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How do we close the hermeneutic circle?
A Gadamerian approach to justification in interpretation in qualitative studies


Correspondence: Jonas Debesay, Oslo University College, Faculty of Nursing, P.O. Box 4, St Olavs plass, 0130 Oslo, Norway Email: <>


In this article, an attempt is made to analyse important implications of the hermeneutic approach in qualitative studies. The article discusses the hermeneutic circle with regard to reasoning contexts, on which the researcher's interpretation is based. Problems in connection with achievement of ‘proper’ understanding in an interpretative process are discussed in light of Gadamer's hermeneutic philosophy. Some features of qualitative studies are addressed. This is concerned with arguments in the presentation of findings in qualitative studies using the hermeneutic approach. The essence of the article is there are grounds for reasonable understanding, even though it cannot be absolute in the hermeneutic.