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wholeness propertyGanzeigenschaft (ger.)

  • Poperties of a whole that its components in isolation do not have.

    Daß Gegebene ist an sich, in verschiedenem Grade »gestattet«: gegeben sind mehr oder weniger durchstrukturierte, mehr oder weniger bestimmte Ganze und Ganzprozesse, mit vielfach sehr konkreten Ganzeigenschaften, mit inneren Gesetzlichkeiten, charakteristischen Ganztendenzen, mit Ganzbedingtheiten für ihre Teile.

    Wertheimer, M. (1922). Untersuchungen zur Lehre von der Gestalt, I. Psychol. Forsch.1, 47-58: 52; 55; id. (1923). Untersuchungen zur Lehre von der Gestalt, II. Psychol. Forsch. 4, 301-350: 325.


    Gestalt theory took the view that the wholeness property is given rather than evolved from the combination of simpler elements.

    Moreno, J.L. (ed.) (1966). Proceedings of the ‎International Council of Group Psychotherapy: 299.


    Quantum mechanics fails both because of complexity and because the only general technique we have in it for dealing with complexity, namely breaking the complex system into simpler subsystems, falls afoul of the “wholeness” property of quantum systems. As we are forced to analyzse biological systems into subsystems in order to make any progress in theory at all, we are thereby forced into approximations which preculde talking as if we can define the quantum state of the whole sysem, or even to distinguish between lare classes of states like dead and alive.

    Rothstein, J. (1991). Non-dichotomous, relative and hierarchical aspects of life and death. In: Ji, S. (ed.). Molecular Theories of Cell Life and Death, 324-360: 342.