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SARL Architected Futures™ 2021-09-25 22:36
A holon (Greek: ὅλον, from ὅλος, holos, ‘whole’ and -ον, -on, ‘part’) is something that is simultaneously a whole in and of itself, as well as a part of a larger whole. In other words, holons can be understood as the constituent part–wholes of a hierarchy.
The holon represents a way to overcome the dichotomy between parts and wholes, as well as a way to account for both the self-assertive and the integrative tendencies of organisms. The term was coined by Arthur Koestler in The Ghost in the Machine (1967). In Koestler’s formulations, a holon is something that has integrity and identity while simultaneously being a part of a larger system; it is a subsystem of a greater system.
Holons are sometimes discussed in the context of self-organizing holarchic open (SOHO) systems.
In the above referenced papers, published on Acedemia.edu, Shann Turnbull provides the following table of elements to describe Holarchy arrangements of elements in different disciplines. Complete agreement with the Holarchy arrangements he defines is not the point of inclusion in this material. Rather, his presentation, especially including the first seven rows covering the natural sciences is enlightening.
Holarchy: Hierarchy of holons indicates the ubiquitous nature of holons in nature, society and engineering. It illustrates how the “whole” (hol) or holon obtains characteristics quite different from its components. The rows have been divided into three arbitrary “levels” of first, second and third, which have no intrinsic significance but allows each row to be described as a “discipline” or subject such as physics or chemistry. It will be noted that the holonic component listed as the “third level” becomes the holonic components of the next “first level”. Rows one to seven are linked in this sequential manner to describe nature. The remaining eight rows describes the structures created by humans and do not maintain linked hierarchies between rows except for rows 10 and 11 which describes the MCC.
|First Level||Second Level||Third Level|
|6||Environment||Biota||Ecological Systems||Gaia (Earth)|
|9||Organizations||Autonomous cells / divisions||Firms||Keiretsu / Groups|
|10||Mondragon Co-op||Work Groups||Social Council||General Assembly / Co-op|
|11||Mondragon System||Co-operative||Cooperative Groups||Mondragon Corporacion Cooperativa|
|12||VISA Card||Geographic Unit||Member Bank||VISA International|
|13||Government||Communities / Towns||Regions / States||Nations|
|15||Software Design||Sub-routines||Routines||Object-oriented Programs|