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Is the Whole the Sum of Its Parts?

bsh1
Posts: 27,503
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6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Is the "whole" the sum of its parts, or does it transcend its composite elements?

There is a sense in which I might say that a slice of cake is simply eggs, flour, chocolate, etc. It is 100% composed by those elements that went into its creation; nothing else (at least, nothing quantifiable) went into it, so how could be any more than its parts However, this intuition seems experientially wrong. Taking a bite of cake is something more than just consuming a bundle of eggs, flour, chocolate, etc.

Moreover, if we define an object, such as a human, as having certain constituent parts (e.g. hands, feet, organs, etc.) and I lose one of those parts, am I no longer human? How much can I lose before I can no longer be described as a human? There really is no non-arbitrary threshold, which makes it nigh impossible to say. It seems, therefore, that I am more than the parts that make me up. This also seems true of all objects in a sense: the experience of biting a piece cake is more than just experiencing a bunch of atoms buzzing around in my mouth. There is something more to that--ineffable, maybe, but present, definitely.

So, what are your thoughts? Is the whole the sum of its parts, or can/is the whole greater than it's parts?
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

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kasmic
Posts: 1,302
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6/10/2015 7:14:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Is the "whole" the sum of its parts, or does it transcend its composite elements?

There is a sense in which I might say that a slice of cake is simply eggs, flour, chocolate, etc. It is 100% composed by those elements that went into its creation; nothing else (at least, nothing quantifiable) went into it, so how could be any more than its parts However, this intuition seems experientially wrong. Taking a bite of cake is something more than just consuming a bundle of eggs, flour, chocolate, etc.

Moreover, if we define an object, such as a human, as having certain constituent parts (e.g. hands, feet, organs, etc.) and I lose one of those parts, am I no longer human? How much can I lose before I can no longer be described as a human? There really is no non-arbitrary threshold, which makes it nigh impossible to say. It seems, therefore, that I am more than the parts that make me up. This also seems true of all objects in a sense: the experience of biting a piece cake is more than just experiencing a bunch of atoms buzzing around in my mouth. There is something more to that--ineffable, maybe, but present, definitely.

So, what are your thoughts? Is the whole the sum of its parts, or can/is the whole greater than it's parts?
on balance,

The whole is greater than its parts
"Liberalism Defined" http://www.debate.org...
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bsh1
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6/10/2015 9:04:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 7:14:48 PM, kasmic wrote:
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Is the "whole" the sum of its parts, or does it transcend its composite elements?

There is a sense in which I might say that a slice of cake is simply eggs, flour, chocolate, etc. It is 100% composed by those elements that went into its creation; nothing else (at least, nothing quantifiable) went into it, so how could be any more than its parts However, this intuition seems experientially wrong. Taking a bite of cake is something more than just consuming a bundle of eggs, flour, chocolate, etc.

Moreover, if we define an object, such as a human, as having certain constituent parts (e.g. hands, feet, organs, etc.) and I lose one of those parts, am I no longer human? How much can I lose before I can no longer be described as a human? There really is no non-arbitrary threshold, which makes it nigh impossible to say. It seems, therefore, that I am more than the parts that make me up. This also seems true of all objects in a sense: the experience of biting a piece cake is more than just experiencing a bunch of atoms buzzing around in my mouth. There is something more to that--ineffable, maybe, but present, definitely.

So, what are your thoughts? Is the whole the sum of its parts, or can/is the whole greater than it's parts?
on balance,

The whole is greater than its parts

Why do you say that?
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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: http://www.debate.org...

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kasmic
Posts: 1,302
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6/10/2015 9:22:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
on balance,

The whole is greater than its parts

Why do you say that?

Aristotle once said that "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts." What individuals can accomplish by themselves is nothing compared to what can be accomplished as a society. The amount of Liberty a society can create is much greater than that which a solitary person could create.

I say on balance because the individual parts have value and that should not be ignored. For example, the ingredients you listed, each are needed for the desired result, but the end result is worth more than the sum of its parts.

Likewise the parts of a car are valuable, the car as a whole would not work if say the axel where left off, or the engine is out. Though it seems obvious to me that the utility produced by the car as a whole increases the value and thus the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
"Liberalism Defined" http://www.debate.org...
"The Social Contract" http://www.debate.org...
"Intro to IR An Open Discussion" http://www.debate.org...

