It's Logic in Practice, My Dear Watson: An Imaginary Memoir from Beyond the Grave


  • Gary Shank Duquesne University



qualitative research, abductive reasoning, logic


Using the technique of the imaginary memoir, this article seeks to illustrate the logical and semiotic foundations of an empirical inquiry into meaning. The voice of Sherlock Holmes is used to highlight critical issues involving actual logic in use in qualitative research. Suggestions for modifying existing qualitative research practices, based upon this richer understanding of the logic in practice of the method, are also offered. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs010191


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Gary Shank, Duquesne University

Gary SHANK is an Associate Professor of Educational Research and Educational Psychology in the Department of Foundations and Leadership for the School of education at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. His area of speciality is qualitative research methodology. He has also been active in the study of informal learning. For the past 20 years, he has pursued an active theoretical and empirical research program in educational semiotics. Dr Shank has published numerous articles, and his text on qualitative research methods is scheduled to be published this summer from Prentice Hall.




How to Cite

Shank, G. (2001). It’s Logic in Practice, My Dear Watson: An Imaginary Memoir from Beyond the Grave. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 2(1).



The Logic of Relating Qualitative and Quantitative Method