• ontological;
  • ontical;
  • difference;
  • care;
  • intentional care;
  • nursing practice

Aims.  To explain the difficult Heideggerian concept of the ontological difference and then use it as a context to explain the misperceptions of Benner and Wrubel's reply to Edwards' criticism of the differences between ontological and intentional care.

Background.  Edwards' paper attempts to clarify what Benner and Wrubel actually mean by the category of ontological care. The latter's reply totally bypasses Edwards' criticisms because they have a misunderstanding of Heidegger's philosophy, which they use to support their arguments.

Conclusion.  Benner and Wrubel's claims that they are using Heidegger to underpin their arguments is wrong. This has the consequence that their category of ontological caring comes tumbling down and their philosophy is not as radical as they think it is.