Critical Interpretivism

Outlining a New Paradigm

A two-hour Webinar

7th November 2023

Presented by: Viktor Dörfler

The purpose of the webinar is to outline a new philosophical research paradigm, which is aimed at those who would loosely designate themselves as interpretivists, meaning that they believe that the subjective nature of experience is important, but they do not want to go so far to say that any opinion is equally good or meaningful.  While rejecting the positivist ideal of objectivity, a ‘critical nuancing’ will be applied to interpretivism, starting from the ‘extreme subjectivist stance’, similarly to how Roy Bhaskar created Critical Realism by nuancing the positivist stance.  It is hoped that this philosophical framing will be useful to those with Pragmatist and Phenomenologist mindsets as well.

The ontological, epistemological, and axiological assumptions of Critical Interpretivism will be covered and compared to various existing approaches, developing a new philosophical position that is critical of some aspects of the interpretivist approach. Many long-standing philosophical debates will be revisited and misunderstandings clarified.  For instance, relativism is not the opposite of realism but of absolutism, while the opposite of real is not the relative but the imaginary.  The links between the ontological, epistemological, and axiological dimensions will be discussed, as well as how they mutually influence each other.

Some participants may discover that they already use Critical Interpretivism.

Webinar outline

The origins of the old debates

  • Subjective vs objective
  • Substance vs process
  • Sensory vs rational

The Enlightenment project

  • The birth of positivism
  • Counter-Enlightenment
  • The problem of the falling tree

Ontological considerations

  • Relative experiences
  • Pluralist perspectives
  • Negotiated consensus

Epistemological considerations

  • Personal knowledge
  • Transpersonal knowledge
  • Socially accepted knowledge

Axiological considerations

  • Intuitive moral compasses
  • Stakeholder considerations
  • Social moral contract

 Where Critical Interpretivism belongs?

  • Critical realism and Critical Interpretivism
  • Relationship to Phenomenology
  • Relationship to Prgamatism

This webinar will deliver useful information which the participants will be able to apply right away.

The webinar will be held on Tuesday 7 November 2023 from 2:00pm-4:00pm (GMT) via Zoom. The Zoom Room will open at 1:30 pm (GMT).

The cost of attending this webinar is £40 per participant. To book a place, visit

For questions about the webinar contact

A certificate of attendance can be supplied on request.

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