This article offers an epistemological basis for action research, in order to increase the validity, the practical significance, and the transformational potential of social science. The article starts by outlining some of the paradigmatic issues which underlie action research, and argues for a “turn to action” which will complement the linguistic turn in the social sciences. Four key dimensions of an action science are discussed: the primacy of the practical, the centrality of participation, the requirement for experiential grounding, and the importance of normative, analogical theory.
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