The Practical, Moral, and Personal Sense of Nursing

A Phenomenological Philosophy of Practice

By Anne H. Bishop & John R. Scudder Jr.

Subjects: Nursing, Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791402528, 185 pages, July 1990
Hardcover : 9780791402511, 185 pages, July 1990

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Table of contents


1. Introduction

2. The Practical Sense of Nursing

3. The Human Sense of Health Care

4. The Sense of Nursing: Applied Science or Practical Human Science?

5. Nursing and Philosophy of Practice

6. The Moral Sense in Nursing Practice

7. The Moral Sense and Nursing Ethics

8. The Personal Sense of Nursing

9. Conclusion




The Practical, Moral, and Personal Sense of Nursing is the first explicitly philosophical articulation in English of the essence of nursing from a phenomenological perspective. The authors interpret nursing as competencies and excellences that are exercised in an "in-between" situation characteristic of nursing practice (the practical sense) which fosters the well-being of patients (the moral sense) within the nurse-patient relationship (the personal sense). This directly challenges the current tendency to reconstruct nursing by using theories drawn from the behavioral and natural sciences, and shows why nursing must be reformed from within. Bishop and Scudder stress the use of phenomenology to articulate an actual practice, showing the unique capacity of phenomenology to illuminate actual situations and to generate fresh understandings of old problems.

At Lynchburg College, Anne H. Bishop is Professor of Nursing, and John R. Scudder, Jr. is Professor of Philosophy.


"This study is seriously needed, not only within the nursing profession, but equally within the medical profession (which too often is blinded by failure to recognize the critical place of nursing practice), and by those who administer health care institutions ( who too often seem oblivious of the significance of nurses and their practices for the integrity of institutional life and ethics). " — Richard M. Zaner, Ann Geddes Stahlman Professor of Medical Ethics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center