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HierarchyPerspectives for Ecological Complexity$
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T. F. H. Allen and Thomas B. Starr

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226489544

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226489711.001.0001

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The Janus-Faced Holon

The Janus-Faced Holon

Chapter:
(p.43) Chapter Two The Janus-Faced Holon
Source:
Hierarchy
Author(s):

T.F.H. Allen

Thomas B. Starr

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226489711.003.0003

Hierarchies are occupied by holons at levels. Koestler’s concept of the holon invokes a part-whole duality, that raises contradictions. The holon is the surface that integrates the environment for the parts, and the parts for the environment. What is included in a holon is subjective choice. The holon is another expression of Levins and Lewontin’s dialectical materialism in biology. Holons yield to the four Aristotelian causes. Holons are created, tell narratives and become a modified entity all at different rates.

Keywords:   causality, codes, constraints, dialectics, duality, hierarchy, holon, part-whole, scale

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