JiscMail Logo
Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Help for RAMESES Archives


RAMESES Archives

RAMESES Archives


RAMESES@JISCMAIL.AC.UK


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

RAMESES Home

RAMESES Home

RAMESES  August 2011

RAMESES August 2011

Options

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password

Subject:

Re: Interim summary - How much should we impugn....

From:

Trisha Greenhalgh <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Realist and Meta-narrative Evidence Synthesis: Evolving Standards" <[log in to unmask]>, Trisha Greenhalgh <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 06:31:39 +0100

Content-Type:

multipart/mixed

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (259 lines) , meta_triangulation_lewis_grimes_methods_paper.pdf (259 lines)

Interesting thread on reasoning.  Love to see that reviewer's report on why
retroduction is such a bad way of reasoning.  What some of these
objectivists forget is that even boring old experimental science in the
physical world begins with IMAGINATIVE speculation about what might be the
case.  The idea that science only progresses by measurement and observation
is an illusion, but one which the rationalists all seem to share.  Medawar
of course.

"I'd also be interested to hear from the meta-narrative reviewers amongst us
about whether the kinds of reasoning in use are the same or different in
MNR.  Because from my position of ignorance about the latter, I'm now
wondering whether this is one of the significant differences between the
methods..."

The idea is that in MNR, for each tradition, you try to adopt the kind of
reasoning which the researchers in that tradition used AND (once you've done
that) you build theory across the traditions using a form of reasoning I
have yet to give a name to. But Lewis and Grimes call it
'metatriangulation'.  Is there a philosopher who can work it out? 



Trisha Greenhalgh
Professor of Primary Health Care and Director, Healthcare Innovation and
Policy Unit
Centre for Primary Care and Public Health
Blizard Institute
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Yvonne Carter Building
58 Turner Street
London E1 2AB
t : 020 7882 7325 (PA) or 7326 (dir line)
f : 020 7882 2552
e: [log in to unmask] 


http://www.icms.qmul.ac.uk/chs/staff/trishagreenhalgh.html


-----Original Message-----
From: Realist and Meta-narrative Evidence Synthesis: Evolving Standards
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Gill Westhorp
Sent: 10 August 2011 03:08
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Interim summary - How much should we impugn....

Hi Paul
Perhaps I should re-read it now! I remember not finding it all that helpful
way back when - but perhaps I just didn't know enough to make the best use
of it.

Cheers
Gill

-----Original Message-----
From: Realist and Meta-narrative Evidence Synthesis: Evolving Standards
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Paul Ward
Sent: Wednesday, 10 August 2011 9:40 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Interim summary - How much should we impugn....

Hi Gill

There's a great book on critical realism which goes into retroduction in
great detail and the methodological and philosophical issues surrounding it
(you may well have read it):

Danermark et al.  Explaining society.  Critical Realism in the Social
Sciences.  Routledge 1997.

I have found this to be one of the most accessible books on critical realism
and also the one which has a clear purpose of developing a methodology to
'do' it - lots of examples about how they applied different forms of logical
reasoning to research questions.  We use it as a set text for all new PhD
students - even if they're post-structuralist or postmodern:)  

Cheers

Paul

****************************************************
Professor Paul Ward

Head, Discipline of Public Health, School of Medicine, Flinders University

Honorary Professor, Centre for Values, Ethics and Law in Medicine (VELiM),
University of Sydney

-----Original Message-----
From: Gill Westhorp [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 11:04 AM
To: 'Realist and Meta-narrative Evidence Synthesis: Evolving Standards';
Paul Ward
Subject: RE: Interim summary - How much should we impugn....

Hi Paul
The implication of your final statement being that therapy isn't
constructive? :-)   

I found it so... Not least because it suggests to me that we should include
at least one reading, and perhaps a discussion topic / exercise in the
professional training to come out of RAMESES, on retroduction  -  or perhaps
more broadly the various kinds of logic we use at various stages of the
analytic process in realist evaluation and realist synthesis. 

 Certainly you're in good company in discussing the use of
abduction/retroduction in realist work... but your post started me
re-pondering exactly at what points we do or should use retroductive
reasoning.  My favourite quote from the Commens Peirce dictionary where he's
discussing how he intended the term
(http://www.helsinki.fi/science/commens/terms/retroduction.html ): "By the
third class of reasonings one only infers that a certain state of things may
be true and that the indications of its being so are sufficient to warrant
further examination."  

I.e. my argument here is: one makes the inferential  leap and then
investigates the evidence to 'support, refute or refine' it (I think that
latter is a Pawson and Tilley quote btw). Which suggests that retroduction
is not the only form of logic or reasoning in use - it's just a step in the
process.  Which suggests that it would be useful to map the kinds of
reasoning we should use at different steps the process... 

And I'm with you: I can't for the life of me understand how any scientist,
social or otherwise, can have a problem with this! 

I'd welcome references for good readings on retroduction by the way - found
them hard to come by when doing my PhD, but perhaps I was looking in the
wrong places.  

I'd also be interested to hear from the meta-narrative reviewers amongst us
about whether the kinds of reasoning in use are the same or different in
MNR.  Because from my position of ignorance about the latter, I'm now
wondering whether this is one of the significant differences between the
methods...

