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Philosophy of information empowers philosophy of care

Posted Jun 21 2010 12:00pm
The moral and ethical dimensions of nursing quickly become apparent to individual practitioners and professional associations. Philosophy in nursing boasts specific courses, journals and groups, for example
International Philosophy of Nursing Society ( IPONS )

Nursing Philosophy (journal)

International Centre for Nursing Ethics

Here on W2tQ, in papers and on the website I have stressed the importance of the health career model as a framework that can utilise information as a fundamental and potentially unifying concept.

Expanding on the post last week about the philosophers' magazine [tpm50] let's look at Floridi's piece on the philosophy of information (PI). The 50 ideas featured are each only granted two pages, but this has a definite philosophical equivalent twitter-styled appeal. On page 42 (- 43) Floridi notes that
... PI possesses one of the most powerful conceptual vocabularies ever devised in philosophy. This is because one can rely on informational concepts whenever a complete understanding of some series of events is unavailable or unnecessary for providing an explanation. Virtually any issue can be rephrased informationally. Such semantic power is a great advantage of PI, understood as a methodology. ...

It shows that we a dealing with an influential paradigm. But it may also be a disadvantage, because a metaphorically pan informational approach can lead to a dangerous equivocation, namely, thinking that since any x can be described in (more or less metaphorically) informational terms, then the nature of any x is genuinely informational. (Luciano Floridi, 2010).
Admittedly Floridi's context is the position and status of PI as an emerging discipline within philosophy. As he notes the vocabulary while powerful lies in the discipline of philosophy.

Given my preoccupation with information, Floridi's observation above is a timely warning for me and the many nurses who in the past saw a concomitant risk that in adopting the nursing process, patients (and carers) would be processed. Ironically, this processing concerned information. The workflow - form and layout of the documentation - was prescribed. This is an old tale, with the nursing process being subsumed within the routine work of nursing. Perhaps though this also demonstrates a need for a new debate?

My interest in information is as a trope to explain the significance of the care (knowledge) domains that underpin Hodges' model. Crucially, though these can stand on their own as nursing philosophy issues. Joining the efforts of the nursing philosophers above, this can bring information and philosophy out of the academic realm to include a more practical and grounded variety of topics
FROM: personal identity,
definitions and ownership of computer based records,
utility versus security of information (summary care record ...),
definitions of information (data, knowledge) - through
TO: patient information and patient informatics, ...
where is collective informatics# heading?

Taking Floridi's lead - which of the above .... are core nursing (health) information concepts (and not just freeloading info-masqueraders along for the ride)? Well, that is a question for a new community of scholars to decide?

Philosophy resources: Interpersonal care domain

#Collective informatics = all the claimed informatics disciplines combined?
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