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Interpreting philosophy, developing a methodology for research

Updated: Feb 22

This series of blogs bring to knowledge paper 1 on interpreting philosophy, developing a methodology for research.

Paper 1

Harris, D.A. (2017) Doing research drawing on the philosophy of existential hermeneutic phenomenology. Palliative and Supportive Care 15, 267–269.

At the time of writing this reflective paper, there were limited reflections published on how to implement the philosophy of existential hermeneutic phenomenology as a methodology for research. Paper 1 provides a nuanced account of interpreting the two philosophical positions of existential phenomenology (Heidegger, 1927/1962) and philosophical hermeneutics (Gadamer, 1975), and applying these in a research methodology. As a researcher, I do not deny that my presuppositions will have affected the choices I have made. Another researcher approaching the study of the phenomenon of existence would also have their historical-cultural situatedness and would interpret these philosophical ideas in their own way.

This paper has received a degree of interest. I am in no doubt that researchers will use different aspects of my methodology because there are particular gaps in these areas:

1. Bringing presuppositions to consciousness before recruiting and meeting the participants, and during interpretation;

2. Choice of the data collection method;

3. Whole stories transcribed so that others can understand (interpret) them;

4. Use of a philosophical framework to analyse the text that focusses on the part