Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 129–131 | Cite as

Mark Risjord, Nursing knowledge, science, practice and philosophy

Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, 2010, 264 pp., $55.99(paper), ISBN: 978-1-405-18434-2
  • Steven Edwards

This book is written by a philosopher and its primary concern is with the nature of nursing science. It is one of only a relatively small number of books by philosophers that have attempted to contribute to the discipline of nursing through philosophical scrutiny of important aspects of it. The cover picture is of a bedcover, though perhaps not the kind one might expect to see on a book about nursing. Instead of a severe-looking hospital bed with tightly folded “hospital” corners, one is presented with a patchwork quilt as seen through a glass ball or lens of some kind. This kind of contrast is one that might have been exploited in the book to represent the two main positions analysed within it. The patchwork quilt metaphor is the one which Risjord defends: “This work has embraced the image of nursing science as a patchwork quilt” (p. 220). The metaphor of the “patchwork quilt” is intended to play the same kind of role as did Quine and Ullian’s “web of belief” in 1978 [1]. The...


  1. 1.
    Quine, William V.O., and Joseph S. Ullian. 1978. The web of belief, 2nd ed. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hempel, Carl. 1965. Aspects of scientific explanation and other essays in the philosophy of science. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Robert, Cummins. 1983. The nature of psychological explanation. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swansea UniversityWalesUK

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