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knowledge development, neopragmatism, nursing, philosophy, practice, pragmatism, theory



  1. Warms, Catherine A. RN, MN
  2. Schroeder, Carole A. RN, MS, PhD


Rather than a philosophy, pragmatism is a way of doing philosophy that has major implications for solving disputes involving nursing science, theory, and practice that may otherwise be interminable. Pragmatism weaves together theory and action so that one modifies the other continuously, but both maintain their mutual relevance. Pragmatism emphasizes pluralism and diversity, and depends on an ethical base for determination of what is reasonable. Recently repopularized by the philosopher Richard Rorty and others, pragmatic ideals seem inherent to nursing. We propose that a better understanding of the history and utility of pragmatism will enhance both clinically relevant nursing theory and theoretically relevant nursing practice.