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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Spirituality and reductionism: Three replies
Author(s): Paley, John
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Keywords: spirituality
Issue Date: Jul-2010
Citation: Paley J (2010) Spirituality and reductionism: Three replies. [Commentary on: Leget C. (2008) Spirituality and nursing: why be reductionist? A response to John Paley. Nursing Philosophy, 9, 277–278. Betts C.E. & Smith-Betts A.F.J. (2009) Scientism and the medicalization of existential distress: a reply to John Paley. Nursing Philosophy, 10, 137–141. Nolan S. (2009) In defence of the indefensible: an alternative to John Paley’s reductionist, atheistic, psychological alternative to spirituality. Nursing Philosophy, 10, 203–213.] Nursing Philosophy, 11 (3), pp. 178-190.
Abstract: Several authors have commented on my reductionist account of spirituality in nursing, describing it variously as naïve, disrespectful, demeaning, paternalistic, arrogant, reifying, indicative of a closed mind, akin to positivism, a procrustean bed, a perpetuation of fraud, a matter of faith, an attempt to secure ideological power, and a perspective that puritanically forbids interesting philosophical topics. In responding to this list of felonies and misdemeanours, I try to justify my excesses by arguing that the critics have not really understood what reductionism involves; that rejecting reductionism is not the same as providing arguments against it; that the ethical dilemmas allegedly associated with reductionist views are endemic to health care; that ‘reifying’ is what believers in the spiritual realm do; and that the closed minds belong to those who dismiss reductionist science without having studied its achievements.
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