What is it about?

This article explains qualitative research, particularly phenomenology. It describes the differences between descriptive phenomenology, begun by Edmund Husserl and the interpretive, hermeneutic phenomenology, which Martin Heidegger introduced. These two traditions have other names, such as pure phenomenology, transcendental phenomenology, Husserlian phenomenology (descriptive) and existential and Heideggerian phenomenology. The article helps understand such phenomenological terms as epoche, bracketing, intentionality, and natural attitude. This has been written for the holistic nurse but can be applied to other professionals.

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Why is it important?

Understanding the history and evolution of phenomenology and the differences in its types will aid those who consider research using phenomenology as qualitative method.


I hope this article helps budding researchers understand phenomenology better and find its information valuable in improving their qualitative research skills.

Cheryl Patton
Eastern University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Phenomenology for the Holistic Nurse Researcher: Underpinnings of Descriptive and Interpretive Traditions, Journal of Holistic Nursing, October 2019, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0898010119882155.
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