The Essence Of The Research Object As The Unity Of Its Interpretations


There is an urgent need for a common basis, regarding conflicting interpretations of things, facts in culture and humanitarian knowledge today.  The difference of interpretations concerning things leads to the growth of contradictions between people's worldviews making conflicts among them. The aim of the study is to show the possibility of achieving unity of knowledge about the subject, regarding its interpretation. The method consists of a combination of discourse analysis and epistemic theory of concepts. The result of this operation is a new unit of cognitive science-the discursive concept. It unifies interpretations in the same way that the inductive definition of a concept unifies the properties of an object, and concepts such as color and time are special cases of data in the concept of objects. The definition of a discursive concept will allow to connect a specific interpretation of the subject and the scope of its adequate application in the space of a single knowledge of other interpretations. A new approach to interpretations is in their complexes that can be formed not by the principle of similarity in assessments, but by the objective principle. Opposite, even contradictory interpretations of the object are able to "delineate the circle" of possible methods of its interpretation, creating a unity of general knowledge (methodological completeness), not denying the individual interpretations of the subject, but ordering them.

Keywords: Discursive conceptinterpretationconflicttruthlogical completenessisolation


People, have their own opinion about the surrounding things, phenomena and processes a rule. These are judgments bearing practical knowledge and ethical appreciation of these things. We call them interpretations. Similar interpretations of different things are often combined into complexes (discourses) ( Petriakov, 2017), allowing a person to separate the useful from the harmful, good from evil. Their unity is called the worldview, the global orientation of man in the world. Fromm ( 1992) generalized worldviews to "biophilia" and "necrophilia". Although the sociocultural world is fragmented and saturated with unresolved contradictions, we want to be people with identities resolved into a coherent unity.

Methodological paradox of interdisciplinary knowledge

It is impossible to resolve contradictions between people covered by different discourses, being inside one of these discourses. As well as, judge morality in general, being committed to one of its theories. Discourse about discourse should go beyond any discourse, its ideals and norms, to the reality of a combination of contradictory interpretations of the object of study, collecting all knowledge about this object. Heraclitus, as indicated by Habash ( 2019), assumed is a paradoxical harmonia, or “fitting-together,” of opposites that serves as the pattern which underlies all things. The object of knowledge in this case is not a single fact, but the connection of many facts.

Examples of such theories

The resolution of particle-wave dualism in the early twentieth century is an example of that in physics.  Indian philosophy in the doctrine of the "modes" of material nature stated that everything had many different qualities that were both beneficial and harmful to man. Aristotle's ontology of the essences of things can be the best philosophical basis for such an approach.

Problem Statement

The phenomenon in humanitarian and social knowledge can be evaluated by 5 or more parameters (directions, goals), but interpretations (theories), logically reconstructing this phenomenon, choose 1 – 2 parameters for analysis as a rule, considering them the main ones. Naturally, the parameters that remain "unnoticed" by one theory are analyzed by another one that has contradictions with the first theory. . As a result, both theories give incomplete and contradictory knowledge. Although, O’Keeffe ( 2015), speaking of the arc of Gadamer's interpretation, suggests that different interpretations may form links in the same chain.

Interpretations compete to be accepted as truth about the world. Their myths become a reality due to the duration of existence, the definition of the nodal concepts of life ("glasses" I. Kant ( Kant, 2007).

The basis of the multiplicity of conflicting interpretations is the application of different axioms to one subject, followed by the construction of different theories of the subject on their basis.  If we treat axioms as conditions, we would get a number of theories that consistently apply to one subject in different conditions and can operate with this series as a whole.

Variety of theories and conditions of their truth

Thus, " Identity as a discursive concept forms unity...  due to the simultaneous reproduction of several value practices of identification, entering into a competitive discursive struggle for the "true" definition of identity" ( Enina, 2016, p.159). The dispute is resolved in the case when the variety of theories is a series, a sequence of solutions applicable depending on the values of the initial conditions, the method of research, the definition of its object and subject. For example, in the social sciences an important role is played by discursive consciousness – Discursiveconsciousess) - "what actors are able to say about social conditions or to give a verbal expression to it, especially-about the conditions of their own actions" ( Giddens, 2003, p.499).

