The term research philosophy refers to a system of beliefs and assumptions about the development of knowledge. In layman’s terms, a research philosophy is the choice a researcher makes on how to pursue his research, consciously or subconsciously. Scholars have identified five of the most prominent research philosophies in academia, however, choosing one is a matter of debate.
Supporters of critical realism claim that reality is much more than our senses allow us to see, preferring to focus on the bigger picture.
Critical realism advances historical knowledge
Critical realism accounts for a more complete and well-rounded account of history due to its focus on how individual perspective contributes to the whole story.
Critical realism is a research philosophy which acknowledges the inherent bias in human observations of the world. This realisation that all humans are biased is used to create greater objectivity in research.
Using fewer sources allows for a more targeted approach and a specific focus of interest. It also allows the researcher to look more closely at the details of the evidence and avoid other academic fields.