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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to show that Collins and Fielder (1981) misinterpreted Beckstrand's (1978a, 1978b, 1980) thesis, and to criticize their argument against the idea that theory in nursing can be borrowed from the existing body of scientific and ethical knowledge. Collins and Fielder employed a question-begging definition of theory and distorted Beckstrand's claim in a way that made it easier to attack. In addition, emotional language and appeals to authority were frequently substituted for careful analysis of the issues. I agree that much of the theory needed in nursing cannot be borrowed even though it is likely to be scientific and ethical in form. As a result, I have tried to give some better reasons for believing that theory needed in nursing cannot be borrowed. In addition, many issues concerning the conception of theory in nursing are addressed in this article.