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A pragmatist approach to the problem of knowledge in health psychology

Cornish, Flora ORCID: 0000-0002-3404-9385 and Gillespie, Alex ORCID: 0000-0002-0162-1269 (2009) A pragmatist approach to the problem of knowledge in health psychology. Journal of Health Psychology, 14 (6). pp. 800-809. ISSN 1359-1053

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1359105309338974


The multiplicity of forms of health-related knowledge, including biomedical knowledge, lay knowledge and critical constructionist knowledge, raises challenges for health researchers. On one hand, there is a demand for a pluralist acceptance of the variety of health-related knowledge. On the other, the need to improve health calls for action, and thus for choices between opposing forms of knowledge. The present article proposes a pragmatist approach to this epistemological problem. According to pragmatism, knowledge is a tool for action and as such it should be evaluated according to whether it serves our desired interests. We identify implications for research methodology and the choice of research goals.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 SAGE Publications
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2011 15:05
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 02:01

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