Hermeneutics and Psychology: A Review and Dialectical Model

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The authors encourage psychologists to transcend the simple but often made a contrast of quantitative and qualitative epistemologies by reissuing a call to consider a hermeneutical realist perspective. The authors recognize that such calls are not new and have largely gone unheeded in the past, perhaps because of how a more radical hermeneutical perspective has been conceptualized and communicated. Rooted in P. Ricoeur's (1981) philosophy of distanciation, the authors propose a dialectic of understanding and explanation that values both quantitative and qualitative methodologies by (a) tracing the philosophical development of hermeneutics as a paradigm for knowing, (b) demonstrating useful hermeneutical applications to psychology as a whole and to some specific subdisciplines, and (c) illustrating how a hermeneutic realist approach is beneficial to the multicultural study of virtue.

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