Organismic Approach

Organismic Approach

 

a methodological principle that is one of the forms of the holistic approach to the study of objects in organic nature.

The organismic approach is based on the idea that an organism possesses specific attributes that account for its wholeness and that it possesses particular laws of organization that can only be discovered by viewing the organism as a whole. The approach became popular at the end of the 19th century, when discoveries in biology and psychology were shown to be in clear contradiction to the postulates of both mechanism, which reduced the organism to the sum of its component cells, molecules, and atoms, and neovitalism, which sought to renew the search for a nonmaterial “vital principle.”

Specific examples of the organismic approach were the theories of organicism, Gestalt psychology, holism, emergent evolution, and organic indeterminism. Some of these theories (especially organicism) were entirely materialist in character, while others included elements of idealism and mysticism in addition to positive methodological ideas (as in holism and the theory of emergent evolution). Practically speaking, all of these concepts have died out. However, the basic ideas of the organismic approach continue to play a constructive role in two ways: their subject matter has been further developed in the theory of integrative levels of organization, and their methodological background has become part of the systems approach.

REFERENCE

Kremianskii, V. I. Strukturnye urovni zhivoi materii. Moscow, 1969.

E. G. IUDIN

References in periodicals archive ?
Grouping models as a "system of the dimensions of the organism," he describes diverse influences including Eastern practices, Spinoza's systemics, Reich's organismic approach, and Fenichel's psychosomatics.
The organismic approach must be seen as a working hypothesis and not as an explanation; it raises a problem but is not a problem solution (von Bertalanffy, 1934a, 1941a).
They therefore provided an area of tension to test the usefulness of the organismic approach.
The five chapters of The Spirit of '68 adopt an appropriately organismic approach.
The organismic approach was not only a key to changing a `fractured view' of the world; it was also an essential prerequisite for the development of both modern `scientific' ecology and social environmentalism.
These types of issues have generally remained unrecognized, ignored, or downplayed by reminiscence research conducted within the organismic approach.

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