: Macmillan.
This book gives a background to the philosophy of research in straightforward language. See especially chapter 5 (‘Introducing the key research paradigms’) and chapter 6 (‘The types and uses of theory in research’).

Marsh, D., Ercan, S.A. and Furlong, P. (2018) ‘A skin not a sweater: ontology and epistemology in political science’, in V. Lowndes, D. Marsh and G. Stoker (eds), Theory and Methods in Political Science. London: Palgrave. pp. 177–98.
This book introduces many of the metaphysical debates and how they affect social research, particularly in political science.

Rich, R.C., Brians, C.L., Manheim, J.B. and Willnat, L. (2018) Empirical Political Analysis, 9th edn. Abingdon: Routledge.
This book covers the fundamentals of research design in a political science context. It includes both a discussion of philosophy of research and a discussion of techniques for collecting quan­titative data.