Circles: Q Methodology and Hermeneutical Science
A long-standing debate in hermeneutical discourse concerns the scientific status of hermeneutical investigation. Contemporary hermeneutics has shed away from or outright rejected scientific models and practices for textual analysis. It is alleged that the subjective nature of textual interpretation precludes attempting on empirical-behavioral approach. However, studying subjectivity from an understanding mode does not require violating inductive scientific principles. A review of its basic themes reveals that the hermeneutical enterprise conforms to the fundamental tenets of a science of subjectivity. Empirical operations are available and applicable as operational techniques for doing hermeneutical science. It transforms hermeneutics from "art" and "soft science" into a methodology grounded in the basic foundations of behavioral science but on a more secure footing. And it responds to the dilemma presented by the hermeneutical circle by maintaining the integrity of the text and controlling for the contaminating effects of the observer's analytic presuppositions.