Holistic science for living well (Joerg Elbers)
[Holistic science for living well: an introduction]
We can’t solve problems
by using the same kind of thinking
we used when we created them.
This book invites you to explore holistic science as a new way of understanding ourselves, as human beings, within the complexity of life on Earth and to participate in its flourishing. It explores new proposals within the social and scientific circles of our world today. Its principle intention is to, no more no less, change our way of thinking and to appreciate life, to amend those critical errors which have arisen because of our limited view of what life is.
The motivation to commence a study on holistic science is the situation of the Earth facing severe environmental, social and economic crises we have been confronted with at the beginning of the XXI century. We are in a rapid race to destroy the basis of our very survival on Earth, and beyond that, to destroy the foundation of life in general. So we could ask: Do we want to continue on the same path and enter the history of the Earth as the generation that destroyed its children´s future and of life in general?
The world today―dominated by the Western world view―is flawed by unsustainability. In view of the prospects for the coming decades we should understand the following: make a change is no longer a choice but a necessity. In order to provide a solution to the challenges we must change our thinking. This book is an introduction to a new way of looking at life and how to participate in it in
a sustainable way.
What alternatives do we have? Fortunately, the view the Western reader has about the world is not
the only one. There are other ways to see, to comprehend, to do science and to participate in life
on Earth. Ways that suggest a change in the mentality of humanity and, as will be illustrated, are
far more appropriate for the preservation of all beings on Earth. In addition to providing the reader
with some basic concepts about holistic science, the book also intends to arouse curiosity about this transdisciplinary world view―and the necessity to rethink our way of living on the planet and to find a first gateway to the magical world implicit to it.
The anthropological and cultural roots of Latin American countries are far closer to comprehending the new holistic view of life and the world. Therefore, the book highlights some similarities of the new scientific conception, which currently provides a hopeful space in the world of science and intellectuality, with the world view of many of the indigenous civilisations of the planet.
The book introduces holistic science and systems thinking, and outlines the basic principles of any action or process in order for it to be ecologically sustainable. It provides some practical tools that enable the reader to examine these issues seriously and also to apply holism and systems thinking in daily life.
The study structure
The first chapter The scientific revolution and the reductionist paradigm describes the birth of modern science and world view. The second chapter Holistic science explores some principles of quantum physics and systems thinking; the chapter closes with a comparison of reductionist and holistic science. The third chapter Holistic paradigms and education introduces the indigenous world view, the holistic paradigm and holistic education. The chapter ends with a look at the relationship between the concept of living well (buen vivir) and the holistic paradigm. The last chapter Proposals for action presents some suggestions for the dissemination of holistic concepts.
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