Check out my website, the Sensible Soapbox http://www.sensiblesoapbox.com...
My latest article: http://www.sensiblesoapbox.com...
kasmic
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6/10/2015 9:31:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 9:22:29 PM, kasmic wrote:
on balance,

The whole is greater than its parts

Why do you say that?

Aristotle once said that "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts." What individuals can accomplish by themselves is nothing compared to what can be accomplished as a society. The amount of Liberty a society can create is much greater than that which a solitary person could create.

I say on balance because the individual parts have value and that should not be ignored. For example, the ingredients you listed, each are needed for the desired result, but the end result is worth more than the sum of its parts.

Likewise the parts of a car are valuable, the car as a whole would not work if say the axel where left off, or the engine is out. Though it seems obvious to me that the utility produced by the car as a whole increases the value and thus the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Keep in mind I am not a philosophy buff... I won't be offended if you dismiss my reasoning. Basically the utility of the whole is the value added or that exceeds the value of the parts.
"Liberalism Defined" http://www.debate.org...
"The Social Contract" http://www.debate.org...
"Intro to IR An Open Discussion" http://www.debate.org...

Check out my website, the Sensible Soapbox http://www.sensiblesoapbox.com...
My latest article: http://www.sensiblesoapbox.com...
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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6/11/2015 3:02:45 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:

Kasmic pretty much nailed it. However the whole can also be less than the sum of its parts, for example gears covered in sand are of less utility than gears and sand on their own.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Philocat
Posts: 728
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6/11/2015 5:36:05 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
This comes back to Aristotle's four causes that all come together to provide a complete explanation for something.

Material cause: what the thing is made of

Efficient cause: the process that actualised the reality of something

Formal cause: the 'form' of the thing, meaning it's structure and how it all fits together

Final cause: the reason why that thing exists

For example, a car's material cause is the raw materials (i.e metal) that it is made of; it's efficient cause is the production line, the formal cause is the blueprint and design of the car, and the final cause is the desire for people to own cars.

When we consider the whole, it's parts are only the material cause. The whole is also its form, purpose and process by which it is made.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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6/11/2015 5:44:38 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Is the "whole" the sum of its parts, or does it transcend its composite elements?

There is a sense in which I might say that a slice of cake is simply eggs, flour, chocolate, etc. It is 100% composed by those elements that went into its creation; nothing else (at least, nothing quantifiable) went into it, so how could be any more than its parts However, this intuition seems experientially wrong. Taking a bite of cake is something more than just consuming a bundle of eggs, flour, chocolate, etc.

Moreover, if we define an object, such as a human, as having certain constituent parts (e.g. hands, feet, organs, etc.) and I lose one of those parts, am I no longer human? How much can I lose before I can no longer be described as a human? There really is no non-arbitrary threshold, which makes it nigh impossible to say. It seems, therefore, that I am more than the parts that make me up. This also seems true of all objects in a sense: the experience of biting a piece cake is more than just experiencing a bunch of atoms buzzing around in my mouth. There is something more to that--ineffable, maybe, but present, definitely.

So, what are your thoughts? Is the whole the sum of its parts, or can/is the whole greater than it's parts?

Well, existentialism aside. It's demonstrably false that any object only possesses the attributes of its parts. E.g. Water is hydrogen atoms bonded to oxygen atoms, the parts in isolation (or even when you summate them, since we have two gasses going to one liquid) have very different chemical properties to the whole no matter which way you cut it.

That is not to say the whole is "greater" than the parts, only that it possesses different properties. Even the chocolate bar example has different properties. For example, a chocolate bar is the sum of 16 squares of chocolate, however the bar of chocolate has additional attributes of shape, mechanical properties, melting dynamics, etc. than the pieces, or the sum of the pieces would entail.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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6/11/2015 5:59:57 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Is the "whole" the sum of its parts, or does it transcend its composite elements?

There is a sense in which I might say that a slice of cake is simply eggs, flour, chocolate, etc. It is 100% composed by those elements that went into its creation; nothing else (at least, nothing quantifiable) went into it, so how could be any more than its parts However, this intuition seems experientially wrong. Taking a bite of cake is something more than just consuming a bundle of eggs, flour, chocolate, etc.

