Reserving a Key Place for Reality: Philosophical Foundations of Theoretical Rotation
Operant Subjectivity , Volume 27 - Issue 3 p. 104- 124
Factor rotation has been a controversial topic in the history of factor analysis, and preference has always been for a solution that is determinate, such as the simple-structure solution approximated by varimax. Stephenson's preference for judgmental rotation, available in Q methodology software packages such as QMethod and PCQ, is little used, due in part to lack of understanding of its philosophical bases in the writings of Egon Brunswik (psychological cues), J. R. Kantor (specificity), Charles S. Peirce (abductory logic), and Michael Polanyi (tacit knowledge). The philosophical justifications for theoretical rotation are summarized, and concrete examples are presented as illustration designed to encourage acceptance and more widespread use.