Holism

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Holism refers to any approach that emphasizes the whole, rather than the constituent parts of a system. Holistic accounts of the world look for how an entity forms part of some larger whole and is defined by its relations and functioning within that broader system. What all holistic approaches have in common includes the principle that the whole has priority over its parts and the assumption that some properties of the whole cannot be explained by the properties of its parts—the idea of emergence. Within this paradigm, the ultimate sources of knowledge are seen to derive not from elementary component parts but, instead, from a reference to the system’s broader context. Given that something can only be properly understood within its context, to gain a fuller understanding of something requires gaining a greater understanding of the environment or context.

2016-10-17T16:06:50+00:00