Moreover, if we define an object, such as a human, as having certain constituent parts (e.g. hands, feet, organs, etc.) and I lose one of those parts, am I no longer human? How much can I lose before I can no longer be described as a human? There really is no non-arbitrary threshold, which makes it nigh impossible to say. It seems, therefore, that I am more than the parts that make me up. This also seems true of all objects in a sense: the experience of biting a piece cake is more than just experiencing a bunch of atoms buzzing around in my mouth. There is something more to that--ineffable, maybe, but present, definitely.

So, what are your thoughts? Is the whole the sum of its parts, or can/is the whole greater than it's parts?

I think you are asking if reductionism is adequate, and the answer is no, emergent properties just can't be fit into a reductionist model. Reductionism is a mechanistic perspective that is completely at variance with the rich, dynamic, evolving nature of the reality that we observe and experience.

Scientifically speaking, it's clear that as component parts are aggregated, complexity increases, and properties emerge that were not contained in the parts. Philosophically speaking, it's clear that supervenient structures bear properties that do not maintain in subvenient parts.

Full understanding cannot come from the study of the parts in isolation, the study of higher organizational levels in larger wholes is also essential. As complexity increases, understanding is dependent on a wider context of interpretation, the whole must be viewed dynamically and relationally rather than in purely static terms of reductionism. Understanding requires a multilevel view of reality and recognition of the emergence of new kinds of events at higher levels of organization.

Because the higher order structure cannot be reduced, emergent properties are ontologically novel with the capacity to exhibit behavior that its constituents, in sum, cannot. With emergent properties the behavior of the whole is not found in the individual behavior of each part, it is the result of the interactions between them. Complex wholes exhibit behavior that are not identical to, or reducible to, or predictable from, or deducible from their bases.

In the end, complex wholes are highly integrated and dynamic pattern of interdependent events in which parts contribute to and are modified by the unified activity of the whole.

If you take apart a radio, separate its components and analyze each and every one perfectly, you will only understand it's parts, the thing you will not do is hear any music and you will have missed the entire point.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Welfare-Worker
Posts: 1,157
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6/11/2015 7:33:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/11/2015 3:02:45 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:

Kasmic pretty much nailed it. However the whole can also be less than the sum of its parts, for example gears covered in sand are of less utility than gears and sand on their own.

Except the sand is not part of the gears.
Proximity does not determine relationship.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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6/11/2015 7:58:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/11/2015 7:33:43 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 3:02:45 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:

Kasmic pretty much nailed it. However the whole can also be less than the sum of its parts, for example gears covered in sand are of less utility than gears and sand on their own.

Except the sand is not part of the gears.
Proximity does not determine relationship.
It all comes down to one's mereology.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Welfare-Worker
Posts: 1,157
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6/11/2015 8:08:24 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/11/2015 7:58:32 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/11/2015 7:33:43 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 3:02:45 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:

Kasmic pretty much nailed it. However the whole can also be less than the sum of its parts, for example gears covered in sand are of less utility than gears and sand on their own.

Except the sand is not part of the gears.
Proximity does not determine relationship.
It all comes down to one's mereology.

And what is yours?
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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6/11/2015 8:16:59 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/11/2015 8:08:24 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 7:58:32 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/11/2015 7:33:43 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 3:02:45 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:

Kasmic pretty much nailed it. However the whole can also be less than the sum of its parts, for example gears covered in sand are of less utility than gears and sand on their own.

Except the sand is not part of the gears.
Proximity does not determine relationship.
It all comes down to one's mereology.

And what is yours?
I sympathize with universalism.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Welfare-Worker
Posts: 1,157
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6/11/2015 8:22:41 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/11/2015 8:16:59 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/11/2015 8:08:24 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 7:58:32 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/11/2015 7:33:43 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 3:02:45 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:

Kasmic pretty much nailed it. However the whole can also be less than the sum of its parts, for example gears covered in sand are of less utility than gears and sand on their own.

Except the sand is not part of the gears.
Proximity does not determine relationship.
It all comes down to one's mereology.

And what is yours?
I sympathize with universalism.

