Holism (from Greek holos "all, whole, entire") is the idea that systems (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic, etc.) and their properties should be viewed as wholes, not as collections of parts. This often includes the view that systems function as wholes and that their functioning cannot be fully understood solely in terms of their component parts.
The term Holism was coined by J C Smuts in Holism and Evolution. It was Smuts' opinion that Holism is a concept that represents all of the wholes in the universe, and it is a factor because the wholes it denotes are the real factors in the universe. Further, it was his opinion that Holism also denoted a theory of the universe in the same vein as Materialism and Spiritualism; that the ultimate reality in the universe is neither matter nor spirit but wholes as defined in Holism and Evolution. While he offered these different definitions, Smuts clearly stated his opinion that its primary and proper use was to denote the totality of wholes which operate as real factors and give to reality its dynamic evolutionary creative character. :120–121 Aside from the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, the editor has been unable to identify authoritative secondary sources corroborating Smuts' definitions. When elaborations for the mental, personal and social categories are provided, and a case is made that Holism is a bonafide monistic ontology, we can revisit the vision of Holism . . . more