An Emergent, Critical Realist, Understanding of Holism

Hornsby, I. (2019) An Emergent, Critical Realist, Understanding of Holism. In: Holism: Possibilities and Problems. Philosophy and Psychoanalysis, 1 . Routledge, London, pp. 130-140. ISBN 9780367424824

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Holism is one of the ‘muddier’ concepts in philosophy and psychology. It is a term that involves both an opposition to atomism, alongside the obscure notion that particular elements cannot be fully understood independently from the universal dimension of the whole. Any word that can be employed so widely, is probably being used to cover too much ground, as well as, too little, and as such, lacks a useful philosophical basis. In this chapter, Ian Hornsby sets out to construct a Critical Realist framework, taken from the early writings of Roy Bhaskar (an alternative to Poststructuralism’s solipsistic ‘linguistic turn’ and positivism’s ‘epistemic fallacy’), as a philosophical strategy for investigating holism in the writings of both Gilles Deleuze and C.G. Jung. The construction of bronze, from the forging together of tin and copper, has been used as a metaphor through which to observe holism as a form of emergence. Something that can be seen in Deleuze’s collaboration with Félix Guattari in the manner in which their writing points to the emergent properties within art as containing the ability to reterritorialize our relations with the world. ‘What defines the territory is the emergence of matters of expression (qualities) … Can this becoming, this emergence, be called art?’ A form of emergence can also be seen in Jung’s writings on the formation of the Transcendent Function, ‘which creates a transition from one attitude to another’ as the engine of individuation, where a third thing emerges from this process, ‘a changed situation’, ‘a new attitude’, through a dialogue between conscious and unconscious. By using small sections of sequential art to help elucidate particular ideas from Critical Realism, Hornsby addresses themes of emergence as these relate to our comprehension of what the world must be like for our understanding of it to make sense.

Publication Type: Book Sections
Additional Information: Part III: Philosophy: Chapter 12
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
N Fine Arts > NC Drawing. Design. Illustration
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Arts and Humanities > Theatre
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Ian Hornsby
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2019 16:31
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2021 10:40

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