Philosophical Inquiry and the Goals of Nursing: A Critical Approach for Disciplinary Knowledge Development and Action

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Philosophical inquiry remains critically important for nursing education, practice, and knowledge development. We propose a 3-level taxonomy of philosophical inquiry to guide nursing curricula and research development. Important background information about philosophy and the development of philosophical methods is given. Then philosophical inquiry is linked to the goals of nursing using our proposed taxonomy: level I—cultivating an attitude of “critical consciousness” related to all nursing situations and actions, level II—analysis and application of philosophical perspectives to nursing problems and level III—generating new knowledge for nursing purposes including new theories of practice and research.

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