Tuesday, September 24, 2019
In Aeon, Dan Zahavi on nursing and phenomenology.
Some nursing researchers have advocated a return to the classical philosophical texts, and argued that one ought to use the philosophical ideas directly in applied research. Frequently, the outcome is less than ideal. In one case, for instance, three nursing researchers at the National University of Ireland in Galway set out to show the power of the Heideggerian framework. Most of their article consists of attempts to elucidate and clarify key concepts found in Heidegger’s magnum opus Being and Time (1927), such as Dasein (German for ‘presence’), the ontological difference, inauthenticity, solicitude, average everydayness, thrownness and fallenness. Toward that end, the authors turn to the question of application, with the experience of teenage parents as users of family healthcare services as their test case. The authors conclude that social norms associated with teenage parenthood had an impact on the lived experience of these teenagers: by no longer being carefree adolescents but young parents, they felt they were treated differently by others; some were also keen to complete their education to get financial security for themselves and their children. None of these findings are surprising. So it remains unclear why anybody needs the heavy machinery of Heideggerian philosophy to reach such conclusions.
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