There are clear philosophical connections between the core ideas of hermeneutics and those of historicism, because each posits a potentially radical degree of relativism. Rodgers & Knafl (2005) explore this, arguing not for a return to any radical empiricism but rather to acknowledge that while knowledge and certainly medical praxis is socially constructed (and constructed along lines of socially sanctioned power hierarchies), there are fundamental empirical elements to nursing that cannot be trivialized.
Moreover, Rodgers & Knafl (2005, p. 118) argue that such a trend towards a radical sort of relativism (or, perhaps more accurately, a fully realized postmodernism) is not in keeping with the philosophical tenets and requirements of the hermeneutic writers that nurses have embraced: While knowledge is certainly socially constructed, the key to a hermeneutic reading is a focus on the social nature of the way in which knowledge is created and transmitted.
It is important to...
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