Holism and Evolution



Publisher:Gestalt Journal Press

Authors:Jan C. Smuts, Jan Christiaan Smuts

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Holism and Evolution Description

Jan Christiaan Smuts was Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa from 1919 until 1924 and again from 1939 until 1948. He served in the First World War and as a British field marshal in the Second World War. A preeminent philosopher of his time, he pioneered the concept of holism, defined as "the tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts through creative evolution.” Smuts' formulation of holism has been linked with his political-military activity, especially his aspiration to create a league of nations. After Albert Einstein studied HOLISM AND EVOLUTION, he wrote that two mental constructs will direct human thinking in the next millennium, his own mental construct of relativity and Smuts' of holism. In the work of Smuts he saw a clear blueprint of much of his own life, work and personality. Smuts was an early influence on the thinking of the developer of Gestalt therapy, Frederick Perls during Perls’s stay in South Africa. Frederick Perls wrote of HOLISM AND EVOLUTION: "Our (South Africa's) Prime Minister, has the answer: ecology. Organism-as-a-whole — embedded-in-environment. This becomes the Unit. The objective-subjective identity is born." This Gestalt Journal Press edition is an exact reproduction of the original Macmillan and Company 1926 edition.

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