Nursing Continue Education · Nursing Theories

Positivism 实证论 (Reading & Sharing)

Realism (Positivism) (Aristotle)

  • The world is orderly
  • Science can be viewed objectively and analyzed
  • Develop knowledge that is value-and context free

“Aristotle believed that advances in biological science would occur through systematic observation of objects and events in the natural world, whereas Pythagoras believed that knowledge of the natural world would result from mathematical reasoning”. 

Rationalism (Cause and Effect) 理性主义, 唯理论

Rationalist epistemology (scope of knowledge) emphasizes the importance of a priori reasoning as the appropriate method for advancing knowledge. A priori reasoning utilizes deductive 推理 logic by reasoning from the cause of an effect or by generalizing to a particular instance. An example in nursing is to reason that appendicitis (cause) will result in pain (effect). — Theory-then-research strategy (Reynolds, 1971)– Theoretical assertions derived by deductive reasoning then are subjected to experimental testing to corroborate the theory. If research findings fail to correspond to the theoretical assertions, additional research is conducted, or modifications are made in the theory and additional tests are devised; other wise, the theory is discarded in favor of an alternative explanation.

Empiricism 经验论

The empiricist view is based on the central idea that scientific knowledge can be derived only from sensory experience. Bacon believed that scientific truth was discovered through generalization of observed facts in the natural world. This approach, called the inductive 归纳 method, is based on the idea that the collection of facts precedes attempts to formulate generalizations, or as Reynolds (1971) called it, the research-then-theory strategy. One of the best examples that can be used to demonstrate this form of logic in nursing has to do with formulating a differential diagnosis. Formulating a differential diagnosis requires collecting facts, then devising a list of possible theories to explain the facts.  —Skinner’s Behaviorism —

Positivism 实证论

Modern logical positivists believed that empirical research and logical analysis were two approaches that would produce scientific knowledge. The logical empiricists offered a more lenient view of logical positivism and argued that theoretical propositions (a proposition affirms or denies something) must be tested through observation and experimentation. This perspective is rooted in the idea that empirical facts exist independently of theories and offer the only  basis for objectivity in science. In this view, objective truth exists independently of the researcher, and the task of science is to discover it. The empiricist view share similarities with Aristotle’s view of biological science and Bacon’s inductive method as the true method of scientific inquiry — The scientist first sets up an experiment; observes what occurs, reaches a preliminary hypothesis to describe the occurrence; runs further experiments to test the hypothesis and finally corrects or modifies the hypothesis in light of the results. —The positivist approach requires objectivity and neutrality to test theories and hypotheses. 



Alligood, M. R. & Tomey, A. M. (2010) Nursing Theorists and Their Work (7th ed.)

Leave a Reply