Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
This paper argues that Heidegger’s phenomenology does not have the methodological implications usually ascribed to it in nursing literature. The Heidegger of Being and Time is not in any sense antagonistic to science, nor does he think that everydayness is more authentic, more genuine, than scientific enquiry or theoretical cognition. It is true that social science must rest on interpretive foundations, acknowledging the self-interpreting nature of human beings, but it does not follow from this that hermeneutics exhausts all the possibilities. Positivist approaches to social science are certainly inconsistent with Heidegger’s ontology, but realist approaches are not and structuration theory, in particular, can be seen as a sociological translation of his ideas. Social enquiry in nursing is not therefore confined to studies of lived experience. Indeed, lived experience research constitutes not a realization, but rather a betrayal, of Heidegger’s phenomenology, being thoroughly Cartesian in spirit.
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