THE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE, EVIDENCE AND HOW TO ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

Barker, Janet and Thompson, Amanda and Kane, Ros (2016) THE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE, EVIDENCE AND HOW TO ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS. In: Evidence-Based Practice for Nurses and Healthcare Professionals. SAGE, London, pp. 15-30. ISBN 978-1-4739-2502-1

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Abstract

It is suggested that humans have a basic need for knowledge and a thirst to know how things work and why things happen. Parahoo (2014) proposed that knowledge is essential for human survival, and central to decision making about daily life and achieving change in both people and the environment in which they live. Prior to the 18th century much of people’s understanding of the world and how it worked was based on beliefs related to superstitions and organised religions. However, the 18th century ushered in what we know as the era of ‘Enlightenment’ and the ‘Age of Reason’ which promoted different ways of thinking and knowing the world. The work of encyclopaedists (generally the leading philosophers of the day) and the publication of the Encyclopedie in the period from 1751 to 1772 together advocated scientific knowledge. This type of knowledge influenced thinking about the nature of humans and their ways of understanding the world and from this came an opening of the debate about what knowledge is and how humans can ‘know’ things.
Knowledge and evidence are inextricably linked – evidence provides support to the usefulness of certain types of knowledge and knowledge gives reason and value to different forms of evidence. Therefore as with knowledge there are many different forms of evidence, each of which will be valued in different ways according to context.
This chapter will consider the issues surrounding the nature of knowledge, the different forms of evidence and how it is possible to identify what knowledge is needed to ensure practice is evidence-based.

Keywords:Knowledge, Evidence based practice, Research
Subjects:B Subjects allied to Medicine > B990 Subjects Allied to Medicine not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
ID Code:33969
Deposited On:07 Nov 2018 16:31

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