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G. K. Chesterton had clear social ideas that closely reflect his views on the processes of interpretation and apprehension. This thesis can fruitfully be explored by an analysis of his detective fiction. As exegetes, his protagonists employ methods of investigation that diverge widely from the scientific approaches taken by detectives such as Sherlock Holmes. Illustrating Chesterton's antipositivistic social philosophy, this methodical clash also demonstrates the social harm scientific methods can cause and the social need of alternative hermeneutical approaches.