Short definitions for realism

At the heart of the quantitative-qualitative debates in evaluation (which have been muted but not resolved in the field) lie fundamentally different notions about the world–different ontological perspectives. This debate often dissolves into caricatures of ontological positions, a particularly common one being using a paint brush that colours every neo-positivist a “realist,” by which is meant naive realism. Of course, most contemporary realists are not ‘naive’ and subsribed to a more nuanced sense in which there is a real knowable world out there. Click here for a little more of that nuance.

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