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Ricoeur's narrative philosophy: A source of inspiration in critical hermeneutic health research

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

DOI

  1. Ruptured thought: rupture as a critical attitude to nursing research

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Patient-centred care has gained ground in health service following a health policy initiative aimed at changing the paternalistic culture towards one with more patient involvement. Development of knowledge relating to people's lived experiences of illness is important in this context. Literature in the field of health science describes methods for exploring what is at stake for people affected by illness, and the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur has been a significant source of inspiration. Especially, Ricoeur's interpretation theory has been construed and applied in different, often schematic, methodological variations, whereas his narrative philosophy is a little used source of inspiration. Health science has been characterized by a biomedical awareness of method and the idea that there is a direct and immediate path to patients' experiences, a viewpoint that can be traced back to Descartes and the philosophy of subjectivism. Opposed to Descartes, Ricoeur says that we are already embedded in a world of traditions and meanings over which we have no control. According to Ricoeur, we leave traces when we express ourselves, and traces are formed by the world of meanings and traditions to which we belong. Often, the sense in the traces is hidden, making it impossible to directly understand individual's experiences. Reflection on an individual's lived experiences must take place via the narratives in which the individual expresses themselves. The centrepiece of Ricoeur's narrative philosophy is the threefold mimesis, which is an approach to understanding the meaning of peoples' lived experiences. The philosophical hermeneutics of Gadamer plays an important role in Ricoeur's theory of interpretation, although he has criticized Gadamer for failing to include one dimension in his philosophy; he finds this dimension in Habermas' ideology critique. Ricoeur's ideology critique is absent in health science research, which is why it has been made a focal point in this article.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNursing philosophy : an international journal for healthcare professionals
Volume21
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)e12254
ISSN1466-7681
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

    Research areas

  • care, narratives, nursing, qualitative research, Ricoeur

ID: 59311611