1. Morse, Janice M.

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To the editor:

It is always exciting for an author when she finds that someone actually reads and appreciates her work. When I found in the last issue (ANS 25:1) that Jane Georges had not only read and appreciated Toward a praxis theory of suffering (ANS 24:1), but had considered and taken the time to further write about it, I was surprised and pleased. My article, as Georges noted, is based on 10 years of inquiry (which has resulted in 52 other refereed publications), was in ANS summarized, and by necessity and form, abstracted. I am somewhat puzzled, given the nature of her critique and her interest in my work, that she did not read the background referenced articles to acquire a broader knowledge of the theory. My theory of suffering is derived from the words and actions of more than 200 men and women from various cultures and is, within the traditions of qualitative methodology, theoretically grounded in that data. Georges' critique neither adds to nor alters my results.


Georges' argument centers on the meaning of the word "praxis." While the everyday usage of praxis is "the practice of a technical subject or art, arising out of the theory of it" (Oxford English Dictionary), Georges chose a narrow definition and a particular usage and theoretical perspective to (re)view my theory. While one may possibly critique a theory from a different theoretical perspective, one cannot nullify the results without data, without further investigation. I look forward to Georges embarking on her research program to verify her notions. I invite her to present her findings at the Qualitative Health Research in Banff in April 2004, and will be delighted to engage in substantive discussion in press.