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The ontology of person-centered healthcare: Theoretical essentials to reground medicine within its humanistic framework. Part I - A centered concept of personhood: Some tools to conceptualise subjectivity

Thomas Frölich, F F Bevier, Alicja Babakhani, Hannah H Chisholm, Peter Henningsen, David S Miall, Seija Sandberg, Argogast Schmitt

Abstract


To address subjectivity, as a generally rooted phenomenon, other ways of visualisation must be applied than in conventional objectivistic approaches. Using ‘trees’ as operational metaphors, as employed in Arthur Cayley’s ‘theory of the analytical forms called trees’, one rooted ‘tree’ must be set beneath the other and, if such ‘trees’ are combined, the resulting ‘forest’ is nevertheless made up of individual ‘trees’ and not of a deconstructed mix of ‘roots’, ‘branches’, ‘leaves’ or further categories, each understood as addressable both jointly and individually. The reasons for why we have chosen a graph theory and corresponding discrete mathematics as an approach and application are set out in this first of our three articles. It combines two approaches that, in combination, are quite uncommon and which are therefore not immediately familiar to all readers. But as simple as it is to imagine a tree, or a forest, it is equally simple to imagine a child blowing soap bubbles with the aid of a blow ring. A little more challenging, perhaps, is the additional idea of arranging such blow rings in series, transforming the size of the soap bubble in one ring after the other. To finally combine both pictures, the one of trees and the other of blow rings, goes beyond simple imagination, especially when we prolong the imagined blow ring becoming a tunnel, with a specific inner shape. The inner shape of the blow ring and its expansion as a tunnel are understood as determined by discrete qualities, each forming an internal continuity, depicted as a scale, with the scales combined in the form of a glyph plot. The different positions on these scales determine their length and if the endpoints of the spines are connected with an enveloping line then this corresponds to the free space left open in the tunnel to go through it. Using so many visualisation techniques at once is testing. Nevertheless, this is what we propose here and to facilitate such a visualisation within the imagination, we do it step by step. As the intended result of this ‘juggling of three balls’, as it were, we end up with a concept of how living beings elaborate their principal structure to enable controlled outside-inside communication.


Keywords


Biostatistics, discrete mathematics, graph theory, hermeneutics, humanism, humanities, logic of communication, objectivity, ontology, person-centered healthcare, subjectivity, topology

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5750/ejpch.v6i1.1375

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