This chapter lays out the interpretative methodology. It aims to ensure that the meaning of degrading treatment will develop from a place of clarity. The 'epistemological' dimension, clarifies in the most basic sense how meaning is derived from the relevant texts. The 'judicial' dimension, articulates the European Court of Human Rights' (ECtHR's) approach to choosing particular legal meanings from amongst a range of possible semantic meanings; namely, the Court's favoured 'purposive' method of interpretation. The third, 'formative', dimension of interpretation describes this approach to probing the conceptual boundaries of degrading treatment in a way that respects the mechanics of legal meaning as well as the dignity-centred purposive approach taken by the authoritative interpreters of Article 3. Awareness of 'object and purpose' is central to the interpretation of the Convention provisions. One substantive strand of the Convention's purpose is the protection of human dignity and human freedom.