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Philosophy of Nursing

Philosophy of Nursing

Steven D. Edwards


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Philosophy of Nursing provides an introduction to a new and emergent area of study within nursing. The nature of the philosophy of nursing is explored and applied to three areas of enquiry central to nursing theory and practice: knowledge, persons and care.

The idea of knowledge seems crucial because it appears to be important to base nursing interventions on what is known, rather than that which is merely believed. But what is the difference between these? Also, it is common, currently to distinguish between practical knowledge and theoretical knowledge but what is the relationship between the two?

The conception of a person is unquestionably of fundamental relevance to nursing but are patients simply biological organisms? Should their treatment and care plans reflect this? What is to be made of the appeals to the idea of a patient as a 'narrative'? What role does caring have and what is 'ontological caring'?

This stimulating text seeks to provide answers to all of these questions and to explain their relevance to nursing. Throughout key debates the author critically engages with the work of major nursing writers, and in particular with Benner and Wrubel, and Carper. In conclusion the discussion focuses on the nature of nursing, how this is best understood and why it is important. For the first time illuminating answers are supplied to the issues in nursing theory and practice upon which the very nature of such theory and practice depends.
STEVEN D. EDWARDS is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Health Care at the University of Wales, Swansea. He has published four books in addition to this one, and is the author of numerous papers in academic journals. He is Co-Editor of Nursing Philosophy.
' intellectually demanding, professionally challenging and rewarding as his previous work... relevant and informative.' - Peter Draper, Journal of Advanced Nursing

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Cover C
Contents vii
Acknowledgements ix
Introduction 1
1 The nature of philosophy of nursing 3
2 Nursing knowledge (i): propostional and practical 21
3 Nursing knowledge (ii): Carper and Benner on knowledge 40
4 Nursing the person (i): ontology 67
5 Nursing the person (ii): the individual person as a narrative 87
6 Care in nursing (i): intentional care 109
7 Care in nursing (ii): ontological care 124
8 The nature of nursing (i): nursing as a science 136
9 The nature of nursing (ii): nursing as art or practice 157
10 The prospects for a theory of nursing 175
Conclusion 192
Glossary 195
Notes 197
Bibliography 200
Index 208