My condolences, and apologies.
I am only familiar with the universalism regarding religion, which hardly applies to sand and gears.
How does the universalism of yours address proximity?
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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6/11/2015 8:41:12 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/11/2015 8:22:41 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 8:16:59 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/11/2015 8:08:24 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 7:58:32 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/11/2015 7:33:43 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 3:02:45 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:

Kasmic pretty much nailed it. However the whole can also be less than the sum of its parts, for example gears covered in sand are of less utility than gears and sand on their own.

Except the sand is not part of the gears.
Proximity does not determine relationship.
It all comes down to one's mereology.

And what is yours?
I sympathize with universalism.

My condolences, and apologies.
I am only familiar with the universalism regarding religion, which hardly applies to sand and gears.
How does the universalism of yours address proximity?
Things compose an object if and only if they do not spatially overlap.
I think it's the most commonly accepted view, although it looks mad to everyone else.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Welfare-Worker
Posts: 1,157
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6/11/2015 8:55:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/11/2015 8:41:12 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/11/2015 8:22:41 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 8:16:59 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/11/2015 8:08:24 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 7:58:32 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/11/2015 7:33:43 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 3:02:45 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:

Kasmic pretty much nailed it. However the whole can also be less than the sum of its parts, for example gears covered in sand are of less utility than gears and sand on their own.

Except the sand is not part of the gears.
Proximity does not determine relationship.
It all comes down to one's mereology.

And what is yours?
I sympathize with universalism.

My condolences, and apologies.
I am only familiar with the universalism regarding religion, which hardly applies to sand and gears.
How does the universalism of yours address proximity?
Things compose an object if and only if they do not spatially overlap.
I think it's the most commonly accepted view, although it looks mad to everyone else.

So how does this universalism explain the similarities or differences in these two situations:
A human heart with a military knife inserted by an assailant.
A human heart with a scalpel inserted by a heart surgeon.
Are both blades a part of the heart?
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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6/11/2015 8:58:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/11/2015 8:55:44 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 8:41:12 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/11/2015 8:22:41 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 8:16:59 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/11/2015 8:08:24 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 7:58:32 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/11/2015 7:33:43 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 3:02:45 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:

Kasmic pretty much nailed it. However the whole can also be less than the sum of its parts, for example gears covered in sand are of less utility than gears and sand on their own.

Except the sand is not part of the gears.
Proximity does not determine relationship.
It all comes down to one's mereology.

And what is yours?
I sympathize with universalism.

My condolences, and apologies.
I am only familiar with the universalism regarding religion, which hardly applies to sand and gears.
How does the universalism of yours address proximity?
Things compose an object if and only if they do not spatially overlap.
I think it's the most commonly accepted view, although it looks mad to everyone else.

So how does this universalism explain the similarities or differences in these two situations:
A human heart with a military knife inserted by an assailant.
A human heart with a scalpel inserted by a heart surgeon.
Are both blades a part of the heart?
They are not necessarily part of the heart, they form, together with the heart, a genuine object.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Welfare-Worker
Posts: 1,157
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6/11/2015 9:08:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/11/2015 8:58:58 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/11/2015 8:55:44 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 8:41:12 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/11/2015 8:22:41 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 8:16:59 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/11/2015 8:08:24 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 7:58:32 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/11/2015 7:33:43 AM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 6/11/2015 3:02:45 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:

Kasmic pretty much nailed it. However the whole can also be less than the sum of its parts, for example gears covered in sand are of less utility than gears and sand on their own.

Except the sand is not part of the gears.
Proximity does not determine relationship.
It all comes down to one's mereology.

And what is yours?
I sympathize with universalism.

My condolences, and apologies.
I am only familiar with the universalism regarding religion, which hardly applies to sand and gears.
How does the universalism of yours address proximity?
Things compose an object if and only if they do not spatially overlap.
I think it's the most commonly accepted view, although it looks mad to everyone else.

So how does this universalism explain the similarities or differences in these two situations:
A human heart with a military knife inserted by an assailant.
A human heart with a scalpel inserted by a heart surgeon.
Are both blades a part of the heart?
They are not necessarily part of the heart, they form, together with the heart, a genuine object.

Yes, an unusual perspective.
tejretics
Posts: 6,080
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6/11/2015 10:55:02 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Is the "whole" the sum of its parts, or does it transcend its composite elements?

