Petits differends: a reflection on aspects of Lyotard's philosophy for quality of care

Nursing Philosophy 2 (3):224-233 (2001)
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Abstract

This paper relates to Lyotard's philosophy of a différend. The paper has a dual purpose. The first is to explain what is meant by a différend and also a petit différend. The intention here is to preserve both the intrinsic validity and ethico-political value of the concept in cases where its legitimacy might easily be denied. This feeds into the second and main purpose of the paper, which is to testify to a petit différend in quality of care, so that care may be taken in how the term ‘quality of care’ is actually used. It is here that the implications of a petit différend in quality of care are opened up from the perspective of cared-for and professional carers, respectively. It will be shown that the idea of quality of care is open to multiple interpretations, and therefore to disputes that judgement cannot resolve to the satisfaction of all parties.

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