This discussion presents a critical appraisal of recent works in Advances in Nursing Science that have dealt with metatheoretical concerns. In metatheoretical analysis, such as that presented by Silva and Rothbart, nurses are beginning to focus on the traditions that have guided research. This process should be extended by reviewing historical stages of development in empiricist and postempiricist philosophy. Recent work in postempiricist philosophy is especially important since it can help nursing transcend historicist insights. Continental philosophy goes beyond historicist critique by focusing on practical discourse within a community of investigators. This is a stage of development that can be rationally decisive for the scientific development of nursing.
(C) 1985 Aspen Publishers, Inc.