One of the tenets of holism is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Applying this theorem epistemologically, we could say that a holistic view is greater than the sum of the specialized views that contribute to it. Within the framework of three divergent worldviews (mechanistic, organismic and contextual) as originally proposed by Pepper (World hypotheses: A study in evidence, University of California Press, Los Angeles, 1961), holism as both a philosophical position and a practical approach to research is applied to the study of adult human development. Because spiritual development has received less scholarly attention than biological, cognitive, or emotional functioning, topics such as meditation research, non-religious spirituality, and the concept of soul are covered to promote a balanced developmental perspective. Historical and philosophical factors leading to holism are described, a sampling of interdisciplinary dialogue between psychology and theology is presented, and conclusions regarding the need for holistic thinking and the relationship between religion and spirituality are offered.
Journal of Adult Development – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 17, 2009
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