Nursing Philosophy

Philosophy is the study of the nature of reality and existence (Cambridge University Press, 2020). Philosophy allows human beings to understand what is possible to know, including what is considered right or wrong, or what beliefs we may have.

Philosophy of nursing science, or nursology, is focused on two components: ontology and epistemology.

Ontology, is the study of the nature of being according to the substantive focus in a discipline (Reed, 2018). In nursing, ontology is composed of the metaparadigm and ontological worldviews also referred to as paradigms. Nursing scholars have also argued for a mid-paradigm of nursing in addition to the metaparadigm.

– Metaparadigm Page (LINK)
Fawcett (1978, 1996)
Yura and Torres (1975)
Walker (1971)
Littzen, Langley, & Grant (2020)
Reed (2020)

– Ontological Worldviews Page (LINK)
Newman (1991/1992, 2008)
Parse (1987, 2015)
Fawcett (1993)
Terry (2018)

Epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge and truth and is focused on what is considered justified knowledge (Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2020). In nursing, epistemology is composed of or epistemological worldviews or “Isms,” and patterns of knowing. Currently, there is only one indigenous nursing philosophy developed by Dr. Pamela Reed named intermodernism (1995, 2019).

– Philosophy or “Ism” Gallery (LINK)
Reed (1995, 2018, 2019)
– Patterns of Knowing Gallery (LINK)
Carper (1978, 1999)
Chinn (2008, 2015)
White (1995)
Munhall (1993)

Other notable books and references on nursing philosophy can be found here (link).

Directory of Nursing Philosophy Scholars:

Barbara Carper – The Pattern’s of Knowing in Nursing
Peggy Chinn – Emancipatory Knowing
Jacquline Fawcett – The Nursing Metaparadigm and Ontological Worldviews
Patricia Munhall – Unknowing
Margaret Newman – Ontological Worldviews
Rosemarie Rizzo Parse – Ontological Worldviews
Pamela Reed – Epistemological Perspective of Intermodernism
Heidi Terry – Ontological Worldviews
Jill White  – Sociopolitical Knowing

To submit your original philosophical work that we have not yet included here, please follow these instructions here (link).