truth idea

Group activity; World Cafe
(In relation to theory...) How do you find a balance between tension/ complexity and cohesion/
Time constraints
What gets left on cutting room floor?
lots of problems/ tensions with/ between supervisors
outcome-driven process? for PhD student? Supervisor? Institution?
closed project from the start (e.g. funding)
supervisors influence, impact on study; What you do fits in - convinced by conflict? How do
supervisors get chosen and elected?
definition of self in relation to theory? lack of ownership
ownership of theory by discipline
grist to the mill; overlap and complexity; more to write about; but need to have sympathy
for reader; narrative as neat
What is truth?
Knowledge which is immutable, reliable, consistent
What are the conditions through which truth might emerge?
it is what gives value to assertions
one’s position amongst many
in religion...
representation through the brain
your knowledge
what can we have instead of truth? can we have several different truths? Yes, as long as they
don’t contradict each other
is it relative? How would this fly without truth?
according to psychoanalysis there is no one truth, if there is one it’s in the unconscious and
so you cannot access it
as a species maybe we are more limited than we think we are?
what about incommensurability? can we work with diametrically opposed ideas?
At what point should theory inform the research?
depends on whether work is done inductively or deductively
theory influences research questions
theory can change? but should it?
at every stage of the research process?
consider purpose of study
upfront → confidence
retrospective feels flaky, not coherent
all the time
your theoretical lens changes over time and as project develops
When should your theory be decided?
evolving process
can you use multiple theories?
what are the themes that are important to me? power, space, subjectivity, intersectionality
How do I find my theory?
some big ideas have same meaning but different label
preconception leads to theory (standpoint)
which theory is this? conceptual theory or methodological theory?
bit haphazard
a quick run through the big names/ big ideas is a good idea to start
theoretical perspective directs literature search or the other way round; it depends
there are so many
using methodology to reveal theory
to distinguish PhD from opinion in a bus queue
our supervisor’s opinion
‘deep reading’
started with one idea/theory, finished with another
remember to also look at critics of the big name/ theory
have a big name, a big idea, work on it for a bit – but not forever
don’t be surprised to take a sudden turn
not too many big ideas/ people – not enough time in one thesis; choose one with best fit
with your view of the world
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