Author: Virgil Seutter
Date:     October 8, 1997
Parent Node:

5.0  Holism and Complexity: Cybernetics and Systems Theory  (5.0)

5.1. While the mechanist has devoted his time to the intricacies of nature, the holist has been searching for something more remote, something that ties it all together as a unifying theory that explains why it might all work as it does. Neither the mechanist, nor the holist, is certain about what he may find in his search. Either way, they both rely on ideas and theories to guide their search. Each has a unique idea or perspective that guides his inquiry into his particular and peculiar interests.

5.2. Holism as an approachable science began somewhere with the introduction of General Systems Theory (von Bertalanffy, 1968).  Systems theory was preeminently mathematical pursuing novel inquiry into the problem of overspecialization. It focused on computer science, cybernetics, automation and systems engineering. It approached systems as part of the problem of system and "control;" that everything was interconnected and organized in some way as a structured model of activity. It provided the basis for the "scientific exploration of 'wholes' and 'wholeness'" of things; something that transcended the metaphysical constructs in thinking to become more tangible as a scientific inquiry; something that blended philosophy and mathematics into less abstract, more concrete methods of viewing evolving systems in a "real world" setting as a modeling of the real thing (5.2)

5.3. The projection of a cybernetic system demonstrated itself as a simulation of events through mathematical and computational applications. Its application became part of information theory as a statistical and mathematical inquiry into various phases of the mechanistic systems that explored function through control and communication principles. It was readily adaptable to system studies involving biology, thermodynamics and life sciences to that of psychology, history, cultural and sociological trends, business applications, and even the medical paradigmatic inquiry (5.2).

5.4. The ability to view the holistic model in alternative medicine may require a construct in thinking normally reserved to the more exotic sciences. The emerging role of complexity science in the search for interrelationships between the parts and the wholes subordinates the mechanistic inquiry to that of an informational inquiry. It ventures into a paradigmatic shift from biomedicine to infomedicine.

Seutter, V. "Commentary: Holism, Alternative Medicine, and Why Chiropractic Embraces It. Holism and Complexity: Cybernetics and Systems Theory" Chiropractic Resource Organization. 8 Oct 1997. ChiroZine ISSN1525-4550
(c) 1997-2001 All rights reserved.

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(c) 1997 Chiropractic Resource Organization. All Rights Reserved. Reprint by permission.

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