The Status of Husserlian Phenomenology in Caring Research

Scand J Caring Sci. 2000;14(1):3-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2000.tb00554.x.


In a recent article, Paley criticized nursing research that claimed to be phenomenological and recommended that all reference to Husserl be dropped by nurses following certain qualitative procedures. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that Paley is wrong in his recommendation by showing that Paley (i) does not distinguish scientific phenomenology from philosophical phenomenology; (ii) is severely limited with respect to scholarly references that legitimate and articulate the scientific phenomenological method; (iii) seems to be unaware of the precedents for attempting scholarly analyses of the experiences and behaviors of others; and (iv) seems to be unaware of the internal history of the development of the scientific phenomenological method, which would show its close relationship to Husserl. Although deficiencies in nursing phenomenological research can be found, the solution is not to drive the researchers away from phenomenology, but to encourage them to apply the scientific phenomenological method in a better way.

MeSH terms

  • Health Occupations / standards*
  • Humans
  • Philosophy
  • Research / trends*