Fall 2020

NURS 7325-7325 Philosophy of Science

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Students are expected to follow all policies related to COVID-19 found on the university webpage: https://wp.uthscsa.edu/coronavirus/.


Eileen Breslin Ph.D., RN,FAAN

Professor and Dean

Dr. Patty L. Hawken EndowedProfessorship


University of Texas HealthScience Center at San Antonio

School of Nursing

7703 Floyd Curl Dr. (Mailcode 7942)

San Antonio, Texas 78229-3900

Office 210-567-5800

Email: Breslin@uthscsa.edu

Office Hours: Byappointment only


Kyungeh An, Ph.D., RN, FAHA


University of Texas HealthScience Center at San Antonio

School of Nursing

7703 Floyd Curl Dr

San Antonio, Texas 78229-3900

            Office: 210-567-5926

            Email: AnK@uthscsa.edu

OfficeHours: TBD


The focus of this course is to relate philosophy of science, philosophy of nursing science, and one's personal philosophy to the development of nursing knowledge.  The role of scientists in nursing and in society will be explored.  Emphasis is on the process of analysis, and the ability to present the pros and cons of philosophical  issues. 


Credit Hour Allocation: 3 Semester Credit Hours
Clock Hour Allocation: 3 Clock Hours Class (45 hours class)


Admission to the doctoral program


Upon completion of the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Program students will:

  1. Advance the discipline of nursing through the generation of new knowledge and theory.
  2. Demonstrate excellence as a clinical researcher in the health sciences in a focal area of nursing.
  3. Synthesize theories from natural and/or behavioral sciences for application to a specified area of nursing.
  4. Advance evidence-based clinical practice.
  5. Assume nurse scientist roles within academic health centers and other health centers and other interdisciplinary health sciences and educational institutions.
  6. Evaluate the value and knowlege components of philosophical and ethical dimensions of issues confronting healthcare and nursing.


  1. Analyze the development of science and nursing science within the last century.
  2. Analyze scientific approaches to development of nursing knowledge within the context of major philosophical traditions.
  3. Synthesize personal philosophies of science and nursing science, and relate them to the clinical scientist role. 
  4. Analyze philosophical logical arguments regarding a phenomenon of interest.
  5. Evaluate relevant theory, practice and research related to a clinical practice phenomenon for their philosophical underpinings and relevance to personal philosophy of nursing science.
  6. Analyze philosophical influences on nursing science and other health disciplines.




A = 4 points (90-100)
B = 3 points (80-89)
C = 2 points (75-79)
D = 1 point (66-74)
F = 0 points (65 or below)




Paper (100 points/20%): Personal philosophy of nursing paper Due Week 14 December4, 2020.

1.     Identify your values, beliefs andassumptions related to nursing

2.     Discuss the key phenomenon ofinterest for nursing discipline and their interrelationships

3.     Analyze how history of nursing hasinfluenced nursing philosophy development

4.     Discuss the congruence between yourpersonal philosophy of nursing and nursing science

5.     Address congruence between your viewof nursing science and extant philosophical views of science

6.     What are the most pressing problemsin contemporary philosophy of nursing and where do you see the field heading?

7.     Discuss the role of human beings,the role of the researcher and the product of research



Forss, A., Ceci, C., & Drummond, J. S.(2013). Philosophy of nursing: 5 questions. Copenhagen,

Denmark:Automatic Press/VIP. ISBN10/87-92130-49-6.


Kikuchi, J. F., & Simmons, H. (1994). Developinga philosophy of nursing. Thousand Oaks:        Sage.ISBN0-8039-5423-9

Paper (100 points/40%):  Scholarly Paper Due Week 15, December 11, 2020

1. Define phenomenon of interest to your practice

2. Evaluate relevant theory and research related to clinicalpractice phenomenon.

3. Describe three philosophical perspectives in which thephenomenon is relevant; provide supportiveliterature for each of the three philosophical perspectives.

4. Critique three studies as an exemplar from eachphilosophical perspective  

5. Describe how this examining this issue will contribute tothe profession and to the discipline.


Reference Exemplar:

Tinley,S. T., & Kinney, A. Y. (2007). Three philosophical approaches to thestudy of spirituality. Advances in Nursing Science30(1),71-80.


Class Discussion (100 points/40%): 5 Formal activities (20) pointseach.

1)     Each studentwill prepare three class discussions on a philosophical tradition/philosopher andaddress the following:


a.      Provide a history of thephilosophical tradition including major contributor(s), time of development,historical context

b.     Discuss the major principles orbeliefs.  What are the ontological andepistemological viewpoints?

c.      Discuss how the philosophy is or canbe used in nursing science development

d.     Provide 3 leading questions forcolleagues to augment their own questions for class discussion

e.      Provide 2 exemplars from the nursingliterature demonstrating use in nursing one week prior to class.

2) Each student will analyze two (2)nursing philosophers’ responses to the 5 questions, comparing and contrastingresponses.  (20 points)

3) Each student will analyze philosophical logical argumentregarding an ethical phenomenon of interest.

20% - Personal philosophy of nursing science paper
40% - Class Discussion
40% - Scholarly Paper
100% - Total

Further details and information on grading criteria willbe in CANVAS and available on the first class day.

A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 75-79%
D = 66-74%
F = 65% or below

The student should prepare forextensive class discussion. This class is a seminar. To prepare, allassignments should be thoroughly read and a list of questions and/or commentsfor the class generated.