There is a sense in which I might say that a slice of cake is simply eggs, flour, chocolate, etc. It is 100% composed by those elements that went into its creation; nothing else (at least, nothing quantifiable) went into it, so how could be any more than its parts However, this intuition seems experientially wrong. Taking a bite of cake is something more than just consuming a bundle of eggs, flour, chocolate, etc.

Moreover, if we define an object, such as a human, as having certain constituent parts (e.g. hands, feet, organs, etc.) and I lose one of those parts, am I no longer human? How much can I lose before I can no longer be described as a human? There really is no non-arbitrary threshold, which makes it nigh impossible to say. It seems, therefore, that I am more than the parts that make me up. This also seems true of all objects in a sense: the experience of biting a piece cake is more than just experiencing a bunch of atoms buzzing around in my mouth. There is something more to that--ineffable, maybe, but present, definitely.

So, what are your thoughts? Is the whole the sum of its parts, or can/is the whole greater than it's parts?

It *CAN* be the sum of its parts, but not necessarily, viz. fallacy of composition ;D
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Saint_of_Me
Posts: 2,402
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6/11/2015 1:30:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Sometimes, yes.

But sometimes the individual parts, when combined, actually increase in their strength or potency in certain combinations. To degrees much more powerful then if they were individualized. Or "on their own."

This is called Synergy. And the affect is called Synergistic.
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.
ben2974
Posts: 767
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6/11/2015 1:52:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Is the "whole" the sum of its parts, or does it transcend its composite elements?

There is a sense in which I might say that a slice of cake is simply eggs, flour, chocolate, etc. It is 100% composed by those elements that went into its creation; nothing else (at least, nothing quantifiable) went into it, so how could be any more than its parts However, this intuition seems experientially wrong. Taking a bite of cake is something more than just consuming a bundle of eggs, flour, chocolate, etc.

Moreover, if we define an object, such as a human, as having certain constituent parts (e.g. hands, feet, organs, etc.) and I lose one of those parts, am I no longer human? How much can I lose before I can no longer be described as a human? There really is no non-arbitrary threshold, which makes it nigh impossible to say. It seems, therefore, that I am more than the parts that make me up. This also seems true of all objects in a sense: the experience of biting a piece cake is more than just experiencing a bunch of atoms buzzing around in my mouth. There is something more to that--ineffable, maybe, but present, definitely.

So, what are your thoughts? Is the whole the sum of its parts, or can/is the whole greater than it's parts?

The answer to your cupcake: chemistry

Humans: genetics. You cut off an arm, and you're still a human.

/thread
xXCryptoXx
Posts: 5,000
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6/12/2015 12:18:59 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Is the "whole" the sum of its parts, or does it transcend its composite elements?

There is a sense in which I might say that a slice of cake is simply eggs, flour, chocolate, etc. It is 100% composed by those elements that went into its creation; nothing else (at least, nothing quantifiable) went into it, so how could be any more than its parts However, this intuition seems experientially wrong. Taking a bite of cake is something more than just consuming a bundle of eggs, flour, chocolate, etc.

Moreover, if we define an object, such as a human, as having certain constituent parts (e.g. hands, feet, organs, etc.) and I lose one of those parts, am I no longer human? How much can I lose before I can no longer be described as a human? There really is no non-arbitrary threshold, which makes it nigh impossible to say. It seems, therefore, that I am more than the parts that make me up. This also seems true of all objects in a sense: the experience of biting a piece cake is more than just experiencing a bunch of atoms buzzing around in my mouth. There is something more to that--ineffable, maybe, but present, definitely.

So, what are your thoughts? Is the whole the sum of its parts, or can/is the whole greater than it's parts?

You would like aristotelian metaphysics.
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6/12/2015 12:21:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Is the "whole" the sum of its parts, or does it transcend its composite elements?

There is a sense in which I might say that a slice of cake is simply eggs, flour, chocolate, etc. It is 100% composed by those elements that went into its creation; nothing else (at least, nothing quantifiable) went into it, so how could be any more than its parts However, this intuition seems experientially wrong. Taking a bite of cake is something more than just consuming a bundle of eggs, flour, chocolate, etc.

