University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Some May Beg to Differ: Individual Beliefs and Group Political Claims (Keynote speech)

Lipscomb, Martin ORCID: (2012) Some May Beg to Differ: Individual Beliefs and Group Political Claims (Keynote speech). In: Philosophy in the Nurse's World: Politics of Nursing Practice II, 13-15th May 2012, Banff - Alberta - Canada.

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


Nurses have much to contribute to political discourse and activity. However, to protect and advance this contribution we should perhaps question some of the assumptions underpinning political claims that attach to nurses. In this presentation the group descriptors ‘nurses’ and ‘nursing’ are problematised insofar as these terms depict all nurses. It is suggested that when these descriptors are associated with political claims then forms of group coherence and collective ascription (i.e., the ascription of traits, purposes, values etc., to the group ‘nurses’) are implied which are difficult to sustain. It is proposed that using collective descriptors without adequate explanation/clarity weakens the arguments in which they lodge. Hume’s dismissal of shared value theory is linked with the fallacy of composition and it is suggested that this fallacy is associated with collective ascription error. It is proposed that, while individual nurses and groups of nurses can and do act as intentional political agents we should be wary of claims that insist that nurses collectively do (empiric), should (normative), or must (regulatory) act similarly. If the argument advanced here is accepted then the uPNR (2012) question: “What . . difference . . [does] philosophy make to practice?” will in part have been met. Philosophy here serves a negative-critical function. It challenges the legitimacy of demands placed upon nurses by some nursing scholars and nursing organisations insofar as it undermines the idea that nurses and nursing can own or exhibit a ‘general will’ regards political matters.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Additional Information:

The full-text can be accessed via the Official URL.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: individual beliefs, group political claims, nurses, nursing
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Nursing and Midwifery
Depositing User: Martin Lipscomb
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2015 09:47
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:08

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item
Worcester Research and Publications is powered by EPrints 3 which is developed by the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. More information and software credits.