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Nursing and Philosophy Essay

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Updated: Jul 1st, 2019

Positivism has been used in nursing for a long time even though it has some shortcomings. It may have been important during Hempel’s time because there were no better alternatives then. Old methods of treatment have been practiced for quite some time in nursing perhaps because of overdependence in old times views; a case which may not be applicable today. In pathology where specialists use statistics to make an informed decision, the life of a patient may be compromised because of mere numbers which might not be consistent with reality.

In a developed world, there are new and better ways of doing things. As a result, people should embrace new ideas and improve the old ones. If more noninvasive devices are supported by the majority to be used on postoperative cardiac patients, then people should completely forget about those that are phasing out because they become irrelevant.

Hempel regards some subjective complains from patients with psychiatric disorder as cognitively meaningless. This is because the information cannot be analyzed or verified hence their classification cannot be done properly. Wrong judgment can easily be made or some facts about the patient can be omitted when this happens. Therefore, questions of how positivism will handle this are not clearly answered thus making it even more complicated.

Positivism is at times good because it can woks as a backup tool. Nurses should, however, not limit themselves to this because it may compromise the life of a patient. It may seem as though the numbers are more important than the patience in question. The situation in ICU is a relevant example; if more focus in placed on the machines then this means no one gets credible training. Maybe some hidden information can be got by merely taking keen interest on the patient.

Discussion 2

Time changes, so must people. It is true that science has transformed and become different from what it was. On the contrary, people still use the same old methods. Kuhn, after his discovery, advices people to try and find out how the scientists come up with the various theories instead of merely following them blindly.

People’s views may be different and hence there will be room for challenging those ideas and practices or even making improvement where necessary because ideas evolve. Holding fast to a theory without accepting the reality on the ground can make man slaves. It, therefore, needs some level of faith because people are bound to the old paradigms and as a result they become so rigid to change.

Looking at a scientist as a problem solver makes us believe in the methods they use. It makes it even hard to be innovative because we are bound to old beliefs. Kuhn viewed the scientist as puzzle solver and did not look at his way of defining criterion as a methodology. It is true that problems are there to test people’s individual ability. This is an indication that everyone can try and find solutions instead of simply leaving it to some known scholars.

Kuhn’s revolution can be adopted in nursing science because it provides room for thinking and coming up with new ideas. It was as a result of this thought that George Bananno came out clearly to criticize Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s view on the manner in which those who suffer from losses grieve.

Kuhn’s revolution also brought a difference in the way people did things. The methodology of research changed so nurses can today think of better ways of evaluating grief responses. There is, therefore, no need to classify patients without grief as pathological cases. This idea can be better than positivist approach.

Discussion 3

Kuhn explains the role of other disciplines in evolution of science and challenges the positivist and empiricist. Unless one understands these disciplines and how they are related to science, it becomes difficult to solve scientific problems and instead focus on puzzle solving.

This, however, cannot be achieved when people still hold first to the old views. Rationality is important in decision making but people should have no rational attachment to the working environment because it has an influence in the way they view science hence they cannot embrace its evolution.

Bringing a new idea especially in a field that people had already set standards was not easy for Kuhn. His predecessors never shared the same views. Questions regarding history as a discipline and how it affected science could not arise because Kuhn was right about the past and its implication in the present and the future.

Some of the diseases, for instance, used to occur more frequently in some seasons and the same pattern may follow today. History, therefore, becomes important in analyzing the information already at the disposal of researchers. Other factors such as psychology of a patient contribute more to his/her information.


People should not, therefore, always agree with scientists who created structures, hierarchies and models which are not conducive to the 21st century. They should try and articulate these facts with their own opinions. Thanks to Kuhn, a new era has come.

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