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FRIMED-Klinisk medisin og folkehelse

From Divided Objects to Whole Subjects. Holistic Philosophy in Medicine.

Awarded: NOK 1.9 mill.

Project Number:


Application Type:

Project Period:

2005 - 2010


In the project From Divided Objects to Whole Subjects a theoretical study shall be carried out with the aim of developing and imparting a perspective in medicine that has been given little attention in today’s medicine. This perspective is the one that co ncerns the sick person and that attempts to define the concepts related to being a sick person. The theoretical basis for the project is the German-Continental tradition within medical anthropology and the attempt of the German physician and philosopher V iktor von Weizsäcker (1886-1957) to develop pathosophy, a doctrine about the sick person, in which the introduction of the subject into medicine is a central element. This tradition and this theorist have been given little attention in the Nordic and Angl o-American literature. The project shall discuss how a doctrine on the sick subject can be said to represent a more robust kind of holistic philosophy in medicine. With clinical medicine as a scientific basis, the project shall attempt to make visible the practical consequences of such a holistic understanding in medicine today. Principal objective: To impart and develop theoretical insight in medicine with the aim of presenting a practical manageable contribution to today’s medicine in order to take car e of the sick person in a better way, and thus to ensure the quality of medical practice in its meeting with the sick person. Sub-goals: 1. With the aid of a theoretical study, to illuminate what it involves to be perceived as and to exist in the world a s a sick person, and thus to contribute to making visible and developing pathosophy in medicine; 2. To contribute to a systematic presentation and discussion of the German-Continental tradition within medical anthropology; 3. To contribute to a clearer an d a more productive understanding of the concept of holism in medicine; 4. To make visible the possible consequences of the set of concepts developed in the project for today's medical practice.

Funding scheme:

FRIMED-Klinisk medisin og folkehelse