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Carper, philosophy, epistemology, ontology, ways of knowing and being



  1. Silva, Mary Cipriano PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Sorrell, Jeanne Merkle PhD, RN
  3. Sorrell, Christine Denise MA


Carper's 1978 article in the premiere issue of Advances in Nursing Science encouraged nurses to consider four fundamental patterns of knowing.Through illustrations from literature and the performing arts, the authors address Carper's patterns of knowing in the context of an emerging philosophical shift. First, they critique the major strengths and limitations of the article. Next, they explore an emerging philosophical shift in nursing from Carper's epistemological focus to ontological reflections on ways of being. Finally, they discuss the significance of the emerging philosophical shift and the ways of being for the science-art of nursing.