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HOW TO NEVER

EMERGE FROM THE


LIBRARY AGAIN?
HERMENEUTICS

PHILOSOPHICAL POSITIONS
I have lost count of the run of the
mill qualitative research papers I have
come across which find it necessary to
define their work in terms of obscure
philosophical positions such as
phenomenology or hermeneutics.
Silverman (2006, p. 7)

PHILOSOPHICAL POSITIONS
You will not find either of these terms in the
glossary of this book for one simple reason. In
my view, you do not need to understand these
terms in order to carry out good qualitative
research. Indeed, if you try to understand
them, my guess is that you will not emerge
from the library for many years!
Silverman (2006, p. 7)

HOW TO NEVER EMERGE FROM THE LIBRARY AGAIN?

HERMENEUTICS

HERMENEUTICS
Plato
Hermes the messenger
Aristoteles (Peri Hermeneias)
Elocutio ! the text
Interpretatio ! the interpretation
Explicatio ! the text of the interpretator

BIBLICAL HERMENEUTICS
Talmudic Hermeneutics, Islamic Hermeneutics,
Christian Hermeneutics
Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
From repeated studies and interpretations
of our own interpretations of Biblical texts,
we can strive for divine truth.

TEXT IN CONTEXT
Spinoza (1632-1677)
In order to understand texts
you have to study sections of
the text, the entire text, its
historical context, the writer
and vice versa.

HERMENEUTIC CIRCLE

Knowledge can not


be considered
independently of the
knowing person.
Every person and all
knowledge is
embedded in a
context.

HOW TO NEVER
EMERGE FROM THE
LIBRARY AGAIN?
PHENOMENOLOGY

HOW TO NEVER EMERGE FROM THE LIBRARY AGAIN?

PHENOMENOLOGY

PHENOMENOLOGY
The pure meaning of a phenomenon can only
be understood subjectively and intuitively
grasped in its essence.
Phenomenology studies conscious experience
of something as experienced by the subject
or the researcher.
Smith, 2013

PHENOMENOLOGY
Three different methods of interpretation:
1. Pure description of a lived experience
2. Interpretation of a kind of experience
by relating it to relevant context
(cf. in Hermeneutics)
3. Analysis of the form of an experience
Smith, 2013

PHENOMENOLOGICAL REDUCTION
HUSSERL

Natural knowledge is placed between


brackets
as if it is just an
appearance
to grasp the
essence
of a phenomena

PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE SOCIAL WORLD

Each actor takes the social world as "natural"


In order to deal with the world, an actor
forms typifications of people and situations
and formulates typical recipes for action:
first-order constructs
Schutz
(1967)

PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE SOCIAL WORLD

The constructs of the (social) science will


indeed often go beyond "naturalness", but
they are constructs.
Therefore a phenomenologist uses doubt and
bracketing.
These constructs are called:
second-order constructs
Schutz
(1967)

HOW TO NEVER
EMERGE FROM THE
LIBRARY AGAIN?
PRAGMATISM

HOW TO NEVER EMERGE FROM THE LIBRARY AGAIN?

PRAGMATISM

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Pragmatism requires the researcher to be
exclusively concerned with practical issues.
All aspects of social life that have practical
relevance to an investigation, have to be
included in the analysis.
Fallibilist

PRAGMATIST MAXIM
Consider what effects, that might
conceivably have practical bearings, we
conceive the object of our conception to
have.
Then, our conception of these effects is the
whole of our conception of the object.
Charles Sanders Peirce (1878)

IS
DAVID SILVERMAN
RIGHT?