Dispute resolution in the "language of truth"

The dispute of theories can be resolved by determining the conditions of truth in each of them. This can be called "approaching the truth" through the "language of truth". If each of the theories is true "under some condition" (method, definition of the subject), it would be called "conditional truth". No truth can be unconditional or absolute. The peculiarity of the humanities and social sciences is in the fact that people are able to form the conditions for the truth of those theories that explain the life of society. Which is confirmed by Kintz ( 2018) and Pape ( 2015), pointing out that mind and being are essentially one and sequences of signs can flexibly associate the use of signs with contextually defined independent objects.

Research Questions

Can one end-to-end interpretation combine several alternative theories? What can a discursive (meta-theoretical) method provide for understanding the logic of knowledge development? What specific knowledge (about the development and logic of the subject) does a discursive concept give compared to a traditional concept?

Purpose of the Study

The aim of the study is to show the possibility of achieving unity of knowledge about the subject, ordering its interpretation. The sought unity of interpretations should solve two problems: to overcome the theoretical limitation each of the conflicting interpretations, thereby removing their conflict, and to build a new common knowledge - "discursive concept".

Research Methods

Discourse analysis, soft identity theory ( Laclau's 1996), supplemented by fractal theory ( Korjachkina, 2016; Kulakov, 2014) and the network method of detecting the unity of the concept are the main methods of this research.

Discourse about discourse

We have combined Foucault's ( Fuko, 1997) theory of discourses (taking into account its modern interpretations and development in a number of schools of discourse (Laclau theory) with an epistemically clear history of concepts ( Bashlyar, 1987). Thus, we have formulated the theory of discourse (discourse about discourse) as a meta-theoretical, methodological tool for discovering discursive concepts.


Intersubject relations in the selected series arise on the basis of the subject convergence of concepts (subject closure), so the objectivity, materiality and functionality of the language, which are independent concepts, can act as a new concept — a concept of the second order. Another such concept can be the unity of the plot, genre and morality of the heroes of a literary work. There are no proper names for such concepts yet.

Conceptual framework

The unity of all concepts (the unity of the world) is ensured by the fact that the individual in one of them can simultaneously be special in the other one and common in the third. As well as there is ability to combine the concepts of the first order - in the concepts of the second one, and they, turn into the concepts of the third order. 

From mutual understanding to joint activities.

In communication, you should think conceptually, combining your own and others “concepts of different levels, identify the "patterns" of thinking of the interlocutor, finding common elements in communications. A single element of the concept of one interlocutor can become a special or a common one to another that will allow them to build a common conceptual structure and to go from mutual understanding to a common intellectual work on solving a common problem (see table 01 ).

Table 1 -
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Discussion:  traditional relationship ideas: ontology and epistemology are bound by tradition: the atomism of Democritus, it should be thought about the nature of Aristotle and the monad of Leibnitz ( Adrian, 2014); conceptuality Parmenides Plato continues, and "lactone" of the Stoics, Hegel continues. The objectivity and materiality of language are connected by the space of cultures: a thing is capable of sounding; quantity is connected with quality; intersubjective meaning, as a rule, has a situation. Genre and plot are linked as form and content: self-sacrifice corresponds to tragedy, and the struggle of the hero is characteristic of the drama ( Tyupa, 2001). The connection of mechanics of Newton and. Einstein, when the first is considered as a special case of the second, general theory is an example of the connection of scientific theories. . But traditional connections do not connect object knowledge completely, because  fulfillment  of  one idea, even developed and enriched by its aspects, as a rule, denies the possibility of another idea about the same subject. In addition, the unity of the idea speaks about the conditionality of communication, the speaker's nomination of a "condition" to the listener and the need for acceptance of this condition by the listener. This inequality of communicants, the manifestation of power by the speaker can be rejected by the listener and their mutual understanding will not take place.

