Advances in Modern Physics: Transition from Positivism to Post-positivism in Education and Research

Sebahattin Tüzemen *

Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Atatürk University, Erzurum 25240, Turkey

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Advances in quantum physics in the first quarter of the twentieth century dramatically influenced perspectives in science and philosophy. This paper discusses why a shift towards post-positivism in the philosophy of science is necessary, taking a novel perspective using the basic principles of quantum physics and its implications. Given the fundamental limitations of observation and evaluation in science as elucidated by quantum mechanics, we need to question the meanings of objectivity and truth, and therefore our entire present knowledge base. This results in a re-alignment of ontology, epistemology and methodology in the philosophy of research. The comparison of quantum mechanics and post-positivism leads us to relativism and critical realism. It is proposed that the right way to approach the acquisition of knowledge is to have an overall perspective of post-positivism that parallels the basic principles of modern physics. It is suggested that this new approach would be an appropriate framework also for higher education, leading to interdisciplinary, constructive and active learning instead of the traditional prescriptive approach.

Keywords: Positivism, post-positivism, philosophy of science, quantum mechanics

How to Cite

Tüzemen, Sebahattin. 2015. “Advances in Modern Physics: Transition from Positivism to Post-Positivism in Education and Research”. Advances in Research 6 (1):1-9.


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