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Logic, Hermeneutics, or Both?

David L. Rennie


Stiles’ (2009) thesis that logical operations can be employed in case studies making them contributory to theory-building is examined in the light of methodical hermeneutics. The assimilation model of psychotherapeutic change developed by Stiles and colleagues is used to demonstrate the utility of this alternative framework. The question is raised of whether the case-study research conducted by Stiles et al. illustrates theory-building as Stiles claims or instead illustrates his concept of enriching research. In terms of logical operations, it is pointed out that in order for Stiles’ uptake of C.S. Peirce’s theory of inference to work, it is necessary to take into account how that theory has been has been modified to fit with qualitative research. Throughout, the epistemological positions of Stiles’ experiential correspondence theory of truth versus methodical hermeneutics are considered.  

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