What does it mean to “know” something, and how much are we really capable of knowing?
These may seem like simple questions, but as you will see, there are different philosophies that approach them from different angles and arrive at different conclusions. This chapter provides a very brief introduction to the major research traditions and the types of questions and methods that are generally associated with those traditions. While there are many views on the topic, some overlapping and some conflicting, this chapter focuses mainly on the work of Cresswell (2003). It is not, therefore, an exhaustive summary of all possible approaches to research, but rather a starting place for understanding the differences between some of the historical traditions.