The recent increase in the amount of published work relating reflection and reflective practice to nurses and nursing practice suggests that nurses value the opportunities which this approach is believed to provide There also appears to be an underlying assumption that we all share the same concepts, hence the association with Humpty Dumpty Indications of attempts to mechanize the processes and to endow the perceived skills with an élitism are becoming evident In contrast, there are other attempts to foster the notion of accepting uncertainty, unpredictability and the opportunity for increased understanding to emerge In this paper, the roots of some of these concepts are traced The appropriateness of traditional values and assumptions, based on natural science perspectives, in relation to reflective processes and the practice of nursing is questioned The development of a multi-faceted approach which takes account of differing contexts and the factors which influence them is suggested