The whole is less than the sum of its parts

Many western philosophies are based on the idea that 'The whole is more than the sum of its parts'. For example, Marx said that when you have enough factories producing enough stuff, that becomes Industrial Capitalism.

However, Tim Morton in Being ecological asserts that the whole is less than the sum of its parts. This is an idea that sounds so stupid that it's easy to reject.

For example, if we consider a person, there are many things inside that person that are not that person. The bacteria in their gut, their thoughts (which are fleeting and merely grasped) their internal organs (when dead and eaten by something for example). A football team contains football players - but also many other things. A brand, managers, a home ground. And each of these Objects has other objects comprising it. The football team is less than the sum of those parts.

Last update: 2022-02-26 22:24