Moreover, if we define an object, such as a human, as having certain constituent parts (e.g. hands, feet, organs, etc.) and I lose one of those parts, am I no longer human? How much can I lose before I can no longer be described as a human? There really is no non-arbitrary threshold, which makes it nigh impossible to say. It seems, therefore, that I am more than the parts that make me up. This also seems true of all objects in a sense: the experience of biting a piece cake is more than just experiencing a bunch of atoms buzzing around in my mouth. There is something more to that--ineffable, maybe, but present, definitely.

So, what are your thoughts? Is the whole the sum of its parts, or can/is the whole greater than it's parts?

Wow I didn't even realize a lot of people already responded with Aristotle when I posted that lol.
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dylancatlow
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6/12/2015 4:19:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The whole possesses an identity above and beyond the parts of which it consists. That's because the structural and dynamical laws required to make the parts work together is not reducible to any single part, as it governs the relations between parts, but rather distributes over them all. Without this distributive syntax, the parts would be utterly unable to behave in the ways required of them.
zmikecuber
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6/13/2015 9:24:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Is the "whole" the sum of its parts, or does it transcend its composite elements?

There is a sense in which I might say that a slice of cake is simply eggs, flour, chocolate, etc. It is 100% composed by those elements that went into its creation; nothing else (at least, nothing quantifiable) went into it, so how could be any more than its parts However, this intuition seems experientially wrong. Taking a bite of cake is something more than just consuming a bundle of eggs, flour, chocolate, etc.


A cake is a different thing than its ingredients. It's composed of them, yes, but it's not identical to them... It's a different form.

Moreover, if we define an object, such as a human, as having certain constituent parts (e.g. hands, feet, organs, etc.) and I lose one of those parts, am I no longer human? How much can I lose before I can no longer be described as a human? There really is no non-arbitrary threshold, which makes it nigh impossible to say. It seems, therefore, that I am more than the parts that make me up. This also seems true of all objects in a sense: the experience of biting a piece cake is more than just experiencing a bunch of atoms buzzing around in my mouth. There is something more to that--ineffable, maybe, but present, definitely.

So, what are your thoughts? Is the whole the sum of its parts, or can/is the whole greater than it's parts?
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6/14/2015 12:29:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/13/2015 9:24:56 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Is the "whole" the sum of its parts, or does it transcend its composite elements?

There is a sense in which I might say that a slice of cake is simply eggs, flour, chocolate, etc. It is 100% composed by those elements that went into its creation; nothing else (at least, nothing quantifiable) went into it, so how could be any more than its parts However, this intuition seems experientially wrong. Taking a bite of cake is something more than just consuming a bundle of eggs, flour, chocolate, etc.


A cake is a different thing than its ingredients. It's composed of them, yes, but it's not identical to them... It's a different form.

http://memegenerator.net...

Moreover, if we define an object, such as a human, as having certain constituent parts (e.g. hands, feet, organs, etc.) and I lose one of those parts, am I no longer human? How much can I lose before I can no longer be described as a human? There really is no non-arbitrary threshold, which makes it nigh impossible to say. It seems, therefore, that I am more than the parts that make me up. This also seems true of all objects in a sense: the experience of biting a piece cake is more than just experiencing a bunch of atoms buzzing around in my mouth. There is something more to that--ineffable, maybe, but present, definitely.

So, what are your thoughts? Is the whole the sum of its parts, or can/is the whole greater than it's parts?
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Nac
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6/18/2015 6:23:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Is the "whole" the sum of its parts, or does it transcend its composite elements?

There is a sense in which I might say that a slice of cake is simply eggs, flour, chocolate, etc. It is 100% composed by those elements that went into its creation; nothing else (at least, nothing quantifiable) went into it, so how could be any more than its parts However, this intuition seems experientially wrong. Taking a bite of cake is something more than just consuming a bundle of eggs, flour, chocolate, etc.

Moreover, if we define an object, such as a human, as having certain constituent parts (e.g. hands, feet, organs, etc.) and I lose one of those parts, am I no longer human? How much can I lose before I can no longer be described as a human? There really is no non-arbitrary threshold, which makes it nigh impossible to say. It seems, therefore, that I am more than the parts that make me up. This also seems true of all objects in a sense: the experience of biting a piece cake is more than just experiencing a bunch of atoms buzzing around in my mouth. There is something more to that--ineffable, maybe, but present, definitely.

