But, reflective practice does not appear to include philosophical thinking (Dubé & Ducharme 2015).While philosophical thinking involves reflection, it takes place within a broader approach to questioning and thinking about the nature of nursing and nursing practice.A better understanding of the importance of philosophy in the nurses' world is not only relevant but vital to our discipline and professional practice.
But, reflective practice does not appear to include philosophical thinking (Dubé & Ducharme 2015).While philosophical thinking involves reflection, it takes place within a broader approach to questioning and thinking about the nature of nursing and nursing practice.
In emphasising philosophical thinking our aim is to think in a deeper way and to think explicitly, that is, to clarify and critique what we think and why we think it.
For example, we frequently say we practice nursing holistically but do we know what holistic actually means? Increasing, we talk about person-centred care but how do we define a person? What do we mean when we say we give person-centred care?
Aquinas himself drew on and further developed the thinking of earlier Greek and Roman philosophers, particularly Aristotle.
Careful Nursing also draws on modern and contemporary non-nursing philosophers who think in the tradition of Aquinas and address concepts central to nursing.
But this is not how we understand philosophy in Careful Nursing.
Our aim is to think philosophically about nursing ideas and how we practice.All nursing models and frameworks have philosophical assumptions but they are usually implicit.Authors imply what their philosophical assumptions are but do not actually state what they are.14); they aim to counter our tendency to take-for-granted the meaning of common nursing concepts, observing that: . In the absence of explicit meaning, nurses tend to fall back on taken-for-granted meanings arising from Western culture such as health as the absence of disease.Mc Intyre and Mc Donald make an important point when they say that philosophical assumptions underlying concepts must be made explicit.Careful Nursing draws primarily on a non-nursing philosophical source, the neo-Aristotelian philosophy of Thomas Aquinas (1265-1274/2007).Aquinas is widely regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of his time and his thinking is equally applicable today (Mc Cabe 2008).We know from experience that in good times and in challenging times, what we think is true about nursing is what brings most of us to our practice each day.The vital importance of philosophy for all nurses is discussed beautifully and accessibly by Bruce, Rietze and Lim in their article 'Understanding Philosophy in a Nurse's World: What, Where and Why?Too often we dismiss philosophy as something obscure that has nothing to do with our practice.It is true that much contemporary academic philosophy is criticised for being very technical, narrowly focused and detached from human concerns (Norris 2014).