Complex texts: Analysing, understanding, explaining and interpreting meanings

Discourse Studies 13 (5):623-633 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This article discusses different theoretical and methodological approaches in the humanities and social sciences which strive to analyse and understand, interpret and explain texts and discourses in systematic, qualitative ways. After reviewing some of the salient theories in the social sciences, I argue that critical discourse studies require a ‘trichotomy’ consisting of explanation, interpretation and critique. Other approaches such as Ricoeur’s ‘hermeneutic arc’ seem to neglect important structural and material dimensions of context as well as critical self-reflection. Moreover, I argue that much intuitive and non-transparent speculation in Hermeneutics might be transcended if more historical, cultural, linguistic and philological knowledges would be systematically and explicitly integrated into the analysis of text and discourse, in a retroductable manner. The latter possibility is illustrated by applying an interdisciplinary framework to some brief examples.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 78,037

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Interpreting people and interpreting texts.William Child - 2006 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14 (3):423 – 441.
Discourse studies and hermeneutics.Teun A. van Dijk - 2011 - Discourse Studies 13 (5):609-621.
Legitimation in discourse and communication.Theo Van Leeuwen - 2007 - Discourse and Communication 1 (1):91-112.


Added to PP

3 (#1,326,576)

6 months
1 (#485,976)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

References found in this work

Philosophical investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 161:124-124.
Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 4 (15):258-260.
Towards a theory of communicative competence.Jürgen Habermas - 1970 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 13 (1-4):360-375.

View all 10 references / Add more references