The fictionalist paradigm

Nursing Philosophy 12 (1):53-66 (2011)
The fictionalist paradigm is introduced, and differentiated from other paradigms, using the Lincoln & Guba template. Following an initial overview, the axioms of fictionalism are delineated by reference to standard metaphysical categories: the nature of reality, the relationship between knower and known, the possibility of generalization, the possibility of causal linkages, and the role of values in inquiry. Although a paradigm's ‘basic beliefs’ are arbitrary and can be assumed for any reason, in this paper the fictionalist axioms are supported with philosophical considerations, and the key differences between fictionalism, positivism, and constructivism are briefly explained. Paradigm characteristics are then derived, focusing particularly on the methodological consequences. Towards the end of the paper, various objections and misunderstandings are discussed
Keywords positivism  fiction  constructivism  paradigm  methodology
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DOI 10.1111/j.1466-769X.2010.00470.x
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