Philosophy – First Assignment
Philosophy originates with the Greek word philosophia, which translates as "the love of wisdom". Philosophers are engaged in inquiry concerning the search for truth, the nature of universe and the meaning of human experience. Welch& Polifroni(1999). The aim of this paper is to compare and contrast the philosophical paradigms of Realism, Antirealism, Phenomenology , Postmodernism. To relate the Empiricism, Positivism, Historicism, and Relativism to the nature of scientific truth. Moreover, to discuss the significance of truth for nursing as a profession and as a science. The various paradigms are characterized by ontological, epistemological and methodological differences in their approaches to conceptualizing and conducting research, and in their contribution towards disciplinary knowledge construction. Weaver, and Olson.(2006). Table 1 illustrate theses differences between these philosophical paradigms. Realism and Antirealism
Realism has an ontology which states that the structures creating the world cannot be directly observed. Its epistemology is that appearances do not necessarily reveal the mechanisms which cause these appearances, and its methodology therefore involves the construction of theories which can account for these appearances. Wainwright,S.( 1997).Realism, in the Aristotelian, holds that things and individuals have existence independent of human thought and that this extra-mental world is intelligible and forms a basis for evaluating propositions about the world. Whelton,B.(2002) Positivism collapses the world into a single plane of events. In contrast, realism recovers the ontological depth between the three stratified domains and thereby establishes relations of natural necessity rather than the relations of logical necessity (universality). Wainwright,S.( 1997). Relevance of Realism to Nursing
Realism proposes a common ontology and epistemology for the natural and social sciences. Realism enables the traditional natural and social science division in subjects like geography, psychology, medicine and nursing to be bridged. Realism can therefore provide ontological and epistemological basis for nursing. Wainwrigh( 1997). On the other hand, the interest her in the causal and epistemological ingredients of scientific realism because they support the claim that explanations are important in nursing science and practice and that the aim of scientist is to discover better and better explanations. Gortner, and Schumacher,(1992). Relevance of Antirealism to Nursing
It the positivist antirealism that make their views inappropriate for nursing science. It is not possible in positivism to deal with subjective aspects of person, nor with perceived relational processes, nor with explanations without translating them into physiological states or behaviors. One of the most serious consequences of an antilrealist construction of theories is that theories cannot explain. One of the major distinction between scientific realism and antirealism is the way in which "theoretical entities" are understood. In the language of scientific realism the term "theoretical entities" usually means unobservable entities, states, or processes. The antirealists deny the existence of unobservable entities or process. Antirealist assert that the notion of truth or falsity is relevant to observation even though it is not relevant to theory. Gortner, and Schumacher,(1992). Phenomenology
For Edmund Husserl, phenomenology is "the reflective study of the essence of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view" Phenomenology, founded by Edmund Husserl, promotes the idea that the natural world is largely shaped by the human mind. Wikipedia, (2007). Phenomenology is philosophical movement whose primary objective is the direct investigation and description of phenomena as consciously experienced. It remains...
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