The purpose of this article is to open discussion about the traditional health science research view of what constitutes valid knowledge and theory. Using an approach from the philosophy of science, this article breaks with the paradigm of "science as usual." It argues that scholars who study values, caring ethical practice, and power relations experience difficulties if the knowledge generated by their research is judged on the basis of "science as usual." In order to elucidate this problem, the Socratic epistemological theory is discussed, particularly in light of Flyvbjerg's (2001) theory of time, space, and the significance of context in research design. The article concludes with an appeal to further refine and apply Flyvbjerg's methodological insights to the health sciences.
International Journal for Human Caring, 2006, Vol 10, Issue 1, p. 22-27