So, what are your thoughts? Is the whole the sum of its parts, or can/is the whole greater than it's parts?

I would state that there are more variables in these instances than the whole and its parts. Specifically, in the cake example you provided, the processes by which the cake was formed is what creates a difference between the delectable treat and bundles of individual parts. To make a cake, you utilize these items in a specific way.

From this, my perspective on this issue is that the process must be taken into account to state if the value of a whole surpasses that of its parts, and this leads me to see no evidence for said process. I could be misinformed on this topic.

As an aside, could we allow for Theseus' Ship to be discussed in this topic? It creates a dialogue which I find relevant to this topic.

For those who are unfamiliar with this: Imagine you have created a ship with 100 planks of wood. Every three months, you replace a single piece with another, and store the original pieces in a shed. You then decide, after replacing every piece of wood from the original ship, to fashion the stored planks into another ship. Which, then, is the original ship?

I see this as important due to the similarities it holds to your human example. If we remove a single plank of wood, we would still state that it is the same ship, as with a human losing its arm. The ship takes it a step further, asking if this process would still be accurate if it is extrapolated to all individual parts.

What does the answer to this paradox display about an individual? Would it display the answer to the question which you displayed? How?

I encourage you to allow for this to be dissected in this thread, or to state why it should not be.

I thank you for listening to my proposal.
Mhykiel
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6/18/2015 10:37:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Is the "whole" the sum of its parts, or does it transcend its composite elements?

There is a sense in which I might say that a slice of cake is simply eggs, flour, chocolate, etc. It is 100% composed by those elements that went into its creation; nothing else (at least, nothing quantifiable) went into it, so how could be any more than its parts However, this intuition seems experientially wrong. Taking a bite of cake is something more than just consuming a bundle of eggs, flour, chocolate, etc.

Moreover, if we define an object, such as a human, as having certain constituent parts (e.g. hands, feet, organs, etc.) and I lose one of those parts, am I no longer human? How much can I lose before I can no longer be described as a human? There really is no non-arbitrary threshold, which makes it nigh impossible to say. It seems, therefore, that I am more than the parts that make me up. This also seems true of all objects in a sense: the experience of biting a piece cake is more than just experiencing a bunch of atoms buzzing around in my mouth. There is something more to that--ineffable, maybe, but present, definitely.

So, what are your thoughts? Is the whole the sum of its parts, or can/is the whole greater than it's parts?

I think most estimations of value or distinctions of identity are brought about by assessing an objects 'interface' the interface is by which an object interacts, influences, or just responds to other objects.

In this respect a human stays identified as 'human' as long as it continues to share the traits or interactions associated with 'human'. For some people that interface or list of interactions could be as simple as having unique genetic property. Others may list conscious thought.

We can see the whole as being greater than the parts when the whole interacts or responds with a greater force than the parts alone could. The iphone put together is greater than the interactions possible of the batteries, case, or screen seperately but taken together.

Gears taken seperately but summed together is less than if the gears were put together and made a clock.

The interactions possible by an interlocking collection is greater then the parts of a collection amassed together.
tejretics
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6/19/2015 12:00:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/10/2015 6:36:07 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Is the "whole" the sum of its parts, or does it transcend its composite elements?

There is a sense in which I might say that a slice of cake is simply eggs, flour, chocolate, etc. It is 100% composed by those elements that went into its creation; nothing else (at least, nothing quantifiable) went into it, so how could be any more than its parts However, this intuition seems experientially wrong. Taking a bite of cake is something more than just consuming a bundle of eggs, flour, chocolate, etc.

Moreover, if we define an object, such as a human, as having certain constituent parts (e.g. hands, feet, organs, etc.) and I lose one of those parts, am I no longer human? How much can I lose before I can no longer be described as a human? There really is no non-arbitrary threshold, which makes it nigh impossible to say. It seems, therefore, that I am more than the parts that make me up. This also seems true of all objects in a sense: the experience of biting a piece cake is more than just experiencing a bunch of atoms buzzing around in my mouth. There is something more to that--ineffable, maybe, but present, definitely.

So, what are your thoughts? Is the whole the sum of its parts, or can/is the whole greater than it's parts?

Just curious, why's this stickied?
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