Holism: Some Historical Aspects

  • Silvana Procacci


A favourite thesis of the holistic and organismic biology is that the parts of organic wholes exhibit patterns of behaviour that do not show and are not predictable outside these wholes. The main task of holistic and organicistic movement is to defend the autonomy of biological science in comparison with the sciences of the inorganic phenomena. The second meaning of Holism is therefore to isolate a sense in which we can demonstrate a causal power of the whole on to the parts. Another important point is the active role of the organism in the adaptive process. Through the analysis of the conception of one of the pioneers of holistic doctrine, J.C. Smuts, we can understand the importance of Holism for the history of biology.


Causal Power Human Personality Historical Aspect General System Theory Organismic Biology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvana Procacci
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze filosoficheUniversità degli Studi di PerugiaPerugiaItaly

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