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Reorienting Esthetic Knowing as an Appropriate “Object” of Scientific Inquiry to Advance Understanding of a Critical Pattern of Nursing Knowledge in Practice

Bender, Miriam, PhD, RN; Elias, Dina, MSN, RN, CCSN

doi: 10.1097/ANS.0000000000000160
Original Articles

The esthetic pattern of knowing is critical for nursing practice, yet remains weakly defined and understood. This gap has arguably relegated esthetic knowing to an “ineffable” creativity that resists transparency and understanding, which is a barrier to articulating its value for nursing and its importance in producing beneficial health outcomes. Current philosophy of science developments are synthesized to argue that esthetic knowing is an appropriate “object” of scientific inquiry. Examples of empirical scholarship that can be conceived as scientific inquiry into manifestations of esthetic knowing are highlighted. A program of research is outlined to advance a science of esthetic knowing.

Program in Nursing Science, University of California, Irvine.

Correspondence: Miriam Bender, PhD, RN, Program in Nursing Science, University of California, Irvine, 252 Berk Hall, Irvine, CA 92697 (

The authors have no disclosures to report.

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