Reading concept analysis: Why Draper has a point

Nursing Philosophy 20 (4):e12252 (2019)
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Abstract

Peter Draper has offered a critique of concept analysis in nursing, suggesting that many concept analysis studies can be regarded as low‐grade literature reviews. Although I will argue en passant that he was right, defending Draper is not my main concern in this paper. Instead, I undertake a close reading of a single study, and identify a series of puzzles about what it says. The puzzles pertain to the distinction between concept and phenomenon; the function of definition; discriminating between the concept of interest and other concepts; how defining attributes are derived; in what sense concept analysis clarifies the concept; whether concept analysis can adjudicate current debates; the role of model cases. The point is to show how a precise and detailed interrogation of this kind sets an agenda of questions which can be asked about other examples of the same genre. The approach gives rise to concerns about the politics of reading in the current academic environment, and I refer to these concerns briefly at the end.

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