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Holism Versus Reductionism

By Author: sherry roberts
Total Articles: 520

The research paper focuses on examining the concepts of holism and reductionism, their comparison, and their differences. The two concepts have wide applications, and it’s important to understand where each falls. Reductionism approach reduces complex phenomena to the interactions of their parts (Ostreng, 2002). According to the approach, a complex situation is a combination of the sum of its parts. Reductionism approach applies in the human sciences including economics, psychology, biology, and physics. On the other hand, holism is the approach that explains that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The approach views everything as wholes and no existence of the combination of its parts. The combination of parts may not necessarily result in the whole item (Ostreng, 2002). The understanding of the parts making up a whole item is not a guarantee that an individual will understand the whole. Thus, reductionism approach focuses on the logical, sequential, rational, analytical, and objective aspects that look at parts. On the contrary, the holism approach focuses on intuition, imagination, emotional, synthesizing, and subjective aspects that look at the holistic view. The appropriate method to resolve the standoff between the two approaches is to understand their meanings and purposes against their causes and effects.
In the holism concept, systems and substances have a holistic view and disregard the constituent parts thereof. The holism approach is on the relationship between the interconnectedness and interdependence of the parts of the system (Freeman & Joshua, 2005). Thus, the approach focuses on the natural system and its properties as wholes rather than the sum of the parts. The additive approach to the parts of a system to form the whole has less significance in holism. Thus, more focus is on the relationship of the parts and not on their particular properties leading to the holistic approach (Ostreng, 2002). The holism approach explains that not everything can have specific parts that define it. For instance, it is difficult to break down anger into pieces. Someone may argue that the movement of the face and body reactions are indicators of anger. However, the understanding of the body reactions when one is angry are cannot help in understanding the anger. Thus, the most applicable approach is handling anger as a holistic concept and not as the sum of its parts.
The major assumption in holism approach is that the properties of parts contribute to the understanding of the whole. However, the understanding of the properties can only be through the dynamics of the whole. Thus, the relationship between the components in the form of interconnectedness, interdependence, and interactions is the most significant aspect (Szmatka, 1999).
Holism approach applies in diverse areas. It helps the researchers to examine the processes and find conclusions on the complex information obtained from research. Also, the approach provides an understanding of a system in a collective manner as applicable in team spirit, group culture, and working as a whole in an organization.
Holism approach derives its understanding of systems thinking that helps in the understanding of how items influence each other within a whole system. According to systems thinking, some substances may disappear upon the decomposition of the system into parts. Thus, more focus should be on the whole and the relationship of the parts to help in explaining the system. The patterns of the relationships are also critical in understanding a whole system (Freeman & Joshua, 2005). Holism approach has applications in problem-solving in which system thinking helps in viewing a problem as a whole and not reacting on the specific parts. The concentration on the specific parts and events within the system may contribute to the development of other issues. Thus, the best approach is on the whole other than parts in isolation that helps to understand the habits and practices leading to the solution.

Sherry Roberts is the author of this paper. A senior editor at Melda Research in professional writing services if you need a similar paper you can place your order for a custom research paper from writing services online.

More About the Author

Author is associated with MeldaResearch.Com which is a global Custom Essay Writing and Term Paper Writing Company. If you would like help in Research Papers and Term Paper Help you can visit Custom Writing Service

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