more from Verity Harte

Single Idea 15839

[catalogued under 9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / b. Sums of parts]

Full Idea

Holism inherits all the difficulties associated with the term 'sum' and adds one of its own, when it says a whole is 'more than' the sum of its parts. This seems to say it has something extra? Is this something extra a part?

Gist of Idea

If something is 'more than' the sum of its parts, is the extra thing another part, or not?


Verity Harte (Plato on Parts and Wholes [2002], 1.1)

Book Reference

Harte,Verity: 'Plato on Parts and Wholes' [OUP 2002], p.11

A Reaction

[compressed] Most people take the claim that a thing is more than the sum of its parts as metaphorical, I would think (except perhaps emergentists about the mind, and they are wrong).

Related Ideas

Idea 15838 The problem with the term 'sum' is that it is singular [Harte,V]

Idea 15840 If a syllable is more than its elements, is the extra bit also an element? [Aristotle]