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Phenomenology as research method or substantive metaphysics? An overview of phenomenology's uses in nursing

Phenomenology as research method or substantive metaphysics? An overview of phenomenology's uses in nursing

Nursing Philosophy 11(4): 286-296

In exploring phenomenological literature, it is evident that the term 'phenomenology' holds rather different meanings depending upon the context. Phenomenology has been described as both a philosophical movement and an approach to human science research. The phenomenology of Husserl, Heidegger, Gadamer, and Merleau-Ponty was philosophical in nature and not intended to provide rules or procedures for conducting research. The Canadian social scientist, van Manen, however, introduced specific guidelines for conducting human science research, which is rooted in hermeneutic phenomenology and this particular method has been employed in professional disciplines such as education, nursing, clinical psychology, and law. The purpose of this paper is to explore the difference between the phenomenological method as described by van Manen and that of other philosophers such as Husserl, Heidegger, Gadamer, and Merleau-Ponty. In so doing, the author aims to address the blurred boundaries of phenomenology as a research method and as a philosophical movement and highlight the influence of these blurred boundaries on nursing knowledge development.

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Accession: 054970914

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 20840140

DOI: 10.1111/j.1466-769X.2010.00458.x

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