How to Value Individuality and Create an Enstatic School
Chapter 5: Action Philosophy: The Point, However, Is To Change
Action Philosophy: The Point, However, Is To Change
Sometimes I manage to turn loneliness into a solitude, as I did today. I felt a bit lonely … and I had your survey on loneliness … (Probably this was the best day to answer these questions) I took the survey with me, and went out to sit in the sun … with birds around and a nice view … I did not talk to anybody, just was sitting, thinking, reading … And suddenly realized – I felt much better and I was enjoying my moment of solitude.— LAILA (aged 30–49)
Introduction: The Gravity of Research
This chapter attempts to justify an approach to research that is particularly suited to aloneness. Research methodologies explored in previous chapters are revisited, and ‘action philosophy’ is described. All research, especially research on sensitive or taboo topics, can be painful, and later in the chapter I consider whether and when it might be acceptable for researchers to be upsetting people.
Having taught research methodologies, and research ethics, for over 30 years, I would like to say something more than is usual in methodology chapters. The convention is to say ‘on the one hand’ and ‘on the other hand’ about positivist or interpretative paradigms, and about each of a long list of methods – interviews, questionnaires, participant observation. Following the work of two hands (the one, the other), a conventional account describes ethical issues, in terms of the permissions sought and...
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