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Class Objectives and Additional Readings


 8/30     I.          What is Knowledge?


Objective:         Introduce course goals and priorities; discussion of profession, discipline and knowledge development.  No readings.


9/6        II.         Chaos and Complexity


Objective:         To analyze a recent theoretical development within empirical approaches to knowledge development.



Coppa, D. F. (1993). Chaos theory suggests a new paradigm for nursing science.  JAN,18, 985-991.

Johnson, G. (1995). Fire in the mind. New York: Vintage Books.  Chapter 9, In search of complexity, 258-277.

Mark, B.A. (1994).  Chaos theory and nursing systems research.  Theoretic and Applied Chaos in Nursing, 1(1).

Begun, J. (1994). Chaos and complexity: Frontiers of organization science. Management Inquiry, 3 (4), 329-335.


9/13      III.        Nursing’s Scientific Knowledge


Objective:         Historical Perspective and Overview of Conceptual Domains of Nursing

                        (This will be a shared class with students in GNUR 814--10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. including lunch; place TBA—come to what you can.)




                        Donaldson, S. K. (2000). Breakthroughs in scientific research: The discipline

                        of nursing, 1960-1999.  Annual Review of Nursing Research (18). pp. 247-311.

Hinshaw, A.S. (1992). Response to “structuring the nursing knowledge system: A typology of four domains.” In Nicoll, L. H. (Ed.) Perspectives on nursing theory. New York: J.B. Lippincott. pp. 143-146.

Kim, H.S. (1992). Structuring the nursing knowledge system: A typology of four domains.” In Nicoll, L. H. (Ed.) Perspectives on nursing theory. New York: J.B. Lippincott. Chapter 11, pp. 134-142.

Kulbok, P.A., Gates, M., Schultz, P.R., & Vicenzi, A. (1999). Focus on community: Directions for nursing knowledge development. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 29, 1188-1196.

                        Meleis: Meleis, Chapters 2, 3, 4, 6, 7


9/20      IV.        What is a Concept?


Objective:         To consider purposes and procedures related to concept analysis and concept development.



Nightingale, Florence (1984).  On the concept of God.  In M.D. Calabria & J.A. Macrae (Eds), Suggestions for thought (pp. 5-34).  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

                        Rodgers & Knafl, Concept development in nursing.

                        Paper Guidelines:  Concept Analysis Paper


9/27      V.         Knowledge and the Individual


Objective:         To distinguish different approaches to the question of  what knowledge is, and to consider specifically, questions related to nursing knowledge.


Readings:         Pears, D. (1971).  What is knowledge? New York: Harper Touchbooks.

Belenky (1986). Women’s ways of knowing. New York: Basic Books, pp 1-20.

Carper:  Fundamental Patterns of Knowing in Nursing, Polifroni, & Welch, pp. 12-19.


10/4      VI.        Knowledge and the Tradition


Objective:         Through attention to history to explore alternative modes of nursing knowledge development.



Plato’s Theaetetus. In A plato reader, Levinson, R.B. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Rorty, R. (1991).  Science as solidarity.  Philosophical Papers vol 1: Objectivity,  Relativism, and Truth.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



10/11    VII.       Reading Day – NO CLASS


10/18    VIIl.      Nursing Knowledge Development: Empirical


Objective:         To analyze the structural components of nursing theory and selected empirical approaches to knowledge generation.



                        Omery:  Weiss, Chapter 2, pp. 13-26.

                        Omery:  Riegel et al, Chapter 5  pp. 58-71.

                        Omery:  Harding, Chapter 9, pp. 106-126.

Hempel:  The Function of General Laws in History, Polifroni, & Welch, pp. 179-188.

Gortner:  Nursing Values and Science:  Toward a Science Philosophy, Polifroni, & Welch, pp. 25-33.

Selected readings by Suppe. 

Recommend review of Chapter 4 in Scruton, Subject and object, pp. 43-57.


10/25    IX.        Revolutionary/Evolutionary Philosophy of Science


Objective:         To understand the roots of contemporary methodological pluralism through an evaluation of the work of Thomas Kuhn and Larry Laudan.



                        Kuhn: Structure of scientific revolutions.

                        Kuhn:  Objectivity, Value Judgment, and Theory Choice, Polifroni, & Welch, pp. 34-


                        Omery: Kegley Chapter 4, pp. 43-57.

Laudan:  Dissecting the Holist Picture of Scientific Change, Polifroni, & Welch, pp. 105-125.

                        Omery: Fry, Chapter 6, pp. 72-80.


11/1      X.         Part I:  Knowledge Development:  Postmodern Considerations


Objective:         To consider approaches to knowledge development that contest objectification.



Benner, P. (1985). Quality of life: A phenomenological perspective on explanation, prediction, and understanding in nursing science.  Polifroni, & Welch, pp. 303-314.

Code, L. (1991).  What can she know? Ithaca: Cornell University Press, pp. 27-70

Keller, E.F. (1996).  Language and ideology in evolutionary theory:  Reading cultural norms into natural law.  In Keller, E.F. & Longino, H.E. (Eds.). Feminism and Science.  Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapter 10, pp. 154-172.

Kenney: Kim, Chapter 11, pp. 110-120.

Polifroni, & Welch, Chapter 33, pp. 427-439.


11/8      XI.        Knowledge Development:  Postmodern Considerations, continued


Objective:         To identify selected aspects of phenomenology and hermeneutical inquiry as they relate to nursing knowledge development.



                        Omery: Omery and Mack, Chapter 11, pp. 139-158.

                        Omery: Steeves and Kahn, Chapter 13, pp. 175-193.

Polifroni & Welch, Chapter 38, pp. 478-490.

Thompson, J. L. Hermeneutic inquiry. In Moody, L.E. (Ed.) Advancing nursing science through research. California: Sage Publications. (this contains a critique of Benner.)


11/15    XII.       Part II:  Postmodern Practices: Feminist and Critical Theory


Objectives:       To examine feminist and critical theory approaches to knowledge.  To address the relationship between knowledge and power.



                        Omery: Ginzberg, Chapter 8, pp. 93-105.

Dickson, G.L. (1990).  A feminist poststructuralist analysis of the knowledge of menopause.  Advanced Nursing Science, 12 (3), pp. 15-31.

Harding, S.  (1996).  Gendered ways of knowing and the “epistemological crisis” of the West.  In Goldberger, N. R., Tarule, J. M., Clinchy, B. M., & Belenky, M. F.  (Eds), Knowledge, difference, and power.  Basic Books.  Chapter 14, pp. 431-449.

Kenney: Kendall, Chapter 17, pp. 170-184.

Polifroni & Welch, Chapter 35, pp. 451-461.

Polifroni & Welch, Chapter 36, pp. 462-466.

Rodgers & Knafl:  Weust, Chapter 19.


11/22    XIII.      Thanksgiving Week


11/29    XIV.      Working Session with Concept Papers


12/6      XV.       In Search of Authoritative Authorship


Objective:         To discuss your individual projects in relationship to your current understanding of knowledge and knowledge development.  Also, revisit complexity in relationship to this understanding.



Newman, M.A. (1997).  Experiencing the whole.  Advanced Nursing Science, 20 (1), pp. 34-39. 

Selected readings on complexity.


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