The "Hermeneutic circle" as a forum for developing professional research practitioners

Steven Segal

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


This paper will describe the space that we, following the philosophy of Martin Heidegger call a "hermeneutic circle." The hermeneutic circle provides a framework for professional development in all fields but in this paper the hermeneutic circle will be explored in the context of the development of researchers. Following the logic of Aristotle and Heidegger, our assumption is that the practical wisdom of research is not developed by thinking about research from the outside but by immersing ourselves in research. Just as we acquire the balance of riding a bicycle by riding the bicycle, so we develop a sense of balance, structure, thematisation of research through the practice of research. Furthermore, just like balance in riding a bicycle is attained by being willing to risk and more often than not falling off the bicycle at some points, so the practical wisdom of research is inhabited through risking of losing one's balance. This playfulness is central to putting the parts and whole together (hence the hermeneutic circle). It is the willingness to risk the uncertainty of losing one's balance that creates the playfulness of be-coming a researcher (or professional), that is not only learning the techniques and methodologies of research but of inhabiting research as a way of being. Too many research training programs focus on the methods and techniques and not on developing the way of being of a researcher. The hermeneutic circle offers research students the opportunity to develop both dimensions: the methods and techniques in the context of developing their research way of being.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventPhilosophy of Management Conference (9th : 2014) - Chicago, Illinois, USA
Duration: 14 Jul 201416 Jul 2014


ConferencePhilosophy of Management Conference (9th : 2014)
CityChicago, Illinois, USA


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