Maarten Maartensz:    Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek                      

 W - Whole


Whole: Something that has parts and behaves as a unit.

There seem to be two basic kinds of wholes: Such as behave as a unit because they physically cohere, and such as behave as a unit because their parts interact systematically and collectively behave as and within the unit they are part of.

This roughly distinguishes coherent inanimate things, that e.g. move as a whole if one of their parts is moved, and animated things, that are made up of cooperating parts whose actions interdepend.

One way in which actions interdepend is that one part (bone-marrow) of something (a human being) may produce and emit parts (red bloodcells), often called output(s), that enter into other parts (blood-vessels), in which they are often said to be input(s), that again contribute to the first part (to keep the bone-marrow working); briefer and to the same effect: if the actions of one part are required or inhibitory for actions of another part.


See also: Mereology, Organization, Organism, Part, System, Structure


, Simons

 Original: Aug 8, 2004                                                 Last edited: 24 January 2012.   Top