The introductory part of this book will deal with the basic requirements of science and research: philosophies of science – or metatheoretical conditions – and their methodological consequences. We will especially dwell on similarities and differences between the natural and social sciences, and, eventually, arrive at a set of methodological principles for social science analyses. We shall start by discussing the most central issue in science: the relation between science and reality. More specifically, this concerns the relation between scientific production of knowledge, conceptualizations, and observations and the reality that science claims to provide knowledge about.