Holism is the notion that a whole organism is always much more than the sum of its parts. Coined by Jan Smuts in 1926 in his book Holism and Evolution, holism presented an alternate theoretical construct to reductionist and mechanistic theories. Smuts presented a theoretical position of fundamental influence—from a cellular level and extending to the entire universe—on the creation or formation of wholes. Important to his theory of holism was the idea that the essence of the whole is indeed impacted by subdivisions. This stood in contrast to established reductionist theories that maintained the whole is merely a sum of its parts and mechanistic theories that assumed the subdivision of the whole is possible with no loss of condition or quality. Further, mechanistic systems ...

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