Cheers
Gill

-----Original Message-----
From: Realist and Meta-narrative Evidence Synthesis: Evolving Standards
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Paul Ward
Sent: Wednesday, 10 August 2011 7:34 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Interim summary - How much should we impugn....

Hi Geoff

In my field of research (a sociologist in public health), I'm constantly
being asked to account for and explain my 'leaps of faith', which I think is
fair enough to ask.  This is most obvious in my research on the sociology of
trust, where researchers, often implicitly and unknowingly, assume Simmel's
position of trust being a leap of faith (which still held sway with Giddens
and Luhmann too).  Whilst such a 'leap' (i.e. to invest trust) may occur in
the absence of conscious/rationalistic thought, one can still use
retroductive reasoning (from critical realism) as a way of transparently
'laying bare' how you made the decision.  Similarly, retroductive reasoning
or logic seems to be a formal process for what you're talking about in terms
of interpolating from the evidence in a RR.  All scientists (natural,
social, biomedical, physical etc) use all forms of inductive, deductive,
abductive and retroductive logic in their research (often implicitly), so
maybe we need to be clear (and have a 'name' for our reasoning)?

Whilst this all sounds great, retroduction still isn't always viewed as
'scientific' within sociology - I submitted a paper to a very good sociology
journal recently using retroductive logic to make a distinction between
trust and dependence (patients in our study said they trusted their doctors
but also said they had 'no choice' etc, which for us does not constitute
trust, but a form of dependence) - one of the reviewers loved it but the
other just couldn't get his/her head around the 'logical process' we had
used to make this 'semantic leap' - this may in part be my lack of clarity
in laying bare the retroductive process, but may also be continual problems
between the supposed value free nature of 'proper' science (it apparently
involves facts, not reasoning or argument - I wish some of my biomedical
colleagues would read Kuhn) and the 'value laden' notion of reasoning.

Sorry if this seems like a rant...... it was meant to be constructive but
ended up like therapy:)

Cheers

Paul 

******************************
Professor Paul Ward
Discipline of Public Health
Flinders University

On 10/08/2011, at 3:13 AM, "Geoff Wong" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> This thread could be boiled down to two important questions:
> 
> 1) In a realist synthesis (RS) should reviewers infer/make
assumptions/interpret beyond what is reported in the included studies?
> 
> 2) If we do make these 'leaps' how do we know these are 'true'?
> 
> 
> GOING 'BEYOND' THE REPORTED DATA
> There was agreement that this was in fact almost a requirement of RS. 
> One
argument was that there would rarely ever be enough data to banish all
uncetainties and so staying too close to the data would result in a RS
ending with the cliched phrase of 'more research is needed'.
> One strength of RS was that it is specifically geared at requiring 
> this
leap to be made - for example in working out what a mechansims might be that
is generating the outcome of interest. Such leaps were seen as being the
value that RS adds.
> Reviewers were in a good position to make such leaps as they would be
immersed in the literature on the topic and had the advantages of being able
to look beyond just the topic and/or across studies and "critical distance".
The key was to be explicit and explain that
inferences/assumptions/extrapolations/interpretations were being made.
> 
> THE 'TRUTH'
> If you are a realist you would not expect to ever get to the 'truth' 
> but you might expect to get closer and closer :-) There are many
challenges associated with making
inferences/assumptions/extrapolations/interpretations.
> How do you or others know if you haven't just "hijacked" the data for 
> your
own ends?
> How do you know is your 'leap' is 'true'?
> etc.
> These questions raise issues about 'quality' and 'rigour' and so on. 
> As a
secondary researcher (unlike in primary research such as realist
evaluation), you can't go back and ask participants what they think about
your leaps. However, you can be TRANSPARENT about what you did and why. This
should allow others to see for themselves that your 'leap' was COHERENT and
PLAUSIBLE. As one contributer put it "... this is what I think is going on,
and this is the way I came to that decision...". Briefly, any judgement of
coherence and plausibility would rest on how well your explanation fits in
with not only what we already know, but also with the reported data in
included studies.
> Transparency might involve reporting revelant detail and also 
> processes -
such as searching was designed to get the 'right' kind of data,  that the
review team was reflextive etc.
> Others can then judge for themselves the coherence and plausibility of
your inferences/assumptions/extrapolations/interpretations. If they don't
like it, then it's up to them to provide an alternative coherent and
plausible inferences/assumptions/extrapolations/interpretations.
> 
> This thread came up with two pther points which I hav just noted here 
> but
not explored further.
> - Is there such a thing as "interpretation free" research?
> - Any outputs for a review should think about who the audience might 
> be
and tailor their output to their needs - and if possible make them think!
> 
> A final point arose which was about how do you come up with theories...
this will be covered in another Interim summary.
> 
> Geoff
> 

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

JiscMail Tools


RSS Feeds and Sharing


Advanced Options


Archives

September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011


JiscMail is a Jisc service.

View our service policies at https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/policyandsecurity/ and Jisc's privacy policy at https://www.jisc.ac.uk/website/privacy-notice

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager