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Nursing Knowledge Practice, Practice and Philosophy

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1 Nursing Knowledge Practice, Practice and Philosophy
Mark Risjord Ch. 17 Kristina Nappi, MSN, ARNP

2 Qualitative vs Quantitative
Many of the earliest writers argued for the joint use of qualitative and quantitative methods which became known as the triangulation. Thomas Kuhn’s concept of the paradigm is tightly bound to the theories they test and they were deeply integrated within a paradigm. He stated that different methods could not support the same theory. According to Kuhn, a paradigm has the following elements: a theory or group of closely related theories, commitment about what object exists, set of methods/techniques, number of standard problems to which the theory is applied, and a value orientation including an evaluation of the kinds of problems that are significant for acceptable solutions.

3 Components of a Paradigm
Thomas Kuhn believed that a paradigm is the entire set of beliefs, values, techniques that are shared by a group of scientists engaged in common research. Kuhn was a logical positivist who thought specific theories had clear logical relationships to each other. The idea that paradigms are a central part of science and that theory, method, ontology and value were integrated within the paradigm was the idea of Kuhn He also felt the theory was closely connected to the method used to collect the data. The method supports the theory by confirming or disconfirming the theory as well as helping to establishing the method is reliable. He felt the researchers needed to be properly trained on the use on the method to collect the data Kuhn also talked about values and that scientists will take some problems as important as value orientation which involves the standards by which good science is judged.

4 Incommensurability This is the fundamental gap between paradigms, there is no common standard for judging that one paradigm is scientifically better than another. He felt new theories could not be justified on the laws of an old theory as the legitimacy of the old theory was in question. The old theory had to be completely abolished and replaced. He did not belief in building on previously known theories. Kuhn believed the paradigm tightly integrated theory, ontology, method and value and each served to support each other. As each paradigm arose it would have its own theory, ontology, method and value orientation making paradigms incompatible and incomparable. According to Kuhn, change in a previous theory could not be justified by the laws of the old system, but rather the legitimacy of the old laws were in question

5 Pulling Paradigms apart
Dissatisfaction with Kuhn’s concept came because his concept was too rigid and static. He overemphasized the role of theory in determining method, ontology and value. Scientific research became marked by a variety of divergent interpretations, models and theories which were much more dynamic than Kuhn once thought. Scientists will adjust their theories based on new evidence with these changes occurring as a matter of course, not a major revolution as Kuhn liked to believe. Another disagreement between what Kuhn believed is that scientists may investigate a theory with a single set of methods and techniques while multiple theories are being debated instead of one like Kuhn believed.

6 Conclusion Kuhn felt there was no adding on to a previous theory or elaborating on previous knowledge, rather he felt the scientists needed to start over utilizing a different paradigm. This idea meant researchers could not tweak a theory, as the research they gathered lead them to develop different hypothesizes. Instead Kuhn believed they needed to start over from scratch Once we determined that theories, ontology, and methods are in constant flux there is no longer a reason to think that theories, ontology, methods and values must change all at once. Overall, Kuhn pointed out how theory, ontology, method and values are related, but philosophers have come to the consensus that Kuhn linked them too tightly Kuhn’s idea that new theories occur as part of a major revolution was also not accepted as soon scientists believed that they should adjust their theories based on new evidence that is acquired and these changes should occur as a matter of course not based on a major revolution.

7 Conclusion The arguments against Kuhn’s concept of a paradigm shows that this is not a good fit for nursing due to the complexity and multidimensionality of the studies. When nurses choose a method they should not be committed to a particular theory, ontology, methodology or value. When nurses align themselves with a particular paradigm it create divisions among nurse researchers. Nurse researchers should be open to the integration of multiple approaches to effectively advance the nursing practice through research.

8 References Risjord, M. (2010). What is a paradigm. In Nursing knowledge science, practice and philosophy (pp ). Chichester: Blackwell Publishing

9 Relevance to nursing Dividing nursing research into paradigms is a bad idea because the thinking that nursing research has both qualitative and quantitative paradigms is that neither form of research is associated with a specific theory. The arguments against Kuhn’s concept of a paradigm shows that it is not a good fit for nursing research. When nurse researchers choose a method they are not committed to a particular theory, ontology, methodology or value orientation. Nursing research investigates phenomena that are complex therefore it would be a mistake to insist that nurse scholars narrow their view to one theory. The insistence that nursing be aligned with one paradigm has created aritifical divisions among nurse educators. Effective nursing practice can be promoted once nursing becomes open to utilizing multiple approaches in research.

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