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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
Now available on:


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
  • EISBN 9780826129291

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 the Elizabeth Bell LeVaca dean and professor, School of Nursing & Healthcare Professions, The College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, New York. He has worked in the field of nursing for 32 years and was associate director of BSN programs, director of MSN programs, and founding chair of the Doctoral Nursing Department at Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He developed the first MSN in Nursing Innovation in 2007 and one of the first Doctor of Nursing Practice programs in the country in 2005. This program included the first mandatory doctoral nursing study abroad program in the United States. He regularly contributes to scholarly publications on legal issues in nursing education and advanced practice doctoral nursing education and has coauthored four books, including Philosophy of Science for Nursing Practice: Concepts and Applications (2011, 2016, with Michael D. Dahnke, PhD), which received a 5-Star Doody Review in 2011 and was selected as a Core Doody Title 2011 to 2013; and two first-place American Journal of Nursing Books of the Year: Role Development for Doctoral Advanced Nursing Practice (2011, with Mary Ellen Smith Glasgow) and Legal Issues Confronting Today's Nursing Faculty: A Case Study Approach (2012, with Mary Ellen Smith Glasgow and Toby Oxholm III, JD). He is the former associate editor for Clinical Scholars Review: The Journal of Doctoral Nursing Practice (where he edited a column on practice evidence) and Holistic Nursing Practice (where he edited a column on innovation in health and healing). He was a recent scholar in residence at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing in Storrs, Connecticut. He is well known as an innovator, an architect of forward-thinking nursing curricula, and a national and international scholar on the professional/practice doctorate. He was inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) in 2012.

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