Expanding the Praxis Debate: Contributions to Clinical Inquiry

Kristin F. Lutz, Kim Dupree Jones, Judy Kendall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Nursing science continues to debate the adequacy of various philosophic paradigms for their ability to forward the discipline. Nursing must embrace multiple paradigms, methodologies, and their philosophic assumptions to adequately address the complex and multifaceted human phenomena that is the focus of clinical inquiry in nursing. This article examines the differences in interpretive and critical approaches to clinical inquiry relative to praxis, expanding how praxis can be used to inform nursing practice. Differences in the nature of knowledge, goals of inquiry, and claims to praxis between the interpretive and critical traditions are discussed. Praxis, realized through clinical inquiry in both the interpretive and the critical paradigms, may contribute important pieces of the puzzle to improve the human condition. Expanding the praxis debate challenges nurses to consider the emancipatory possibilities of clinical inquiry within both interpretive and critical paradigms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
JournalAdvances in Nursing Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical inquiry
  • Critical inquiry
  • Emancipatory inquiry
  • Hermeneutic inquiry
  • Interpretive inquiry
  • Praxis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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