Students are expected to be above reproach in all scholastic activities. Students who engage in scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and dismissal from the university. "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." Regents Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter VI, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision 3.22.


Students who are nurses or are preparing to enter the profession of nursing are expected to treat others with respect and compassion. “The principle of respect for persons extends to all individuals with whom the nurse interacts. The nurse maintains compassionate and caring relationships with colleagues and others with a commitment to the fair treatment of individuals, to integrity-preserving compromise and to resolving conflict. This standard of conduct precludes any and all prejudicial actions, any form of harassment or threatening behavior, or disregard for the effects of one’s actions on others” (American Nurses Association Code for Nurses, Interpretive Statement 1.5).

The students, faculty, Department Chairs, Associate Deans, and the Dean of the School of Nursing of the University Texas Health Science Center San Antonio subscribe to the highest standards of conduct. Our aim is professional behavior beyond reproach. Failure to abide by the signed code of professional conduct may lead to suspension and/or permanent dismissal from the UTHSCSA SON. In particular, we subscribe to the provisions of the Code of Ethics for Nurses (http://bit.ly/1mtD5p2) and the following points of conduct.


School of Nursing Netiquette Guidelines for Online Interaction

Netiquette guidelines provide information for behaving properly online, when using email, tweets or texts so that you may successfully communicate your thoughts in a manner that is respectful and avoids misunderstandings with others.


Any student seeking reasonable accommodations through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact either the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Services within the first week of the semester or schedule a meeting with the UTHSCSA ADA Compliance Office so that appropriate accommodations may be arranged. A request for accommodations (Form ADA-100: http://uthscsa.edu/eeo/form100-Faculty-student-resident.pdf) must be completed and submitted to the Executive Director of the ADA Compliance Office before accommodations can be provided. Additional information can be provided in the Student Success Center, Room 1.118 or through the ADA Compliance Office website: http://uthscsa.edu/eeo/request.asp.



AmericanNurses Association 2010 Nursing’s SocialPolicy Statement: The Essence Of The Profession Third Edition. P1-32. ISBN -13:978-1-558-10-270-5


Bronoski, J. (1965). Science andHuman Values. New York; Harper and Row Publishers.


Forss, A., Ceci, C., & Drummond, J. S. (2013). Philosophy ofnursing: 5 questions. Copenhagen, Denmark:Automatic Press/VIP. ISBN 10/87-92130-49-6.


Kikuchi, J. F., & Simmons, H. (1994). Developinga philosophy of nursing. Thousand Oaks: Sage. ISBN 0-8039-5423-9


Medawar P.B. 1979 Advice to a Young ScientistHarper and Row Publishers New York ISBN-0-06-090810-6


On being a scientist: a guide to responsible conductin research. (2009). Washington, D.C.: National AcademiesPress. ISBN978-0-309-11970-2.


Polifroni, E. C., & Welch, M. (1999). Perspectiveson philosophy of science in nursing: an historical and contemporary anthology.Philadelphia: Lippincott. ISBN: 0-7817-1201-7


Rader, M. (1976). The enduring questions:main problems of philosophy. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. ISBN:0-03-055406-3


Risjord, M. (2011). Nursing Knowledge:Science, Practice, and Philosophy. Somerset: Wiley. ISBN 978-1-4051-8434-2


Rodgers, B. L. (2005). Developing nursingknowledge: philosophical traditions and influences.  Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.


Rosenburg, A. (2012). Philosophyof science: contemporary readings. New York: Routledge. ISBN-13:9780415343176


Balashov, Y. (2007). Philosophy of science:contemporary readings. London: Routledge.  ISBN-13: 9780415257824


Weston, A. (2009). A rulebook for arguments.Indianapolis: Hackett Pub. ISBN978-0-87220 954-1



Bhaskar,R. (2008). A Realist Theory of Science.London: Vergo. ISBN 1-84467-204-2

Bleier, R. (1986). Feminist approaches toscience. New York: Pergamon. ISBN0-08-032787-7

Curd, M., & Cover, J. (1998). Philosophyof Science: The Central Issues. New York, NY: W.W.  Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-97175-9

Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed.New York: The Seabury Press. ISBN: PB:978-0-8264-1276-8

Harding, S. (1986). The science question infeminism. Milton Keynes: Open University Press. ISBN 0-8014-9363-3

Klemke, E.D., Hollinger & Rudge, D. W. (1998). Introductory readings in the philosophyof       science. Amherst, NY:Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-57392-240-4.

Klemke, E. D., Kline, A. D., & Hollinger, R.(1994). Philosophy: Contemporary perspectives onperennial issues.New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-08478-1

Omery, A., Kasper, C. E., & Page, G. G.(1995). In search of nursing science. Thousand Oaks:    Sage Publications. ISBN 0-8039-5093-4


Rader, M. M. (1979). A modern book of esthetics: Ananthology. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Wintson. ISBN: 0-03-019331-1.


Toulmin. S (1969). The Uses of ArgumentCambridge: University Press. ISBN 0-521-09230-2



Module 1 Connections between philosophy, science and nursing science. Objectives #1 and 6
Module 2 Influences of Philosophical Traditions on Nursing Science. Objectives #2, 4, and 6
Module 3 Development of personal philosophy of science for role as scientist within healthcare system Objective #3
Module 4 Exploration, Explanation, Causation, and Laws in Science. Objective #2
Module 5 Knowledge Generation in Nursing Science. Objective #5

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