Patricia Benner's introduction to phenomenology develops the reader's understanding of the strategies and processes involved in this innovative approach to nursing. The author discusses the relationship between theory and practice, considers the possibility of a science of caring from a feminist perspective, introduces interpretive phenomenology to the study of natural groups such as families, and suggests a basis for developing nursing ethics that is true to the caring and healing practices of the nursing profession.

Is a Science of Caring Possible?

Is a science of caring possible?
Margaret J.Dunlop

Man's love is of man's life a thing apart ‘Tis woman's whole existence.

(Byron, Don Juan, Canto 1, 194)

Today, under the influence of the feminist movement, we may be more inclined to see Byron's poetic statement as representative of the material life conditions of 19th-century middle-class women rather than as expressing an eternal truth about female nature. We might also be inclined to tie the denuding of male existence—the. separation of “love” from “life”—to the mode of commodity production and its “rational” division of labor that relegated “love” to the place of a leisure-time activity outside the ambit of “life,” which was equated with work.

If we look at the so-called leisure of middle-class Victorian ...

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