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August 9, 2020 / Congau


A double half is less than a whole. Many parts, considered as parts, never make up an entirety. The whole is indivisible.

A society is made up of individuals, thousands and millions of them, tiny pieces, and each one of them is the most complete entity. When everyone contributes his minuscule share, it finally adds up and forms a society. As such a society does not exist.

A society is not made up of individuals. One of them can be removed, thousands can be excluded, but this undefinable something that makes up a particular society will remain. The cultural or habitual collective constitutes a social behavior that is not dependent on what any number of individuals actually do. 

When describing an object, you don’t cut it into parts and analyze them separately. A machine may consist of nuts and bolts but studying each of these pieces separately will only confuse you about the meaning and purpose of the entire machine. A detail doesn’t make sense when separated from the whole. 

A half has no meaning. Why divide it in such a fashion? Why cut it through that particular line and not another? Only the whole is meaningful. 

But the whole is not self-defined. What is the most elementary unit? The individual is a whole, and society is a whole, but only when defined from its own perspective. One individual is not a millionth part of society, and one society is not an individual times a million. One element is chosen and called a unit and from that perspective it becomes one. Both the individual and society are wholes and neither of them is. It all depends on what you decide to focus on.

But once you point to it and give it a name, it is a whole without a moiety.

One Comment

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  1. Matthieu / May 17 2021 11:04 am

    Yes ! Emergence is the mother of new wholes from many parts 🙂

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