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Epistemology and Metaphysics for Qualitative Research

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An astonishing contribution! Pernecky’s lucid, engaging treatment of this complex subject matter renders centuries of challenging philosophical argumentation accessible and valuable to students and seasoned qualitative researchers alike. This is a work that will explode stereotypes and make you rethink the paradigms you thought you knew. 


Kellee Caton

Associate Professor, Thompson Rivers University





A highly relevant book that underlines how epistemology, philosophy and metaphysics work at the heart of research processes. In a post-paradigmatic perspective, it places a salutary emphasis on the diversity of ideas, theories and schools of thought which encourages academic freedom, creativity and interdisciplinary openness.

Frédéric Darbellay

Head of Inter- and Transdisciplinarity Unit, University of Geneva

I have searched for years for the “perfect” book for my PhD-level Philosophy of Science course and I have now found it. Pernecky presents a cogent and clear understanding of the Philosophy of Science, equally accessible to undergraduate and graduate students. Written from a lens of qualitative research, the text provides an objective and dispassionate treatment of competing streams of thought converging to inform qualitative data analysis; in doing so it also gives a clear understanding of positivism, rationalism, and other modes of thought characterizing the methodological debate between qualitative ad quantitative orientations. The book will give students and academics alike an appreciation for competing orientations reflecting the underlying metatheoretical assumptions informing the construction of knowledge, whether qualitative, quantitative, or theoretical.

Ross Klein

Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, School of Social Work, Memorial University of Newfoundland


This is an enormously important work. Qualitative inquiry is burgeoning throughout the social sciences, and with significant challenge to the logical empiricist orientation that has long dominated the sciences. Yet, while a challenge to tradition, there are scant resources for deliberating on differences and direction. Tomas Pernecky's work is a sophisticated, readable, and comprehensive gift of just these resources. It is more: in the helter-skelter demand for producing publishable research, the social sciences have lost capacity for self-understanding. This is a must-read volume for all  thoughtful researchers - qualitative and otherwise - who might wish to grasp the broader context and significance of their efforts. 


Kenneth J. Gergen

Senior Research Professor, Swarthmore College



Just wanted to say to you that I recently purchased your book Epistemology and Metaphysics for Qualitative Research, and I think it’s really good. I plan to use it as a text for my postgraduate students next year.

It has everything they need all in one place!

And it’s really clearly written.


Jane Gilbert.

Professor, School of Education, Auckland University of Technology

Tomas Pernecky’s book is so helpful and SAGE are to be commended for publishing it. The foundations and shibboleths of epistemology and metaphysics (the latter including the domains and realms of what exists, of being, namely ontology), are painstakingly and systematically examined. Consequently, many of the tacit and unexamined assumptions in the dominant hierarchies of knowledge are identified and some of their implications and deficiencies underscored’ (Fopp, 2017, p.1).


Review published in the journal Urban Studies 

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