Philosophy and Science in Nursing

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The concepts that govern the foundation of nursing: nursing science, nursing philosophy, and philosophy of science have different meaning but are interchangeably used. Before one could understand the meaning of these concepts and examine it in greater depth, it is important to begin defining the meaning of science and philosophy. Science which comes from the Latin word scientia, meaning knowledge traditionally refers to a body of knowledge that can be rationally explained and reliably applied. Whereas philosophy originally comes from the Greek work philosophia meaning love of wisdom that refers to the most basic belief beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group.
While the definitions seem clear and straightforward, producing useful significant knowledge for nurses and their clients has been challenging faced by nursing scholars. Nursing science refers to discipline-specific knowledge of relationships of human responses in health and illness. Its goal is to understand, explain, and utilize it for the benefit of mankind by using scientific method to provide knowledge for all aspects of nursing. It uses classification of science such as basic, natural, applied to logically, systematically and coherently solve problems and answer question. Nursing philosophy on the other hand is described as a statement of foundational and universal assumptions, belief systems, and principles about the nature of knowledge and nature of existence (McEwen & Willis, 2011, p. 10). It captures the essence of human being and what it means to be a provider in a caring profession. There are three philosophers that influence nursing philosophy. During the 1600s, the early rationalists Descartes and Spinoza believed that reason is superior to experience as a source of knowledge through deduction and mathematics. Empiricist Bacon from supported the idea of

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