Examples of selected discursive concepts

Aristotle's theory of truth has a number of analogous theories, each of them is acceptable to one from  a number of changing conditions. If several concepts of truth delineate its idea, allowing us to talk about what can and cannot be recognized as truth in principle, we would  deal with a discursive concept. Examples of discursive concepts are:

  • The Geometry of Euclid, Lobachevsky and Riemann, reduced to the consideration of the sphere from different points and distances with respect to it. "Geometric thinking appears as a tendency to completeness in them..." ( Bashlyar, 1987).

  • Epistemic profile of the concept of "mass" ( Bashlyar, 1987): as the quantity of matter, the quotient of the division of force by acceleration (I. Newton), as the ratio of energy and the speed of light (A. Einstein).

  • Truth is: knowledge; verification of knowledge; condition determining the truth of knowledge.

  • The Concept of time as unity: past, present and future.

  • Space in its dimensions: length, width, height (depth).

  • Property as a unity of three rights: possession, use and disposal of a thing.

  • Materiality of language sign (basis of writing): sound (for sound-letter languages), meaning (sinitic languages), number as a ratio of values of objects (mathematical languages).

  • Objectivity (designat) of language: thing (European languages), quality (Hindi, Sanskrit), situation (Chinese type) ( Paribok, 2015).

  • Language Functionality: sense carrier (informational); sense translator (communicative); sense producer (cognitive).

  • Genre of  literature  art: tragedy (narrative about feat hero); drama (narrative about personality hero); Comedy (narrative about method, false  hero).

  • The Plot of  literature  art: self-sacrifice; struggle, war;  search for something , journey, cognition of  themselves.

  • Heroic morality epic heroes, based on values: Odine, Achilles – personal glory, Vyainemeynen – love, family, species of . Socrates, Aristotle, job-state, law, justice. As the movement expands the social base of the hero,  his morality begins to rely on abstract concepts, categories.

  • War of principles (a religious war), presented in the literature: "the Passion according to Leibovitz," ( Miller, 1997), the inevitability of conflicting principles, "Fahrenheit 451" ( Bredberi, 2018), attempt to abolish principles or to  introduce one  universal, principle  "Enemy my " ( Longier, 2002), relativity of principles to time, conditions.

  • 14)The Problem of general concepts: realism, nominalism, conceptualism.

  • The Problem of psychoanalysis: the theories of Z. Freud (analogy of nature), K. Jung (analogy of culture) and E. Frome (analogy of  society) ( Hunt, 2002).

  • The Idea of personality, representing a person: as distinguished by any quality, as a disciplined," self-lawful " person, as capable to  moral changing  of themselves, creative self-development.

As  you see, the harmony of ideas can give a complete idea of the subject, and the unity of concepts of different levels of community to express the unity of the world in the concepts of "property", "space" and "time".  Semantic and methodological completeness, isolation ( Shiyan, 2008), the derivability of statements about the subject from its concept are the ideal examples of the discursive concept.


The discursive concept can be defined in two ways – as a stable formation-a fractal, a self-similar structure indicating its essence by at least one of its properties or elements. And, it can be defined by dynamic structure-the unity of heterogeneous content, that has one name, (network): The researchers, who define it, pursue different goals (have different values) ( Alm, 2015; Jamieson & Markwelli, 2016), but operate on some elements or relations of these elements, establishing dependence between them.

Concept as a product of discourse

A discursive concept can be a product of discourse itself – its theme, idea, constructed and deconstructed by a number of practices, but non-existent outside of discourse in the social sciences and humanities. 

As a result, we have a number of results obtained in the course of several  experiments significantly distant from each other , but connected by a common object (and sometimes  by the subject) of the study.


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12 March 2020

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Petriakov*, L. (2020). The Essence Of The Research Object As The Unity Of Its Interpretations. In O. D. Shipunova, V. N. Volkova, A. Nordmann, & L. Moccozet (Eds.), Communicative Strategies of Information Society, vol 80. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 232-239). European Publisher.