Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise
New Horizons in Entrepreneurship series
Chapter 2: What I Found and How
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS This chapter presents the rationale for the research design, details of think-aloud protocols, the process for selecting subjects, and the research instrument. 2.1.1 Rationale for Research Design: Carnap versus Popper There are at least two views on the scientiﬁc design of a rigorous empirical study. The diﬀerence between the two views can be traced back to an old argument. As Hacking (1983) chronicles it: Rudolf Carnap and Karl Popper both began their careers in Vienna and ﬂed in the 1930s. Carnap, in Chicago and Los Angeles, and Popper, in London, set the stage for many later debates. They disagreed about much, but only because they agreed on basics. They thought that the natural sciences are terriﬁc and that physics is the best. It exempliﬁes human rationality. It would be nice to have a criterion to distinguish such good science from bad nonsense or ill-formed speculation. Here comes the ﬁrst disagreement: Carnap thought it is important to make the distinction in terms of language, while Popper thought that the study of meanings is irrelevant to the understanding of science. Carnap said scientiﬁc discourse is meaningful; metaphysical talk is not. Meaningful propositions must be veriﬁable in principle, or else they tell nothing about the world. Popper thought that veriﬁcation was wrong-headed, because powerful scientiﬁc theories can never be veriﬁed. Their scope is too broad for that. They can, however, be tested, and possibly shown to be false. A proposition...
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