Free
Research Article  |   July 2009
Infinite Distance Between the I and the It
Author Affiliations
  • Elizabeth J. Yerxa, EdD, LHD (Hon.), ScD (Hon.), DMD (Hon.), OTR Ret., FAOTA, is Distinguished Professor Emerita, University of Southern California, Route 1, 196 Columbine, Bishop, CA 93514; eyerxa@schat.net
Article Information
Ethics / Professional Issues
Research Article   |   July 2009
Infinite Distance Between the I and the It
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2009, Vol. 63, 490-497. doi:10.5014/ajot.63.4.490
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2009, Vol. 63, 490-497. doi:10.5014/ajot.63.4.490
Abstract

Traditional science and medical practice in the 21st century often separate the I of consciousness, the person who experiences daily life, from the it of an object that can be probed, tested, and fixed. This separation may also influence the development of occupational science and the practice of occupational therapy to the detriment of the profession. Occupation must be done and experienced by an I who initiates it and is conscious of its effects. Occupational science needs to become an integral science uniting the I of intention with the it of behavior, the we of cultures and the they of social systems. Our scholars need to debate the unique nature of our science, identify the ethics and values central to inquiry and intervention, and broaden and personalize the evidence sought to demonstrate the efficacy of practice. The mission of integral occupational science will be to promote human flourishing.