We explain what holistic is and some examples of this perspective. Also, what are holistic vision and holistic education.
What is Holistic?
Holism, the general name for everything holistic, is a methodological and thought position that proposes the approach to systems of any kind: social, physical, biological, mental, etc., and their respective properties, from a total perspective, as a whole, and not purely through the elements that constitute them. In short, it is an overview of things, which prefers to consider the system as an integrated and global whole.
From a holistic perspective, any system considered is more complex than the mere sum of its parts, since the synergy between them produces the appreciable effect of the system, and not the individual properties of each one. In this way, holism is totally contrary to the reductionist vision, according to which everything that exists can be analyzed by examining its constituent elements.
In simpler terms, holism proposes that certain properties of things cannot be found in their component elements, but emerge only when they integrate a whole. This is how the Greek philosopher Aristotle defined it in his Metaphysics: “The whole is more than the sum of its parts.”
This term is applied to various fields of knowledge, such as medicine or education, to propose an approach to the subject that considers the problems as an integral whole.
Examples of Holistic
Some possible examples of this philosophy are:
Or holistic medicine, whose basic approach is not to seek the cure of ailments in a single affected point, as if they were spare parts, but in the entire functioning of the body, thus aiming at bodily harmony and the re-establishment of a certain balance.
It is a perception of the human brain that considers it an operational whole, an interrelation, and considers it a mistake to approach each region of the organ based on its specific functions.
The holistic interpretation
A historical event can be approached from a specific, contextual interpretation, or rather as a process framed in a historical whole of processes that are interrelated and that make up a global dynamic.
You can have a holistic view of anything. In strict terms, a holistic vision would be one that considers the entire system or problem first, rather than its component parts. This vision can provide a more complete understanding of the whole and undoubtedly prevents us from losing sight of it by concentrating on its elements. For example, a holistic doctor would prefer to think of his patient’s illness as a general condition of the body, rather than as a focal problem of an organ.
In the latter, however, there is the problem of holism, since it fails to legitimize its positions against the scientific method, since by maintaining the total perspective, details and specifications related to its interior elements are lost.
Similarly, holistic education or integral holistic learning is an educational doctrine or philosophy whose approach is that people understand their place in the world, their identity and relationship with themselves, or their personal meaning, through connection with the community, with others. To do this, it emphasizes concepts such as compassion, peace and emotional connection, in search of devotion to learning along with love for life.
This paradigm should not be confused with religious education of any kind. It is not a spiritual or moral educational model, so much as a worldview and a complex network of connections.