The positivist approach has been a 'recurrent theme in the history of western thought from the Ancient Greeks to the present day' (Louis, 2007). It was initially influenced by the enlightenment goals to get knowledge and develop ‘universal laws’ (Smith, 2003). In a positivist view, science was seen as the way to get at truth, is to understand the world well enough so that we might predict and control it. The world operated by laws of causes and effects that could be differentiated if scientific method approaches were applied. Positivists believed in ‘empiricism’ which is simply the idea that observation and measurement was the core of scientific efforts (Trochim, 2006). Positivism first began in France, and it heavily influenced early sociologists like Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durrkheim and several others.
Positivists are guided by five main principles. Firstly the unity of the scientific method which... [continues]
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