Philosophy of Science for Nursing Practice, Second Edition

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Philosophy of Science for Nursing Practice, Second Edition

SKU# 9780826129284

Concepts and Application

Author: Michael D. Dahnke PhD, H. Michael Dreher PhD, RN, FAAN

AJN 2016 Book of The Year Second Place Winner

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Praise for the First Edition:

I have taught a philosophy of science course intermittently for about 20 years. Philosophy of Science for Nursing Practice is not only the most succinct, insightful, well-organized presentation of information I"ve yet seen, but drives thinking to where it ought to be.

Laura Cox Dzurec, PhD, PMHCNS-BC

Dean and Professor, Widener University School of Nursing

This appears to be the first book that focuses on the philosophy of science and its application to practice doctorates. The authors assume readers may not have a formal background in the philosophy of science, and write in a conversational tone with a minimum of difficult terminology. They discuss the current state of DNP education in a way that can foster discourse and debate.

Score: 97 Five Stars, Doody's Medical Reviews

Written for DNP and PhD nursing programs, this text, based on a unique, team-taught philosophy of science nursing courses, distills challenging content and delivers it in clear, highly accessible language for professors untrained in philosophy and their students. Authored by a nurse researcher/philosopher team who developed and taught this course for more than 7 years, the book provides a unique, integrated viewpoint that avoids esoteric and overly theoretical discussions and facilitates a clear connection between the philosophy of science and nursing science and practice. This second edition offers enhanced clarity and encompasses updates in philosophy of science interpretation, nursing practice and science, and a still-emerging practice epistemology. It is distinguished by its increased emphasis on DNP investigation that relies on a fundamental relationship with evidence-based practice, as well as the informational needs of the PhD student and the type of research the PhD graduate is expected to produce.

The bulk of the text focuses on basic principles and concepts of the philosophy of science in regard to the education of both DNP and PhD nursing students. The book discusses the concept of nursing as a "practice discipline" within historical and sociological contexts, and addresses the importance of philosophy of science knowledge within a practice discipline. It examines the controversial question of how much philosophy of science a doctoral student actually needs. The text concludes with a brief introduction to nursing science knowledge content that is an essential "bridge" to the philosophy of science content, and serves as a "next step" toward building a nursing epistemology.


  • Newly revised chapters deliver an enhanced clarity of information
  • Updated content reflects current trends in contemporary doctoral nursing education
  • Updated Questions for Reflection offer scholarly discourse
  • New appendix offers a sample semester-based syllabus based on the second edition


  • Provides concise, accessible information that makes clear connections to practical applications
  • Written jointly by a philosopher and a nurse scholar who co-teach the course
  • Facilitates student ability to see the real connection between philosophy and practice
  • Offers a sharp focus on how philosophy of science content is essential to enhancing the understanding of evidence- and practice-based content

Product Details 

  • Publication Date November 04, 2015
  • Page Count 448
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826129284

About The Author(s) 

Michael D. Dahnke, PhD, is a philosopher and bioethicist. He received his PhD in philosophy from Temple University (2002) and a BA in liberal studies from Bowling Green State University (1990). His dissertation was “Film and the Aesthetic Construction of Self/Sex/Gender” under the supervision of Dr. Charles Dyke. His areas of specialty include philosophy of science, ethics, aesthetics, philosophy of film, and contemporary continental philosophy. The first edition of this text, Philosophy of Nursing Science for Nursing Practice: Concepts and Application, received a five-star review from Doody’s and was selected as a Core Doody Title 2010 to 2012. He is the author of Film, Art, and Filmart: An Introduction to Aesthetics Through Film (2007). Some of his recent publications include “What We Learn (and Don’t Learn) From the Terri Schiavo Autopsy” in the journal Functional Neurology, Rehabilitation, and Ergonomics; “Devotion, Diversity, and Reasoning” in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry; and “Emmanuel Levinas and the Face of Terri Schiavo: Bioethical and Phenomenological Reflections on a Public Spectacle and Private Tragedy” in Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics. Prior to his move to New York City, he most recently served as clinical associate professor, teaching ethics in the Department of Health Administration and advanced ethical decision making in health care and philosophy of science in the master’s nursing department and doctoral nursing department, respectively, at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

H. Michael Dreher, PhD, RN, FAAN, is professor and dean of the School of Nursing at The College of New Rochelle, in New Rochelle, New York. He has a BSN and master’s in nursing from the University of South Carolina and received his PhD in nursing science from Widener University in 2000. In 2003, he completed a 2-year postdoctorate in sleep and respiratory neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He currently serves as associate editor for Clinical Scholars Review: The Journal of Doctoral Nursing Practice and is editor for the column “Practice Evidence.” He is the coauthor of two AJN first-place books of the year: Role Development for Doctoral Advanced Nursing Practice in 2011 and Legal Issues Confronting Today’s Nursing Faculty: A Case Study Approach in 2012, both written with Mary Ellen Smith Glasgow. His first book, Philosophy of Science for Nursing Practice with Michael D. Dahnke (2010), was awarded five stars by Doody’s and was selected as a Core Doody Title 2010 to 2012. He has worked on the practice doctorate in nursing at the national and international level and in 2010 was appointed as the only international panelist on the United Kingdom’s 2011 Report on Professional Doctorates. He was inducted a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing for his contributions to the nursing discipline in 2012. Today, Dr. Dreher continues his professional journey advocating for the integration of practice evidence and knowledge in the practice doctorate and is an advocate for more rigor in the degree. His current interests are also focused on the role of ethics in nursing academia and higher education, with emphasis on studying the ethics of deans, academic nursing administrators, senior faculty, and others in leadership positions in universities and colleges.

Table of Contents 



Reviewers, First Edition

Foreword Mary Ellen Smith Glasgow, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, ANEF, FAAN




1. What Is a Practice Discipline?

2. Nursing as a Practice Discipline

3. Philosophy of Science in a Practice Discipline


4. Philosophy and Philosophizing

5. The Scientific Revolution

6. 100 Years of the Philosophy of Science: A Historical Overview

7. What Is Science? The Problem of Demarcation

8. Scientific Methodology

9. Observation: The Scientific Gaze

10. Theory and Reality

11. Explanation and Laws

12. The Feminist Critique of Science

13. Philosophy of Social Science

14. Philosophies of Social Science


15. The 100-Year Path to Nursing Science, 1910 to 2010: With Epilogue, 2010 to 2015

16. Next Steps Toward Practice Knowledge Development: An Emerging Epistemology in Nursing

Appendix A: Sample Philosophy of Science Syllabus

Appendix B: Suggestions for Syllabi Using Philosophy of Science for Nursing Practice

Appendix C: Glossary of Philosophical Terms