2 Research Question

One good research question is vital and fundamental. Sometimes finding an excellent research question is much harder than solving a mediocre one. From another side, it is also a startpoint. Then we have two standards for amateurs and veterans.

2.1 Fact is the body

“Fact is the body” means the research question should be an real question. I emphasis this point sounds ridiculous, however it’s not. Many articles in social science analysis a fake phenomenon.

Remeber all facts are facts, and there are never against a common sense. On the contrary, common sense or theories always cannot explain facts.

The purpose of reasearch is not to reslove something to make you feel confused

2.2 Theory is the spirt

“Theory is the spirt” means it’s better to show theoretical novelty, which is very difficult. Most of papers just apply theories on new examples or on new fields. Your research should build on the foundation of prior scholars to avoid wasting time.

Using Frontier Theories

2.3 Description, Conversation & Exploration

Academic research question is a new level of understanding, which means your goal should surpass merely description. Knowing details of the object is the prerequisite to a research.

Conversation is about the relevant literatures, that suggests you should start from a solide base. You should develope your program inside the academic community, you should use their jargons, their theories and their patterns. if the research can response to some key theories, great, you will be the master.

Exploration combines the description and conversation. Great scholars is the person who provides critical questions and sometimes, questions is much more important than answers.

2.4 Theology, Art & Social Science

Theology is almost unconditional to believe some principles and regarded them as non questionable. When we resort to authority, like God, masters,professors, tutors, even worse politicians, it is theological way.

Art focuses the ambiguity, the existence, the contradiction. Great works should have more uncertainty and imaginition, be inspiring and challenging. Need to have spiritual transcendence and aesthetic construction.

Marcel Duchamp - Spring,urinal, installation art
Joseph Beuys - 7000 Oaks, Ausfegen(sweeping streets),performance art
Yves Klein- Leap into the Void, Vide, body art
Andy Warhol- Marilyn Diptych, pop art

Social Science always means conditional, and the absolute answer is absolute wrong. The science always try to give clear answer, and we prefer clear wrong rather than vague right.

Classical philosophy is dying, Why?

2.5 Science & Social Science

Ontology: Plato, the world of being;the world of becoming
Scientists try to find some eternal rules, to pursuit absolute exsitences. Social scientists’ goal is to understand the changing world, even they using similar scientific methods.

The rules in science are more solide and well proved, and the theories in social science are more soft and with many uncertainties.

Epistemology: science is typological thinking, and social science is polulation thinking.(总体思维). The objects in science like physics, chemistry or biology are regarded as homogeneous. Althrough society is highly heterogeneous, social scientists still try to get the universal understanding based on the population. why we don’t focus on individuals rather population

Methodology: experiemental data vs observational data. So against your instinct, social science need more methodology trainings and techniques to solve this problem. Research design and theory testing faced lots of obstacles.

2.6 Key Point

Rule 1: Ausfegen - Sweeping Streets

Rule 2: Leap into the Void