A process in a community in which there is an effort to reorient knowledge towards some idea of the whole after prolonged consideration of parts.
This can manifest in transitions such as:
- Material → Form
- Analysis → Synthesis
- Composition → Structure
- Data → Model
- Causality → Appearances
- Mechanism → Intuition
- Scholarship → Design
Holism is usually conceived in opposition to reductionism. However, holism can itself become reductionistic.
A holism that urges us to focus on intuition and appearances, over mechanism and causality, is merely a reduction to the superficial. It is important to not consider reductionism in strict spatial terms by — for example — thinking of it as always concerning a move from big to small. More broadly, it is a narrowing of focus on some set of concerns at the expense of others.
Systemism is the unification of reductionism and holism, which is often characteristic of effective investigations.
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