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Some may beg to differ: Individual beliefs and group political claims

Lipscomb, Martin

Authors

Martin Lipscomb martin.lipscomb@uwe.ac.uk



Abstract

While nurses can and do behave as intentional political agents, claims that nurses collectively do (empiric), should (normative) or must (regulatory) act to advance political objectives lack credibility. This paper challenges the coherence and legitimacy of political demands placed upon nurses. It is not suggested that nurses ought not to contribute to political discourse and activity. That would be foolish. However, the idea that nursing can own or exhibit a general political will is discarded. It is suggested that to protect and advance political discussion, to aid explanatory adequacy and clarity, the form in which nursing associates itself with political claims merits critical appraisal. Thus significant numbers of nurses probably reject or disagree with many of the political claims that attach to them - claims often made on their behalf. More specifically, the individual beliefs and goals of nurses can be in conflict with the political pronouncements of nursing scholars and organizations (group agents). It is proposed that nurses need not share substantive normative beliefs/goals and, if this proposal holds, group descriptors such as 'nurses' and 'nursing' cannot meaningfully or easily attach to political claims. Shared value theory is linked to the fallacy of composition and the concept of collective ascription error is introduced to explore the implausibility of using group descriptors such as 'nurses' and 'nursing' to refer to the beliefs/goals of all nurses. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Citation

Lipscomb, M. (2013). Some may beg to differ: Individual beliefs and group political claims. Nursing Philosophy, 14(4), 254-270. https://doi.org/10.1111/nup.12007

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 1, 2013
Journal Nursing Philosophy
Print ISSN 1466-7681
Electronic ISSN 1466-769X
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 4
Pages 254-270
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/nup.12007
Keywords nurse, nursing, political objectives, individual beliefs, group political claims
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/927948
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nup.12007




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