Is feyerabendian philosophy relevant for scientific knowledge development in nursing?
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To revitalize nursing science, there is a need for a new approach to guide nurse scientists in addressing complex problems in health care. By applying theoretical concepts from a revolutionary philosopher of science, Paul K. Feyerabend, new nursing knowledge can be produced using creativity and pluralistic approaches. Feyerabend proposed that methods within and outside of science can produce knowledge. Despite the recognition of Feyerabendian philosophy within science, there is currently a lack of literature regarding the relevance of Feyerabendian philosophy for nursing science. We aim to (a) describe and critique Feyerabendian concepts, (b) discuss the potential application of Feyerabendian philosophy for knowledge production within gerontological nursing and (c) describe theoretical possibilities for nurse scientists in using Feyerabendian philosophy to guide nursing knowledge development. We begin by introducing Feyerabend's life and his inspirations for his theoretical concepts, epistemological anarchism, theoretical pluralism and humanitarianism, and conclude by offering suggestions of how to apply Feyerabendian philosophy in nursing research.
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