Philosophical hermeneutics and the project of Hans Georg Gadamer: implications for nursing research
The paper begins with an overview of the historical roots of philosophical hermeneutics grounded in the work of Husserl and Heidegger. It goes on to explore the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans Georg Gadamer as a philosophy useful to nursing research. The four concepts of prejudice, the fusion of horizons, the hermeneutic circle and play are discussed, as are the implications these concepts have for nursing research. These concepts have been utilized in the author’s own research and examples from this research are given to illuminate how these concepts can be shaped to the purposes of nursing research. While the concepts discussed stem from the work of Gadamer, the ways they have been utilized by the author do not represent a Gadamerian method. Gadamer’s project is purely philosophical.