Holism (holistic) (biological holism) - (from Greek holos "all, whole, entire") is the idea that systems and their properties should be viewed as wholes, not just as a collection of parts.
  • Summarized by Aristotle in his "Metaphysics": "The whole is more than the sum of its parts". However, the term "holism" was introduced into language by the South African statesman Jan Smuts as recently as 1926. (Smuts J. C. 1987 [1926]. Holism and evolution. Cape Town: N & S Press.)
Example: The Brookbush Institute promotes a holistic approach to human movement science, in which the muscular, fascial, articular and neural systems are not viewed as separable and all proximal segments are considered.

Related Terms

  • Reductionism
  • Emergence
  • Gestalt
  • Interdependence
  • Systems thinking
  • Synergy


  • Holism
  • holistic