Why Heidegger in nursing theory?

Are we looking for authenticity when trying to understand being-with? Are nurses using Heidegger to attain a deeper understanding of what they do yearning for, and trying to let happen, authenticity in the being-with of nurse-patient relationship? Pragmatically speaking, Heideggerian phenomenology, in its very quest for authenticity, can contribute to the quality of patient care, hence leading to better health outcomes.

Is care (Sorge), as the temporal structure of being (Sein), meaningful only when being tied in with authenticity, when openness towards being in Dasein is not obscured or obstructed, thus avoiding the ossifying concretion of Dasein as an object merely ready-to-hand without an authentic caring-for (Fürsorge)? These are all real challenges encountered in the situation – “situation” in the Heideggerian sense – of nursing care, noted in nurses’ own reflective practice and in patient (consumer) feedback.

Techne as physis: technology as nature

Nature, as physis, is self-arising; it is not produced by anyone, let alone human beings. Physis is not poiesis. In this fundamental aspect, Heidegger’s understanding of the nature of nature is more akin to the Chinese description of nature as ziran, which literally means “self-arising”. Hence through Heidegger, a hermeneutic bridge is built between physis and ziran, between ancient Greek thought and ancient Chinese thought, while ziran remains in usage in modern Chinese to mean “nature”.